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Old 06-28-2017, 06:01 PM   #1
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Temporary housing?

I got my 55g a month ago and it came both uncycled and with skirt tetras. Changing the 55 to keep the ammonia low is...tedious. can I put the 6 skirt tetras into a 5g bucket for the next month while the larger one cycles? It will be easier to keep the levels stable in a smaller container. And then I can do a fish less cycle on the 55g. And Hopefully Speed Up the process.

Right now I have no nitrites or nitrates in the tank.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 06-29-2017, 12:37 AM   #2
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There has to be another reason your ammonia rate is going so high. Its either inadequate filtration along with over feeding. That's, what comes to mind first. Skirt tetras should be a drop in the bucket in a 55. If it was me I would leave the fish in Use high grade carbon not charcoal. ammonia filter pad. very light feeding. Water changes as nec. I'm running one of my 55 with with 35 female,2 male Mollies,1 green male sword, 2 female blk swords and right now around 300 babies different sizes. Have to set up another outside pool to put the babies in. DO NOT try keeping that many fish in a TANK. I have been doing this for a very long time. I'm only trying to say with the right filters,and feeding you should be able to get your tank balanced.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:19 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I actually pulled the fish out last night because the ammonia had spiked again. I can do a water change today and put them back but in the mean time maybe you can help me figure out what's going on?

I agree that the water perimeters make no sense. I only give them a very small pinch of food at night, and I've got a penguin penguin bio wheel 350 filter (rated for up to 70g). I added in some filter mesh because I've heard the bio wheels are sometimes hard to grow the bacteria on. The filter says it uses 'premium activated carbon'.

I got this tank (including 5 black tetras which I moved to a 10g and the skirt tetras) a month ago for free from someone who said the fish kept dying. I figured it was over feeding and not letting things cycle so I took the tank.

Sure enough it wasn't cycled. I took everything out, washed the gravels and the filter box. put in new filters and figured I'd just start it as a new tank and do a fish-in cycle. Not ideal but necessary. I cut some mesh from my cycled 10g as seeding material. This was a month ago.

Over that time the 10g has uncycled (Although the ammonia is not nearly as high in this one). So now I have two uncycled tanks and waaay to many fish Any help would be greatly appreciated.

As of last night:
Temp: 80
PH: 8
Hardness: ~20 Deg
Ammonia: 4 ppm
Nitrates: 0
Nitrites: 0

Does anything jump out as 'Oh this is wrong?'. Thanks again.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:24 AM   #4
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What is in the tank? Did you put all new stuff gravel etc in when setting it up or did you reuse what it came with?
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:33 AM   #5
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I reused his gravel, But I washed it first. and I used his filter system. But I scrubbed out the box as best i could and used brand new filters. The decorations are mine. But there aren't many at this point.

Edit: I cleaned everything with cold water.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:58 AM   #6
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Everything would have a biocoating with beneficial bacteria that has died. It is decaying. That is where the ammonia is coming from. Imho.
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:00 AM   #7
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That would make sense, but why didn't the tank have any nitrites or nitrates when I first got it?

And more importantly what can I do to fix this?
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:09 AM   #8
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Keep vacuuming and changing water. I suspect the tank will cycle fast. The big N's come after the big A only when the bacteria start doing some work.
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:21 AM   #9
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Keep vacuuming and changing water. I suspect the tank will cycle fast. The big N's come after the big A only when the bacteria start doing some work.
Thanks. I can do that. One more question, In the past i've never vacuumed the gravel until after my tank as cycled. I was under the impression bacteria primarily grow in the filters and the gravel. So won't vacuuming disturb the bacteria? Or is it more important that I get any decaying material out of the tank?
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:32 AM   #10
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Temporary housing?

Removing a significant portion of the decaying material is the goal. You will be leaving enough material to generate ammonia and build bacteria.
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Old 06-29-2017, 12:42 PM   #11
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Okay, I will try that. Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:39 PM   #12
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So I vacuumed out about half the gravel in the tank and my ammonia has dropped to zero. But my nitrates and nitrites haven't spiked. Am I basically back at square one again?
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:06 PM   #13
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So I vacuumed out about half the gravel in the tank and my ammonia has dropped to zero. But my nitrates and nitrites haven't spiked. Am I basically back at square one again?


Not necessarily. Are you reading Nitrates? My ammonia and nitrite are 0. It's the presence of nitrates that is key. If your have dropped the ammonia overload perhaps your tank is handling what's left.
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:51 PM   #14
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Thanks for the reply. I thought I had checked everything but when I checked today the ammonia was 0, the nitrites were .25 but the nitrates are 5 ppm! I'll keep an eye on the tank but I think it's finally finishing up!

God, this tank was so much harder than starting from scratch. No more free set up for a while.

I really apperciate the help!
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