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Re: Water chemistry advice please

Subject: Re: Water chemistry advice please
by maccy_g on 20/10/2014 12:13:33

It's commendable that you are performing 50% water changes but you are really going to struggle keeping your water parameters in check with such a small tank, I won't mention anything more about tank size though as it seems as though you are aware they need a much bigger tank - I will say though that you need around 200l for 2 goldfish.

Ammonia at any level is extremely toxic to fish and they will be suffering from the presence of it in the water, same can be said of nitrite.

The tank is now cycling, a process which can take several weeks meaning at the initial stages the ammonia being produced by the fish isn't being processed into nitrite and then nitrate, the ammonia is staying in the water and is slowly poisoning the fish as there currently isn't a bacterial colony large enough in your filter to cope with the waste being produced by the fish, although this is slowly growing now.

Ideally the tank should be cycled (this can take typically 6-8 weeks) before any fish are put into the tank meaning that a sufficient colony of beneficial bacteria will have grown within the filter and the tank itself to covert any toxic waste produced by the fish into nitrate which is much less toxic than ammonia / nitrite - the nitrate levels can then be managed through regular water changes.

Unfortunately the tank is now cycling with fish in it which isn't ideal, the best you can do is do much larger water changes, 90%-ish and do them daily, this is the only way you'll be able to manage the ammonia levels and keep them down but this will be an on-going battle. As I mentioned earlier any presence of ammonia is seriously bad news, it will burn the gills of the fish and make them very unwell, not to mention shortening their overall lifespan and contributing to general ill-health over the course of their lives.

Keep testing your water, the kit you have is excellent - best of luck.