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Old 10-11-2013, 10:19 AM   #21
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Hi. Sorry to go back to the beginning but from reading your original couple of posts it sounds like you thought that all of you filter cartridges were carbon, and you said that you changed all of your carbon filters every month......... If I am reading that right then you have been changing all of your filter media out every month. This will be the reason that your filters have not cycled fully. It's not an error on your part. The filter manufacturers all say to change filter media about once a month. If they have carbon in them then the carbon filter does need changing once a month or so to keep it working properly, otherwise it stops being effective. Sponge filter media however does not need changing out unless it is physically falling apart. If your filters only have one type that has floss with carbon attached then I would personally recommend you change out for a different sponge or floss only, otherwise every time you change the filter pads out your tank will be going through a new cycle, and by the time the bacteria has started to build up you will be changing the pads again.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:02 AM   #22
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Hi. Sorry to go back to the beginning but from reading your original couple of posts it sounds like you thought that all of you filter cartridges were carbon, and you said that you changed all of your carbon filters every month......... If I am reading that right then you have been changing all of your filter media out every month. This will be the reason that your filters have not cycled fully. It's not an error on your part. The filter manufacturers all say to change filter media about once a month. If they have carbon in them then the carbon filter does need changing once a month or so to keep it working properly, otherwise it stops being effective. Sponge filter media however does not need changing out unless it is physically falling apart. If your filters only have one type that has floss with carbon attached then I would personally recommend you change out for a different sponge or floss only, otherwise every time you change the filter pads out your tank will be going through a new cycle, and by the time the bacteria has started to build up you will be changing the pads again.
This is exactly right. This is the major issue with these filters. The carbon inserts need to be replaced quite often. The amount of carbon in them is minuscule and the pad is so thin it rapidly collects gunk and needs to be dealt with. Once that is removed, basically over half of your BB is gone depending on your substrate and decor. Therefore your initiating a new cycle. Here is how I modified my aqueon as mentioned earlier
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:28 AM   #23
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Great looking set up B.

When I tried the loose batting like that I noticed it liked to work its way loose and get into my tank. Which is why I prefer either the quilt batting or a sponge/floss designed for a filter. Have you had this issue?
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:54 AM   #24
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Great looking set up B.

When I tried the loose batting like that I noticed it liked to work its way loose and get into my tank. Which is why I prefer either the quilt batting or a sponge/floss designed for a filter. Have you had this issue?
No I have not. I stuff it in while the filter is running so it soaks up and I wedge it in. The addition of the sponge and ceramic media keeps the pressure going up pretty mellow so it doesn't push out the poly. As I've stated it's working great!
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:13 PM   #25
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Guys I think you are confusing the heck out of this guy...
Youre doing a good job at it too in suggesting to dose prime every 24hrs to eliminate ammonia and nitrites. Saying that his beta and pleco will 'survive the ammonia and nitrite'.
You can survive anything from a car accident to a brain hemorrhage but what and how its going to effect you on the otherside you dont know.

Adding prime in your case because you have ammonia in your tap water is a great idea when doing a water changes, Adding prime everyday for 5-6weeks or more without changing water is going to have negative effects. Its a nightmare of mine even thinking about adding chemicals to my tank daily! Neutralizing ammos with prime isnt suitable or a sustainable solution when clean ammonia free water is availiable. yes it works for drastic moments but shouldnt be the base of a fishin cycle. When it comes back 24hrs later its going to have grown. Change your water and then add prime definitely by all means it will help. I personally wouldnt recommend the OP to dose daily prime to keep ontop of ammonia during the cycle instead of changing out water and adding new clean water.

The only 100% fair way is to fishless cycle, period.
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:21 PM   #26
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Youre doing a good job at it too. dosing prime every 24hrs to eliminate ammonia and nitrites. Saying that his beta and pleco will 'survive the ammonia and nitrite'.
You can survive anything from a car accident to a brain hemorrhage but what and how its going to effect you on the otherside you dont know.

Adding prime in your case because you have ammonia in your tap water is a great idea when doing a water changes, Adding prime everyday for 5-6weeks or more without changing water is going to have negative effects. Its a nightmare of mine even thinking about adding chemicals to my tank daily! Neutralizing ammos with prime isnt suitable or a sustainable solution when clean ammonia free water is availiable. yes it works for drastic moments but shouldnt be the base of a fishin cycle. When it comes back 24hrs later its going to have grown. Change your water and then add prime definitely by all means it will help. I personally wouldnt recommend the OP to dose daily prime to keep ontop of ammonia during the cycle instead of changing out water and adding new clean water.

The only 100% fair way is to fishless cycle, period.
Thanks, I didn't want to be the one to react there lol prime doesn't get rid of nitrogen waste, just detoxifies it. It can only be eliminated by complete removal. You can successfully cycle with fish without letting levels go out of wack with the help of seeded material and daily WC's. But avoiding fish in cycle is a smarter decision.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:06 PM   #27
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Thanks everyone for all the feedback. Yes, after reading all of this I was definitely just replacing my filter floss every month or so and throwing out the carbon and (unknowingly) all of my bb. I'm going to go get a sponge and put it in my small filter this weekend, but did you say that my biowheel will collect the bb in my 40 gal tank?
In reference to adding prime every day, I am not comfortable with that. I don't want to use chemicals to fix the problem. I have been doing daily water changes and using a water conditioner. I do want to have some prime on hand though, so I might buy some. I just won't use it to be my only solution to my ammonia issue. I really appreciate all the help guys, and I am planning on moving my pleco to the 40 gallon tank very soon. He is only about 2-3 inches long right now so he doesn't look to big for the tank but he makes so much waste I am ready to have him in the bigger tank lol
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:48 PM   #28
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Great! I'm so glad you're taking proper steps to fix your ammonia issues. The bio-wheel WILL hold your bacteria, but replacing the carbon cartridge in it would help as well.

Do you know what type of pleco you have? If its a common it will out grow the 40 before too much longer. However there are tons of suitably sized plecos available.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:02 PM   #29
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Great! I'm so glad you're taking proper steps to fix your ammonia issues. The bio-wheel WILL hold your bacteria, but replacing the carbon cartridge in it would help as well.

Do you know what type of pleco you have? If its a common it will out grow the 40 before too much longer. However there are tons of suitably sized plecos available.
I honestly don't know what kind of pleco he is, I've been trying to figure that out for a while. I'll try to upload some pictures. We've had him for around 8 months, maybe longer but I'm really bad at remembering time lol
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:09 PM   #30
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I know that feeling. If you upload a pic, I would recommend starting a thread just for getting it id'ed. I would hard for it to get buried in this thread. Plus, I'm not great at pleco id's.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:13 PM   #31
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Just a quick comment, a pic would be great. Without seeing a picture 8months is long enough for common to reach WELL over 3inchs, i guess it would depend on food, water quality and the tank space availability but my instinct tells me its a different species and not a common pleco.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:49 PM   #32
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Just a quick comment, a pic would be great. Without seeing a picture 8months is long enough for common to reach WELL over 3inchs, i guess it would depend on food, water quality and the tank space availability but my instinct tells me its a different species and not a common pleco.
I've done some research and I think I have a female bristlenose pleco. She only has two little "bristles" on the top of her head which I think means she's a girl because males usually have more bristles...is this right? I'm having trouble uploading a picture but I attached a picture of someone else's that looks just like mine.
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:04 PM   #33
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I would just like to say that overfeeding and decaying matter also adds ammonia. You can try feeding your fish every other day. But test kit is a must. My petco here uses strips, the manager was telling me my readings and said I had a lot of nitrates. I checked with my liquid, and it was at 10ppm not 30ppm like she said.
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:06 AM   #34
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Youre doing a good job at it too in suggesting to dose prime every 24hrs to eliminate ammonia and nitrites. Saying that his beta and pleco will 'survive the ammonia and nitrite'.
You can survive anything from a car accident to a brain hemorrhage but what and how its going to effect you on the otherside you dont know.

Adding prime in your case because you have ammonia in your tap water is a great idea when doing a water changes, Adding prime everyday for 5-6weeks or more without changing water is going to have negative effects. Its a nightmare of mine even thinking about adding chemicals to my tank daily! Neutralizing ammos with prime isnt suitable or a sustainable solution when clean ammonia free water is availiable. yes it works for drastic moments but shouldnt be the base of a fishin cycle. When it comes back 24hrs later its going to have grown. Change your water and then add prime definitely by all means it will help. I personally wouldnt recommend the OP to dose daily prime to keep ontop of ammonia during the cycle instead of changing out water and adding new clean water.

The only 100% fair way is to fishless cycle, period.
How am I confusing him

Prime turns ammonia into ammonium which isn't harmfull to fish.... Plain and simple, the reason I dont do a water change in my tank if its cycling like my 27g has been for a few weeks is because I cant get the ammonia down past 2ppm because my water has it... So its a waste of time and a waste of water actually to constantly change it when all im doing is taking ammonia out and substituting it for ammonium AND using prime... when I could just does prime and get the same affect. Do you understand what im talking about ????

Maybe in his case if he had no ammonia in his water he could do water changes but for me its pointless... Even if he changed 50% of his water hell still have ammona in the tank hense dosing prime in the tank daily until its gone will help save his angel fish... I have had 30 fish in my 27g cycling with 4ppm of ammonia neons, small tetra's and rainbows and I haven't changed my water in over a week now... my ammonia is all ammonium right now that's why none have died and none have red gills... Im not saying water changes are bad... but in my case its pointless to do it every day... because literally a few hours later my ammonia levels will be right back to where they were... And fyi my tank is cycling because I removed my rocks and UGF for floramax rocks before someone tries to go on at me for cycling without fish..


To the Op.....


That pleco is WAYYYYY to big for that 5 gallon... he needs to go into the 40g... that's cruel he cant even move around really... and that's why you have ammonia so high in that tank.. the bio filter cant handle it... take him out and move him please..
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:20 AM   #35
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How am I confusing him

Prime turns ammonia into ammonium which isn't harmfull to fish.... Plain and simple, the reason I dont do a water change in my tank if its cycling like my 27g has been for a few weeks is because I cant get the ammonia down past 2ppm because my water has it... So its a waste of time and a waste of water actually to constantly change it when all im doing is taking ammonia out and substituting it for ammonium AND using prime... when I could just does prime and get the same affect. Do you understand what im talking about ????

Maybe in his case if he had no ammonia in his water he could do water changes but for me its pointless... Even if he changed 50% of his water hell still have ammona in the tank hense dosing prime in the tank daily until its gone will help save his angel fish... I have had 30 fish in my 27g cycling with 4ppm of ammonia neons, small tetra's and rainbows and I haven't changed my water in over a week now... my ammonia is all ammonium right now that's why none have died and none have red gills... Im not saying water changes are bad... but in my case its pointless to do it every day... because literally a few hours later my ammonia levels will be right back to where they were... And fyi my tank is cycling because I removed my rocks and UGF for floramax rocks before someone tries to go on at me for cycling without fish..


To the Op.....


That pleco is WAYYYYY to big for that 5 gallon... he needs to go into the 40g... that's cruel he cant even move around really... and that's why you have ammonia so high in that tank.. the bio filter cant handle it... take him out and move him please..
Please stop telling people that it's okay to stop doing water changes in a cycling tank. That's 100% untrue. Sure, the prime will detoxify the ammonia. But what happens when that ammonia is being converted into nitrite which is only detoxified for 24 - 48 hours? Obscenely high levels of nitrite killing all the fish if enough of it unbinds with the prime? It may be YOUR practice but don't push it on people that don't know better.

To the OP:

Agreed with a lot of the other points. Stop changing out the filter pads and you can completely ignore the carbon. Also, if you are having a reading above .25ppm of ammonia then you need to start doing 50% water changes to get that down to safe levels. Keep in mind, if you have 1ppm ammonia you need to do 2 50% water changes with 1 hour in between them. If you have 2ppm you need to do 3 of them to get it down to .25ppm

The pleco needs to go in the 40g. He is the big reason for high ammonia in the 5.5g after he is out things should calm down in there. Another thing to do is to reduce the amount you are feeding. It will put less ammonia in the tank and make your life eaasier. Keep in mind that a fish's stomach is about as big as their eye. They don't need much food at all

Good tank cleaning practices also help keep ammonia levels down. Keep the substrate well vacuumed and that should help as well.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:54 AM   #36
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To echo what Mebbid is saying about feeding: that's one of the easiest ways to improve water quality. Fish can go for many days without food. They are not like humans who need to eat all the time simply to have fuel to keep our bodies warmed.

Of all the many things to worry about, starving fish is the least likely.
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