I have a Marineland 5 gallon aquarium, with 1 betta, 2 corys, and a snail. I tested the water this morning and found the ammonia and nitrite levels were very high. Did a 50% change and retested a little while later. The levels are lower, but still high (between 1-2 ppm ammonia and about 0.25 ppm nitrite). Should I do another change now, or should I give it a day and retest?
If your ammonia is higher than 1.0ppm I would do another water change.
The nitrite level of 0.25 isn't bad but it sounds like the tank is not cycled that is why the ammonia is higher. As the tank cycles it the ammonia will drop to 0.0 then a few days later the Nitrite will drop to 0 also.
What test kit are you using?
I use API test kits for ammonia and nitrites. The tank has been up for about 6-7 weeks. Also have some java moss and a piece of driftwood as decoration, but I don't think that would matter. If anything, I would expect the moss to help. I will do another water change tomorrow (tank is at the office). Thanks for the advice!
The API is a good kit I use the same thing. Java moss will help with nitrates but it will be a very small amount so unless you have a ton you won't see any difference. The wood might effect your PH but not much else.
Are you using an ammonia lock or dechlorinator like Prime. If so I would use the seachem ammonia dot or seachem multi test ammonia test kit. They measure free and total ammonia unlike most tests like the api test kit which cannot tell the difference. Could be your ammonia was actually safe(r) and it would have been best to let the live moss expand to consume the ammonia.
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