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Old 08-20-2008, 07:50 PM   #1
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I am new to this site. I am seeking advice regarding my aquarium. My mollies and platys are not doing so well. When I tested my water, I found out the nitrite levels were high. I have been using "Prime" and "
Cycle" for the last 2 weeks. I kept doing water changes daily (50%), but the guy at Petco told me I was not giving my "good bacteria" enough time to grow by doing water changes so frequently and to only do a 20% water change weekly until I get my nitrite levels down. I am steadily losing fish because my Nitrite levels are still high. I have even took some gravel from a friend's established tank and put it in my tank to try to jump start my tank on yesterday. What else can I do???? I love my fish and I do not want them to continue to die or be sick.
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:53 PM   #2
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:02 PM   #3
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First please read about the fishless cycle (the link is in my signature). I know that you already have fish, but you could sell them back to the store and cycle your tank until you are ready for fish.

You must keep doing your pwc's as long as your ammonia and/or nitrItes are above 0.50ppm. The bacteria is building up in your filter and on surfaces in your tank. Also "Cycle" won't help you so you can stop dosing with that. Prime is an excellent dechlorinator and will help you with those nitrItes.
You'll want to pick up the API master test kit (if you don't already). The liquid test kits are much more accurate than the test strips.

The Petco guy more likely than not, isn't going to be reliable. You'll want the advice of the good people you find here.

Please post your concern here: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums/f15/ in the Freshwater - Getting Started forum. You'll get loads more advice there. Also please include there in your info your tank size, how long you've had it, what fish you have, how many you've lost, what filter you're using.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:48 PM   #4
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Agreed with the above, you need to keep doing water changes do maintain both your ammonia and nitrIte levels below 0.5ppm. The petco guy was right, actually. This is going to cause your cycle to take a whole lot longer, but it's the only way to keep your fish healthy during the process.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:03 PM   #5
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Also you might want to post your questions on the FW forums. It will be seen by more folks. Not all folks come to the welcome forum even though they should.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:05 PM   #6
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:35 PM   #7
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high NitrITE in a new aquarium mean one thing. your aquarium is not cycled. I agree with everything said here.

As Neilanh said, a cycle takes longer if you have fish in your tank. Unfortuantelty the bad news for you is that the path to a happy tank will involve daily water changes until the cycle is complete.

You need to know three things at all times. 1> your ammonia levels 2> your nitrITE levels and 3> your nitrATE levels.

Ammonia and NitrITE need to be kept <= 1ppm (pref 0.5ppm). If they go higher, perform a partial water change (PWC). Personally, you seem to have very high levels that are extremely toxic to your fish. I'd change 50% and another 25% in around 10 hours. Re-test and go from there.

Keep adding Prime to the fresh water and drop usig the Cycle.

Taking the established gravel from someone elses tank is a good thing and will help. And take heart in the fact that you have come to the right place looking for answers. Be wary of what LFSs tell you and check here first. We were all beginners once.

That Petco guy was right in the sense that good bacteria will grow more slowly the more watger changes you do during the cycle, but he was wrong to tell you to only change out 20% of the water when you have fish in it.

Cycle with fish = as many PWCs as it takes to keep levels as stated above. Anything less will result in dead fish.
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:36 PM   #8
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Oh, sorry, how rude of me!!

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