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Old 04-13-2006, 06:54 AM   #1
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had a major crisis, working on high nitrite level now

To make a long story as short as possible......
Thanks to everyone here I got my 150gal. cycled and runing great. Well this tank was used, and free. 2 weeks ago a seam split on the bottom and I was dealing with a mojor leak.
I drained the tank, threw all the fish in buckets, and checked my options. Everywhere I called said repairing the tank will take a week or 2 and they don't reccomend it. Well I could not afford a new tank that size. I went and got the largest tank I could find which was a 50gal.
So I set up the new tank, got some filter floss from one of the tanks at the LFS and added my fish. First week was ok ammonia stayed in a tolerable range. This week I have been doing 50% water changes every day because the nitrites are hitting between 2-5ppm every 24hrs.
The tank consists of 4 gouramis(3 inch), 5 clown loaches(2 inch), and a sail fin pleco(5 inch). I've been using prime with the water changes, and I'm not over feeding. The fish survived the buckets, and they seem happy in this tank.
How long do you think this nitrite spike will last? I'm fine with doing the 50% daily water changes, I just want an idea of when the level should finally drop.

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Old 04-13-2006, 08:13 AM   #2
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What happened to the filter from the 150? If that tank was cycled, you should have been able to use the 150's filter on the 50 gal tank. Or at least the biomedia from the established filter could have been put in any new filter you bought for the 50 gal tank.

But since you got some filter floss from your LFS, I am going to assume that the established filter and its colonized biomedia were a total loss. Bummer. The ammoia phase would probably last about 2 weeks, and the nitrite phase about the same. So I think you need to plan on large water changes for the next two weeks. Nitrobacter can be even slower growing than Nitrosomonas, so it could even take a little longer. Hopefully not though. You need to seed a tank or filter with huge amounts of colonized biomedia to prevent a new cycle completely,or to shorten the cycle down to just a few days. You could always try BioSpira.

So sorry to hear about the loss of the tank and filter. Every aquarists nightmare, to be sure. Glad you got to save your livestock.

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Old 04-13-2006, 10:13 AM   #3
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usually the nitrite spike phase is longer than ammonia. So I'd agree, 2 weeks, maybe 3, before the nitrites take a nose dive and nitrates show up.

fishy cycling just ain't much fun on a large tank. doable, but I only recommend it on tanks under 30 gallons, and for experienced fish keepers who are comfortable and diligent about the daily 50-70% water changes needed pretty much the entire cycling period.
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:11 PM   #4
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The old filter system was a custom system built into the tank, during the panic, I forgot about the old media and it dried out. I bought the emperor 400 with the dual bio wheel setup for this new tank.
The ammonia spike occoured within the first week. Right now at the end of week 2 the ammona is zero, and the nitrites rise to about 2ppm every 24hrs. Hopefully 1 more week and all will be well.
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