Help Ammonia and Nitrite rising after water changes

Gnome3G

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A few weeks ago I noticed that my pH started to drop really fast (would go from neutral to 6 in a couple hours). I thought that maybe I had been doing a bad job of vacuuming my gravel and the waste was causing the pH drop. For about two weeks I was changing the water and vacuuming every 1-2 days to keep the water around neutral. I finally did some research and hypothesized that maybe my tap water had dropped in KH and that crushed coral could help with this. I added the coral to my tank and the pH steadied and brought my KH to 4dKH.

My ammonia and nitrite are now rising probably from doing too many water changes. Ive been using ammonia and nitrite detoxifier in addition to API quick start every night, but the levels are still rising. Not sure what to do.

Ammonia 1ppm
Nitrite 3ppm
Nitrate 20ppm
 

Blueberrybetta

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Do you not use a water conditioner when adding water back? Would you also know the parameters of your source water ? API quick start is just bottled bacteria, not a water conditioner. Do you currently have any fish in the tank as well?
 
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Gnome3G

Gnome3G

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Blueberrybetta said:
Do you not use a water conditioner when adding water back? Would you also know the parameters of your source water ? API quick start is just bottled bacteria, not a water conditioner. Do you currently have any fish in the tank as well?
Yes, I use Kordon AmQuel Plus which is a conditioner but also a nitrite and ammonia detoxifier. I do not know all of the parameters of my water but I know its about 180 GH and 7.6pH. In the tank currently I have Angelfish, Tetras, Balas, Corys, and Plecos.
 
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Gnome3G

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Update: The ammonia seems to have dropped but the nitrite is around 4 ppm
 

MacZ

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Oh my... those readings look like your cycle has crashed or never taken up. How long is the tank running, how long did you cycle it? How long did you take to add the fish?

Edit: Also, why did you add crushed coral (which ups the hardness) when you keep soft water fish? I would have very much welcomed the lower hardness (which rarely happens with tap, I can't really grasp this.)
 
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Gnome3G

Gnome3G

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MacZ said:
Oh my... those readings look like your cycle has crashed or never taken up. How long is the tank running, how long did you cycle it? How long did you take to add the fish?

Edit: Also, why did you add crushed coral (which ups the hardness) when you keep soft water fish? I would have very much welcomed the lower hardness (which rarely happens with tap, I can't really grasp this.)
my tank was fully cycled before. The tank has been running since December. I added the fish over a period of 6 weeks.

I added the crushed coral to buffer my pH. Before I was doing water changes almost every day because my pH would drop below 6 only a couple hours after a water change.
 

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