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Old 08-14-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
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New with questions :)

Just wanted to say hello, I am new to being a member (but I've checked out the forums a few times, they have really helped!) I have a 10.5 galon tank with 4 guppies and 3 mystery snails. What brought me to the site in the first place was that I had a tank full of fish, and all of them kept on dying on me... I soon found out that I was misinformed by the pet store that I could add fish right away and was therefor dealing with cycling my tank with the fish in it. I have since made some adjustments, bought a good liquid test kit and have had no more deaths since! I just wonder about my guppies, since I have 2 females and 2 males (had 6 females and 2 males, but the 4 female fish passed before I knew what was wrong with my tank and how to accommodate it) I watch them often and the females stick together and if the males are bothering them they dash away together. I haven't noticed the males be aggressive with the females, and the females have no nipped fins or tails, but I am still a little concerned since the recommended stocking level is 2:1 at least. I would never add anymore fish now that I know my tank is cycling, so I guess there is not much I can do, but I was just wondering.

A few more details :
Ammonia - .25 ppm (it was at 2.0 ppm this morning, so I did a 30% water change)
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Nitrate - 0 ppm (but it's starting to head towards the more orange tinge of 5.0 ppm)
PH - 7.8

I test my water twice a day at least (more often if I notice any strange behaviour) and do water changes as needed to keep the ammonia levels down. Sometimes that means every day, sometimes every other day and each time I change between 10% and 30%. I feed a mixture of frozen blood worms and frozen brine shrimp and whenever I do feelings, I turn the filter and the air stone way down to reduce flow and create less waste.

Anything else you want to know, just ask!

Persephone
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:04 PM   #2
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Hi there

Your WC's are way too frequent for the type of fish you have. A few quick questions:

1. What filtration are you using?
2. How do u treat new water u are adding?
3. What's the pH of water out your tap
4. What media do you have in your filter

Let me know

M
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mastermamo View Post
Hi there

Your WC's are way too frequent for the type of fish you have. A few quick questions:

1. What filtration are you using?
2. How do u treat new water u are adding?
3. What's the pH of water out your tap
4. What media do you have in your filter

Let me know

M
Thank for the quick reply

My filter is an aquaclear 20, I also use an air pump with a small air stone to oxygenate the water
I use nutrafin aqua plus water conditioner to remove the chlorine/chloramine of my tap water
My tap water comes out of the tap at 7.4
The media I have in the filter is a layer of sponge at the bottom, then a layer of activated charcoal and then the bio ax bag that goes on top

I worried that my water changes were far to frequent (I changed the water so often at the suggestion of my husband who is as I experienced as I am, lol, but after doing some research I am realizing that I am stalling the nitrogen cycle by changing the water so often.)
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:12 PM   #4
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Your AquaClear 20 Power Filter came boxed with AquaClear 20 Carbon, AquaClear 20 Foam & AquaClear 20 BioMax if I am correct. Enough to handle your tanks and fishes filtration demands. If u had for instance a 400L tank with a few discus in I would say RUN TO A STORE AND BUY A NEW FILTER NOW😄

Can u describe how you clean your filter and how often.
Cycle is good but you should also be using Prime to treat new water that's going in on WC's
I suggest filling a bucket or 2 depending on the WC amount with water, adding Prime and Cycle and then leaving for 2-3 days with an Airstone in. Before you add this to tank check the pH and bring it up or down to the tanks normal pH. This hardly needs doing though as the waters pH settles well after those days in the bucket.


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In my opinion and from what little u have told me you are doing WC's so frequently you aren't letting your filter build up sufficient good bacteria which brings ammonia levels down.

Basically this is what happens in the filter:

The term nitrification is used to describe the biological activity of bacteria consuming waste products. Ammonia is given off by the fish and food in the aquarium. Ammonia is harmful to tropical fish. In the aquarium filter specialized bacteria consume ammonia as a food source. These bacteria are called nitrosomonas bacteria. They oxidize ammonia and the by product is nitrite, a toxic substance which can harm your fish. However a second type of specialized bacteria consume nitrite. They are called nitrobacter bacteria. The end product is nitrate, not nearly as toxic as nitrite, but does cause developmental problems in fish. Nitrates are removed by water changes. Plants consume nitrates. The efficiency of an aquarium filter is determined by the type filter media provided to colonize these nitrifying bacterial and the flow rate. Any filter used on fish aquarium should provide a suitable media for these bacteria to colonize.

It takes several weeks for these bacteria to multiply and establish a colony in the biological media. There are products on the market to speed up this process of cycling the filter. Most Active bio media should be cleaned only in aquarium water periodically as the chlorine in tap water can kill the bacteria. Cleaning a filter too frequently will disrupt the nitrifying bacteria. In a properly functioning aquarium filter, ammonia and nitrites should not appear in aquarium water testing. Nitrates will appear. This indicates the nitrifying bacteria are doing their job. Some tap water supplies contain nitrates. It is a good idea run a nitrate test on your tap water.

Regular water changes are necessary to remove nitrates and impurities from the aquarium water. High nitrate levels or a falling ph indicate the aquarium is in need of more frequent water changes. With a properly functioning biological filter, the average aquarium will do fine with regular water changes of 20-30%.

I hope this helps you understand more clearly what it is you might be doing incorrectly

M
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermamo View Post
Cycle is good but you should also be using Prime to treat new water that's going in on WC's
I suggest filling a bucket or 2 depending on the WC amount with water, adding Prime and Cycle and then leaving for 2-3 days with an Airstone in. Before you add this to tank check the pH and bring it up or down to the tanks normal pH. This hardly needs doing though as the waters pH settles well after those days in the bucket.

In my opinion and from what little u have told me you are doing WC's so frequently you aren't letting your filter build up sufficient good bacteria which brings ammonia levels down.

M
I disagree with this information. Prime is definitely the brand of conditioner I recommend but any water conditioner will work. Ex: API tap water conditioner. Also, I always tell people not to use those cycling products, as they seem to do more harm than good.
Also there is no reason to leave your water sitting that long before you add it to the tank, I'm confused as to why you do that. All you have to do is dose the correct amount of conditioner to the tank or the new water (depending on if you use buckets or a python and personal preference) and then add the water. Just make sure the temperature matches.

Next, frequent water changes will not stall a cycle unless you are completely removing all ammonia, as that is what the beneficial bacteria, or BB, feed on. In fact, you HAVE to do as many water changes as it takes to keep ammonia no higher than .25 and nitrites no higher than .50 when doing a fish-in cycle. Ammonia and nitrites are both toxic to your fish.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:13 PM   #6
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I disagree with this information. Prime is definitely the brand of conditioner I recommend but any water conditioner will work. Ex: API tap water conditioner. Also, I always tell people not to use those cycling products, as they seem to do more harm than good.
Also there is no reason to leave your water sitting that long before you add it to the tank, I'm confused as to why you do that. All you have to do is dose the correct amount of conditioner to the tank or the new water (depending on if you use buckets or a python and personal preference) and then add the water. Just make sure the temperature matches.

Next, frequent water changes will not stall a cycle unless you are completely removing all ammonia, as that is what the beneficial bacteria, or BB, feed on. In fact, you HAVE to do as many water changes as it takes to keep ammonia no higher than .25 and nitrites no higher than .50 when doing a fish-in cycle. Ammonia and nitrites are both toxic to your fish.
I agree with paytertot, I add prime (but any declorinator will do) directly to my tank and then just add the water directly from the tap into my tank no problems ever, also if you have a 10 gallon Tank and declorinator for 10g not just the water you replacing and you should be fine
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:02 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone for your responses I only use the nutrafin water conditioner because that is what is available to me. My LFS has been out of prime for a while (shipping issues as I'm told) I don't like using cycling products, just based on the research I have done on them in the last few days, it seems the brands that are available to me a not worth it as the beneficial bacteria is probably long dead and therefore more or less a waste of money.

Paytertot - thank you for this information, I am feeling much better about my borderline OCD when it comes to testing my water and doing a change every time my ammonia gets high, hahaha. I caved again today and did a water change because it was testing between 1.0ppm and 2.0 ppm and I was scared for my fishies I got it down to .25 ppm. I would much rather my tank take a long time to cycle than to risk the ammonia getting to high and harming my fish.

Thank you again for all you advice envy one, it is very much appreciated!!

Persephone

Edited to add: I do use the water conditioner for the full 10 gallon rather than just the water I am replacing, glad this is the right thing to do!
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:10 PM   #8
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When I do a PWC, I mix the Prime with tank water in a 16 ounch cup and dribble it in next to the python. Same thing when I add medicine. I don't want any of the fishies getting a big dose.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:32 PM   #9
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Update: it is with a heavy heart that I write this... My last 2 girls passed this evening. May they find peace in the stream under the rainbow bridge

My boys are as happy an lively as ever and my ammonia level is still at .25 ppm (trates and trites are still both at 0)

I hope tears don't mess up my water, cuz I'm sure a few fell in as I was taking out my girls.... Fingers crossed my boys stay strong and make it through this cycle
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by horsedogfish View Post
When I do a PWC, I mix the Prime with tank water in a 16 ounch cup and dribble it in next to the python. Same thing when I add medicine. I don't want any of the fishies getting a big dose.
Thanks for this tidbit, what a great idea, I will try this for sure
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:45 PM   #11
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I agree with paytertot, I add prime (but any declorinator will do) directly to my tank and then just add the water directly from the tap into my tank no problems ever, also if you have a 10 gallon Tank and declorinator for 10g not just the water you replacing and you should be fine
You CANNOT just add new untreated water UNLESS you live in an area with low chloramides and even lower pH. I leave treated water for a few days in their buckets as this helps get rid of unnecessary and harmful trace elements.
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:45 PM   #12
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Update: it is with a heavy heart that I write this... My last 2 girls passed this evening. May they find peace in the stream under the rainbow bridge

My boys are as happy an lively as ever and my ammonia level is still at .25 ppm (trates and trites are still both at 0)

I hope tears don't mess up my water, cuz I'm sure a few fell in as I was taking out my girls.... Fingers crossed my boys stay strong and make it through this cycle
I'm sorry to hear this
I hope you don't lose any more fish
Keeping my fingers crossed

M
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:15 PM   #13
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Thanks mastermamo, I appreciate it. So far so good, my ammonia is at .25 still this morning and my boys are still as silly and happy as ever so I'm hoping this means the worst is behind us
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:16 PM   #14
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You CANNOT just add new untreated water UNLESS you live in an area with low chloramides and even lower pH. I leave treated water for a few days in their buckets as this helps get rid of unnecessary and harmful trace elements.
I use a water treatment (nutrafin water conditioner) to any new water before I add it, no worries there
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:28 PM   #15
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You CANNOT just add new untreated water UNLESS you live in an area with low chloramides and even lower pH. I leave treated water for a few days in their buckets as this helps get rid of unnecessary and harmful trace elements.
Well the water will be treated bc I add prime directly to my tank before adding new water to my tank it doesn't need to sit I have 51 fish in my tank that get a 50% water change ones a week that way including german blue rams, gold rams, khuli loaches, platies, corys, placos and tetras there is no need to let it sit in a bucket you might want to do a little more research
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:37 PM   #16
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Update: it is with a heavy heart that I write this... My last 2 girls passed this evening. May they find peace in the stream under the rainbow bridge

My boys are as happy an lively as ever and my ammonia level is still at .25 ppm (trates and trites are still both at 0)

I hope tears don't mess up my water, cuz I'm sure a few fell in as I was taking out my girls.... Fingers crossed my boys stay strong and make it through this cycle
And sorry to hear this, keep the ammonia down by doing frequent water changes if it has to be everyday and you should be good I cycled with fish too and solong you keep it up with the water changes and check your levels it should get better my cycle lasted for about 2-3 weeks but everyone is different so good luck
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:38 PM   #17
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Well the water will be treated bc I add prime directly to my tank before adding new water to my tank it doesn't need to sit I have 51 fish in my tank that get a 50% water change ones a week that way including german blue rams, gold rams, khuli loaches, platies, corys, placos and tetras there is no need to let it sit in a bucket you might want to do a little more research
Alright, sorry about you fish loss, hmm, that's interesting, I def would not take that chance with my tanks though
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:57 PM   #18
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Alright, sorry about you fish loss, hmm, that's interesting, I def would not take that chance with my tanks though
Yeah I use the python water changer so water is right out of tap I used it on all my tanks and it still takes an hour on my big tank
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:59 PM   #19
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I'm so sorry about your girls. Fish seem to be so fragile. I spend more time measuring, worrying, watching, medicating, cleaning my little fishies than I do brushing my rough (Lassie type) collie or grooming and cleaning up after my horse, and the fishies get sick over nothing and die at the drop of a hat.

I'm so glad you know about the Rainbow Bridge. It would be unbearable otherwise. And one day you will meet them on the other side and you will all recognize each other and be overjoyed.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:25 PM   #20
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I'm so sorry about your girls. Fish seem to be so fragile. I spend more time measuring, worrying, watching, medicating, cleaning my little fishies than I do brushing my rough (Lassie type) collie or grooming and cleaning up after my horse, and the fishies get sick over nothing and die at the drop of a hat.

I'm so glad you know about the Rainbow Bridge. It would be unbearable otherwise. And one day you will meet them on the other side and you will all recognize each other and be overjoyed.
You are so sweet, thank you for this MSG it made me smile to know that I'm not alone with my craziness over my fish
Mt boys are still happy and healthy today so I'm hoping things will get better from here.
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