Originally Posted by fishliker
I was doing a weekly water change of about 30 percent. But recently my stocking increased and testing showed that I was having a little ammonia now and then by the end of a week and the nitrates were creeping up, they went from 8 or so to the 20's. So now I worked up to doing 50 percent weekly.
I feel good consistent quality water is the most important element of a healthy aquarium. It is a closed system, not a lake or river where the water is being constantly renewed. They say, fresh water fish love fresh water, and it can be healing for bumps and lumps on fish.
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an elevated nitrate reading is to be expected if you increase the bio-load, but any increase in ammonia should be very short lived as the bacteria ramp up to handle the new bio-load.
If after about a week you are still getting readings of ammonia, you need to reconsider your filtration set-up and improve it.
Water changes alone won't compensate for an over-burdened bacteria colony or filtration system.
ideally the only thing you should be able to measure in a cycled and established aquarium is nitrate, anything else and there is a fundamental problem with the filtration.