High Nitrites and Nitrates with ammonia insert

fished

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Hello all,
I have a 10 gallon tank with two Dwarf Gourami's two Platties and two very small Angels in which I use a ammonia removing resin by aqua clear. From doing research on the Nitrogen cycle, to me it seemed better to use a ammonia remover since that way, I won't have ammonia and therefore I won't have any other harmful substances (nitrite and nitrate). It's fine with me to change it out every month or so. I have been doing weekly 30% water changes for the past few weeks. ( I have fish for about three weeks). Recently some of my fish have gotten ick and I am treating in with super ick cure while keeping the temp at 86ish. I noticed that one of the Guorami's was a bit lethargic and so I decided to check my water parameters. No ammonia, however the Nitrite and Nitrate levels were off the charts, literally. I quickly did a large water change, but I'm very confused. Where are the Nitrites and Nitrates coming from if the ammonia remover is in my filter? Unless the resin is doing absolutely nothing (and therefore bacteria is removing the ammonia and producing the other toxins) I can't seem to understand what's going on. I've tested the tap water for Nitrites and it came up clean. (even if the ammonia resin is starting to leak some ammonia back into the water would it produce that much of the other toxins in such a short period of time?)

Am I way off in my thinking that ammonia removing resin is a ok way to go? From what I've seen people say on the subject most say that it should only be used in emergencies since it stops the beneficial bacteria growth but no one seems to discuss if and why bio-filtration is better then using a ammonia remover.

(Yes, I know the angels get large, I plan to move them to a 20 gallon in the near future)

Thanks in advance.
 

jetajockey

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I would definitely stop using any type of ammonia removing insert, it's just a crutch for the biofilter. It is possible that the insert didn't catch all of the ammonia being produced in the tank, before it could be converted. There is still BB in the substrate as well, so the nitrification process can also be happening there.

Another possibility is that there was a big ammonia spike due to a dead fish or something of the sort fouling the tank, and it took a while for the insert to catch it all, which gave the BB time to convert some of the ammonia.

did you add an air stone to the tank to help with oxygen? high temps reduce the amount of o2 in the water.
 

jdhef

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Welcome to FishLore!

I know you didn't ask about this, but your tank is headed for disaster. If both of the Dwarf Gouramis are male they are going to start fighting. You would need a much larger tank to house two male DG's.

Angelfish get way to large for a 10 gallon tank also. They can get to be about 8" tall. I think the minimum tank size for an Angelfish is a 25 Gallon High or a standard 30 gallon.

Additionally, I believe Platies require a 20 gallon minumum tank size, since they are pretty active. On the homepage to this site, there are fish profiles down the right hand side of the page. If you click on a fish, it will take to to a page that tells you the requirements for that particular fish.

Now on to your question, if the ammonia remover is really removing the ammonia, I don't see how you are getting nitirites and nitrates. While using ammonia remover sounds good in theory, I'm not sure it really works in the real world (as you may be finding out yourself.)

Good luck!
 

Lucy

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Welcome to FishLore!!
I agree with Jdhef, it looks like the ammonia is being converted to nitrites and the nitrites to nitrates. This is the natural progression of the nitrogen cycle.

Sounds like maybe you're right, the remover isn't doing much. I'd suggest not using the ammonia insert and do daily or every other day water changes until the cycle is complete.
The you can go on to weekly maintenance.

Good luck!
 

Rhan

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Welcome to Fishlore!

I agree with Jdhef. Stick with us and we'll try to help you out
 
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fished

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Thanks for the info. I'm doing daily water changes, removed the ammonia insert, and put in the BIO MAX insert from aquaclear. Things look like they are settling down. No ammonia and a small amount of Nitrites. I think it's time for me to join the "don't use ammonia removers except for emergencies" bandwagon. :)

I'm gonna start cycling (fishless) my 20 Gallon soon.
 
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