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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi i am new at keeping fish and hope someone can help. I have had my fush 1 week and noticed they have been gasping over 48 hours. I cannot seem to lower the nitrate and nitrite levels. I have a 40 litre tank with 2 mollies, 2 swordtails, 1 betta and 2 african dwarf frogs. They get fed on 1 cube of frozen bloodworm twice a day and i have performed a 50% water change which has had no effecton the fish. Nitrite is reading 10ppm and nitrate is reading 200ppm. I am using the api 5 in 1 test strips. Can someone please help me before i start losing my fish??
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Are frozen bloodworms the only thing you feed? Some people say only once or twice a week. I feed them every other day, but every day twice is to much. The only way to lower nitrates are live plants and water changes. In a cycled tank you shouldnt have nitrites.
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That is far too much food, it's not being eaten and dirtying the water. I suggest you look into a high-quality pellet such as New Life Spectrum (NLS) and do as large of a water change as your gravel vac will allow. It is not necessary but a bottle of Tetra Safe Start could help you. I suggest you stop feeding for now while we get the water under control (fish can go months without food, don't worry) and you get a quality pellet. Most of us have been down this road and we are here to help!
 

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A 40 Liter is only a 10 gallon tank correct? We strongly advise you don't add anything else to this tank as it is overstocked and as the other members said, being overfed. We can sort this out and hopefully stabilize this tank.
Can you tell us what type of filter you have on this tank? It is very common when the surface tension isn't being broken for the fish to gasp at the surface. Is this what you are seeing? (I'm assuming it will be a HOB, hang on back type of filter and usually the output is above the tank and eliminates this surface tension problem as the water falls back into the tank. But I want to double check that the filter is in place).

Flint can you please elaborate on your comment above.
This: "Once cycled, your tank will take care of that tap reading."
I'm not sure that I understand what you are saying. Tank and tap water are unrelated so I'm missing something here. Just need clarification. Thanks!
Yes it is always good to know what your tap water readings are so that you know if you are adding to the numbers.

OP: Get yourself a tiny bottle of Prime water conditioner if you don't have it. Yes it stinks, that's normal btw. It can be used at 5 times the amount to neutralize and help protect your fish thru the cycling process which can take up to 6-8 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi i have an aqua one 101f filter i have no idea what gallon it is i only know liters sorry. I realise that maybe i have overfed and have stopped food. Will stop at a local petstore and get a bottle of prime too
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Wow, I missed the fact it was a 10 gallon! I would rehome your swordtails immediately. They get too large for a 40 liter tank.

SeaHorse, when you have ammonia, nitrite or nitrates present in tap water, it will be transferred in with water changes. In a cycled tank, however, the ammonia or nitrites will be proccessed into nitrates with the fish waste. That's all I meant. :)
 

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Batty...take the Liter number and divide by 4 approx to get the US Gallon equivalent. Keep in mind that changes to water are slower in larger volumes of water. Compare: Imagine a drop of red food coloring in a cup of water... then your 10 gallon tank and then a 20G long or 40G long etc. The bigger the tank the easier it is to maintain stability (given proper maintenance of course). But changes are much slower and less dangerous to your fish. So take that same analogy and over stock or over feed in the smaller tank and you see how "the numbers" build up. Ammonia, NitrItes, NitrAtes, heavy metals... lots of things. It isn't correct to just "top up" a tank when it evaporates either for this very reason. It should be topped up, then a proper water change and topped up again.
So... to what Flint explained for me. YES thank you. I understand. If there is Ammonia in the tap water like mine, then you are adding it to the tank also for each water change. Neutralizing with Prime will protect your fish while the good bacteria grow (takes 24 hours) and take it up in their processes. So YES your tank will process the extra that is added.
Thanks Flint!!

We like L "long" tanks as it gives them more area to swim as apposed to a vertical tall tank that they can only swim up and down.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would like to thank everyone for the kind words of advice. After 2 50% water changes and no food the fish seem to be a lot happier and my levels are reading 0. I will be upgrading my tank in the next couple of weeks. I will feed fish on flakes once a day and the frogs once or twice a week on bloodworm. Will keep a close eye on water conditions and post with any progress. What is the best plan when it comes to changing tanks to bigger ones?
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Best advice? Don't clean anything... fill the new tank with water, dechlor it... rinse any NEW gravel you are adding. Everything else should be moved "as is" over to the new tank. Rinsing and scrubbing anything from the old tank will cause another spike and a new cycle. Transfer the filter over too as is. Start up your new filter if you are buying one and get it going for several weeks before you remove the original one... or... move all the media from the old filter into the new one without rinsing.
You don't have to move the tank water... think of it as a water change. And you are likely to stir up a lot of gunk anyway but resist the urge to rinse it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi guys i now have a 200 litre tank in which my fish seem a lot happier. Although one of my mollys has developed a large white spot by its top fin. Could this be ich? The tank is currently going through its first cycle and think it may be due to stress although levels are high they are nowhere near as bad as previously and am doing 40% water changes every few days until the tank is cycled. I feed them once a day on flakes. No other fish have any spots either
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That sounds more like a bacteria. Ick looks like your fish have been sprinkled with large grains of salt... all over and not in one spot! That's a good reason to keep... or re-setup the small tank to use as a quarantine tank if parents will let you. All new fish should stay there in QT for several weeks before being introduced into the new big tank. Your initial purchase... they are ALL new... but once cycled and established you should think twice about all new fish if you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I live on my own so will keep hold of the small tank. I have bought an anti fungus and finrot from the local pet store and have been advised to treat the entire tank. Will be putting any new fish into quarantine in future
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