Water changes ammonia & nitrite levels at .25 or .5 levels

Swartz44

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Most people probably know my story already. My tank has been running since september 30th of this year. I have 9 fish in a 20 gallon aquarium(2 anglefish, 4 mollies, 2 guppies & red tailed black shark). Anyway I've been testing my water quality and have slight ammonia & nitrite levels. Would it be the BEST idea to do daily water changes until the beneficial bacteria develops? I ended up taking advice from another topic I posted on about putting a foam filter in my hang on bio wheel filter on Saturday to eventually replace the disposable carbon filter cartridges.
 

Essjay

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For ammonia, if your pH is below 7 you don't need to do a water change for 0.25, if it's nearer 6, 0.5 ppm ammonia is OK. This is because under pH 7 more of the ammonia is in the ammonium form, and the lower the pH the more that's ammonium. But of the pH is over 7, you need to do a water change for even 0.25 ppm ammonia as there is less in the non-toxic ammonium form.

There is no safe form of nitrite. You can use salt, but it's quite a complicated calculation working out how much to use. It's easier to do a water change.
The calculation is in here
 

hansgruber7

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Those levels can harm your fish for sure. I would do daily water changes until it cycles, personally. Did the tank just never cycle? Those seem like high levels, even at this stage.
 
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Swartz44

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I'm assuming it hasn't completely cycled? Its been setup since september 30th. I started adding fish a week after this.
 

Essjay

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Fish-in cycling can take a long time because you have to keep the levels of ammonia and nitrite very low to keep the fish safe.
 

hansgruber7

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I'm assuming it hasn't completely cycled? Its been setup since september 30th. I started adding fish a week after this.

Sounds like it never cycled. I would keep a daily water change going until it finishes cycling. Try to keep testing as much as possible for ammonia and nitrites to keep tabs on it.
 
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Swartz44

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Sounds like it never cycled. I would keep a daily water change going until it finishes cycling. Try to keep testing as much as possible for ammonia and nitrites to keep tabs on it.

How much water should I change daily?
 

Essjay

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As much as necessary to get ammonia and nitrite down to zero.
 
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Swartz44

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On so I just tested my water: ph-7.0, ammonia-0ppm, nitrite rose to maybe 1.0 ppm and nitrate is 0ppm. Does this mean things are getting better. What should I do now?
 

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Swartz44

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Actually after letting nitrate test sit for abiut 10mins(slightly orange. Like suggested earlier I added a black foam filter also to my bio wheel hang on filter also.
 

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Swartz44

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ITViking

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How much water should I change daily?

With fish in the tank I would do several smaller water changes as opposed to one big one.

When mine was recently cycling I did 20% water changes twice per day for a couple of days. I had 0.8 nitrites, and the over a couple of days reduced that down to under 0.3 which is generally considered the acceptable max while cycling. As pointed out previously, any nitrite is harmful nitrite, but at the same time your tank doesn't cycle without some. I found that after that the nitrites dropped right off and the tank was cycled.
 
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