What are the safe levels of pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate for a new tank in order to add tetra or glofish?
In a properly cycled tank, ammonia and nitrites should always be 0. Nitrates should be present, but under 40 ppm. Keeping them under 20 ppm is even better.
Most fish have an "ideal" pH range in their natural habitat. However, most fish are farm raised, not wild caught, so they are fairly acclimated to most tap water pH ranges. I never suggest trying to alter pH unless there is an extreme reading. Even slight shifts are deadly for fish, and most pH alterations are very temporary and can cause wild shifts in pH. My pH recommendation is to aim for a stable pH rather than an "ideal" pH.
Sorry. I meant to add this link.
I have a very small 2.5 gal tank that I want to put 3, no more than 4 tetras or glofish. The pH is 6.6, ammonia, nitrates and nitrites are all 0. I have not seen the ammonia level spike as I would expect, so although the tank has been "set up" for nearly 2 weeks, I think the nitrogen cycle has not been established yet.
There are people who say a tank that small will not cycle. Even if it does, it will be difficult to keep cycled.
A 2.5 gallon tank is really only suitable for ghost shrimp, or possibly a snail. A single male betta may do well, but even they need a 3+ gallon tank. Tetras or danios (glofish) absolutely CANNOT be in this small of a tank. They are both schooling species and need to be in groups of 6+. Trying to put a healthy school of tetras or danios in a tank this small will cause ammonia and nitrite poisoning. Putting too few fish of a schooling species in a tank will stress them and lead to illness.
I agree with gloman, my Ph is at 7.8 and is constantly around that range. And it seems to me until you add a source of ammonia your levels will be at zero. Mine were and as soon as I added fish, ammonia rose. I'm just now recovering from that spike. My tank is almost completely cycled. Good luck with your tank!
I have to agree with gloman he is spot on with what he is saying. It would be hard to maintain a cycle in such a small body of water (things can go wrong so quickly in smaller tanks), its not un-do-able though. You could however do frequent water changes, every other day perhaps and its not really much of a chore becuase its only 2.5 gal, it would take seconds to do.
Off the top of my head i can't think of any fish for a tank that size but a snail or two or even few cherry shrimp would work. I had cherry shrimp breeding like crazy in a 3 gallon with some java fern and java moss.
Maybe guppy with ghost schrimp can do it or neon but add cyclebytiny ammount and dont overfeed so you just leave flter as they are but seriously 2 male and one female guppy can stand that or beta single you can deal with amonia and nitrite but constant supervision is required get prime to detoxify if problem.
Cycle is sometime long but will be good if no rush. my ten gallon with lot of guppies seem ok and amonia is less toxic than cichlid tank more high the Ph is the more toxic it is...
Putting 2 male guppys in with one female is asking for big fights between the males. Better to have more females. I know they aren't as pretty but if you don't balance it out you will have dead guppy in your tank. Please think about it and ask around for comparison info.
You are replying to a post that's 2 years old here.. Check the age of posts in the upper right corner. I got caught with a few at first too.
My daughters 5 gal had to be cleaned 25% water change once to twice a week. Any less would result in fowl water. I had a unfiltered glass jar 1 gal for a 4" goldfish. I changed that out top to bottom once a week. It really depends on tank size, filtration and amount of fish you keep. My 75 gal has a community of 30 fish. I have 2 fluval filters, and change 20% of water once a month. The smaller the tank the more cleaning you need to do.