New here and question about water testing

This section deals with all aspects of the 'newbie' cichlid aquarist. For questions about tanks, water parameters, food, types of cichlids, and what other fish can be kept with them.

Moderator: Ken Boorman

Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:16 pm

New here and question about water testing

Post by karabeth24 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:21 pm

Hi I am new here! I have a 40gallon with 7 small peacock cichlids. I’ve had it for about 2 weeks now and just did my first water change. My levels all seem ok, I think, except for the ammonia seems to be around 1.0. How do I get it down?
Other levels are:
Nitrate - 0
Nitrite - 0
pH - around 8.0
KH - 120
GH - 30

Any and all advice is appreciated!

Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:00 pm
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Re: New here and question about water testing

Post by bdmminer » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:37 pm

Hello, this may be a bit late to help out any issues you may have had but for future reference if anyone else had this issue.

You stated that you have had the tank for about 2 weeks and have 7 fish in it and are having an issue with ammonia. This is a problem with new tanks that have not been cycled. In the tank there is something going on which is called the nitrogen cycle and what this essentially does is convert the ammonia that the fish produce into nitrite then to nitrate (I suggest reading more about it in your free time). All of this is done by beneficial bacteria found in your filter, what is happening in your tank is that there is either not enough or not any of this bacteria built up and this causes the ammonia spike you are seeing, which if nothing is done can kill your fish.

At this point (4 weeks after you posted this question) you might have lost all or some of these fish but you should have a cycled aquarium. In the future there is some other ways to cycle an aquarium before adding fish. You have already seen one in action and that is the sacrificial fish method, but other methods that are humane are called the "fishless cycle" there is more than one but if you look that up you will find something.

My favorite way to cycle an aquarium is to take filter media, sand, or a very porous rock from an existing aquarium and introduce that into the new tank and that will start your cycle and you can usually immediately add fish to the tank. If you have only one tank and can not do this an option is to go to your most trusted local fish store and ask is you can clean out a filter of theirs into a bucket and all that nice brown goop that you get is perfect to start tanks with. A caveat to doing this is that if there are any diseases in the tank you taking your donation from it will be transferred to the new tank as well.

I hope this helps, even though it was a bit late.

Post Reply

Return to “For Beginners”