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Old 02-07-2013, 11:24 PM   #1
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ammonia and nitrate levels spiked HIGH!!

Hi Guys,

I recently set up my smal 30L tank again for my molly and Betta as they were getting attached by bigger fish in my 80G tank (also have 10 black tetra's and 5 gummpy in their also)

I cycled the tank (3 weeks ago) for 4 days with just some plants and then added the molly, followed tetra's 4 days later, then gummpies, and about 10 days ago i added the betta.

I was constantly monitoring the water as i knew it was very quick adding all the fish, but 3 days ago i did a Ammonia and Nitrate test and both were sky high.
I did a 30% water change straight away, with the levels still off the chart i did a 40% change yesterday, but i'm curious as they are still high today!

I dont want to do an other water change so soon but I dont want to lose the fish.

Any idea's??

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Old 02-07-2013, 11:29 PM   #2
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30L or 30G? Because if its 30L all the fish in there is why your ammonia and nitrites are so high. Thats a small tank for so many in my opinion. I may be wrong as I am not super experienced but that would be my first thought.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:35 PM   #3
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30L .
Size wise its not crowded,
the gummpies and molly stay around the top (molly occasionaly venturing to the bottom,
The tetra's stay mid level and the betta normaly hangs out on the bottom.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by brentremble View Post
30L .
Size wise its not crowded,
the gummpies and molly stay around the top (molly occasionaly venturing to the bottom,
The tetra's stay mid level and the betta normaly hangs out on the bottom.
It may not look crowded, but he meant it is too much of a bio-load for that sized tank. There is not enough water to displace the waste put off by the fish through their gills as well as there other forms of waste. A daily pwc may be needed until you can make other arrangements.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:04 AM   #5
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What exactly do you mean by gummpies? Do you mean guppies? But 30L is what...around 7 gallons? If so that is why your tests are coming back so high. Mollies get pretty big and produce a decent bit of waste and are recommended for at least 20-30 gallons. Honestly I would remove or re home all but the betta. But if you can't remove them I would definitely keep doing the water changes everyday or at least every other day.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:06 AM   #6
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Dose the tank with some Prime in the meantime. It'll help to detoxify the ammonia to be less toxic to the fish. Try and search Prime in the forums. You'll find lots of other similar threads that'll help explain it.
You could also take a bit of the filter media from the other tank to help jump start the cycle.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:36 AM   #7
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Hi and welcome! Letting the tank run empty didn't cycle it I'm afraid. And with that many fish in a 7 gal tank, particularly one that isn't cycled, you're seeing the toxins spike.

Tetras are typically active and need a larger tank. Guppies are rather messy and need a larger tank as well. Same with the molly, which also grows to a good size. The tank is really suitable for just the betta alone.


What test kit are you using, liquid or strips?
Have you tested your tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? If not, do so, just to see what you're starting with.

How high are the levels exactly? "sky high" can mean a number of things.

I'd keep up with the water changes of 50% at a time to try to get the numbers down; ideally you want ammonia and nitrites at <.25 and nitrates under 10.

If your 80 gal is healthy and established (cycled) you can move some of the filter media from the 80 gal filter to the 7 gal to help cycle it (add bacteria).

You'll still need to remove most of those fish though as they are just going to keep contributing to the toxin levels in the tank and the tank is overstocked.

Here's a couple of guides if you haven't seen them:
I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice
Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice
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