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Old 11-12-2004, 08:54 PM   #1
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Need help with 55 gal tank!

Hi everyone! I just wanted to say this seems like a great forum. Everyone seems really helpful and friendly.

I just got a 55 gal tank and set it up on the 8 of November. I put in gravel and water. I also put in the recommended amount of water detoxifer and this other stuff that promotes natural slime coat, adds electrolytes and detoxifies heavy metals. After 36 hours of having done this I added 7 fish (4 tetras and 3 gouramis).

I was wondering if I did anything wrong. Also my tank is cloudy which I am assuming is bacterial bloom from the other posts in this forum but I am not too sure because the tank went cloudy about 12 hours after I put the fish in. Do I need to added anything else to the tank?

I also want to test the water. Does anyone have any suggestions for test kits? I looked at some today but I don't know which are best.

My filter has two biowheels and I am using ammonia, phosphate and carbon filter mediums.

Okay, enough rambling. I have a terrible feeling I have gone about setting up the tank all wrong....

Thanks!

golylox
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Old 11-12-2004, 09:18 PM   #2
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Your tank is cycling. Read up on the cycling process to find out what's going on in the tank.

Unless you want to possibly kill fish, wait four to six weeks, etc, your best bet is to jump-start the cycle with a biowheel or gravel from an already well established tank, both containing the "good bacteria" needed to sustain life.

Otherwise you will go through the cycling process, and fish will likely die while the "good bacteria" is getting established.

If you cannot find gravel or a biowheel from an established tank, try to return the fish and do a "fishless" cycle, using household ammonia, piece of shrimp, etc.

If you are not able to do this, you will need to do several water changes (do not vaccum the gravel) to keep them alive.
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Old 11-13-2004, 01:46 AM   #3
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Otherwise you will go through the cycling process, and fish will likely die while the "good bacteria" is getting established.
Not so, many people cycle with fish and the people have no idea what's going on in the tank. However, you will be prepared when the ammonia and nitrite spike. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals has a good test kit--you definately need pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test kits.
Check out this article:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...r=asc&start=10
Cycling and the nitrogen cycle is discussed. There is also an article on the nitrogen cycle in the Articles section.

Do you have another tank set up at home?
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Old 11-13-2004, 01:50 AM   #4
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Otherwise you will go through the cycling process, and fish will likely die while the "good bacteria" is getting established.
Not so, many people cycle with fish and the people have no idea what's going on in the tank. However, you will be prepared when the ammonia and nitrite spike. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals has a good test kit--you definately need pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test kits.
Check out this article:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...r=asc&start=10
Cycling and the nitrogen cycle is discussed. There is also an article on the nitrogen cycle in the Articles section.

Do you have another tank set up at home?
Very true, but I was under the impression that they used less fish.. and even then had fatalities.
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Old 11-13-2004, 01:57 AM   #5
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Very true, but I was under the impression that they used less fish.. and even then had fatalities.
You never know (plus, you know how some LFS and superpet stores let people walk out with fish and a tank the same day). I'm sure you know someone who has never changed the tank's water for 15 years and the fish are fine.....

Anyway, goldylox, get yourself some test kits and we are here to help!
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Old 11-13-2004, 11:23 AM   #6
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If you do return the fish and don't want to do a fishless cycle, I recommend Zebra Danios.
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Old 11-13-2004, 02:34 PM   #7
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Also, remove the ammonia removing media in your filter. This will absorb ammonia, but you need the ammonia in the tank to feed the bacteria you are trying to grow, so it will impede the process.

Use frequent water changes to control ammonia instead, (as mentioned above) after you get your test kits. The water changes will slow the process also, but protect your fish in the meantime. It'll take time but if you are patient in a few weeks it will be cycled. Good luck!
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Old 11-13-2004, 04:09 PM   #8
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Thanks for your replies!

I have now read the articles so let me see if I have this straight....

Right now my fish are producing ammonia from their waste so the ammonia in my tank is spiking. This is okay accept if it spikes too high because it will kill my fish.

SO I need to go out and get a raw shrimp or two and put them in the tank. I also need to get a test kit to make sure the ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite are not too high. I also need to get rid of the ammonia filter I have in there. Also, I need to change some of the water regularly and NOT vacuum the gravel.

The thing I don't know is what to do if the ammonia, nitrate, or nitrite levels are too high. I am assuming you can either get a filter for this or some sort of chemical that will help. Also, how often do I change part of the water? Every week? Every few days?
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Old 11-13-2004, 04:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for your relplies! I did read the article that I found in the ARTICLES section but I will check out the other one as well.

My goodness this is more involved that I thought! 8O
I know how you feel - I started with two goldfish and get this.. a BOWL (yikes).

Don't worry, it's not as much work as it seems, and it just turns into a habit - something you won't even notice because you're too busy looking at your beautiful fish!
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Old 11-13-2004, 04:34 PM   #10
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If you are not gonna do a fishless cycle don't put the shrimp in. The fish waste will produce enought ammonia and a decaying shrimp may cause the ammonia to spoike enough to do exactly what you fear, kill your fish.
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Old 11-13-2004, 05:54 PM   #11
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I just tested everything and here is what I got

pH = 7.6

Ammonia = 1.2

Nitrite = 0.1

Nitrate = less than 0.5

I hope that makes sense. According to the back of the test packages, if I have read them right, I think these levels are okay. I added some stuff called "cycle" to the tank under the advice of someone at the pet store.

So, other than water changing do I need to do anything else?
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Old 11-13-2004, 06:00 PM   #12
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Most cycle products do little to nothing to help. Bio-spira has been the possible exception.
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Old 11-14-2004, 08:31 PM   #13
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Your fish will provide the ammonia....Only use a shrimp if you are doing the cycle without fish.

You remove elevated levels of ammonia and nitrite by doing frequent partial water changes during the cycle. Don't change all the water, though, or your cycle will start over. Once the cycle has completed, your ammonia and nitrite readings will stay low. You will still have to do partial water changes (along with vacuuming of fish poo) on a less frequent basis (most people here do weekly, but some people get away with monthly) to remove nitrAte and give your fishes a clean environment.

People at the fish store will try to sell you chemicals for everything. As a rule, the only chemical I ever put in my tank is dechlorinator. Chemicals that claim to remove ammonia, fix pH, remove algae, etc. etc. usually will only mess up your tank and endanger your fish. Fish can adapt to most any pH as long as it is stable, and they are happiest with good, clean water.

Good luck with your cycle and your tank!
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Old 11-15-2004, 10:50 AM   #14
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Right - don't do anything else for now, except by keeping your ammonia and nitrite low, as you have been. The levels are not "all right" in that the tank is not finished cycling and any ammonia or nitrite is not good for the fish, but they can survive it. Things are not done until you have undetectable (zero) ammonia and nitrite.

You'll get there!
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Old 11-16-2004, 03:24 AM   #15
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I would do daily water changes on my tanks... I prefer to cycle the tank with fish in them... I cycled my 70 gal with 15 cardlinals and 2 cories.... I tested water and water changed appropriately.
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Old 11-16-2004, 08:50 AM   #16
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I will try that mattrox! I am glad to hear it is possible to cycle my tank and have not casualties!

Thank you everyone for your help! My tanks seems alot less cloudy. My fish are all still alive and I plan to test my water again very soon.
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Old 11-16-2004, 09:59 AM   #17
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*edit* ahhh never mind.... didnt see page two, Im a dork, sorry


Goldylox's to do list
1) got get test kits
2) test your water
3) do a partial water change (I find that small ones[10%] every day are
better then larger ones every few days)

4) post your tank readings on here and we'll let you know whats next
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Old 11-16-2004, 09:14 PM   #18
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I have done several fish cycles with no fish loss. You have a larger tank, so this helps. Some people by a 10 gal or smaller and put in 6 fish. This is a design for disaster. Chemical things happen much faster in small tanks. As several members advised, test and do water changes often. Try to avoid chemicals and additives that do this and that. In most cases, declor is all you need.
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Old 11-17-2004, 01:09 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Menagerie
You never know (plus, you know how some LFS and superpet stores let people walk out with fish and a tank the same day). I'm sure you know someone who has never changed the tank's water for 15 years and the fish are fine.....
I work at probably the biggest "superpet" store, and until I learned on my own (no proper training) I was told that as long as they let the water run in their tank for 2 to 3 days, they could put whatever they wanted in there...
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Old 11-18-2004, 05:02 PM   #20
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Okay, do I vacuum or not vacuum? HOw frequently do I vacuum while the tank is cycling? Every water change?

My fish are still alive and kicking. It has been a week and a half since I added the fish so looks like we aren't doing too badly thanks to all the advice and help I got here!

Thanks again everyone!
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