I have been battling a very large nitrate and nitrite problem for close to a week. The last water testing done this morning was this:
Ammonia (NH3/NH4) = 0.25 ppm
Nitrate (NO3) = 40 ppm
Nitrite (NO2) = 1.00 ppm
pH = 6.4
Specific Gravity = 1.009
PPT = 12 to 13
Temperature = Ranges from 78.1 to 80.0 degrees Farenheit
The aquarium set-up:
ViaAqua 750 Professional Canister filter with a fine and a coarse pad with lava rock media
300 Watt Heater
2 Major bubblers
The aquarium I have at my work that is a 55 to 60 gallon Jebo corner tank. I set it up 5 weeks ago to be an eventual brackish tank. So far, I have five female mollies and approximately 20 fry in a floating pen.
I have had issues for the last 3 weeks trying to get the water to clear up in the tank so I have been using the water clarifiers and doing small water changes. My pH used to be in the 7.0 area and it dropped down to 6.0. I have used crushed coral, pH buffers and all that jazz and nothing will bring up the pH until I did a 25% water change just 3 days ago.
I gently rinsed shook the pads from the filter for the first time last week in the very same aquarium water and did the same to the lava rocks to get any crud off of them. Ever since that incident, my nitrates and nitrites went sky high. I did a 15% water change 6 days ago followed up by a 25% just 3 days ago, used Prime to no avail and lightly vacuummed the gravel yesterday (took out about 8 gallons). I also cut back to feeding the fish to once a day with the exception of the fry getting yolk drops about three times a day with the occassional flake or so to munch on.
None of my fish have died, thankfully. However, the water clarity issue is the second annoyance aside from the high nits problem. I did test our tap water and it has zero for nitrates, nitrites and ammonia with a hardy pH of 7.6.
Should I do a larger water change at this point or what? Any suggestions at this point are gratefully appreciated. Thank you.