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Old 12-12-2009, 09:52 AM   #1
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We have a 55 gallon freshwater tank. Currently stocked with 4 tiger barbs, 4 neon tetras and 2 red swordtails. Our tank has been running for approximately two months. We are also using a stone aerator in the tank and the filter has a biological wheel filter attached. In the beginning we had two cat fish, 5 tiger barbs and 2 angel fish. Our newbie error was stocking the tank with too many fish too soon. The only fish that survived were 4 of the tigers. We believe it was the high ammonia levels that did the damage. We have done many water changes and have added Ammo lok to decrease the ammonia. Seems like no matter how many water changes we do (we do condition the water before it is added), we cannot get the ammonia level to 0. We feed them flake food twice per day. Morning and night. They eat everything we feed them in less than two minutes. I would think that the biological filter would have come around by now, but the ammonia level continues to read 4.0. The tank is crystal clear. All of the fish appear to be healthy with the exception of the tiger barbs color fading, but it comes back in a day or two. What could we be doing wrong? Any suggestions?
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:34 AM   #2
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We have a 55 gallon freshwater tank. Currently stocked with 4 tiger barbs, 4 neon tetras and 2 red swordtails. Our tank has been running for approximately two months. We are also using a stone aerator in the tank and the filter has a biological wheel filter attached. In the beginning we had two cat fish, 5 tiger barbs and 2 angel fish. Our newbie error was stocking the tank with too many fish too soon. The only fish that survived were 4 of the tigers. We believe it was the high ammonia levels that did the damage. We have done many water changes and have added Ammo lok to decrease the ammonia. Seems like no matter how many water changes we do (we do condition the water before it is added), we cannot get the ammonia level to 0. We feed them flake food twice per day. Morning and night. They eat everything we feed them in less than two minutes. I would think that the biological filter would have come around by now, but the ammonia level continues to read 4.0. The tank is crystal clear. All of the fish appear to be healthy with the exception of the tiger barbs color fading, but it comes back in a day or two. What could we be doing wrong? Any suggestions?
Weird, you would think the tank would be cycled after 2 months. Have you tested the tap water that you are using? It may contain a very low level of ammonia in it. Are you doing anything to maybe kill the beneficial bacteria like cleaning the filters too often or not using tank water to clean them? How big are the water changes you are doing? Maybe try another type of dechlorinator.
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:23 AM   #3
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Thanks for responding. We have tested the tap water and it was 0. We never clean the wheel filter, but have rinsed the carbon filter with tap water when it turns a greenish brown. When the ammonia levels were at their highest (8.0) and killing our fish, we did a 50% water change daily for a week. Now we do a 25% change weekly because the ammonia level is still at 4.0. We have tried two different kinds of ammonia remover. Ammo Lok and AmQuel plus. All other tests that we have done are within range, however the ph was a bit low and we have increased that to within a normal range. Just can't seem to get it right. Since products such as ammo lok are supposed to turn ammonia to a non toxic form, could the ammonia test still be picking this up as a high level?
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:46 PM   #4
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As long as you are dechlorinating the water before the water changes it seems you are doing everything right. The daily 50% water changes could of slowed down the cycle but you kind of had to do that to get the ammonia down. For now I would stop feeding the fish for a few days and see if the ammonia starts to drop.

Did you get a nitrite spike at all in the 2 months?
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:58 PM   #5
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Would they be ok if I don't feed them? If it I don't feed them for a few days and the ammonia drops what would that mean? Should I be feeding them something other than tropical fish flake food?
There was never a spike in nitrite. I assume that if that went up then it would mean that the cycle is working, correct?
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:18 PM   #6
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Would they be ok if I don't feed them? If it I don't feed them for a few days and the ammonia drops what would that mean? Should I be feeding them something other than tropical fish flake food?
There was never a spike in nitrite. I assume that if that went up then it would mean that the cycle is working, correct?
They will be fine without food for a few days. If the ammonia does start to drop than thats a good sign. If your ammonia is still at 4.0 I would do another water change. Thats pretty high. Ammonia can do damage to fish at a level of .01 so you want to get that down.
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:26 PM   #7
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Would they be ok if I don't feed them? If it I don't feed them for a few days and the ammonia drops what would that mean? Should I be feeding them something other than tropical fish flake food?
There was never a spike in nitrite. I assume that if that went up then it would mean that the cycle is working, correct?
That's right.
Feed them once in two days. Do water changes twice a week.
Good luck!
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:25 PM   #8
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if it drops if you dont feed them that makes me think maybe youre feeding too much...
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:33 PM   #9
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I will try that and see what happens. Also, should we be putting salt in a freshwater tank? I have heard that it helps prevent diseases.
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:39 PM   #10
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its good for treating ich, and maybe a few other diseases, thats about it... no reason at all otherwise
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