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Old 05-03-2013, 12:43 PM   #1
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Problems everywhere!

I am new to this website.
I set up a 20 gallon tank about a month ago or more. I have had it for a while but it hasnt been used in years. Cleaned it with just water. Gravel as well. i have well water that had been tested and all levels are fine. I put in a new filter and filled it up. I put in 5 fish. 4 tetras and a bottom feeder. One tetra was sick when purchased and I didn't realize this until it had infected 2 of the others. 3 ended up dying even though I treated for the ick and fin rot. That left me with 2 fish. I then got a water test kit because I didn't want to run into any more problems. My ph is perfect at 7.0. But my ammonia was at 0.05. In the alarm section on an in tank tester. My nitrate and trite were slightly high but nothing toxic. I took a sample of the water to my local pet store where they could help me out. That was a couple days after I had tested myself. I had put nothing in the water. My ammonia trate and trite levels were sky high. I then added aquarium salt at the right dosage and some start Zyme. A few days later they tested the water again. It was still high. Almost higher than the first time. The man had no idea what was going on. The fact that I have only 2 fish and a clean tank considering it hasn't been set up long doesn't explain the ammonia issue. I don't overfeed. The fish seem to be fine. Not stressed and eat well. A week later I added 3 neons. Two died the first night. I immediately thought it was the water. But I have had the remaining one for about 2 weeks now and it is thriving. Maybe I just got two bad fish? I haven't added any more, because I want to make sure everything is perfect. I have been doing small water changes which is what he pet store recommended. They said not to add any medication or ammonia fixers because that might be throwing off the tests which could be why they are reading so high yet my fish are still alive... I am at a loss of what to do and I think the pet store is as well. Please help!
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:54 PM   #2
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to the forum! You've come to the right place!

Tanks need to cycle when they are first set up. Your tank is cycling, all levels will rise fall and then go sky high and fall again, making it very stressful on any fish. On top of that, you added 5 fish together at first, adding more bioload for the beneficial bacteria to try to eat up, making levels go higher.

My signature has a few articles on cycling your tank with fish in following: "Freshwater Newbie? Click this:"

I don't suggest buying anymore fish until you are cycled.

About the sick fish, quarantining the fish before you put it in your main tank has been known to be a good idea. This ensures they are not sick and you can treat them before adding them to the main tank if they are sick.

Though cycling tanks may have caused some stress and then therefore, sickness. Let us know if you need anymore help!
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:58 PM   #3
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Thank you so much for your help! Yes after I started looking into everything I figured my adding 5 right off the bat didn't help the situation. What should I be doing now? I was told to leave it alone, but I'm not sure.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:08 PM   #4
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Click on this link:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...um-154837.html

It will have a thread under it that says: "I just learned about cycling, but I already have fish, what now?". Click that and itll tell you how to maintain your tank until cycles are normal.

Youll be testing your water daily, which are you using strips or liquids? Strips are known to be inaccurate, a API Freshwater Master Test Kit lasts a long time and is the best test kit IME.

Also, depending on levels, youll be changing water out almost daily, by a certain percentage.

Read the link I posted above, and if you have anymore questions, lets u know!! Were here to help!
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:12 PM   #5
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I have used a liquid test for ph. And a strip test for ph,as well as the others. That makes me feel a little better that they might be inaccurate since everything is reading so high. So continue with water changes. Sounds good. I am going to read what you sent right now. Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shope.hannah View Post
Thank you so much for your help! Yes after I started looking into everything I figured my adding 5 right off the bat didn't help the situation. What should I be doing now? I was told to leave it alone, but I'm not sure.
I'd do some significant water changes to keep the amm and trite levels as low as possible during the cycle. Ask your lfs for some filter media from a healthy established tank and add it to your filter. It will speed up your cycle tremendously. Just keep monitoring your parameters to keep your remaining fish safe. Then wait. When you amm and trite's zero out for a few days, then your set. Slowly stock your tank so levels can adjust, and a simple QT tank will be your best investment (I learned the hard way). Keep us posted!

haha posted at the same time SKB. +1 on the link!
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:18 PM   #7
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I read the link and that helped a lot. Thanks so much! I assume the best thing to do now is get one of those liquid tests that you suggested. So that I am not doing unnecessary things by reading a wrong test. I did a water change yesterday about a 25 percent. The water looks much clearer today, and I think the ammonia looks a little better according to my in tank tester. (Alert is green and safe is a yellow) I am more at a yellow green today rather than a solid green which it has been constantly staying at. I will do a small water change today, and hopefully get a liquid tester tomorrow.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:25 PM   #8
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Sounds good. But keep in mind just because your water is clear doesn't mean it's at safe levels.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:27 PM   #9
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Thanks! I figured that, but, at one time the water was so cloudy you couldn't even see through. I heard this was a part of the cycling process, but I didn't see how that could possibly be good! So I'm just glad I can see what's going on in there! I was thinking the cycle might be finishing up by this? I am still going to get the test and do water changes though.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:32 PM   #10
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I'm not sure, how long has ur tank been set up again? Sometimes it can take a month or longer but it depends. When your ammonia and nitrites are at 0, and nitrates are 10-20 u are cycled.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:44 PM   #11
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Ok. My ammonia says its between 0 and 0.05. In the alarm level. That's from the reader on my tank. According to test strips at the pet store. It is much higher. An so is the trite and trate. My tank has been set up for a little over a month.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:45 PM   #12
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Usually the things that hang in ur tank are inaccurate too. For right now id go by what the fish store says. But once u get the API test kit you'll know
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:47 PM   #13
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Ok thank you so much! I will keep posted. Do I keen posting to this one forum to keep updating and for questions or do I post a new forum?
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:52 PM   #14
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You can post on this one
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:58 PM   #15
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Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:02 PM   #16
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Thanks!
No problem!
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:45 PM   #17
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So. I did two water changes since I last posted. Small ones. My ammonia came down on my in tank tester! It is in the safe range now. I noticed one spot of ich on one of my fish that have been there from the start. I put medicine in this morning. They all seem to be doing fine but on all my other tests my trate and trite are off he charts just like always.
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:00 PM   #18
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o. I did two water changes since I last posted. Small ones. My ammonia came down on my in tank tester! It is in the safe range now. I noticed one spot of ich on one of my fish that have been there from the start. I put medicine in this morning. They all seem to be doing fine but on all my other tests my trate and trite are off he charts just like always
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:47 PM   #19
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Also. If it is ich it is worse. There are more in the past hour. And I've treated for 2 days.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:08 PM   #20
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If your concerned that your fish have ich do a search on here to find the best way to treat it. Medicines aren't always the best way
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