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Old 07-15-2011, 12:56 AM   #1
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Old tank not cycled

Hi there. I have a 60g with a aquaclear 110 and 7 fancy goldfish (too many I know that now) that has been up for almost 3 months now. 6 of the fish are 1-2" and the 7th is a 1" baby. The fish seem happy enough but when I finally bought a test kit a few days ago I found out that my ammonia levels were high (4.0 range). The nitrate and nitrite were both not registering and the ph is around 7. The odd thing is that when I tested my tap water for ammonia it was in the 1.0-2.0 range before it even went in the tank. I treat the water with safeguard+ dechlorinator or whatever its called before I add it. About a month ago one of my fish had fin rot so I made the mistake of adding tetracycline to the tank. Im sure that wiped out everything in there. Ive done many many water changes since then and rinsed the filter sponge in old tank water many times as well. I have also replaced the carbon bag but the ceramic or clay bio pellet things are the same that have always been in there. What am I doing wrong? I assume if my tank was cycling at all I would see a rise in nitrate and nitrites but im not. I do weekly water changes of about 1/3 and I dont know what else to do. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:16 AM   #2
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What kind of test kit are you using?

Unless it is a liquid drop test kit such as the API Master, you may be getting bad readings if it is a test strip kit.


Use Prime instead of safeguard, it will help detoxify the ammonia in both the tap water and the ammonia from the waste the fish produce.


Also, do not change out the carbon unless the bag or cartridge is disentigrating. Beneficial bacteria live in the carbon that remove ammonia much better than new carbon does.

Fin rot is best cured by clean water, not anti-biotics.

If your tap contains ammonia (which yours might, it depends on the reliability of your test kit) it is important to use Prime as dechlor, as it can mitigate the poisonsonous nature of the ammonia.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:25 AM   #3
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Im using an API master freshwater kit. Is it possible that there may still be tetracycline in there somehow keeping it from cycling?
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:42 AM   #4
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If you changed carbon after the tetracycline and have done PWC since then, probably not.

Great you are using API.

Even though it appears you may have ammonia in your tap water, do change your dechlor to Prime (by SeaChem) and do a PWC daily until your ammonia levels are even with what you see in your tap.

Are you checking your test results against a white background?

The color of the light and the backgroundaround you can influence the color your eye sees in the test tube.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:48 AM   #5
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Ill pick up some Prime tomorrow. Im out of safeguard anyway. Im checking the results against a white background. Just want to get my tank cycled so my poor fish can have somewhere decent to live. They dont seem to be growing at all and one of them got fin rot like I said so I know they are stressed. Shouldnt I be seeing SOME nitrates or nitrites by now?
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:07 AM   #6
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Post your ammonia test results against better, natural light against a clean, white background.

Definately get and use Prime.

As the tank and fish are actually new (not old and in over a year or way more) your tank is still cycling and should do 50 % or more PWC daily.

Fin rot is a fungal disease caused by dirty water and is 100% curable with clean water. It probably was sick to begin with. You may or may not be able to save it.

As your tank is cycling, it is not healthy for any fish, and certainly not for one with fin rot.

Is it possible to return or rehome the fish until the tank is cycled?

If returning the fish to where you got them is not an option, you will definately need to keep up daily or twice daily water changes with prime until the tank is completely cycled.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:19 AM   #7
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QUOTE]Shouldnt I be seeing SOME nitrates or nitrites by now?[[/QUOTE]

The filter media is not able to produce enough beneficial bacteria to keep up with the load of the goldies, though they are still small.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:21 AM   #8
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Unfortunately because of my job im not home everyday. Since ive been home the last few days I have been doing water changes 2x daily. They seem happier. They arent hanging around at the surface anymore. The guy at petsmart said they dont take them back but he is also the same guy that said that the tank just needed to run for a couple days before I put fish in it. Are 50% changes 2x a day too much? Should I do 25% 2x a day so I dont shock them? I also have 2 marimo balls in there that the fish like the play with. Theyre easier to care for. Maybe I should just stick with them lol.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:30 AM   #9
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Ive been rinsing out the sponge art of my filter every week or so. Should I stop doing that until the tank it cycled? Its always dirty and turns the tank water i use to clean it really dark.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NTC
Ive been rinsing out the sponge art of my filter every week or so. Should I stop doing that until the tank it cycled? Its always dirty and turns the tank water i use to clean it really dark.
In my opinion, respectfully, you should think about rehoming those fish for now. A fish in cycle with that many gold fish requires you to keep the ammonia below. 25 ppm. You stated you can't be home to monitor the water and do the many PWCs needed to achieve. 25 ppm of ammonia or less.
You appear to be genuinely conserned for your fish and this plan would be best for them now and in the long run.
I have a link in my signature for your use about fishless cycling. If you want further advice on this, we are only happy to help.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:25 PM   #11
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Deckape is correct.

If that is not an option right now, 50% pwc daily is not too much.

Do not clean out the filter yet, even in old tank water.

You will have to rehome most of the fish eventually though, as your tank is too small for that many fancy goldfish. If they survive the cycling process that is.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:28 PM   #12
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Well since none of my locals will take the fish I dont know what to do with them other than do my best with water changes. Theyve made it this long, they may just make it. How many should I have in there? 6? 10g per gold? Do you think they have been permanently stunted? I dont think the little one has grown much at all since I got him.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NTC
Well since none of my locals will take the fish I dont know what to do with them other than do my best with water changes. Theyve made it this long, they may just make it. How many should I have in there? 6? 10g per gold? Do you think they have been permanently stunted? I dont think the little one has grown much at all since I got him.
The standard recommendations I have seen on here from knowledgeable goldfish keepers are 20 gallons for one and 10 gallons for each additional fish. That's too bad no one will take them. You will have to be vigilant in testing and water changing. Do you have a water changer like Aqueon or Python? I wish I had could come up with an option other than rehoming. Maybe someone else can recommend a solution.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:10 PM   #14
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Nope no python. Just a bucket. Ive got pics of the test results but theyre too big and I dont know how to post them.

EDIT: Here they are. http://s1190.photobucket.com/albums/z451/ntc2/ The one with the 2 green tubes is the tap water (left) vs the tank water (right).
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:15 PM   #15
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Nope no python. Just a bucket. Ive got pics of the test results but theyre too big and I dont know how to post them.
They would be hard to interpretate anyway.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:07 PM   #16
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Yeah youre probably right. Digital would be better for me. I have a hard time telling what color best matches my results.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Yeah youre probably right. Digital would be better for me. I have a hard time telling what color best matches my results.
I have perfect color vision and have a tough time too.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:39 PM   #18
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From what I can see in the pics, you defiantly need prime. With that much ammonia and or ammonium in your tap water ( learned something today), you need prime. It will convert the ammonia left behind when the chloromine bond is broken from the dechlorinator. It will be ammonium now and its less harmful to fish. Will keep it there long enough to be consumed by the nitrifying bacteria. Jetajockey explained it better. Bottom line, keep up the good work and if you need any help just ask away. Someone will help.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:05 AM   #19
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I wonder if the aquaclear ammonia insert would help me. What do you think? Also my tap water has a ph of 8 or 9...I think it falls overnight. I can't set out enough water for my 60gal and unrested water causes the ph in my tank to swing..what do I do?
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NTC
I wonder if the aquaclear ammonia insert would help me. What do you think? Also my tap water has a ph of 8 or 9...I think it falls overnight. I can't set out enough water for my 60gal and unrested water causes the ph in my tank to swing..what do I do?
No the ammonia bag removes ammonia somehow. We want the ammonia to feed the bacteria you're trying to establish.

For the ph, put some tap water in a shallow bowl, put an airstone in it to make bubbles with your airpump. Then after overnite or in the evening, 12 he's or so, test the ph, ammonia, nittrites and nitrates. Then we will have a baseline.

What type of substrate do you have and what type filtration are you running?
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