I have a Fluval Venezia 50 gallon tank, I set it up just over a month ago, the pet store told me I can add fish in 48 hours. 2 days later I bought 2 iridescent sharks, 2 Bala Sharks, 1 red tail shark, 3 tiger barbs, 3 flame gouramis, 2 dwarf gouramis, 2 honey gouramis and a pleco. In the 1st 2 weeks, I lost 1 Bala, my red tail & 1 iridescent. After that I got an API ammonia test kit, my ammonia has always tested at 4.0, so I started doing 50% water hanged every 3 days for the 1st month, this week I started doing 20% as recommended by the lady at Petco. I just picked up an API master test kit so I can test nitrites & nitrates. My nitrites are 0 and nitrates are 5. I don't know if I ever had a nitrite spike since I just starting testing them. I tested my tap water to see if that's why my ammonia was so high, and it tested 0. I use Stress+ for my water changes, I cut feeding my fish down to once a day, my temp is 84.2, I've tried using Colony and Amquel to neutralize the ammonia but it still tests 4.0. My husband & I are going in vacation in 23 days. I really want to get this cycled by then, I don't want my fish to die when I'm gone. I haven lost any fish in a month. My filter is a fluval 405 with carbon, ceramic media and polishing pads. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I love this tank and I have a feeling it won't be my only one
Thanks in advance!