Need help with my ammonia levels. Please my fish are dying one by one
I have a little 29 gal tank that i am getting started with. I put 3 mollies and 1 platy in to cycle it. I have had it for three weeks and after two weeks i had zero ammonia zero nitrites and maybe 5-10 ppm nitrate. Doing good so i thought. My local pet store has a guy who works in the aquatic dept who seems to know what he is talking about and he said that i should be cycled with the water specs i described above. Just to be sure the next fish i added were some more mollies and platys and three guppies for a total of ten fish. The next two days i completed another water change. The next day i checked my water and my ammonia was at maybe three to four!!!! I immediately did another water change and added some ammonia reducer. 24 hours later i checked and my ammonia was still high again. I noticed some white algae looking stuff on the bottom and soon realized it was the pellets i was feeding them and they werent eating any. Today i did a 45% water change and netted most of the food out added some more ammonia reducer "Cycle" and did the 5X the dose recommended for emergencies. 1hr later ammonia is still at two. Help me please......
Do you have a gravel vacuum?
im guessing the tank is just getting into its cycle, not that its done with its cycle. some horrific things happen to the tanks chemistry during the cycle, most notably really high ammonia levels. At two weeks, I think the cycle is just beginning. The ammonia needs to build some for the beneficial bacteria colonies to develop to consume it, and thats likely all it is, IMHO.
keep the water changes coming as often as you need to, with a quick vacuum of the gravel too to keep that gunk out. itll be a hairy ride but itll smooth out in time :)
The cycling process can take 6-8 weeks. If you are not too set against real plants in an aquarium, even adding a couple of floating plants will help with the water parameters, making it safer for your fish sooner. Anytime that you add new fish, the tank needs time to adjust to the extra bio load.
I appreciate everyones advice. I do have a gravel vac. My local fish store reccommended doing the emergency treatment with Prime to reduce the amonia level. I am not sure if it worked because I was unaware that amonia and amonium can both show up when using the test.Does anyone know if there is a test kit that will tell both levels?? I just did another 50% water change. Products I am using are Nutrafin Cycle (Bacteria additive) Nutrafin Aqua Plus for conditioner, the two bottle liquid test kit and the 5 in 1 test strips. When I use the gravel vac, I was told not to go deep into the gravel so I do not disturb the good bacteria, is this true?? Thanks !
The trick to vacuuming the gravel, unless things have changed in the last couple years, is do try to get all the gunk out of the gravel, but only in 1 section.
for instance, you would vacuum all of the surface of the gravel, then actually get into the gravel for maybe 1/3 of the tank. next time, the next 1/3. And no, vacuuming wont really disturb the bacteria too much, provided you dont go nuts with it.
I generally do half one week and the other half 2 weeks later. Do it throughly but dont touch the other side at all, even the surface unless there is something obvious there like a plant leaf.
I dont see any problem with Beetlebz's method either though.
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