Ammonia and nitrite levels

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by durtydurty, 12 Aug 2008.

  1. durtydurty

    durtydurty Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Staring at my Galaxies in Wilts
    My tank is 200 litres, Tetratec External EX1200 running, C02 injection, fairly well planted planted and I dose TPN+ at the weekly water changes.

    Stock is as follows

    1 plec
    6 Red eye tetra's
    5 platies
    6 Panda Cories

    3 Congo tetra's
    10 Cloud minnows
    10 Galaxy rasboras
    1 molly

    Various inverts

    Tank cycled for around two months then I added the top half of fish and then added the rest over regular intervals, weekends etc. Not all at once!

    I spotted the fish gasping at the weekend and did a API check and the levels were fairly high did a 50% water change and they were still high did another last night and they were still high but better than before around about 1 ( ppm ? ) for both ammonia and nitrite.

    Is it over stocked or is my filter struggling to cope with the ammonia my fish are producing?

    Im intending to do another big water change tonight to try and curb the levels getting to high.
     
  2. Joecoral

    Joecoral Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Neath, South Wales
    I certainly wouldn't say you were overstocked, but something seems to be affecting your biological filtration if there is any ammonia or nitrite in the water
    have you checked the pH, as if it's dropped for any reason this can inhibit the filter bacteria?
    how long since the fish have been in the tank?
    cleaned the filter media in tap water for any reason, or has it been turned off for any length of time?
     
  3. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    How did you do the cycle? If there's only a small amount of bacteria in the filter then adding all your first fish in one go would put quite a strain on the filter. Adding the others would just exacerbate the problem and it could never catch up. Just guessing though.

    Plecs's can be quite messy as well, depending on size obviously.
     
  4. durtydurty

    durtydurty Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Staring at my Galaxies in Wilts
    I did kill a molly and a cloud minnow a few weeks ago through a faulty needle valve on my c02 and the drop checker went very pale green!

    The tank cycled for about two months plus before I added the top slection then the rest have been added at weekend intervals after trips to the fish shops. Adding the minnows one weekend then the galaxies the next weekend so not big numbers at anyone time.

    Have not yet cleaned the filter, replaced the polishing floss thingy but not cleaned the filter in anything.
     
  5. durtydurty

    durtydurty Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Staring at my Galaxies in Wilts
    I did a fishless cycle with household ammonia followed all the advice I could find online and it was converting ammonia quickly after adding it.
     
  6. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Can you check the flow on your filter, I had a mini spike a year or so ago when the pipe on my filter got a slight kink in it and the flow dropped.

    I would say you're heavily stocked for a young tank. It usually takes about 6 months for a bacteria colony to establish itself fully and during that time sticking to the 'inch per gallon' rule of thumb is probably a good idea.

    Keep up with the water changes and keep an eye on the levels. If they don't get any better then consider reducing your stocking a little until your tank has matured.
     
  7. durtydurty

    durtydurty Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Staring at my Galaxies in Wilts
    Will check the pipes tonight.

    Thanks for all the advice guys, I'd hate to loose my new Galaxy Rasboras or any of my fish for that matter.
     
  8. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    I'll second the advice about kinked hoses. IME 12mm hoses tend to be OK, but the weight of 16mm with water in tends to pull everything down and kinks are far more common.
     
  9. durtydurty

    durtydurty Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Staring at my Galaxies in Wilts
    Did another water change last night and checked this morning and my levels seem to be better so Ive got no idea what it was but will be keeping an eye on it.

    Thanks for all the reponses
     

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