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Old 10-27-2009, 06:33 PM   #1
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Cycling problem?

I got my first fish tank about 2 months ago, got it set up and added 4 fish, I got 2 zebra danio and 2 black skirt tetras.
A little about my tank, It is a 29 gallon, I have the eclipse 3 hood, a UGF.
Now my problem, I have had this tank set up with fish for about 6 weeks(had it run for a few days with no fish to make sure it functioned properly)
I did regular water changes 3 times a week of 2-3 gallons each time(roughly 10%) The only chemical I have put into my tank is Stress Coat

I had my LFS test my water recently, they said I was fine to add a few more fish(as well as petco and petsmart all said that) So I added 3 neon tetras. Everything was all fine and dandy until I came home from work 1 day after adding my new fish, and found 1 dead, I didn't think much of it at the time. At this time, i got the API fresh water master test kit, tested my tank for ammonia, no2, and no3. here is what i got
Ammonia: roughly 1.5ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm
PH: Roughly 8

I was expecting a little ammonia since well, i added some more fish. I waited a few more days to see if it would go down, retested it and got the same numbers. Scared i did a 30% water change to keep my other neons alive. The next day one more died, leaving me with one. (the water change did drop my ammonia down to about .9-1 ppm)

A week later(today) I tested my water again
Ammonia: 1.5ppm
Nitrite:0ppm
Nitrate:5ppm
PH: Roughly 8.

Is my tank cycling again? Did I not do something I should, Did i do something I shouldn't have?
I still have my one neon tetra alive(he seems to be doing fine, he just hides since he has no friends(when they were all in there, they swam around the tank) My other fish all seem happy, I Feed them once a day about 2 flakes a piece to not overwhelm my bio filter.

After seeing my results it got my wondering if my tap water was the culpret testing that i found
Ammonia:0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:0
PH: Roughly 8.

Was my tank almost cycled and by adding fish to soon I made it recycle? If so shouldn't I have some Nitrite by now? and why do i still have Nitrate then? I do have algea growing(green and brown) in my tank. I'm at a loss and don't trust any of the fish stores around here because they are all saying different things, and don't seem positive in what they are saying.

What should I do to prevent any further fish loss(Yes I will say I should have gone the fish less cycle!)
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:50 PM   #2
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do 50% water changes as often as you need to to keep the ammonia down to .5 or less... also watch nitrItes and keep them below .5 also... more than likely, your tank wasnt completely cycled when you added the fish, and the extra bioload, though low, caused the tank to go through a mini cycle or something of the like... i would also recommend prime as the conditioner, as it binds ammonia and nitrite and will make them less toxic to the fish...
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:02 PM   #3
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Thanks mfdrookie, I will do that. Should I bother cleaning part of my gravel at this time then? or let it be until my tank is cycled and operating normally again?
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:03 PM   #4
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no, forgot to mention that... unless you have alot of waste on the gravel, dont gravel vac...
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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I don't really think there is, I have done part of my tank with gravel vac, and didn't get much out of it. However if there is a lot of waste doesn't that contribute to the ammonia which could be causing my tank to keep going up in ammonia? I have done a 30-40% change and after doing so had a .25ppm ammonia, not adding any fish, feeding them or anything it climbed back to 1ppm the next day.
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:47 PM   #6
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You can just feed your fish every other day too until you get that ammonia down, since old food creates ammonia. Every time my ammonia went up past .25, I did a 50%-70% pwc. Also, now in between water changes, I bought a turkey baster to take out to poo that I can see.
I also got some fish from PetSmart and within 2 days 3 of them had died. The other 4 are just fine. I don't know if they were already sick, or the trip home just stressed them too much! Good luck with your tank and fish!
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:13 PM   #7
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One last question, How long does a mini cycle normally last? when do you think I can expect to see my ammonia levels drop and my nitrite levels rise? will it go faster since all but one of my fish have died?
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:27 PM   #8
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This morning when I work up, my last neon was dead leaving me with the 2 zebra danio and 2 black skirt(widow) tetras. I did a pwc last night and had the ammonia at .25-.5, this morning it was back up to 1ppm already. Still testing nitrite which remains 0 and had 5ppm of nitrate. Is it normal for my ammonia to be climbing this fast?
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:46 PM   #9
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Yes. Sounds normal. PWC PWC PWC. It will eventually stabilize. Neons are extremely sensitive fish when it comes to ammonia. You really gotta keep it below .25 to keep them healthy. Your other fish are much hardier breeds so they have survived the high ammonia.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:54 PM   #10
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yeah, I think i just added to many neons at one time for my bio filter. Since they are all gone, I was told by many people that neons and my other fish get along, however I just read on www.aqadvisor.com that they do not for the black skirt tetras are to agressive to be with them. What do you guys think(i really wanted neons but will not get them if they won't go together well) When I had them in my tank, believe it or not, the zebra danios were the ones picking on them if i had to say anything(that was right away then they stopped)
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