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Old 08-15-2013, 05:44 PM   #1
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Restarting

Hello, im new to the forums, been active in few other fish keeping forums but heard lots of good things about this particular one, so Iíll settle here for now and give it a try =)

First thing first, Im an amateur in fish keeping and by no means an expert. Im seeking some advice from some of you who been doing this for a very long time, any advice is welcomed. Iím thinking of restarting my tank, I have a 40 gallon long tank, and had it up and running with fish it in for around 3 months now. Lost few fish due to initial ammonia spike, but after 3 months of paying close attention to the water conditions, I have noticed that the Nitrogen cycle never started. My Nitrite and Nitrate still remain at 0, and never spiked up. My Ammonia keeps going up if I donít do PWC, and my pH is slowly dropping. Frist months readings were approx. pH 7, ammonia 2.0 N&N at 0. 3 Months later my readings are pH 6.2, Ammonia 3.0-5.0, Nitrite and Nitrate are still at 0. It seems like the good bacteria does not want to establish inside this tank and the pH is constantly going down no matter what I do. I been very patient for over 3 months now and im at the point where I think my best bet would be to restart it and do FISHLESS cycle this time around and maybe look into different filter types. Im looking for some advice, and what all do I need to do to get my tank restarted and IS it a good decision?

My current stock is very minimal due to the tank not being cycled, I have 3 silver mollies, 2 red mollies, and 2 Japanese Hairy nose Plecoís.

My tank set up: 40 Gallon Long tank, with Single T5 light 18wat, Whisper EX45 filter, heater, 2 air stones.

Thank you
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:50 PM   #2
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Are you using an ammo lock type product or algeacide?
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:50 PM   #3
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And you really should add more filtration and less air
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:54 PM   #4
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If you ph is 6.5 biological activity slows and once you hit 6 it stops altogether. Have you Ph tested your tap water? To do so get a glass of tap water and either aerate it or stir it off and on for 24 hours which allow the water to gas off. Then test and see what the true Ph reading is.

You need to obviously raise your ph which can be done by using crushed coral either in your filter or hanging in a media bag under the outflow. You can also give it a jump start by adding a teaspoon of baking soda, dissolved in tank water, before adding.

If you have fish in the tank you have to do a fish in cycle unless your getting rid of them.

Here's a bunch of good articles to read up on to see what you may want to do.... http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...um-154837.html
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ktomminello View Post
And you really should add more filtration and less air
No im not using any chemicals at all. I keep checking my water levels daily, specifically to keep an eye out on ammonia levels, and then when i do my PWC I add lil of API STRESS COAT for the water conditioning. Other than that, I keep all other chemicals out until my tank cycles.

As far as "less air and more filtration" are you recommending of using single air stone instead of 2? and more filtration, how do you recommend I do that? I am thinking about getting different filter though, not sure if this Whisper EX45 getting the job done well.

thanks for quick reply.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivercats View Post
If you ph is 6.5 biological activity slows and once you hit 6 it stops altogether. Have you Ph tested your tap water? To do so get a glass of tap water and either aerate it or stir it off and on for 24 hours which allow the water to gas off. Then test and see what the true Ph reading is.

You need to obviously raise your ph which can be done by using crushed coral either in your filter or hanging in a media bag under the outflow. You can also give it a jump start by adding a teaspoon of baking soda, dissolved in tank water, before adding.

If you have fish in the tank you have to do a fish in cycle unless your getting rid of them.

Here's a bunch of good articles to read up on to see what you may want to do.... http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...um-154837.html
Yay rivercats to the rescue!
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivercats View Post
If you ph is 6.5 biological activity slows and once you hit 6 it stops altogether. Have you Ph tested your tap water? To do so get a glass of tap water and either aerate it or stir it off and on for 24 hours which allow the water to gas off. Then test and see what the true Ph reading is.

You need to obviously raise your ph which can be done by using crushed coral either in your filter or hanging in a media bag under the outflow. You can also give it a jump start by adding a teaspoon of baking soda, dissolved in tank water, before adding.

If you have fish in the tank you have to do a fish in cycle unless your getting rid of them.

Here's a bunch of good articles to read up on to see what you may want to do.... http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...um-154837.html
I tested my tap water few times, and it reads: pH 7.0, and everything else is at 0.

I read somewhere that if your pH is below certain number, the tank will never cycle, so im not sure if thats my problem atm?

IF I DO restart the tank, I would get rid of all fish and just start over fresh, new set up, new filter possibly, with a different set up, and this time, FISHLESS... just to give it a try.

thanks for the articles, been reading a ton of these for past month or so, now need some serious quick tips on what should i do TO restart the tank.
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iforged View Post

No im not using any chemicals at all. I keep checking my water levels daily, specifically to keep an eye out on ammonia levels, and then when i do my PWC I add lil of API STRESS COAT for the water conditioning. Other than that, I keep all other chemicals out until my tank cycles.

As far as "less air and more filtration" are you recommending of using single air stone instead of 2? and more filtration, how do you recommend I do that? I am thinking about getting different filter though, not sure if this Whisper EX45 getting the job done well.

thanks for quick reply.
I think a single bubble wand in the back along with upping your filtration to at least 3 times more than needed- you can never have enough filtration....

I had no clue about bio stopping below 6 for ph- I've had extreme tanks (betta showcase) with ph below 5 without any problems.... Could blackwater extract help him in acclimation?
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:29 PM   #9
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Low ph can work because remember ammonia is less toxic the lower the ph but a tank can also crash. But if your trying to cycle a tank you have to have a ph of 6.8 as a minimum IMO. Running an airstone or two can also help to raise tank ph. It's also common for ph to fall during a cycle which is why you have to watch ph also. So knowing your ph from the tap is 7 I'd seriously think about adding the crushed coral.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:39 PM   #10
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Thanks Rivercats,
I will purchase and add the crushed coral these weekends.
I've ran the water test after work today, and the pH is around 6.2-6.0 hard to tell. Ammonia showing at 4.0ppm and Nitrite is at 0.

I took some pics of my set up just to share.
Hopefully i can get this figured out very soon.
Thanks for all the help.

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