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Old 01-08-2013, 10:26 PM   #1
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Several Questions? *Urgent*

First, I need to discribe it all. A bunch of my fish recently passed away over winter break while I was at my Mom's and my Dad took them out of the tank. When I came home on Friday, the 14th, Dave, a long finned Rosy Barb had just died, so I took him out. Now, I only have four fish, two angelfish, a barb, and a ghost knife. I've been having problems with my ammonia. I bought Nitromax, Ammolock, and Seachem, but I've only used them twice so far and good effect. My pH at first was slightly stable, but now it's been fluctuating. I'll post a picture from my Notes. How often do I have to use the chemicals? What am I doing wrong?
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:36 PM   #2
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How big is the tank? With that ammonia do as many 50% pwcs as it takes for the ammonia to be lower than .25 Just use seachem prime so the fish aren't affected as badly. Also what test kit are you using? Has the tank been cycled?
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:36 PM   #3
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how big is the tank and how much water change are you doing? How long has the tank been set up for?
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:37 PM   #4
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Lets start with the basics..

How big is the tank?

How long has this tank been up and running?

Did you cycle this tank before adding the fish?

By the looks of your test readings, Im guessing you didnt cycle this tank, and it still isnt cycled.

You should start by reading chapter 1 of this article: Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice

Also, never just add chemicals to fix problems in your aquarium. I always take a more natural route when trying to adjust any parameters or cure sickness in my tanks.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:37 PM   #5
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How long has the tank been set up?

You're going through a fish in cycle now and need to keep up with water changes until your ammonia and nitrites are 0 at all times. Your ammonia is extremely extremely high. do many water changes to bring your ammonia at least below .5. When the ammonia rises above .5, do another 50% water change. Don't hesitate to ask any questions!
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:54 PM   #6
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I'm actually surprised you have any fish at all alive in ammonia that high. That much ammonia if I'm not wrong can actually kill or damage the colony of BB you had. Do as many PWCs as said before needed to reduce it and recycle your tank as a fish in cycle, I would remove or rehome the ghost knife at least though since it likely won't survive a cycle anyway
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:05 PM   #7
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Sorry, I keep forgetting to add the tank size and all that. I've been dealing with finals coming up in the next two weeks. Augh! It's 55 gallons long. It was cycled when I first set it up, but that was just over a year ago, I received it for Christmas last year and set it up after New Years in 2012. My test kit is a Master's Test kit, the amazing owner of the LFS set me up with one. I've been trying to do water changes to get rid of the ammonia but it looks like it hasn't been doing anything, I need to mention, I used to own two plecos for nearly a year, before I finally I found a way to give them away. (Sorry for a jumble of stuff xD I'm just reading questions and answering as I go). The only fish that is used to it, slightly, is the ghost knife, as he is my oldest, so I'm not too worried, but he is still a fragile little guy, and everyone else is very young. I was looking for a natural way, but it wasn't helping, I barely put a dent in the ammonia level, with how much water I took out when I gave away the plecos. I took out 75%, then 50% the next time.
I know my plecos contributed to the huge ammonia spike I've had for the three years. I did go through a serious loss during the fall, I lost about 40 guppies (they were all bred in my second tank), which also could've done something. I do need some chemical though because my tap is city water and I have ammonia in it. I have to look in another thread to see how much ammonia it was.
*Final question, where can I buy 5mL test tubes? o_o my dad broke 3 of them by accident and now I only have one left.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:42 PM   #8
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You can buy tubes on eBay or amazon. I live in the city and I've lived in the outskirts, both of those taps had ammonia in them but the amount of ammonia in tap water cannot exceed a certain amount(which I can't remember now) and is easily consumed by your BB in a vet short amount of time, that is if you have a normal colony. When did you rehome your plecos?
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:45 PM   #9
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You can buy tubes on eBay or amazon. I live in the city and I've lived in the outskirts, both of those taps had ammonia in them but the amount of ammonia in tap water cannot exceed a certain amount(which I can't remember now) and is easily consumed by your BB in a vet short amount of time, that is if you have a normal colony. When did you rehome your plecos?
The only issue with the tubes is the shipping cost. My family currently is tight on money right now, so we may have to test with the one tube for now, which would take a while to get results. That should be fine, but I think it was quite high, I have to test it again. I rehomed the plecos in sometime in December. I can't remember what day, but it wasn't too long ago.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:51 PM   #10
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The only issue with the tubes is the shipping cost. My family currently is tight on money right now, so we may have to test with the one tube for now, which would take a while to get results. That should be fine, but I think it was quite high, I have to test it again. I rehomed the plecos in sometime in December. I can't remember what day, but it wasn't too long ago.
Maybe check some LFSs and CL around you, maybe they have some used ones for cheap. With a decent colony the ammonia from your plecos should have cleared by now so must be something else, something like your BB is gone. Again just keep checking your water, doing water changes, and start your fish in cycle
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:04 AM   #11
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Maybe check some LFSs and CL around you, maybe they have some used ones for cheap. With a decent colony the ammonia from your plecos should have cleared by now so must be something else, something like your BB is gone. Again just keep checking your water, doing water changes, and start your fish in cycle
Okay thanks. I feel stupid for leaving them out when I went to let my dog out. My dad had accidentally pulled the towel which broke three. :/ About the cycling, is it required to change the water daily? because since I am a freshman, and my dad won't do it "because it's all my responsibilities, etc." which I know they are, but he won't help me with my finals coming up. He doesn't know how to do a PWC anyways. Is it possible to cycle without changing the water? I also need it explained kinda dumbed down cause it's really easy for me to misunderstand something.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:07 AM   #12
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Unfortunately no, not reliably though. You need to do as many water changes as needed to keep the ammonia below .25ppm. You can try some bottled bacteria but that generally doesn't work because it has to be shipped and shelved properly, also usually costs 10+ dollars for most semi-reliable bottles
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:14 AM   #13
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Unfortunately no, not reliably though. You need to do as many water changes as needed to keep the ammonia below .25ppm. You can try some bottled bacteria but that generally doesn't work because it has to be shipped and shelved properly, also usually costs 10+ dollars for most semi-reliable bottles
Great, that doesn't work with my schedules. My parents are divorced and I go back and forth often, I'm with my Dad more, which is where my tank is. I keep thinking that ammonia would go away if I moved my fish to my old tank which I would have to set up again or move to my friend's tank who lives 5 minutes away, and just clean my tank whenever I could, but I don't want to stress my fish and it probably won't work, won't it?
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:25 AM   #14
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Great, that doesn't work with my schedules. My parents are divorced and I go back and forth often, I'm with my Dad more, which is where my tank is. I keep thinking that ammonia would go away if I moved my fish to my old tank which I would have to set up again or move to my friend's tank who lives 5 minutes away, and just clean my tank whenever I could, but I don't want to stress my fish and it probably won't work, won't it?
If you move your fish to your old torn-down tank you would still have to cycle it. It could work giving them to your friend to watch for 6 weeks or so while you did a fish-less cycle, which may be an easier way to cycle with your busy schedule
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:35 AM   #15
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If you move your fish to your old torn-down tank you would still have to cycle it. It could work giving them to your friend to watch for 6 weeks or so while you did a fish-less cycle, which may be an easier way to cycle with your busy schedule
I might be able to, but the problem is, I have a ghost knife, and her tank is much smaller than mine, her tank is about a gallon bigger than my old one. The angelfish would be fine with moving around, it's the ghost knife I'm worried about, I don't want him eating her fish or anything. He's pretty darn big actually, he's about 6-7 inches long. I have not seen him go after one of my guppies though, when they were alive. My dad would probably not want me to, although I have given them several guppies as gifts.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:39 AM   #16
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I might be able to, but the problem is, I have a ghost knife, and her tank is much smaller than mine, her tank is about a gallon bigger than my old one. The angelfish would be fine with moving around, it's the ghost knife I'm worried about, I don't want him eating her fish or anything. He's pretty darn big actually, he's about 6-7 inches long. I have not seen him go after one of my guppies though, when they were alive. My dad would probably not want me to, although I have given them several guppies as gifts.
There are downs and ups to any of these options, but they are the only options I know of. If your dad doesn't want you to do something then he needs to help out. On a side note, you know the BGK will need a bigger tank right? Sorry just have to ask
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:17 AM   #17
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There are downs and ups to any of these options, but they are the only options I know of. If your dad doesn't want you to do something then he needs to help out. On a side note, you know the BGK will need a bigger tank right? Sorry just have to ask
I'm only planning on keeping him for a year or so, not a permanent fish. He's like my plecos, I knew they had to go at some point. I just hope that either I can get a bigger tank by the time I get to college or I can give him to a friend, because he's been my favorite all the years I've had my fish.
I have to find a way to cycle with my schedule o_o
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:44 PM   #18
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just a few things i'd like to point out/suggest...

1) you may want to move your fish to your friends tank just untill you get yours cycled, i know it will be a pain but in the end it will be sooo worth it.

the nice thing about a fishless cycle is you don't technically need to do water changes until the very end of the cycle when you see the Nitrite spike and then vanish. all you have to do during this fishless cycle is add a small-ish amount of ammonia every day.

2) if option #1 is not something you want to do they i would really suggest you invest in a "Water Changer" see the link below... i have a 55G and a 125G and let me tell you, the water changer is amazing. you can do a 50% water change on a 55G in about 30-45 minutes if not less. it saved my back lol (i used to change water with 5 gallon buckets, never again will i do that)

Aqueon® Aquarium Water Changer - Aquarium Maintenance - Fish - PetSmart

3) water changes should be done every day or every other day during the initial cycle, after that its normally once a week but thats dependant on your NitrAte levels since you want to keep them below 20 if at all possible.

most people will tell you that you "can never change too much water" which in most cases is correct but you need to use common sense as well lol, the most i would do at one time is 70% and that should be only in an emergancy. 50% is gonna be where you want to stay now but my whole point is that you could do multiple water changes a day if need be but just don't change anymore than 70% at a time. if you do this you run the risk of shocking and stressing your fish to death.

a fish-in cycle is definitely a pain in the butt and requires a lot of work from the owner. i fish-in cycled my 55 and i'll never do a fish-in cycle again.

4) is there any way you could test your tap for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and post it here so we can all take a look and see where to advise you??

most importantly, please dont think i'm trying to rip you a new one... just trying to be helpful.

also, i know this thing is full of mispelling and what not lol... just ignore them
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:04 PM   #19
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just a few things i'd like to point out/suggest...

1) you may want to move your fish to your friends tank just untill you get yours cycled, i know it will be a pain but in the end it will be sooo worth it.

the nice thing about a fishless cycle is you don't technically need to do water changes until the very end of the cycle when you see the Nitrite spike and then vanish. all you have to do during this fishless cycle is add a small-ish amount of ammonia every day.

2) if option #1 is not something you want to do they i would really suggest you invest in a "Water Changer" see the link below... i have a 55G and a 125G and let me tell you, the water changer is amazing. you can do a 50% water change on a 55G in about 30-45 minutes if not less. it saved my back lol (i used to change water with 5 gallon buckets, never again will i do that)

Aqueon® Aquarium Water Changer - Aquarium Maintenance - Fish - PetSmart

3) water changes should be done every day or every other day during the initial cycle, after that its normally once a week but thats dependant on your NitrAte levels since you want to keep them below 20 if at all possible.

most people will tell you that you "can never change too much water" which in most cases is correct but you need to use common sense as well lol, the most i would do at one time is 70% and that should be only in an emergancy. 50% is gonna be where you want to stay now but my whole point is that you could do multiple water changes a day if need be but just don't change anymore than 70% at a time. if you do this you run the risk of shocking and stressing your fish to death.

a fish-in cycle is definitely a pain in the butt and requires a lot of work from the owner. i fish-in cycled my 55 and i'll never do a fish-in cycle again.

4) is there any way you could test your tap for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and post it here so we can all take a look and see where to advise you??

most importantly, please dont think i'm trying to rip you a new one... just trying to be helpful.

also, i know this thing is full of mispelling and what not lol... just ignore them
I was able to skim it, since I am at school, so I got some details, so I have a 29 gallon tank which I may be able to set up, and cycle, all my fish are small enough to comfortly swim in for a short amount of time before needing the space to move back. Both angels are about a half dollar size, the ghost knife is about 6-7", and the rosy barb is an inch or two.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:25 PM   #20
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I was able to skim it, since I am at school, so I got some details, so I have a 29 gallon tank which I may be able to set up, and cycle, all my fish are small enough to comfortly swim in for a short amount of time before needing the space to move back. Both angels are about a half dollar size, the ghost knife is about 6-7", and the rosy barb is an inch or two.

thats all well and good but i'm afraid you'll run into the same cycle issue... to cycle your tank its going to take roughly 1-2 months.

however i did just remember you mentioned a friend had a tank running... how long has your friends tank been running??
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