Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 10-27-2021, 04:57 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 6
Problems with water quality...help!

Hello friends,

Longtime reader, first time poster here. Love the forum. And please forgive the length of this post.

So, here's my problem. Set up a 5 gallon tank back in start of July after taking a wee break from fish-keeping, and ventured into the world of guppies. Previously had only kept betta fish. Let the tank cycle for a while before adding fish, got three, and have since added two more (with six weeks between).

I decided since guppies are a step up (in my mind) from betta, I should do regular water testing, make sure quality is ok. Got an API Freshwater Master Test Kit. And my first testing, all levels were pretty much ideal, that was in August.

To make a long story short...(too late)...I have now done four water tests spaced out over the past three months, each a little worse than before, and this most latest test today revealed:

PH: 6.4
Ammonia: .50
Nitrite: .5 - 1.0
Nitrate: 80-160 (somewhere in there)

I did a 50% water change and gravel and tank cleaning exactly one week ago, and also changed the filter. Was having a bit of a brown algae situation. So far so good...but the water quality results worry me. Especially the nitrates.

The tank has a corner carbon filter pump, and artificial decorations/plants.

Any advice would be much appreciated, not just in regards to fixing the current situation, but about regular maintenance suggestions as well? I want my guppies to be happy, and swim to their full potential!

Thanks in advance!!

__________________
guppies4life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2021, 05:28 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,324
What is your water change schedule?

You mention changing the filter. Do you mean you are replacing the filter cartridge? How often are you doing that?
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2021, 05:51 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 6
Thanks for replying!

Water change schedule is likely not often enough, or regular enough. Every two weeks-ish, 25-50%. I use a gravel vacuum...so the amount taken out varies each time. I wasn't sure how often or how much to be changing.

Yes, changing the carbon filter cartridge once a month.

I wonder also if I am over feeding? I do a pinch every other day.
__________________
guppies4life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2021, 06:04 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,324
First up. You arent cycled. Do you understand what that means?

You need to be doing water changes sufficient to keep ammonia + nitrite combined below 0.5ppm. This will mean more water changes than you are currently doing. Test everyday, if your parameters exceed this combined target, change 25% of the water. I would start with a 50% as soon as you are able. When you are consistently seeing 0ppm ammonia and nitrite you are cycled and can cut back on water changes to just control nitrate. Typically you want nitrate below 40ppm and if 50% weekly water changes doesnt do this you need to consider whether you are over stocked.

Is the cartridge just carbon or is it also your biological filter? Is there anything that looks like ceramic rings, or bits of stone? Or a block of sponge?

Light feeding every 2 days isnt likely to be overfeeding. Ordinarily as much food as is eaten in 2 to 3 minutes daily is the right amount. While you are cycling, this much every 2 days.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2021, 06:47 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 6
Thanks for replying!

Yes, I do understand what cycled means...I think. Developing beneficial bacteria, right?

So, to clarify...you're saying do 50% now, and then test daily and do daily 25% changes till I get better results? And then, if and when better results occur, do 50% weekly on the regular, right?

As for the filter...it's this one:
https://www.petsmart.ca/fish/filters...r-5300854.html
It says it provides mechanical, biological and chemical. So...all in one?
__________________
guppies4life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2021, 07:46 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,324
Quote:
Originally Posted by guppies4life View Post
So, to clarify...you're saying do 50% now, and then test daily and do daily 25% changes till I get better results? And then, if and when better results occur, do 50% weekly on the regular, right?
Not quite. 50% water change ASAP as your water quality is pretty poor. After that you need to keep ammonia + nitrite combined no higher than 0.5ppm.

If when you do your daily test you have ammonia 0.25 and nitrite 0.25 (combined 0.5) no need to do a water change. If you have ammonia 0.5 and nitrite 0.25 (combined 0.75) then change 25% of the water. If you have ammonia 0.5 and nitrite 0.5 (combined 1.0) then you need to change 50% of the water. If things get worse than the last example then you may need multiple 50% changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guppies4life View Post
As for the filter...it's this one:
https://www.petsmart.ca/fish/filters...r-5300854.html
It says it provides mechanical, biological and chemical. So...all in one?
I looked at the filter manual. It has 3 cartridges? Are you changing them all at the same time? If so every time you do that you will kill off your cycle and have to start over. If possible just rinse them in water taken from your tank. If you have to replace them only replace 1 at a time with a couple of weeks before you replace another.
__________________
Aiken Drum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2021, 12:19 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 6
Okay, that makes sense on the water changes. Thank you, I will do that.

So, the filter...I've only ever changed the carbon filter in it. I was unaware, nor have I seen any other filter media to change. And I've taken the whole thing apart in the past. Maybe that was the wrong link...but it looks identical to that. Maybe I have a smaller version. Not sure. Would it behoove me to get a different filter set-up entirely?

Thank you for all your responses!!
__________________
guppies4life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2021, 04:01 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 111
I’m not familiar with that filter but by the picture on their site it looks like it should have several elements not just a single carbon filter

If that’s the case with only the one element in there, and changing it monthly, you are essentially killing the cycle as a majority of the bacteria will be living in the media surrounding the carbon in the cartridge
__________________
ColdKoi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2021, 12:16 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 6
Very interesting. I haven't ever changed any other element of this filter...except for the carbon filter. I will do some research on it, if I can find any info online...otherwise, perhaps a new filter unit is in order.

Thanks for responding!
__________________
guppies4life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2021, 12:30 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 111
I was just looking at the picture of it again and maybe it’s all one media cartridge and it’s 3 sided like a triangle?

A lot of people including myself don’t even use carbon in our filters. I’d try just rinsing it out in tank water monthly instead of changing it, that way you’ll remove the heavy debris without removing all of the beneficial bacteria from the filter every time
__________________
ColdKoi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2021, 02:37 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 6
Okay good to know.

Thank you all for the advice! The water changes are definitely helping the water testing results. I will see how it goes.
__________________
guppies4life is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ate, problem, water, water quality

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water quality testing, before or after a water change? Komodo Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 4 01-11-2015 09:51 AM
Problems, problems, problems!!!! theseainside Saltwater Reef Aquaria 5 02-21-2013 02:23 PM
need help with water quality luck_y_777 Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 4 07-09-2005 04:47 AM
Help!Medicate or Water Quality? Jessethebody101 Saltwater Reef Aquaria 4 10-09-2004 02:11 PM
Filter issues- water quality need help. jasno999 Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 11 10-07-2004 04:57 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.