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Old 02-03-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
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issues getting tank to cycle

I've had my tank for roughly a month now. I didn't do a fishless cycle, and after about 4 or days of having water in the tank I went out and picked up a few fish.
It's a 20gal tank, and I have 8 fish in it. 3 green barbs, 3 tigers, and 2 peppered cats(all the fish are not full grown). Learning as I go, i've really kept on top of checking the water, and keeping the ammonia down. I'm doing roughly 20-30% WC twice a week. I'm keeping the ammonia levels around .25PPM, but nothing else seems to be taking off.
I picked up a bio cube from angelsplus. I have that in the tank now, and am hoping that will help the process along. I also have a few live plants in the tank to help keep it clean.
Is there anything I'm missing? doing wrong?

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:02 AM   #2
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What kind of,filter?
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
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The tank filter is the generic Aqueon quiet flow 20.
It came with the tank as part of the kit.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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With those fish in a 20 you should be getting some good ammonia readings by now--- how long has the tank had fish in it?

What test kit are you using? Strips aren't very accurate so if you're using them that could be the issue too.

What water are you using---tap, well, etc? Are you dechlorinating it when you change water? What are you using?

Have you tested the tank's PH?
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:32 AM   #5
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I've had the fish in the tank for about a month now. I'm using the API test kit to keep tabs on the water.

I'm using well water. I put it in my QT tank to declorinate, and get to get the water up to temp.

I don't test the PH as often, but when I do test it, its around 7-7.2
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
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And .25 ammonia after a month with 8 fish and 25% wcs twice a week?
WTF!
Normally, to keep the ammo below 5 you need a 25% wc EVERY DAY!
have you ever gotten nitrIte or nitrAte readings?
Maybe your tank is already cycled?
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:21 PM   #7
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I can't see how it is already cycled. I've never have any readings on either Nitrites or Nitrates.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:52 PM   #8
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What do you mean by you put your water in qt to dechlorinate? If you have well water, you don't have a chlorine issue but you likely have heavy metals. What type of water conditioner are you using? Also, because you have well water, does your home have a purification/filtration or softening system in place?
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:01 PM   #9
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One other question. What are you feeding them? How much/how often? Ammonia is metabolized from proteins- if they are getting little to no food, the ammonia levels will stay low to nondetectable.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:05 PM   #10
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I don't have a water softener, and I do have hard water. The PH of the tanks are roughly at 7-7.2. I have the side tank as a QT tank, but I pull my WC water from there, because its already treated, and at the proper temp.
I treat the water with Seachem Natural Regulator.
Seachem. Neutral Regulator
per the advice of the lfs.

I feed them approximately once a day. Some days I may feed them a small snacks, but thats only the weekend.
I feed them a mix between flake, freeze dried bloodworms, freeze dried brine, and frozen brine shrimp.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:18 PM   #11
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Now we are getting somewhere! get a regular bottle of Prime and switch to using this instead. This product does not detox heavy metals and because it's phosphate based, I think you may be overwhelming your bb with excess phosphates as well as removing too many buffers. Switch to plain tap and Prime and let's see if you have any progression though it may take a few weeks.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:26 PM   #12
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I'll do that. Hope it helps.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:35 AM   #13
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+1 to Jlk, try the Prime. No need to mess with PH anyway. Keep us posted.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:53 PM   #14
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As far as the prime goes. Should I add it in my next WC? or just put it in the tank now?
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:58 PM   #15
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You can go ahead & add a dose now since you have fish then use it for future water changes.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:22 AM   #16
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I switched to the Prime, and am going to try that to see if it helps. I added a small dose to my main tank, and dosed my QT with it on Monday night. I did a 50+% WC last night. I did tests last night after the WC.

.25 Ammonia
0 Nitirite
0 Nitrate.

I also did a PH test, and my water for about two weeks was about 7-7.2. My test last night showed the PH closer to 8 So I need to get that under control. I'll get the PH in my QT tank down to about 7.6, and do another WC.

I have live plants in my tank. Some Anacharis Plants, some Kyoto Plants, and two other random plants I put in there. I've noticed the Barbs are eating the hell out of the Anacharis. Could the plants be eating up all the Nitrates before they can read on my test? But shouldn't I have 0 ammonia if I did in fact have all the proper bacteria in the tank?

Getting worried I may hurt the fish. The tank however, is extremely clear, so thats nice
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:57 PM   #17
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I would not be concerned with your ph unless it becomes something extreme (8.8+). I dont personally dont keep these fish but I do not believe they fall into the category of a difficult, sensitive species that has very demanding ph requirements. Lets just see how things go with your cycle without messing with the ph unless theres a problem.
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