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Old 02-13-2013, 11:38 AM   #1
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Unhappy New tank going through second bacterial bloom

Hey everyone, I need some advice on what to do with my new tank. I recently got a 15 gallon column tank (about 2 weeks ago). I purchased the tank as a kit, so it came with the lighting, fishnet, thermometer, filtration, and a dual pack from API - Stress Coat + and Stress Zyme +. I added a heater, some decor, gravel, Tetra Easy Balance, extra water conditioner, and ATM's Colony freshwater Nitrifying Bacteria. I've been having Petco do my water tests for free, they are about 2 minutes from my house.

From ATM's claims their Nitrifying Bacteria in a bottle can cycle a tank in about a week rather than 4-6 weeks. After 24 hours of setting up the tank I added my platys and ATM's colony, and a few days later I was getting a Bacterial Bloom. I was doing around a 25% water changed every other day or so, but I wasn't cleaning out the gravel very well. The bloom finally settled and the tank cleared up 2 or 3 days after the bloom. The ammonia still wasn't quite at 0, but it was reading pretty low levels.

I was noticing a lot of waste and leftover food in the bottom of the tank, so i decided to vacuum the gravel really good, with a 25% water change and try to get that junk out of there. I defiantly stirred up a lot of leftover food and waste, and I started another bacterial bloom that has been here for 2 days or so. I cut back on the feeding since then, because a lot of the food falls into the gravel. I was wondering if this started my cycle over completely, or it somehow affected the cycle that was currently going on? I've since then done an additional water change, and will continue to do 25% water changes every day or so until things clear up again. I hope this didn't set my cycle back 2 weeks.... I'm ready to add some oto cats and dwarf gourami!!! Is there anything different I should be doing that would help?
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:50 PM   #2
jlk
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Welcome to AA!!! Your basically at the beginning of a fish-in cycle. I would suggest investing in your own liquid test kit such as the API fw master test kit so you are able to accurately monitor your parameters on a daily basis and perform water changes as needed. I know petco uses strips which are inaccurate at best. Amazon has great deals on the master kit if you are seeking a good deal.

Until your tank is happily cycled, I would reduce feeding to once a day or even once every other day to limit ammonia and excess waste in the gravel. This will help with water quality issues. The only product you need here is a good water conditioner. If you want to add the ATM bottled bacteria product, this is up to you but most are hit or miss at best. All the other products are not necessary. Skip adding any more fish until your tank cycled then stock very slowly over weeks to avoid overwhelming your good bacteria. Ill post a link with more information below- please ask any questions! Have some patience, too!

I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice
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