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Old 09-20-2020, 08:36 PM   #1
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Substrate change

Evening all, newbie here. So i have a 20gal tank in my daughters room. Il attatch a pic of the current set up but il give a rundown of what i have in it. Currently i have 6 tiger barbs, 3 peppered corys, and 2 neon tetras. Originally i had gravel at the bottom and the corys seemed to have been struggling with it. A couple weeks ago i changed it out for the top fin fine gravel/sand like stuff. The tank was just about cycled when i made the switch. I wanted to wait until it fully cycled but it looked like the corys were really struggling with the bigger gravel as far as eating goes and i didnt wanna make them suffer any longer than needed. Now theyre doing much better and seem much happier being able to sift through the sand and are eating much more. Overall all the fish are fantastic. The tiger barbs are super active, corys do their thing, and the 2 neon tetras showcase themselves like they always have(they were the first ones in the tank after i switched from the 5 gallon we originally had that was just way too small and they looked miserable.) Its actually kinda funny how the tetras run the tank lol Anyway, b4 i changed the substrate my reading were- ammonia .25 nitrite .25 and nitrate 10-20. Since the change, the ammonia sits at about .75, and i have completely lost nitrites and nitrates. Ive been dosing each night with prime and a double dose of stability, but the nitrites and nitrates still sit at 0. Is it common for the tank to recycle? I thought most of the BB was in the filter? Like i said, all the fish seem healthy and happy and arent showing any signs of any kind of stress. Ive been doing about 10-20% water changes every 3 or 4 days to help water down the ammonia but it just seems to all stay steady. Any thoughts or suggestions? TIA
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Old 09-20-2020, 11:50 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BradT80 View Post
Evening all, newbie here. So i have a 20gal tank in my daughters room. Il attatch a pic of the current set up but il give a rundown of what i have in it. Currently i have 6 tiger barbs, 3 peppered corys, and 2 neon tetras. Originally i had gravel at the bottom and the corys seemed to have been struggling with it. A couple weeks ago i changed it out for the top fin fine gravel/sand like stuff. The tank was just about cycled when i made the switch. I wanted to wait until it fully cycled but it looked like the corys were really struggling with the bigger gravel as far as eating goes and i didnt wanna make them suffer any longer than needed. Now theyre doing much better and seem much happier being able to sift through the sand and are eating much more. Overall all the fish are fantastic. The tiger barbs are super active, corys do their thing, and the 2 neon tetras showcase themselves like they always have(they were the first ones in the tank after i switched from the 5 gallon we originally had that was just way too small and they looked miserable.) Its actually kinda funny how the tetras run the tank lol Anyway, b4 i changed the substrate my reading were- ammonia .25 nitrite .25 and nitrate 10-20. Since the change, the ammonia sits at about .75, and i have completely lost nitrites and nitrates. Ive been dosing each night with prime and a double dose of stability, but the nitrites and nitrates still sit at 0. Is it common for the tank to recycle? I thought most of the BB was in the filter? Like i said, all the fish seem healthy and happy and arent showing any signs of any kind of stress. Ive been doing about 10-20% water changes every 3 or 4 days to help water down the ammonia but it just seems to all stay steady. Any thoughts or suggestions? TIA
I suggest feed lightly once a day if feeding multiple times. How long have you had your test kit? Shake the heck out of your Nitrate test bottles if you are using the liquid API test kit. Do you add tap water or prime to the aquarium first during water changes? It's not common for aquariums to recycle. Also bacteria will be on the substrate also so when you removed it you lost beneficial bacteria.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:40 AM   #3
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I have the API freshwater kit and its brand new. I do shake the hell out of the nitrate bottles lol when i do water changes i actually use the API stress coat to treat the water before i put it in. And then will use a half dose of prime for the rest of the tank. Ive cut back on the feeding, i still feed them twice a day to keep them in the routine but ive severely cut back how much i give them at each feeding.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:44 AM   #4
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Great to hear that just give time and hopefully parameters stabilize once cycle is completed.
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