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Old 11-18-2011, 07:17 AM   #1
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Cycling question - really need help!

Hi, I'd really appreciate some insight into the following:
60L tank, marina slimline S15 filter, 3 weeks into fish-in cycle (would not have done this if had not had bad advice from petsmart and Nutrafin, which led me to believe it was good to go 5 days after set-up)
However, a week ago a platy developed a tumour like growth and died last night. A week ago my ammonia and nitrite levels were high (1.2 and 0.2 respectively, with pH of 7.5)
Commenced daily PWC (50% initially then 30% daily). Ammonia and nitrite levels didn't change very much, certainly not as much as the PWC should have effected.
Yesterday I was away for the day and didn't do a PWC, levels late last night after platy demise were pH 7.6, ammo 0.5, nitrites 0.5, nitrates 0 (have been zero all along) using API master testing kit as advised on here.
One neon tetra now has swollen belly a la dropsy but is swimming and eating fine.
All other fish fine.
Water looking a bit cloudy today.
If I keep doing daily PWCs, how will it cycle fully?
Levels this morning the same as last night.
2 days ago I added API ammo lock to detoxify the ammonia.
Please would someone give me an idiots guide to what to do next? I'm frankly baffled now.
Thanks very much
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:10 AM   #2
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Have you tested your tap as well for amm/nitrites/nitrates? What are you using as a water conditioner for pwcs? What is your tank stocked with? You presently workng on cycling-you have amm & nitrites present & you will need to do daily pwcs to keep these levels close to zero. I would do a 50%pwc right now to get theses numbers down. Fish-in cycling can take anywhere from 6-8wks (and possibiliy longer) and you will have to be viligant on your pwcs to keep your amm & nitrite levels under control. This may take daily or even twice daily pwcs along with a close eye on your water parameters. Make sure you are matching the temperature & dosing a good water condit (prime or amquel plus) to the size of your tank when you do pwcs. Im sure someone will post links shortly to fish-in cycling to further help you! Please ask if you are unsure about anything!!
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:22 AM   #3
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Thanks for this - tap water has ammonia level of 0.25.
Using prime conditioner, I'm adding this per dose to each bucket of new water, is this right? Temp stable at 24C and new water is always at this before adding.
Current stock is 2 mollies, 4 guppies, 6 neon tetras, 1 platy and 2 small clown loaches. The shop told me this was fine and a 'nice mix', but subsequent research has me thinking it's a bit over stocked and they certainly shouldn't have been added at the same time
Will the daily pwc's still allow cycling to progress? Is it more about the filter and substrate cycling BB than the actual water then?
I feel such a doofus now
Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:36 PM   #4
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Im not a tropical person but im sure someone will be able to tell you more about your stocking situation! Im sorry you got bad advice from your lfs, but you will find this site very helpful & we will get you through this! Daily pwcs will have no affect on your cycling-most of your bb live on surfaces of your substrate & in your filter media (very little in actual water). Your fine adding the prime to each bucket-you may eventually want to invest in python or aqueon to make doing pwcs easier but thats up to you! Your tank is already starting the cycling process & building up bb because your seeing nitrites. This is good! Dont worry about the amm in your tap either-mine has .25 on any given day & this will be converted in your tank once its fully cycled (this where the prime is really helpful)! Dont hesitate to ask questions!!
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:23 PM   #5
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That's really helpful, that's the bit I couldn't get my head around! If I'm badly overstocked I'll return a few til I get the hang of it enough to get a bigger set up.
I'll plod on with daily pwc's til it's sorted then, I know where I'm going now, thank you!
So can anyone tell me if I have too many beasties, also about the swelled belly tetra, scales not raised and not swimming oddly, could he / she be constipated??
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:30 PM   #6
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You could post a stocking question about your tank (make sure you include the size of your tank & what you have). In respect to the tetra, its possible shes constipated but its also possible shes been affected by the high amm levels you had. Is she eating? You could try feeding her some plain peas for few days (instead of fish food) & see if this helps. Use plain frozen peas, micro them for few mins, remove the outer shell & mash to tiny bits between your fingers before feeding. If this doesnt seem to help or she gets worse, you can always post a question in the unhealthy fish forum for further advice!
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:45 PM   #7
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At almost 16 gallons with all of those fish you are severely overstocked I'm afraid. The Clown Loaches really put you over (you're about triple overstocked with them) and they do better in groups of 5 which you can't do with your current tank. Even without the Clowns you're slightly overstocked but not as much as with them (removing the Mollys and the Clowns would put you at capacity, with the Molly's it's slightly overstocked, with the loaches as well it's very overstocked).

If you can return/rehome the loaches that would be best. You could also use more filtration (don't remove your current filter though or you'll lose all of your bacteria that you are trying to grow. Either run a new filter on the tank in addition to the current one or move all of the filter media over into a new larger filter). The AquaClear filters are good ones, I'd recommend an AC 50.

The tank will still cycle with water changes, so no worries there. Especially if you want your fish to survive the process. I'm afraid it may be a losing battle to keep levels down though with the tank stocked the way it is now. Definitelhy keep up with the water changes; you may need to do larger ones than 50% (or multiple 50% changes in one day) to keep the levels safe for your fish.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:07 PM   #8
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I suspected as much, as upsetting as it is, thanks for clarifying.
Can you tell me for reference what size tank would house all my current stock comfortably? Thanx
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:24 PM   #9
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When all those fish are adults.... I know you probably don't want to hear this but... I'd say a 55 gallon (thats 208 liters).
Right now I think it might work in a 30g (113 liters).
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shabslikesfish View Post
I suspected as much, as upsetting as it is, thanks for clarifying.
Can you tell me for reference what size tank would house all my current stock comfortably? Thanx
I don't think you can keep the loaches unless you want a massive tank. They can grow rapidly and grow to 8-12". If they are not in tanks that are suitable for them as they are growing they can go through a process called stunting (where the fish's insides grow but not their bodies) and it's very painful for them. To keep them you'd eventually need a massive tank, probably at least 200 gals. Also Clown loaches are usually recommended to be in a group of at least 5. See this link for more info: Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus) — Loaches Online.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:50 AM   #11
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Oh dear :'(
I've seen a lovely 276 litre bow front tank and cabinet that I was planning anyway to get within the next 2 months - if I got this and moved my current stock into it, would that leave room for any more or would that still be capacity?
Also if anyone can tell me specifically what rocks and plants should go in I'd be very grateful as my LFS just goes 'oh yeh anything you see here is fine' and my faith has been shaken in them somewhat... Mine just has plastic stuff in currently as I was too unsure about the 'real' ones.
Thanks everyone, give me a few months and I'll be able to have an intelligent conversation with the rest of you
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shabslikesfish
Oh dear :'(
I've seen a lovely 276 litre bow front tank and cabinet that I was planning anyway to get within the next 2 months - if I got this and moved my current stock into it, would that leave room for any more or would that still be capacity?
Also if anyone can tell me specifically what rocks and plants should go in I'd be very grateful as my LFS just goes 'oh yeh anything you see here is fine' and my faith has been shaken in them somewhat... Mine just has plastic stuff in currently as I was too unsure about the 'real' ones.
Thanks everyone, give me a few months and I'll be able to have an intelligent conversation with the rest of you
Like the person before me said your stock would need at least 200 gals which is about 750 litres
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:42 AM   #13
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I wouldn't go that far, but yeah, clown loaches eventually need a large tank. You can get by with a smaller tank for a while but they will outgrow it in time. I'd go with 4 or 5 and a 125g tank minimum.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:21 PM   #14
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I wouldn't go that far, but yeah, clown loaches eventually need a large tank. You can get by with a smaller tank for a while but they will outgrow it in time. I'd go with 4 or 5 and a 125g tank minimum.
Fair enough but I would say the 55 won't be big enough in the long run
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:26 PM   #15
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Fair enough but I would say the 55 won't be big enough in the long run
Not at all, but it's a good start. From what I've seen, clowns are very slow growers so they don't need a huge tank immediately, but definitely need one in the future.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:44 PM   #16
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Not at all, but it's a good start. From what I've seen, clowns are very slow growers so they don't need a huge tank immediately, but definitely need one in the future.
Yeah I have a few in my 220 but they ain't grown from what I can see but I see them everyday haha
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