10 Gallon Tank Messed up cycle?

batmanbatman

Member
hi! this is my first time posting so let me know if i’m missing anything.

i had an established 5.5 gallon tank with a betta, a mystery snail, a sponge filter and lots of plants for about 7-8 months. yesterday, i decided to transfer over to a 10 gallon.

during the transfer, i kept my betta and snail in a container with tank water and an airstone. my sponge filter was in tank water the entire time, and i moved a cupful of gravel into the new tank. after putting everything in, i tested the water and it read:

ph: 7.4 (both my tanks have had 7.4 consistently)
nitrite: 2ppm
ammonia: .5ppm
nitrate: 5ppm

i did a 30% water change (tap water treated with prime) and nothing changed. i then added a capful of seachem stability and a tsp of aquarium salt (to protect from nitrate poisoning). i also moved over the sponge filter my established 20 gallon has, and an extra piece of media i keep in there.

i usually feed a couple granules of betta bug bites in the morning to my betta and a quarter of an algae wafer at night 2 times a week to my mystery snail. i haven’t fed since the move because i didn’t want to incite more ammonia.

the next day (just now) i tested again and everything was exactly the same. same parameters and everything. i’m at a loss. i don’t want to lose my betta but i don’t know what to do, or what i did wrong. water changes don’t seem to do anything and the extra media doesn’t either. please help!
 

mattgirl

Member
Welcome to Fishlore

What are you using to test the water? These numbers shouldn't happen unless you have ammonia/nitrites/nitrates in your tap water. Moving filter and some gravel from the cycled tank should have prevented what you are seeing.
 
  • Thread Starter

batmanbatman

Member
i use the api master test kit. i’ve never tested my tap water for ammonia/nitrates/nitrites because i’ve never had this use when cycling any of my tanks
mattgirl said:
Welcome to Fishlore

What are you using to test the water? These numbers shouldn't happen unless you have ammonia/nitrites/nitrates in your tap water. Moving filter and some gravel from the cycled tank should have prevented what you are seeing.
 

mattgirl

Member
batmanbatman said:
i use the api master test kit. i’ve never tested my tap water for ammonia/nitrates/nitrites because i’ve never had this use when cycling any of my tanks
These had to have come from some where if they were there as soon as you set this tank up.
nitrite: 2ppm
ammonia: .5ppm
nitrate: 5ppm
Did you start with fresh water or did you transfer the water from your 5 gallon?
 
  • Thread Starter

batmanbatman

Member
mattgirl said:
These had to have come from some where if they were there as soon as you set this tank up.
nitrite: 2ppm
ammonia: .5ppm
nitrate: 5ppm
Did you start with fresh water or did you transfer the water from your 5 gallon?
i started with fresh treated tap water, but that shouldn’t have done anything
mattgirl said:
These had to have come from some where if they were there as soon as you set this tank up.
nitrite: 2ppm
ammonia: .5ppm
nitrate: 5ppm
Did you start with fresh water or did you transfer the water from your 5 gallon?
i just tested my tap water and my treated water:
tap is .25 ppm ammonia, 2 ppm nitrite
treated is .5 ppm ammonia, 2 ppm nitrite.
i had no idea they were that high; how should i fix this?
 

mattgirl

Member
batmanbatman said:
i started with fresh treated tap water, but that shouldn’t have done anything

i just tested my tap water and my treated water:
tap is .25 ppm ammonia, 2 ppm nitrite
treated is .5 ppm ammonia, 2 ppm nitrite.
i had no idea they were that high; how should i fix this?
Those numbers will work for a fishless cycle but not so good for a fish in. I am assuming the 5 gallon was cycled and if you were just doing small water changes the bacteria was cleaning up the water. Since you started this tank with 10 gallons of tap water it is going to take time for the bacteria you moved over from the 5 gallon to clear out both ammonia and nitrites.

Can you possibly buy water to use in this tank until it gets established? The bacteria you moved over should help this tank get established in a few weeks. Once done you can start doing your water changes with your tap water. The low amount of ammonia in the tap water isn't a problem once cycled. Doing a 25% water change the 2ppm nitrites will only raise it to .5 in the tank and your bacteria should clear that amount fairly quick.

With these numbers in your tap water I recommend you stick to no bigger water change than 25% each time.
 

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