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Old 07-18-2006, 11:41 PM   #1
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Help - Serious Cycling issue..

Firstly I need to acknowledge that the state of my aquarium is due to my lack of knowledge and my impatience while setting up my tank. I have since done all the research on what I should have done. Guilty as charged!!! I really need some constructive advice urgently!

40 gallon tank freshwater tropical tank with:
5 zebra danios
8 neon tetras
3 Platys
3 rosie barbs
1 pleco
2 cories
2 Angels.

40 gal, 6 weeks since set-up fish added after week 2. used Cycle and prime to Cycle

After 2 weeks the ammonia was low, Nitrates existed but was low. Nitrites untested.

Added Platys and tetras.

After 1 week ammonia spiked and reduced, Nitrates climb and reduce by water change.

Added Cories, Danios and Angels.

No change

After 1 week Added the rest.

Now - Nitrates off the scale, Bought Nitrite test, Nitrite off the scale. Added Prime to detoxify.

Nitrates and Nitrate not coming down after a week. Still off the scale. No dead fish yet! doing 40% water changes every second day.

Now desperate!

Any constructive suggestions?

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Old 07-18-2006, 11:46 PM   #2
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Hate to say it, but you could be looking at a few more weeks of this. Keep testing, keep changing water, try to keep levels under 1ppm.

Good luck you are doing all you can. You might want to bump up the PWCs from 40% to 50% plus.

What are your current numbers?

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Old 07-19-2006, 12:04 AM   #3
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If your tests are off the chart, then I would try doing a 75% PWC, then test again. But remember, you need to let the water get circulated, so never test right after a PWC. Wait a good 1-2 hours and then test. That way you aren't testing a pocket of good water or a pocket of high ammonia/nitrite. Also, nitrate will only decrease through PWC's. It's the end product. The cycle has nothing to do with nitrate. It will always increase, unless you have plants. Then that's a whole other arena.

You want your ammonia and nitrite to be below 1ppm, preferably below .5ppm. And it won't hurt anything to do more than 1 PWC a day to get the levels down to where you can then maintain them. And you will probably have a few more weeks of this.
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Old 07-19-2006, 01:04 AM   #4
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Thats a nice sized load for an uncycled tank.Wow.

All I can do is agree with Rich and LBW.

Match temp and declorinate every time..but change it out a lot..you have been lucky.

Fwiw you are fairly deep into the cycle which is a good thing,but the bacteria can't beat out the bioload.

What is your feeding schedule?And what do you add?

Also,what kind of test do you use?

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Old 07-19-2006, 05:53 AM   #5
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Thanks all for you comments so far!

Detail metrics as requested:
Nutrafin tests
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite is around 1.6 mg/l
Nitrate is around 90 mg/l

Not accurate - best guess using colour chart.

Feeding twice daily, on the lean side (food finished in 1 minute).

Adding Nutrafin Cycle, Seachem prime and Aquarium salt on water PWC according to instructions.

Adding Science white spot remedy every third day (suspect white spot caused by nitrite stress).

BTW, testing 8 hour after PWC and have more than adequate filtration possible OTT?
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Old 07-19-2006, 07:06 AM   #6
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I would cut right back on the feeding...every other day would be fine. And dont be tempted to feed a large quantity of food to offset the cut back in feedings .Your fish will be fine with less food and your water changes will be more effective with less pollutants in the tank
Good luck
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Old 07-19-2006, 07:24 AM   #7
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Cut back on the feedings until the cycle is done. Toss the "Cycle" product. It doesn't work. Since your Nitrite level is so high the salt is acting against it to protect the fish from poisoning. Once the tank is cycled you can stop using the salt. What is the "white spot"? Is it ich?
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Fishyfanatic
What is the "white spot"? Is it ich?
Correct, it is ich.
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Old 07-19-2006, 11:10 AM   #9
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ich infection is not going to help anything during this cycle. I would suggest bumping the temp up to 87 degrees (31 degrees celcius). If you don't lose the fish to high nitrites you will lose them to the ich if left unresolved. Bump it up slowly, but at a pace that brings it up with-in 24 hours. Read the sticky in the sick fish forum about ich. HTH
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Old 07-19-2006, 02:34 PM   #10
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unless your tank is planted, also consider keeping the light off for several days. Also might look into alternatives to treating ich instead of ich treatment depending on the type of fish that's infected. aquarium salt can help, too, just gotta be sure none of your other fish are going to be sensitive to a salt add. Also, understand that it's going to get worse before it gets better. And if you're talking about clown loaches (don't know what kind you're talking about that have ich), I'm sorry to say they don't respond to ich treatment very well.

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