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Old 08-07-2013, 06:16 PM   #21
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Ok. It sounds like when you added all those fish 2 weeks ago, your BB from cycling was not strong enough to keep up witgh all the new bio-load, and you are going through a mini cycle.
First and most important, you need to get those ammonia and nitrite numbers down to below .50. I would do a couple back to back 50% water changes asap. What that means is do a 50% water change (use prime, I think its 1ml per 10gal, so use 2ml with EVERY water change, even when you only change 50% of the water, as Prime will help keep the high ammonia levels at a less toxic lever for the fish), and then wait 1-2 hours, and do another 50% water change. Wait the couple hours to give the filter a chance to turn over all the water and mix the old with new water. Test again about an hour after the 2nd water change, and see where your ammonia and nitrite levels are at. They need to stay under .50ppm or they can be toxic to the fish. You will need to test every day for the next little while until those levels decrease, and keep up with daily water changes, sometimes 2, depending on those numbers.
As far as nitrates go..........40ppm is fairly high, especially for tap water, but that is much less of a concern right now than the ammonia and nitrites. WHen you test for nitrates, make sure to follow the directions and shake those bottles and tube well. If your arm doesnt hurt, you probably didnt shake it well enough. If the reading are still that high, you might want to consider cutting the tap water with RO water, or even distilled. Ideally you want to keep your nitrates around 20ppm or lower, but again, the bigger concern right now is with the ammonia and nitrites.

Check out this link for more details on "fish-in cycling", which is basically what you are going through right now.
I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice

Best of luck! It might seem stressful right now, but keep up on the water changes, and things will balance out pretty soon and you will be able to relax and enjoy those fish
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:19 PM   #22
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Proper Aquarium Water Quality: What is Reverse Osmosis Water? Basic FAQ's

You can go to most LFS & they will have RO water. Over here it's $2.50 for 5gal water. With the unit you can make it anytime you want & what mant in the saltwater folks have. The problem is that you will have no kH and gH & no ions of anything- no nothing. So you might do a 50/50 mix but you need to let someone else come in that has high nitrate and see how they handle this
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:22 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedikeens11 View Post
Alright I will def do a 50% wc tonight. What is a RO? And if I purchase water...what would be my best bet?
RO water is reverse osmosis water. Most people with Salt Water tanks use it, as the fish are much more sensetive to things in tap water. It is water that has gone through a process to remove all the chemicals, metals and other stuff in it. The downside to it is, if you use only RO water, you have to add those needed nutrients and things freshwater fish DO need to it. A lot of people will use half RO water, and half tap water (with conditioner, or course ) to get the numbers they are looking for.

Your fish will likely adapt to the higher nitrate levels in your tap water, and if you keep up with consistent weekly water changes and clean your filter regularly, there will probalby never be a need for you to have to use anything other than your conditioned tap water.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:43 PM   #24
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Ok everyone thank you so much for the help. I've done 2 50% wc and my levels are now PH 7.4, Ammonia 1.0ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, and Nitrtate, 20ppm. All levels were taken an hour after wc.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:44 PM   #25
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Double check you nitrate reading on your tap water to verify it is indeed 40ppm. The reason I say this is because you said your tank has always had readings of 10ppm to 40ppm nitrates. If your tap water had 40ppm of nitrates your tank level would never be below that. Which is why I want you to recheck your tap nitrate reading.

If your sure the tap water is 40ppm nitrates then you really need to go to using 50% tap water and 50% RO water during WC's. You need to do a weekly WC of 50%, which would be 10 gallons. You need to replace that water with 5 gallons of RO water and 5 gallons of tap water. This will give you a reading of 20ppm nitrates during your WC instead of the 40ppm of nitrates your normally adding.

Also if you would add a couple nitrate loving plants such as water sprite or wisteria to the tank these plants will help lower nitrates because they use them.

Your ammonia level at 1ppm is still way too high. Do another WC or two as it needs to be .25ppm or lower. If your ammonia or nitrite go above .25ppm then you have to do a WC or two in order to lower the numbers to .25ppm or lower.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:02 PM   #26
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Any updates on your aquarium...... Double check your tap water like Rivercat advised.
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:11 PM   #27
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Sorry for not replying sooner...been busy with work....my levels are PH 7.4, Ammonia .25ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, and Nitrtate, 20ppm. This is good?
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:16 PM   #28
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Yes that is good but be sure to monitor your levels daily and keep ammonia and nitrites down to .25 or lower. Do WC's as needed to attain those levels. Then once cycled and fish are added be sure to keep nitrates down to 20ppm or lower.
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:31 PM   #29
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Ok so what should my levels be for a healthy tank?
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:38 PM   #30
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It depends on what you stock. For livebearers or African cichlids you'd want a higher ph/kh/gh. For planted tanks a kh and gh of 4 is good. Figure out what you want, do some research and make a decision based on your research.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:12 PM   #31
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Lol all I have are some guppies, sone mollies, and cory catfish. What kid of low maintenance plants should I look into?
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:22 PM   #32
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It depends on what lighting your have and type of bulbs as lighting determines the type of plants you can grow.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:30 PM   #33
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Oh boy wrll I went to petco and bought a lid with a light...thru the packaging away so I'm not sure...prob just the basic one?
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:06 PM   #34
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It's probably a stock light which means really low light. Try anubias, java ferns, bolbitus, crypts, and "maybe" Jungle val. Water sprite can grow in some pretty dim light also.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:20 PM   #35
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Alright thank u!!!
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:28 PM   #36
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Just a heads up if you do get plants make sure you treat your water plants for snail. If you see one, it wont be longer before they take over. Unless you want them..

When I did the fishless cycled, I had some water plants myself. A snail was in one of them or their eggs on the plants. Well, after 2month they were all over the 130g tank & must have been over 100+ in there. When I finally added the Africa cichlids I didnt see snails the next day. There are a few in the sump and in the filter sock when i clean it. The cichlids had a feast the first they in the tank it was nice looking at them shifting through the sand eating them....
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