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Old 08-11-2017, 11:55 PM   #1
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New Tank Woes

OK so its been a few years since I've had a tank. I did though remember a few things from when I had one last.
I have a 55 gallon. I cycled it and its been cycled for a few months. Or so I thought? I had fish in my tank for about a month before this current issue. My parameters were 0, 0, 20. My PH 7.4. I have pretty hard water. I currently am using AC110 HOB and a fluval 306 as filters.

A friend of mine had 4 Bolivian Rams that needed a home, or her husband was going to flush them. She doesn't trust Petco or Petsmart to take good care of them, so asked me if I would.
So, I added the 4 to my tank. Unfortunately by doing so I believe I created a mini cycle. Or, crashed my cycle somehow, since I now have ammonia present. No nitrites. And I do have nitrates as well.
I have been adding Stability and dosing with Prime in between water changes but I'm just not seeing anything budge. Its been 2 weeks almost with me fighting this stupid ammonia.

I have zero ammonia, nitrites or nitrates in my tap. I sucked up all the fish poo off the bottom of the tank and did a 30% water change yesterday, and it still shows .5 ammonia. I had thought it might have been from me feeding daily as I do have some heavy poopers in my tank, but even with getting all the poo up, and me changing to feeding them every other day, its still registering the same.

I will continue to do what I need to do to fix this, but I just dont know how long this will go on??? Should I keep adding stability?
I even added Tetra Safe Start a few times (its worked for me before) and still nothing (yes I did wait 24 hours to add TSS after dosing Prime). Will my bacteria eventually catch up?
My parameters are .5, 0, 10. PH is still the same.

I do have some live plants that I added after I noticed the ammonia. Hornwort, Amazon Sword, Anubias Nana Petite, Marimo Moss Ball, and Corkscrew Val. Even with adding these (nothing dead or rotting, and even so I added these after I noticed the ammonia) I see no change.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:34 AM   #2
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I have read the Prime converts ammonia to something (can't remember) to make it fish safe. But it will still show up on water tests. Sounds like you are doing most of the right stuff. Anyone missing in the tank contributing to the ammonia? I suggest 50% water changes to get the ammonia down.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:10 AM   #3
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Sarah bear, it sounds like you are doing everything right. Your filtration is great and tank maintenance is spot on. I doubt that the addition of Bolivian rams caused a complete cycle crash. I run 2 A.C. 110's on my display tank. Once I made the mistake of cleaning both during a routine WC. That sparked a mini cycle. That tank is an over crowded cichlid tank. I corrected the problem by 25% WC' s every other day for a week. No chemicals other than basic "start right" dechlorinizer. I 'm all for the new generation of water chemical advancements, but I've never used them to cycle tanks. If what you're using is neutralizing or altering the ammonia that might be slowing down the process. After all the beneficial bacteria require a little ammonia in order to grow. Bolivian rams aren't known for surviving bad water conditions. Yours have. Likely things not that bad. Might try less chemicals and rely more on the WC'S and new plants. Good luck.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:26 PM   #4
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Sarah bear, it sounds like you are doing everything right. Your filtration is great and tank maintenance is spot on. I doubt that the addition of Bolivian rams caused a complete cycle crash. I run 2 A.C. 110's on my display tank. Once I made the mistake of cleaning both during a routine WC. That sparked a mini cycle. That tank is an over crowded cichlid tank. I corrected the problem by 25% WC' s every other day for a week. No chemicals other than basic "start right" dechlorinizer. I 'm all for the new generation of water chemical advancements, but I've never used them to cycle tanks. If what you're using is neutralizing or altering the ammonia that might be slowing down the process. After all the beneficial bacteria require a little ammonia in order to grow. Bolivian rams aren't known for surviving bad water conditions. Yours have. Likely things not that bad. Might try less chemicals and rely more on the WC'S and new plants. Good luck.
Thank you
Do you think I should hold off on the stability and just continue water changes and prime? I dont want anything to stall. It seems this time around with this tank its been more difficult getting things in gear and working right.
All my fish, Bolivians included, seem healthy, and appetites are great.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:30 PM   #5
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I have read the Prime converts ammonia to something (can't remember) to make it fish safe. But it will still show up on water tests. Sounds like you are doing most of the right stuff. Anyone missing in the tank contributing to the ammonia? I suggest 50% water changes to get the ammonia down.
No missing fish. I actually re-homed two of my gourami, as they are heavy poopers, and I figured cutting down on fish that poo a lot would help things. Although per husband im not allowed to get rid of our BN pleco. He's off limits lol
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:00 PM   #6
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I think the WC's and prime is a good plan. Downsizing the population is also good as long as you keep the good ones. I like my BN Pleco too. I don't rely on water testing, never have. Just watch your fish. If they become lathargic, hanging near the bottom of the tank, likely the start of a cycle spike. If the fish swim somewhat stationary facing the filters water flow, or gasping at the surface, total cycle collapse. As long as you are keeping with your weekly tank maintenence, cycle problems won't occur very often. It's very likely that your tank is going to be okay.
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