nitrite high after 2 40% water changes in 2 days

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Joshstevens7, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. Joshstevens7New MemberMember

    i have a 10 gallon tank for about 1 1/2 months. these last few days the nitrite level has been very high. the ammonia level was high too yesterday. i did a 40% water change yesterday and today. both are still high again. i added the proper amount of salt in 5 days ago and when i change it out, i add the needed salt back in. i have topfin conditioner and API stress coat. i have also been adding topfin bacteria supplement. not sure if tank has cycled yet. been doing 10% or 20% water changes every few days thus far. not sure what do to to get it back down to managable levels.

    i have 2 sunburst platy's, one micky mouse platy, 3 dalmation molly's, a small catfish and a small agae eater. total 8 fish

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  2. Adam55Well Known MemberMember

    Hello and welcome to FL.

    Well, I hate to say it but you're overstocked. Mollies are waste factories. And what kind of catfish and algae eater do you have? How high is the ammonia and nitrite? It definitely sounds like the tank is not cycled, and you're carrying a heavy bio-load in the tank right now.
    But getting back to your question, how was the tank cycled and what kind of filter do you have? Have you done anything with the filter media that would impact your bacteria, like rinse it out or clean it? And why is salt being added?

  3. Joshstevens7New MemberMember

    I have a 20 gallon filter. I did rinse the filter out last week in the old water when I did a 20% water change. I added salt cause I read that Molly's like brackish water and platy fish can tolerate salt too plus it helps keep diseases and sickness away. I had the tank empty for two weeks before I added 4 fish. Then added 2 more a few weeks later and 2 more few after that. It shouldn't be over stocked right now cause I only have 8 1 inch fish and they say max In 10 gallon tank is 10. I want to get a large tank soon but want to get this small one figured out first.

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  4. DelaneywWell Known MemberMember

    Good Morning!

    Are you using test strips or a liquid test kit?

    I'm sorry to say but the 1in of fish per gallon is sorely outdated information. Pets stores use it to make more sales. Even then, you're overstocked. That can have a big affect on your cycle, even stalling or stopping it.

    Smaller tanks can actually be harder to figure out because there is less room for error where fish health is concerned. Bigger is better in most fishy cases.

    Would you be willing to rehome some of your fish or upgrade quickly?
  5. Adam55Well Known MemberMember

    Some of those fish might be an inch now, but you have to account for adult size. And really, some of those species would have to be pretty young to only be an inch. Delaneyw is correct that the old inch rule is not the best rule to go by. Bio-load is much more relevant than how many inches of fish.

    Do you know what kind of algae eater and catfish you have?
  6. evan47Valued MemberMember

    platys, mollies and plecs are poo machines. that many in a 10 gallon is a recipe for continual cycling. ie, it probably will not ever become stable. even if it did you would still need frequent water changes to remove nitrates.
    you could rehome all but the platys then when it has cycled and stabilised add one or two small fish at a time.
    i would forget the salt for now too.
  7. Sarcasm IncludedWell Known MemberMember

    I agree with everything evan47 said and Adam, as this is enough bio-load for a 20-30 gallon depending on the species of algae eater and catfish. Not all Molly species prefer brackish water, but like platys can tolerate it. Dalmatian(sphenops) are not among the brackish type(velifera), though they do enjoy hard water. Many catfish species are intolerant of salt in the tank, and those that like the salt require much larger tanks. I would stress the discontinuing of adding salt until you have first dealt with the overstocking issue and researched the specific needs of the species you have. Posting the species here will get us to help you out.
  8. DaniosRockValued MemberMember

    After thinning out your population you can add Tetra Safe start. It is the best bacteria to use for fish in-cycling. You can find the directions at the top of the page in the stickies, or ask here and we can help you with it. It takes about 2 weeks and works very well. Im sorry you got bad information about how many fish you can put in your tank. Many of us have had a similar experience and we all learn as we go. Keep reading the forum and you will learn all about the great hobby of fish keeping.
  9. Joshstevens7New MemberMember

    I really want a 48 curved front tank. This is giving me An excuse to buy one now. Lol. Not sure exactly what kind of pleco i have. He is a small one and I was told he wouldn't get as big as the other types. He is nocturnal. He only comes out after the light has been turned off. I read that the algae wafers can cause a spike if not removed after a few hours. That may be a factor cause I have never removed them. Here is a pic of my little catfish. ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1407614400.385908.jpg

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  10. Joshstevens7New MemberMember

    Here is my female molly who has been hanging out at top of tank last few days. All other fish seem fine but she has been Acting weird. At first she was sitting on bottom for a few days and now top. She did just eat though. Could she be prego? ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1407614659.556955.jpg

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  11. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    The little catfish is a Peppered Cory which need mates and food for carnivores not (only) algaewafers!!!
  12. Joshstevens7New MemberMember

    Need mates? You mean they do better with a few more in the tank with them? What other type of food do you recommend for my lil bottom feeder?

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  13. DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Yep, they need a group of 6+ (not in this tank though). Bloodworms, brineshrimp, (carnivorious) catfish pellets, aso.
  14. DelaneywWell Known MemberMember

    Mollies will have babies very often. Yet another excuse to get more tanks! Welcome to the MTS club! (Multiple Tank Syndrome)

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  15. Joshstevens7New MemberMember

    So will platys. I think my female platy gave birth but they must have ate them.

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