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Filter / filtration Help

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Hi All,

Having some trouble with my filter/ filtration in my little 25L tank. I have 10 neon tetras and a red dwarf gourami in there and they are going fine despite readings of: pH 7.5, Ammonia 2-4ppm, nitrite 1-2 ppm and nitrate 0ppm after having them in there for 4 days. Its been a year or so since I've had a tank and correct me if I'm wrong but looks like the ammonia is being broken down a bit but the nitrite is not??

I've done a water change tonight and i've added some photos so you can see my tank/filter. Basically I want to know if i should replace something in the filter or any plants I can put in to help? I know I need to get the pH down a bit and get 0's or as close to for the other 3 so any suggestions welcome!!







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I wouldn't feed the fish for first two weeks and chemically bind the ammonia with prime or superchlor. I would not be cleaning the filter or adjusting pH for now. Ammonia while bad, is necessary to grow beneficial bacteria in the filter. Cloudy water (when not feeding) is an indication this is starting.

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Hey James,

That filter has some black coarse foam in it. That is the most important thing in the tank as thats where the microbes that eat ammonia/nitrite are going to live.

If you replaced the other stuff with more black foam you could grow more microbes.

For now you need to worry just about ammonia and nitrite.

Dont feed heavily! Water change often and use that prime I see in your picture to detox some ammonia.

1) only clean that filter using water taken from aquarium it runs on

2) if you feed.... you need to do a small water change. Until ammonia and nitrite read 0ppm

3) give us nosey kids more details.... how long has tank been setup? Do you have other tanks? More we know, more we can help.

Also..... excellent work with photos and with testing. Right way to ask for help :)

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Thanks for the tips.

Yeah I will need to go and get some more of that black foam I think. Also just to confirm your referring to the black square of foam not the black things in the circular part in the picture above? What about that white foam? It seems like it needs replacing?

I have been doing water changes towards the end of last week however over the weekend it seems to have fixed it self up a bit as the colour is looking much better. I think the cycling might be starting to happen. I will do another test over the next day or two and see how it's going and post up the results although my gut feeling is it has started to remove some of the chemicals itself :)

The tank has been setup for probably 3 weeks now and fish in it for just over a week now. So really I should have let it cycle first as I probably rushed that bit because I was too keen to have fish again.

As for any other tanks..no not at the moment. I used to have a 6 foot cichlid tank however the tank broke and I have never bought another one as I moved house and I pretty much needed to start from scratch as with the tank broken i threw my stand away too cause I'm 99% sure it was what caused the tank to break. I will be looking at another 6 foot though when I move into my next house in a year or so.

As for the amount of fish in my tank, am I at my limit? I was hoping my gourmai would be a bit more brave. It seems to be hiding behind most of the objects and isn't coming out too much to where you can see him. He did yesterday and I was surprised as he was out swimming around most of the day. Do you think this could of been water quality related or do you think its likely he was just taking time getting used to the tank?

Thanks for your inputs!! Very helpful!

Will post next results test soon.

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Yea until ammonia and nitrite are 0ppm the fish will act weird.

As to filter, focus on biological. Ditch the fine white and the carbon. Replace with more coarse foam. Or if you want to be sneaky, replace carbon with some crushed ceramic rings.

Too late now but likely the one thing you could have done differently is to add a bit of fish food on day one of setup. That usually creates a more robust cycle... so when you add fish theres more microbes to eat their waste.

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