Hi. I'm new to plant tanks so this may be a very rudimentary question. I am cycling my tank with fish and wanted to know if the rising ammonia levels are dangerous to the fish and if I should be doing water changes instead of letting the cycle run and letting the biology build up. Should I do anything to counteract the ammonia or just let the cycle continue on its own? My ammonia level is at .5ppm, Nitrites are 0 and Nitrates are 0, pH is at 7.3,dKH is 4, and the tank is 16 gallons at 78 degrees. I appreciate any advice!
Hi, I had the same issue but was a fish less cycle.
Don't let ammonia go above this. Just to confirm is it 0.5ppm? These can sometimes be a little out as it's not always easy to determine the exact colour of the API test kits.
Have you got any Seachems Prime? I would dose this daily as it makes the ammonia safe for fish but still available to bio.
What substrate do you have?
If I was you I would do a 60% water change every two days for about a week, monitor the levels daily and if levels getting high in between water changes dose prime. If they still increasing I would do daily water changes however this can be a right performance.
So long as ammonia doesn't go above 0.5ppm you should be ok. The next stage is for the Nitrites to increase you want this to happen as it's part of the cycle however again toxic to fish then the final stage is the ammonia and Nitrites should drop to 0ppm and the Nitrates will increase which is what you need if you have plants etc. I think mine are about 40ppm Nitrates.
Hope that helps.
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