Ammonia I'm sure again
As a complete newbie to a freshwater fishtank I hope I'm not asking a really obvious question but ive read lots of info - ammonia poisoning how long does it take to kill the fish??
Background. Got a 10 gallon aqua one tank in late June, cycled it for 3 weeks. Introduced 4 platys, 2 clown loaches and 8 tetras over a period of weeks.
Then decided that the fake rock didn't have enough hiding places, so replaced it with 2 fake rocks with lots of hiding places. The rocks kept floating so was told to put a couple of fishing weights in them. Then I lost a loach (jumped out when changing rocks & I accidentally stood on it), a malformed platy, & another platy and all of the tetras.
Have been recycling aged 15- 25 per cent aged water every 3 days, cut down feeding to twice a week, and taken out gravel so its a better level (it was 2 inches thick). I also removed one of the rocks so I could vacuum better. I've checked all of the filtering system as welll & it seems fine.
For the last month I've had 2 loaches (bought another one after stomping on the original) & 2 platys, Ive also replaced ea anti ammonia tablet as its dissolved. But each daily reading I take comes back for ammonia comes back sky high & no matter how much I tell myself it looks a little less green on the reading it's not. The 4 fish I have left, though, look happy, are eating & apart from 1 platy that's really aggressive don't look stressed. They've also survived for 3 months.
The only possibility I can think of is the following;
A- I should replace the carbon filter- I asked around & apparently I shouldn't need to replace it yet.
B- the weights in the rocks are somehow toxic (fishing weights)
C- the plastic rocks I got with lots of hiding places are no good.
D- I'm over doing it, & should cut the water changes for a week.
I haven't tried any chemicals to get rid of the ammonia yet but I live in a very remote place in northern Australia so I'm hoping for a more "natural" & less postage based solution.
I'm sorry in advance if this has been addressed many times but have tried reading up. I'm hoping to get some advice from the experts.
Thanks in advance,