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Old 11-19-2012, 02:25 PM   #1
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Hi all, I am new to the fish tank arena. I bought a 10 gallon fresh- filled with spring water, waited a few days then added fish. Stayed clear for about week. I now now should have cycled longer. Did a few water changes the 3 1/2 weeks I've had this tank. Think going through bloom but few fish have died, ammonia levels still spike. Should I clean tank and gravel really good and replace more water? Water smells, changed filter cartridge, put water safe in after partial water change. Don't know what else I should do.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:03 PM   #2
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Your going through a fish in cycle and your high ammonia is due to insufficient PWC's since your don't have any bacteria established. What fish are in the tank and how many? That's important .. some fish have a larger bio-load than others. Start on 50% PWC's until you get your ammonia to below 0.25% ... closer to 0% Trash any test strips ... unreliable at best .... if you don't have one already, go with the API test master kit.

DO NOT replace the filter cartridge again ... that is where the majority of the bacteria will ultimately reside. By throwing it out, you essentially are starting over again. Only replace those cartridges when they are literally falling apart. Just swish them with tank water during PWC's to clean of solid waste debris. A white cloudiness is indicative of a bacterial bloom which is normal and are signs of bacteria colonizing into your tank, then they'll make their way into your filter.

The only chemicals you should have to add to your tank are water and a conditioner like seachem prime. Let us know the following info so we can better help you.

1. Tank stock
2. Type of filter / filtration
3. Water Temp
4. pH.
5. Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate.

The API test master kit will tell you numbers 4 & 5.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:13 PM   #3
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Thank you for the info. I have a 10 gallon with a penguin bio wheel 100. I have a small gouramis, platy, glo fish, hatchets, 2 dwarf catfish and dwarf African frog. I test ammonia with the dropper and test tube- right now it is 3/4 to worst ammonia state. I only tested nitrates etc. with test strips and seemed ok. I use aqua safe dechlorinator/conditioner when change water, was told only feed fish once a day now. When I called pet store they told me I was going through algae bloom. But for how long? Does matter or make difference if I use tap or spring water?
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:15 PM   #4
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Also water temp at 76. Stock of fish- too many. - 10
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
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Try not to use Tap water, Buy ro water from your LFS or invest in a ro/di machine. Tap water it has many metals and stuff in it that are fine for us, but not our fish friends. You might of added too many fish at once as well. All the stress in a new tank and since it was not fully cycled you lost some. I would do like jcolon said, invest in a legit tester API makes a great one that I have myself. It was like $25 at petco. I made the same mistake you did dumped all fish in and just wondered why they died. Everything will be fine. This forum is great for help.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TommyP
Try not to use Tap water, Buy ro water from your LFS or invest in a ro/di machine. Tap water it has many metals and stuff in it that are fine for us, but not our fish friends. You might of added too many fish at once as well. All the stress in a new tank and since it was not fully cycled you lost some. I would do like jcolon said, invest in a legit tester API makes a great one that I have myself. It was like $25 at petco. I made the same mistake you did dumped all fish in and just wondered why they died. Everything will be fine. This forum is great for help.
Tap water is (usually) fine for FW tanks as long as a good water conditioner is used. Most of them bind heavy metals rendering them safe for fish. The problem with using RO water in a FW tank is it's stripped of minerals. Minerals/buffers are needed to keep pH stable, plants healthy and the bacteria functioning. There are additives you can buy to replace these minerals such as seachem replenish and Kent's RO rite.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:06 PM   #7
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:07 AM   #8
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