First off, i've been reading a bit on here lately and decided to join up and pick your brains a bit, so here's my story..
I'd been wanting a tank for a while now, and finally got one for Christmas last year (YAY!). So i spent the next week preparing to set up the tank, cleaned the gravel, ordered some decorations etc. I Got my needed chemicals to start up (Seachem Prime, Stability and Clarity). Once everything had arrived i filled the tank up, put some plants in and and dosed the tank up... (Here's where i went wrong)
So with my Test strips (face palm) i test the water for 3 weeks (looking good
) so i go down and get some fish.. now my tank is 130L which is roughly 30 Gal
i believe. So i got 4 Guppies, 2 Mollies, 4 Neons and a Yoyo Loach.
So after they go in everything looks fine, for about a week and a half, then one of my guppies starts to get all lethargic, sits at the top etc. so i take my water to the pet store and they tell me the test strips are dodgy and theres ammonia in the water! (OH NO!) so i go and get some liquid test kits (couldnt find and nitrate ones until today).
I read that to remove ammonia you can do water changes (awesome ill save the fish!) another fish dies one of my mollies
so i started doing bulk water changes of 50% every few days to keep the ammonia down, then one morning i noticed one of my neons dead... wasnt ammonia it was a bite mark! the loach got him i think!
so after the ammonia was down at 0-.25 for a week i figured it had cycled and i could get more fish (NOOOOB) so i got a few more Neons (another one has since been eaten) a few more guppies (now down to one after 2 more were eaten, this loach i tell ya) a rainbow cichlid and a bolivian ram. ive had the newest guys for about 2.5 weeks and my tests have been showing no nitrites the whole time, figured i was just having ammonia spikes and it would disappear..
Now i've realised the tank hasnt cycled and ill need to do a fish-in cycle here's what my test from an hour ago showed
5 Neon Tetras
1 Bolivian Ram
1 Rainbow Cichlid
1 Yoyo Loach
so my question is, how high will the ammonia need to be before nitrites will show up, and how long can i leave it at that level without harming my fish?
ill add a pic of my tank to my profile shortly if anyone wants to have a look and give feedback
basically joined so i can learn as much as possible about the aquarium world and fish care, hopefully one day wanna do a reef tank... when i have the floor space haha