I set up a 37 Fish Only aquarium for my 6 year old the old school way on 8/10, used U/G filter( I know) run in reverse on powerheads. Crushed coral substrate, HOT mag w/ carbon, bio wheel and Nova T-5 Light. 3 damsels went in, lost one 2nd day and continued with 2 tiny damsels for the duration of the cycle up until last week's death, now only one fish. I have been doing tests every 2 to 3 days and it's been 4 weeks and 5 days and my Nitrites have been hi since Aug31 when they hit .4. They have stayed at .4 since. I did add some Prime to detox the nitrates a week ago when I saw signs of stress.
Questions I have:
1)Should I do a PWC
at this time or let it ride?
2)Do I need to add another damsil to get the cycle in motion?
3) Is it fine-leave it alone?
4) If I choose to add LR
( I know I should have done this with LR
from the start)must I cure it for a few weeks in seperate tank, or can I add 5 pounds per week to the nearly cycled tank straight from the LFS
with out harm to the fish and water quality?
Here are my tank readings as of now:
nitrate- not quite 10 ,color matches about half from (clear)0 to 10
Note: tank saw spike in amonia to .2 on Aug18 and lasted to the 23rd. Then on the 27th Nitrites started to climb
Thanks in advance, and please don't flame me about the old school way, I just went with what I knew from the 80's due to the fact I was confused about curing LR
and all the contridicting information I was getting from fish stores, along with the fact they were trying to sell me 80#'s of LR
and $100 worth of live sand addding to the cost.By the time I got some good advise I had already ordered my set-up.