First off this is my first tank, i bought a ten gallon tetra brand starter kit with the filer, heater lamp/hood the whole shabang. So i bought all the necessary things needed for a proper looking fish tank. I stocked it with fish right away without "cycling" and learned my lesson quickly when a few started dying from NTS. Anyways I kept on truckin' and finally started researching more and found out the whole chemical aspects of fish tankery. So my problem is this, my fish tank has 8.0 or higher ammonia level, my ph is 7.8 or higher and i cant for the life of me lower it. To solve the ammonia level problem I planted some real plants in the tank with hopes they will lower the level naturally, i keep buying small fish and they die of slowly, the only fish that have lasted since the start are 5 mollies an angle fish and believe it or not a black lyre tail molly fry!
So if anyone has any idears i would appreciate the input, and also i have 3 various barbs 3 danios a bala shark and a pleco is that to many fish for a ten gallon tank ? im hoping to get a bigger one so i can do more with it but id like to at least maintain this one before i take on another.
ps. i planted the real plants and then within 3-5 days they started breaking down a lil around the tips and having almost see through scars in the leafs the plants are swordtails and ferns. i also have a 4 inch bubbler, could that be putting too much oxygen into the water that the plants need?
Way too much in the tank. Angelfish, plecos, bala shark all need 40g or more(much more for the bala, and poissbly the pleco depending on species.). I would return them. Barbs, danios and mollies should be in a 20g. If your ammonia is at 8.. wow thats really high. Leaving any fish in that is a slow painful death. I would see if you can return all the fish. Leave the plants in by themselves and just keep testing your water. Remove dead plant matter.
Yes, wayyyy to many fish for a 10g. For that small of a tank, it's usually best to do a single species, or two at most since the majority of fish are schooling in nature. That means they like to be in a group of at least 6, but prefer even more. It makes them feel safe.
As mentioned, all those larger fish need to go.
Your Ammonia is literally off the charts, while plants will use it as food too much is also toxic to them. An airstone is generally not needed with a HOB (hang on back) filter since the falling of the water into the tank is plenty. Plants do best with a calm surface because it helps retain more CO2 that they need. And yes, too much oxygen is bad for plants just like too much CO2 is bad for us.
The plants will also need fertilizers of some kind. At the least, use a liquid fertilizer. Flourish is what a lot of people use, and the small 250 mL bottle will last you years (it does not expire). You would does no more than 1mL per week. The swords would enjoy a root tab (solid fertilizer that goes into the substrate near the plant) as they are heavy root feeders. For lighting, get a timer (same ones you use for lamps) and set it for 8 or 10 hours a day. Any more than that, and you'll risk algae.
The fern (I assume is Java Fern) has a rhizome, that's the rooty mass at the base. It should not be buried in the substrate as it will start to rot. They prefer to be attached to driftwood, rocks, or decorations, but you can also have it sitting on top of the substrate. You can use cotton thread to tie it down.
You need to do daily partial water changes (50%) to get that ammonia under control, a fishless cycle is best as it won't harm any fish, there is a sticky at the top of this forum explaining different methods. Even after water parameters stabilize, you still need to do weekly water changes (25-50%) to keep nitrates down.
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