View Full Version : Help, readings off the charts

Cole Cross
10-16-2015, 01:24 AM
Found that my male molly died. I did a quick 25% water change and used my api test kit, the liquid one. The amonia and nitrites are off the charts, and my nitrates are between 40 and 80 PPM. Im worried. What could poasibly be going wrong? Shouldnt ALL of my fish be dead with these insane readings? Its a 29g with a skirt tetra, 2 mollys, about 8 platys, and 3 minnows. It was cycled about a year ago but that was with comets and I had since done a 85% water change. I also changed the filter to a new one. Any more info that is needed Ill be glad to supply. Please help

Cole Cross
10-16-2015, 06:43 AM
Do I need to buy some of that amonia reducing liquid?

10-16-2015, 07:45 AM
Usually your filter is your friend because it is the one thing that has most of the beneficial bacteria. Substrate too has the most bacteria.

Question: What do you use as a dechlorinator?
How often to you change your water and how much?

I had the case in the past when an established small tank collapsed and a major water change helped (80%). If you have another tank with established filters, try splitting the filters. I no longer use cartridges in my HOB but filler floss you can find at wallmart and the beauty is that it is cheap and can be reused for other tanks. If you are downtown Decatur, I'd be happy to give you some established filters.


10-16-2015, 02:12 PM
Get a "ammonia-detoxifying" dechlor like Prime and use the 4X emergency dose to keep fish alive in a crisis, then do a water change(s) when you can. High nitrates don't kill old fish, they get used to them. Ammonia and nitrite are the concern, they can kill you filter bacteria and you have essentially a brand new tank. If this isn't a false reading, something crashed your tank. Get Stability or Safestart, do increasing larger water changes until nitrates are low and then dose as if you just set it up.

10-16-2015, 02:29 PM
Buy a box of ammo-carb and use it in a filter bag as your media. You will never have high ammonia levels again.

10-16-2015, 03:49 PM
You said you changed the filter to a new one. Is this a new cartridge or an entirely new filter? If the latter, see if you can get some of the media from your old filter into th new one, even a little bit will help. In the mean time, do water changes every other day until the levels come back down. As others have suggested, Start Right will also help get things moving in the right direction.

10-16-2015, 09:39 PM
big water change first. stop feeding. if you have not been doing waterchanges then your pH may have crashed, leading to die off of bacteria and then ammonia and nitrites climb. I see it frequently in my pond business.