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Old 02-19-2014, 11:45 AM   #1
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Question i need help please :( im new to this and getting discouraged.

Hi everyone, Im new to aquarium world. I have about a 2 mth setup of a 20gallon tank. I have always wanted one and decided to go with it. LOL. It does have a filter (came with the whole tank setup). Ok so I started with a few danios and a couple weeks later got my water tested (nitrites a little high) but other than that all is well and the lady said I could add some more fish. so I added 3 more danios and a few guppies. Well my guppies died within 2 days. Tested water and nitrites really high. Bought api quick start, added one dose. Took water back following weekend and nitrites still really high. A diff lady told me to do 30% water change and recheck (bough a master test kit) and if still high do another water change etc etc. Well I did water changes for 4 days and nitrites still high in the purple. Called store back and talked to someone else and she said add api quickstart for 4-5 days in a row and dont do any water changes bc my bacteria needs to catch up. Took water back yeterday and nitrites still super high. Everything else is fine (all fish are still alive). She told me it could be the blue rocks, so I took them out and boiled them and added back once cooled. I tested water this AM and still dark purple in nitrites Im lost. I dont know what else to do. My aquarium is 2 mths old and Iv had high nitrites from the get go. Does anyone have any other advice? I was really hoping to enjoy this aquarium busness and hope to get a large tank, but Iv failed at this small one. I do have pretty aquirium decorations? maybe they need to come out.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:47 AM   #2
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Do you own your api master test kit? If not I would get one asap. It's pretty vital in this hobby. Can you check your tap water for nitrites?
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:01 PM   #3
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yes I have my own test kit.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by clumm1 View Post
yes I have my own test kit.
Please test your tap water for nitrites and tell us the results and welcome to AA
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:02 PM   #5
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and i have tested my tap water, it was fine.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:17 PM   #6
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Sounds like you've added too many fish too quickly and the nitrite eating bacteria have not caught up yet. They take twice as long to propogate as the ammonia eating bacteria. You're tank is still mid-cycle. So...daily big water changes and use Prime to neutralize the nitrites each day. Not much else you can do. Hang with it because it will get better. The day you test and all nitrites are gone is the day you'll sleep like a baby.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:40 PM   #7
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ok so since it hasnt fully cycled, taking water out daily will not affect what little good bacteria I have already?
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:14 PM   #8
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Beneficial Bacteria (BB) colonizes in the places where they can feed on the stuff in the water they like the most, like in the filter pad where the water is circulated through. You can add an additional filter pad if it is a hang on the back filter (hob) and piggyback them together. This gives even more good surface area to the BB to grow as much as possible to help break down waste in the tank.

So also as a side note, don't ever clean the filter pad in tap water because the chemicals in the water will kill bacteria. So use old partial water change (pwc) water for the heavy dirt and swish it around, then I use fresh treated water in the bucket to clean more... more swishing and then back to the filter.

You do not need to replace the filter until it is falling apart. I also use 2 filter pad inserts, cleanest one in the front closest to where the water exits the hob. Replace only one pad at a time when needed. To keep your BB as plentiful as possible.

Do huge pwc, or back to back ones... one after the other or one at night and one in the morning. Just because the fish don't die doesn't mean they aren't being harmed.

Prime water conditioner will be a big help to your fish care it helps neutralize some of the toxic effects of the Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Not a replacement for clean safe water. You can read about it on their website.

Here is a link for fish in cycling your tank.

Also there are lots of articles with great info if you go to the Home page.

Fish-in Cycling: Step over into the dark side - Aquarium Advice
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:06 PM   #9
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test your water out of the tap
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:58 PM   #10
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i need help please :( im new to this and getting discouraged.

Oh, and most of all, don't get discouraged. Once the tank has cycled it's all fun from there. Best thing you can do is daily big water changes, use prime to knock out lingering ammonia and nitrites, then test again tomorrow before doing it all again.
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