I know this a long post but I believe the full story is needed in order to answer the question.
I started a post 2 weeks earlier regarding a 29 gallon tank I purchased from a seller on Craig's List that was filled with show guppies.
After transporting the entire batch I discovered the tank and everything about it was nasty mess. My main objective was to stabilize the fish and try to get my new 29 gallon BioCube cycled so I could split the population.
Its been a long 2 weeks! I've done water changes and attempted a vacuum the gravel but when you have a ton of guppies, including fry in all stages its a delicate operation. I also noticed all of these 'flea or eggs' being sucked up as well.
All along the concern has been the nitrate reading as the water in the test tube turns Kool Aid red as soon as I add drops from bottle #2. I think the color is 40ppm.
I've been advised by a forum member to get rid of the under gravel filter and perhaps rinse the gravel to help get rid of the waste.
Yesterday I moved the tank downstairs which was a flashback of 2 weeks ago.
I got rid of the under gravel filter, black and day glow gravel and changed to some Carbi Sea Super Natural rock in Blue Ridge.
One of the things which grossed me out was all the daphnia which was living in the waste in the UGF
, at least that is what I think it was. I also found 10 baby fry there as well. It took a lot of patience but I managed to save the fry and hopefully not transport any of those bugs into my tank.
I saved maybe half the water and added new Spring water, Prime and used the old filter media. I kept the one large decoration for it's bacteria in hopes of helping prevent a tank crash since I got rid of the gravel.
Everyone made the transition but one male who has been looking bad since I got the tank its looking like today will be his last day.
I tested the water yesterday about 4 hours after everything was completed and again this morning ph 7.8, amo 0, nitrite 0 but nitrates are still at 40ppm! Same readings this morning.
I am at a loss. I know I need to thin the guppy herd which will happen but I would have thought removing all the waste and the old gravel would have made the nitrate level drop.
On one hand I'm thinking I should be celebrating the fact that despite 2 tank breakdowns/transports in two weeks I've lost 3 fish but the nitrate level is driving me crazy.