Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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ron4th 11-27-2007 12:20 AM

amonia through the roof
I have a 5 gallon aquarium that i have had running for about 3 weeks now, and im trying to get the bio filter established and the water levels right so I can put in some guppies. It is taking so long and the levels still arnt right.
The PH used to be really low but ive been slowly adding kent PH up liqiud and the ph has went from 6.2 to 6.7 in a week. and I just tested my amonia and nitrite for the first time today and:
Here are my levels-
PH- 6.7
Amonia- 8.0 ppm
Nitrite- 0 ppm

Any advice to help speed up the process would be great, thanks[/i]

Unrulyevil 11-27-2007 12:13 PM

I used to have 5 gallon tank.. and let me tell you ... the smaller they are the harder it is to keep em.

#1 Water change

#2 get some live plants

#3 you can get yourself this

fish_4_all 11-27-2007 12:55 PM

How are you cycling the tank? The levels are high but not unheard of in a 3 week old tank.

First, stop using the pH adjusting chemicals. They will only cause headaches later. If you need it higher for the guppies, go out and get some crushed coral and add it to the tank or filter. The guppies should still be fine even at that pH and will still breed. Fish can adjust to a wide range of pH and still thrive. Just make sure it is close to what the LFS pH is.

Have patience, yes there are some chemicals and addatives that might help the cycle go faster but don't rely on them to solve your problems.

Also, what kind of filter are you using?

ron4th 11-27-2007 02:17 PM

what do you mean, am i cycling the tank?
ive been doing water changes every couple days, if thats what u mean.
im ussing an "elite stingray 5" filter in this 5 gallon. I hope its strong enough.
ok I bought some "cycle" and have been adding it to the water along with some "stess zyme".
are these amonia levels gonna drop eventually?
will the nitrite levels rise after the amonia drops?
also what problems will arise from using the chemicals?

fish_4_all 11-27-2007 02:41 PM

Cycling your tank means what are you doing to feed the bacteria? Adding food? Do you have fish in the tank? Did you add a prawn? Look at the article below and I think you will understand it a little better. Water changes are actually not needed that often unless your ammonia is really high during a cycle unless you are cycling with fish. If you are cycling with fish then you need to do water changes anytime your ammonia goes above 1ppm or you nitrites go about .25ppm.

The filter should be good.

Do you have any fish in the tank right now?

As for chemicals and future problems. The chemicals are only a quick fix. Anything that goes wrong in the future that has a direct effect on the pH could be a lot worse because of using the chemicals. I used to use the pH chemicals in my tanks and then I had a major pH crash and it killed all my fish in a matter of 36 hours. I kept my pH, using chemicals, at a steady 7.0 and when it crashed it went under 5 in less than 2 days. Now all I use in my tanks to raise the pH is crushed coral.

Using the cycling product will help but don't rely on it to solve the problem. Keep testing and making sure that everything is going right. When you add the cycling product I would not do a water change for 2 days or you are likely just removing it before the substrate and filter can become colonized properly.

ron4th 11-27-2007 03:21 PM

oh i see. yeh I have 1 corydora in the tank right now and I am adding food to the tank every day, a bit more than can be eatin.
So is this just the process that must take place for the amonia to drop eventually?
should I go get a couple fish to put in the tank to speed up the process?
if so what kind?

Falina 11-27-2007 04:23 PM

Don't add anymore fish until the cycle is complete! Fish that are present during cycling rarely survive very long afterwards as they are subject to a lot of internal damage.

To give the one you have the best possible chance at surviving return it to the lfs and get fish again when you have completed the cycle. If you won't return it, do 20% water changes daily. With an amonia reading of 8, TBH I am very surprised the fish is still alive.

I know this isn't what you wanted to hear, but it's best that you know so you avoid killing more fish.

fish_4_all 11-27-2007 04:56 PM

Definately no more fish as stated. Also, if the cory in there does die form the ammonia then don't add any more fish still. Keep adding the same amount of food you have been and keep up with the water changes while the cory is still alive. The food will carry the process without adding fish. Keep checking your levels and when your ammonia and nitrites drop to 0 for a week you are ready to add 3-5 small fish to it. If you add guppies they will handle the rest.

ron4th 11-27-2007 07:11 PM

thank you for your help
Ill take out the cory and I wont add anymore fish
how long do you think it will take untill the water is safe?

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