Water Test Results..... What do I do?!?!?!
Ok tank stats....Tank Started on April 10th. 55 Gal tank, Aqua-Tech 30/60 and Emperor 400 Filter, 4 Glow Light Tetra, 3 Zebras, 4 Neon Tetra, tank temp ranges between 66-68 degree
As of about about 2 weeks ago I got an API liquid Test kit, been testing my tank and doing water changes, these are the readings I have got...
PH NitRITE NitRATE Amonia
7/7.5 5 40 >.25 (using test strips)
7.6 1 5 0
7.2-7.5 5 10 0
7.6 1 0 0
After each test I did about a 10/12 gallon water change and after 3rd test I gravel siphoned about a 1 ft part of tank.
My question is, what can I do to get my ph to lower, and why are my nitrite and nitrates going up and down so bad?! Back about 3 weeks ago I did have a spike in Ammonia and it went back down and about a week after that my nitrates went way up but then I was still using test strips
Just before I got my liquid kit I was using good ole strips and my nitRATE was up to 40, so I cut off feeding for a day and then cut back to one feed a day. I would say Im not over feeding by any chance, I give them just a lil bit of finely ground flake food and they tear it up and look for more. All of my fish are very active and appear to have the same color as the day that I bought them. I did have 2 bala sharks which have both since died the last one between my 1st results above and my 2nd test.
Anyone have any advice for me or am I just hitting the panic button? Thanks!!!!
Your ph is fine. I wouldn't do anything with it at all. Your nitrites are a differant story. I have a feeling either your overfeeding or your nitrogen cycle isn't complete yet. That's my thought especially since the tank has only been running since April 10. Give it a few more weeks and watch the numbers to make sure none of the fish are in distress. Everytime you add fish, change your filter filter media, clean your gravel or possibly even a big water change can cause a mini cycle causing your nitrites/nitrates to jump.
You need a heater! That water is at least ten degrees colder than it should be.
As far as BIG water changes, am I changing a good amount at only taking ten gallon out? I have only did a gravel clean once because I thought maybe there was a little over feeding going on. And I started tank with no filters I only added them about 2 weeks ago.
Thanks for the help!
Appreciate feedback on my test results...
I've been reading and learning of a lot info on this forum, so I bought the API test kit and here are the results. The PH I did not include, but it is YELLOW which indicates it is at 6 or less! I was about to use the API Proper PH 7.0 stuff, but read many posts here not to use it, and will try to get some crush coral today and probably remove my driftwood from the tank. So here are my questions:
1. Am I reading this correctly: Ammonia= 1-2ppm,Nitrite=0ppm, Nitrate=40ppm?
2. Where would I start looking for crush coral to raise Ph? Any type will be safe?
3. Do the readings suggest a water change tonight to get rid of the Nitrates?
Thanks in advance!
I would forget about PH for now and focus on keeping ammonia levels below 0.25. By not running filters until two weeks ago it is doubtful that much beneficial bacteria has had a chance to develop. 50 percent water change with dechlorinator that removes chlorine, chloramines, and ammonia is all you should be using . There are fish in your aquarium and it is cycling. You must keep the fish alive to complete the process which could take several more weeks. If after 50 percent water change with only dechlorinator you still have ammonia readings above 0.25 do another 20 to 30 percent water change daily. For first water change I would also vaccum one half the tank as well. Cut back on feeding too. YOU in essence in my view, are cycling a new aquarium with fish and should follow that procedure . Don't stress! many have been in your posistion PATIENCE is truly it's own reward.
Quick update. I did a 30% water change last night and took readings this morning. I also removed the piece of wood from the tank. Looks like an improvement but I will do another water change, maybe on Saturday. I don't like to do many water changes because I think it stresses the fish a lot. I was feeding twice / day but switched to once/day, even though the Arowana looks very hungry all the time.
Ph = 6.6
Ammonia=1.0 - 2.0 ppm???
Nitrate= 20- 40 ppm
I'm still kind of uncertain if I'm reading these colors right...
Your reading and the colors look like they match to me! I do have a concern that your nitrites are still at 0 and the ammonia is still up there. I would keep doing small water changes, 10% each night if needed to keep the ammonia down. Unfortunately there's no way to speed this up. I won't do any gravel vacuuming since you have good bacteria trying to form there also. Small water changes to keep the levels down so it doesn't get too toxic for the fish. Small water changes, lite on the food and patience is all I can tell you! Good luck and keep us updated on your progress
have you checked your tap water for ammonia? your levels are very high with that stocking, even for an uncycled tank. it should be at least semi-cycled by now.
As okiemavis said, your ammonia is suspiciously high and I do think you are reading the concentrations correctly. If there is no ammonia in your tap water its time to stop doing such small water changes. With ammonia that high, I would be doing a 50% change and then test an hour later. If its still too high, do another 50% change. The reason to test your tap water is simple, mine has about 1 ppm of ammonia right from the tap so no amount of water changes will ever lower my tank below 1 ppm. For me it means I need to be very careful with water changes because they add ammonia that my bacteria need to deal with, they don't remove it.
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