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Old 05-14-2013, 11:20 PM   #1
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To do a water change or not

Hi everyone...I am like all newbies and purchased a 36 Gallon Bowfront and LFS said I could add fish after a few days.


After adding 3 fish per week and after 4 weeks losing half of them I then found this sight.

I now know about cycling...

Ok...here is my dilemma, my nitrites are off the charts...I was doing daily water changes...then went to LFS to purchase more Prime and was told to not feed the fish for 3 days and discontinue water changes and testing for a few days and let the tank work itself out.

I did as told but did test the water today..nitrites still 5.0 ppm

May 8

Nitrite 5.0 ppm
Nitrate 80 ppm.
Ammonia 0

Did 25% w/c

Re-test a few hours after w/c and nitrates were 10 ppm and Nitrates still 5.0

May 9

Nitrite 5.0
Nitrate 10 ppm.
Ammonia 0

May 10

Nitrite 5.0
Nitrate 5.0 ppm
Ammonia 0

50 percent water change

May 11

Nitrite 5.0
Nitrate 5.0 ppm
Ammonia 0

50 percent water change

Nitrite .25
Nitrate 20 ppm
Ammonia 0

Visit to LFS for Prime was advised as above not to change water, test water or feed fish for 3 days..

May 14

Nitrite 5.0
Nitrate 5.0
Ammonia 0

API Freshwater Master Test Kit I'm using....

Water change or not? I truly appreciate any advice..I am afraid of losing any more fish..
Current stock, 3 platys, 2 Cory's,5 black widow tetras and a little pleco I haven't seen since I put him in..
Have had tank set up since April 12.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:26 PM   #2
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Meant to type on May 8th after w/c Nitrites still at 5.0 ppm
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:02 AM   #3
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A nitrite reading of 5ppm is way too high. With a fish in cycle anything above .25ppm reading for ammonia or nitrites is cause for an immediate pwc. You'll need to do several water changes to get nitrites down. Also if nitrates are above 20 ppm you should do a pwc to lower those. I'd be cautious of the advice from your lfs because that was pretty bad advice they gave you. Also are you using test strips or a liquid test?
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:02 AM   #4
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Never mind about test just saw you're using api test kit.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:04 AM   #5
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Thanks....is a 50 percent too much right now?
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:07 AM   #6
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Definitely not too much. I'd do at least 2 back to back 50% pwc's if not more.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:11 AM   #7
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Doing now.....the LFS contradicted everything I've read on here. Thank you....
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:42 PM   #8
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Your worrying about the specifics too much. All you do is change the water every 3-4 days and keep adding prime and stress zyme until the ammonia is down. Nitrates are not as harmful as ammonia, your fish will be fine if you keep changing it until its cycled off.
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:59 PM   #9
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Agreed, do your water changes and keep levels in a "safe" zone. You don't need stress zyme and Prime IMO. Prime will do just fine

JMO. Less is more.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt68005 View Post
Your worrying about the specifics too much. All you do is change the water every 3-4 days and keep adding prime and stress zyme until the ammonia is down. Nitrates are not as harmful as ammonia, your fish will be fine if you keep changing it until its cycled off.
When nitrItes are 5 ppm, you can't just do a water change every 3-4 days. That level of nitrIte is very toxic. A pwc should be done whenever nitrIte is above .25 ppm
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