Strange water parameters...how did this happen?

  1. Summer22 Member Member

    Hello everyone. This is my first post on fishlore.:;tea
    I have a 10 gallon tank with 3 fancy tailed guppies. I am cycling this tank with fish....I know I'm a horrible person. But I'm wanted to ask what's up with my parameters. The tank is 6 1/2 weeks old and my current readings are as such:
    PH 7.8 (has always been this)
    Amonia 8.0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0

    I had cloudy water a few days ago but it's cleared up now. I do weekly water changes 25%. Only chemical added is the primer that gets rid of chlorine when doing water changes.
    on May 19 my readings were as such:
    ph 7.8
    Amonia 3
    Nitrite 5
    Nitrate 5

    I used to have a young fan tailed goldfish in there too but moved him to a 55 Gallon tank. a week ago.

    Why did Nitrite and Nitrate go to 0 and my ammonia go sky high? Did the cycle process get messed up and now it's restarting? So far my guppies are hanging in there. Seem active and ok for now.
    Thanks :;hi1
     
  2. Aster Well Known Member Member

    Yikes, that amount of ammonia is NOT good. I have no idea how your fish have made it, but guppies are pretty hardy fish.

    I'm thinking that your tank never cycled to begin with. If you had high ammonia with no nitrites/nitrates, it typically means that the cycle is not happening at all. It's good that you have some nitrites and nitrates now, it means that you're in the middle of cycling but you don't have enough BB to convert everything to nitrate yet. While your tank is cycling, you'll need to do more water changes to keep your fish safe.

    You need to be doing 50% water changes every other day to keep ammonia down. It should always be under 1-2 ppm. High ammonia will not only kill your fish, but it will also slow or even stop the cycling process. You may want to consider adding a bacteria supplement like Tetra Safestart.
     

  3. oldsalt777 Well Known Member Member

    Hello Sum...

    Cycling a tank with fish isn't the problem. Cycling such a small tank with fish is. Small tanks don't have enough water in them to dilute the sudden build up of nitrogen. Male Guppies are very sensitive to traces of ammonia and nitrite in the tank water, much more than females. Goldfish are heavy waste producers, so it's good you removed it from your 10 G.

    You need to test the tank water a couple of times a day and change 3 gallons if you have a positive test for ammonia or nitrite. Do this until you have several tests with no traces of either of these forms of nitrogen. Then, the tank is cycled. At this point, you change half the tank water every few days.

    Consider a larger tank. It will be much easier to manage and your fish will appreciate the larger swimming area and improved water conditions.

    Old