Water Changing

  1. Aslaurais Initiate Member

    Hello everyone!
    I started my tropical fresh water (20 gallon) aquarium in February. I've had bad luck; the ammonia level is always high and hasn't stabilized yet. I change the water weekly (50%) and use stress zyme and an ammonia reducer. Shouldn't it stabilize yet? Do I need to get a second filter to help? I have 3 fish now; 2 tetras and a pleco. The ammonia level is always at 2.0 :(

    TIA!
     
  2. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Hello and welcome!

    Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? What products exactly are you adding to the water currently? What kind of filter and media do you have? Do you rinse or replace your filter media ever? What kind of Pleco do you have and what kind of tetras?

    What you're going to need to do is encourage what are called nitrifying (or beneficial) bacteria to grow in your filter media. They will "eat" the ammonia produced by your fish and produce nitrites which are in turn eaten by bacteria and turned into nitrates. In this way you should end up with zero ammonia and zero nitrites in a cycled tank but steadily increasing amounts of nitrAtes. These are removed from the tank through water changes.

    Just so you know, Plecos are very high waste producing fish and some really need enormous tanks to be kept successfully.
     

  3. Noviceinwisconsin Initiate Member

    I'm wondering about the type of pleco, fish and filter you have. That would help us assess your situation.