Hi all! I need help as I am a hobbyist rejoining the fish keeping realm! Also new here, so thanks!
Specs: I have a 10 gallon FW tank with danios, gouramis, and dwarf puffer.
I have dual filtration utilizing a aquaclear 30, and a tetra kit filtration system.
3 live mounted plants, a few ornaments, (2) 15 W lights in hood, moss ball, and just gravel (no substrate)
I've been cycling my tank w/fish exactly a week +/- 2 days today.
Levels of ammonia continued to rise daily, and generally hovered around .25 to at most .50, with 0 nitrates, 0 nitrites, PH approx 7.4....(All done via API kit) thought that was part of the cycle. Did not do any water changes except ADD for evaporation. Of course, I included few drops of aqua safe, and left alone. All has been steady....
Well just as of the afternoon I see these levels:
I kind of freaked a bit, did a 20-25% water change, realistically probably 15% with evaporation.... and in the water change added PRIME, with few drops of aqua safe (tetra).
I also substituted nitrifying bacteria with Tetra safe start (Bio-spira)... to kind of put back what I took out.
Knowing that the bacteria is more prone to attach itself to surfaces and not really free flowing, I thought it must be best to do what I did.
I am concerned however, as I feel I may have just messed up the cycle or what not, but some say that the ammonia would have turned into ammonium and still effective for bacteria. I took reading this evening....
Nitrite: 0 <----went to "0" ( I hear that Prime could have converted it)
Nitrate: 0 (Was slightly elevated a few hours ago to 5.0 ppm now "0", I assume due to the conversion)
Most of the fish seem relatively active, except the puffers seem at times to be very sedated. Sometimes laying on the bed. At times I can see one float across the tank just checking things out.
I am pretty sure I did not necessarily hurt the bacteria, and that the ammonia readings could possibly be artificially elevated and /or the Nitrite could be off?
What can I do? I see the PH has risen as well, is this all just part of the continuing cycle?
Either way I would like some advise from some experienced folks out there...