I apologize in advance for the lengthy post. I have been lurking here for some time now but I had unfortunately already started cycling with 5 danios before I learned about fishless cycling(3/30/07). I then added 2 packs of biospira and the remaining occupants of my tank over a 7 day period after being told by my LFS that I should fully stock my tank when adding biospira. At this point 4/14/07 my readings with API Master Test Kit were ammonia 1ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 6. Prior to adding the biospira, ammonia .25, nitrite 0, nitrate 0. I continued to test the water daily without doing any water changes and on 4/28/07 my readings were: ammonia 1ppm, nitrite 0, nitrate 10ppm. I did a 20% water change that day and every other day since but ammonia and nitrite levels have remained the same with nitrate around 5 or 6 between changes. Thinking that I was over stocked I added the 30gal HOB filter on 4/30/07. This was the same day I realized one of the danios had died and had been decomposing in the tank for awhile before I found and removed it. I then tried to take a roll of the remaining occupants but could only find 4 out of 6 loaches with all other fish accounted for. So now I'm wondering if the 2 missing loaches are dead and causing the ammonia reading, or are they just hiding like loaches do. All the fish are active, eating well, and appear to be in good health. The loaches seem to be all over the place, so are really hard to count. but I've seen only 4 at any one time. As far as feeding goes I have been following the 3 to 5 min rule, only giving them what they can finish in the time. I haven't seen mold anywhere either. So any idea what could be keeping ammonia @ 1ppm, and how should I proceed? Also am I over stocked considering the 50gal filtration? Thx in advance for your help.
7 blue danios
6 glolite tetras
1 dwarf guarami
4? kuhli loaches
3? ghost shrimp
2 mystery snails
20gal whisper HOB filter
30gal aquaclear HOB filter
Dead fish can certainly cause your ammonia to be elevated so do your best search looking for them. I'd do 20% water changes daily until your level drops to zero.
Your tank is overloaded son. Return some fish to your lfs.
I would say that there may be a fish decomposing somehwere. If the Biospira worked right then this is really the only exlanation although the biospira should have compensated for that also. (Is why I don't like to depend on chemicals when I don't have to).
Take your hand and stir up the gravel really well or use a blunt stick but do it slowly so you don't hurt the loaches if they are buried in the substrate. This should tell you if there is a dead fish causing the spike. If there isn't, I would have to agree that you need to take back some fish before the spike goes even higher because the biospira didn't work like it was supposed to. Either that or you can take your chances and get somemore Biospira.
Thx for the responses
Assuming I am overstocked what and how many fish should I return?
Re: Thx for the responses
I would agree that it isn't overstocked but if the ammonia is a problem for long the fish will suffer. Probably the loaches first and worst.
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