Okay, I'm getting low-level ammonia readings in my tank and I have NO CLUE why.
My spreadsheet for my water parameters since I set up this tank is here on Google Drive
. It's the second tab, Planted Betta Tank 1. I'm sorry, but you may need to zoom in to read it, I don't know why Google Drive is being stupid about it. It should answer any/all questions about the timeline of my ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels, though.
So, my tank is 5 gallons. I used Eco Complete as the substrate, and once I had my initial plants in, I started fishlessly cycling it with liquid ammonia. Tank cycled, after a few days the stems kicked in and started sucking down nitrate faster than it was rising, everything was good. My tank sat cycled, with daily additions of ammonia, for over a week, no issue.
I got my fish and added him in, everything was dandy, and the next day my nitrate levels actually went to 0.
Then, 5 days after I added him (on the 17th), ammonia began to spike. Because it was at the same levels as chloramines put my tap at, I just added Prime instead to detoxify it, and waited until Friday (the 19th) to do a 50% water change, because I'm trying to get into a routine of Friday water changes. I also changed the baffle to a sponge baffle, and started my quest to try to get the filter baffled enough for him to be comfortable and able to move around the tank freely.
I added more plants on the 20th, stems and floaters.
The baffle was blocking some of the light from my bulb, so on the 22nd I switched to a more powerful light that also was shorter, and thus wasn't blocked by the baffle as much. The water finally got to 0 ammonia, but that didn't last. I got a MASSIVE spike in nitrates. I ended up doing two water changes to get the nitrates down to a tolerable level. Between the new light and the higher level nitrates, all the plants pearled heavily that evening.
However, by the next day, ammonia was back up to .25ppm and hasn't dropped below that since. I've been adding Prime daily to detoxify it. Plants haven't heavily pearled since, and nitrates are slowly rising. I added more stems and floaters yesterday, and I did another 50% water change today.
Can someone help me figure this out??? I'm at my wit's end!