New Tank - Water Chem Levels Off

Reema
  • #1
HI guys, need advice. My 10 gallon, planted tank is fairly new, I have 1 betta and 6 small rasboras in it. Did 3 water changes and a gravel cleaning in the past 2 weeks, however ammonia and nitrite levels are not yet at 0.
PH at 7.6
High Range PH at 7.4
Ammonia - between 0.25 ppm and 0.50 ppm
Nitrite - 0.50 ppm
Nitrate - between 0 ppm and 5.0 ppm
Using API Freshwater Master Test Kit
What am I not doing right or enough of ? Thanks. I'm a full on newby st aquarium keeping.

20180513_153839.jpg
 
Kiks
  • #2
You haven't cycled the tank which is why ammonia and nitrite aren't at 0.
Right now you're doing a fish in cycle, which means you'll have to do a lot of water changes in order to not harm your fish.
Also I'd advise you to remove the other fish and keep the betta by itself. 10 gallons isn't IMO enough to keep a betta with other fish except for shrimp and snails.
 
Reema
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
You haven't cycled the tank which is why ammonia and nitrite aren't at 0.
Right now you're doing a fish in cycle, which means you'll have to do a lot of water changes in order to not harm your fish.
Also I'd advise you to remove the other fish and keep the betta by itself. 10 gallons isn't IMO enough to keep a betta with other fish except for shrimp and snails.
I'm prepared for water changes often. How much and how often should I do ?
As for the other fish, what should I do with them ? I have nowhere to put them. The fish store told me 6 rasboras will be ok in the tank with the betta. Did they just BS me ?
 
mattgirl
  • #4
Welcome to fishlore....

I personally think your stocking is fine. You will want to keep a close eye on them though. Occasionally male Bettas will go postal and tank mates end up paying the price.

Your tank is going through the nitrogen cycle. Since you are basically doing a fish in cycle just keep up with the water changes to keep the ammonia down and the cycle will complete. Once done you should no longer register ammonia or nitrites. The nitrates will continue going up so water changes will keep them within acceptable levels. Most folks try to keep them 20 or less.

You will probably want/need to do an at least 30% water change several times a week until the cycle is complete.
 
Reema
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Welcome to fishlore....
1You will probably want/need to do an at least 30% water change several times a week until the cycle is complete.
Are you suggesting 2-3 times a week ? What about every day? Too much? Thank you for the reply.
 
Crafty Cichlid
  • #6
I agree, stocking is mostly fine. A little on the heavy side imo for a small tank. I would keep up with at least weekly water changes.

Because you have plants, you're probably fertilizing as well, and I think most will tell you to do 50% once a week. That stuff can build up too, and cause problems. Barring weekly water changes, I'd put a filter rated for up to 20 gallon on the tank. That will help with any overcrowding, but even with a beefier filter, I'd refrain for adding any more fish.

Consider getting some Seachem Stability. That will help you cycle. Increased surface space (i.e. ceramic balls/tubes) in your filter will increase it's capacity to a degree, but it will only pump so many gallons per minute.
 
Reema
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I do have Stability. I add it every week. I haven't fertilized the plants yet.
 
mattgirl
  • #8
Are you suggesting 2-3 times a week ? What about every day? Too much? Thank you for the reply.
The water changes can be based on the numbers. Most of us recommend using Seachem Prime as a water conditioner because it does a bit more than just removing the chlorine. It has been found to also render ammonia, nitrites and nitrates less harmful.

when using prime it is recommended to add a full dose of prime if your ammonia and nitrites total less than 1. If the number is highr than 1 do a water change to get them down and then add the full dose of prime.
 
Mom2some
  • #9
Test your water with the API kit & it will guide you...

If Ammonia # + Nitrite # > or = 1.0, do a 50% water change, dose with Seachem Prime (or other dechlorinator) and retest in 24 hours.
If ammonia + Nitrite <1.0, dose with Prime, walk away & retest in 24 hours.

It is a nice looking tank. As stated above, some Berta’s are okay in community tanks & some go red rage bonkers out of the blue.

For now I would focus on getting your tank through the nitrogen cycle.

Oh - and FWIW you may want to test your source water. Ex this morning my tap water measured at 1.0 ammo is, so a 50% water change would not reduce the ammonia load in my tank.

Sounds like you are on a good path!
 
Reema
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I did a 25% water change today and dosed with Stability. I'll test again tomorrow and see what the levels are. Probably need another water change, this time a little more. 50% as suggested?

Almost forgot. Do I clean the gravel as well ? Just vacuumed it last week Wednesday.
 
mattgirl
  • #11
I did a 25% water change today and dosed with Stability. I'll test again tomorrow and see what the levels are. Probably need another water change, this time a little more. 50% as suggested?

Almost forgot. Do I clean the gravel as well ? Just vacuumed it last week Wednesday.
50% sounds good. If you aren't over feeding and you are pretty sure most of what is fed is being eaten then I would wait on the gravel vac for at least a week. Even then you may not want to do all of it each time. I know it is hard to believe but one can keep a tank too clean.
 
Reema
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
50% sounds good. If you aren't over feeding and you are pretty sure most of what is fed is being eaten then I would wait on the gravel vac for at least a week. Even then you may not want to do all of it each time. I know it is hard to believe but one can keep a tank too clean.
I am very careful when feeding. Betta gets his 3 pellets in the morning + 2 in the evening and he's gobbling them right away. The rasboras get a tiny pinch that disappears in less then a min. No time to sink at the bottom.
As far as cleaning is concerned, I am a bit OCD in general.

Ammonia level going down but nitrite spiked since yesterday's water change. What gives ?
Did another water change today...50% and treated with Prime and Stability.
 
mattgirl
  • #13
Ammonia level going down but nitrite spiked since yesterday's water change. What gives ?
Did another water change today...50% and treated with Prime and Stability.
Rising nitrites can be expected as the tank cycles and then one day almost as if by magic they will be gone, never to be seen again.
 
Reema
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Today's results:
Ammonia 0.25 ppm
Nitrites 0 ppm
Nitrates 5.0 ppm
Ph 7.2

Do I do another water change or just dose the tank again with Prime and Stability?
 
Mom2some
  • #15
Today's results:
Ammonia 0.25 ppm
Nitrites 0 ppm
Nitrates 5.0 ppm
Ph 7.2

Do I do another water change or just dose the tank again with Prime and Stability?

I would refer to the formula in post #9. Looks like you are making good progress.
 
Reema
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
I would refer to the formula in post #9. Looks like you are making good progress.
Thanks. So it looks like ammonia + nitrites < 1.0 so I just dosed the tank and will test again in 24 hrs.

HI guys, back again. I wonder if my tank cycled already.
Nitrites levels finally down to zero and holding steady at that.
Nitrates also steady at around 5.0 ppm
Ammonia however is still yoyoing. Yesterday was at 0.50 ppm. Did a 25% WC, partially vacuumed the gravel and dosed the tank with some Prime. Today's testing showed again 0.50 ppm. What is going on?
 

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