I'm new to the forum but have been doing a lot of reading and just can't find the answer I'm looking for. Short Story Long...
I started my first tank about three months ago and as many other people do, I had no idea about cycling. I filled my 60 gallon hex, treated for chlorine, and let it set for two weeks as I knew I couldn't put fish in right away. (Still had no clue what the nitrogen cycle was)
After two weeks, I added three Bala Sharks, 6 Tiger Barbs, and 1 Upside down Catfish. As I'm sure you know, after about two weeks I ended up with 1 lone Barb. I decided to figure out what was going on and I learned all about the nitrogen cycle and decided to re-home my barb and let my tank cycle. I waited three more weeks, as I had already been up and running for a month, and added 6 Zebra Danios... I waited two weeks and added two Chinese Algae Eaters...Two more weeks and 6 Amano Shrimp....A week and one Julii Corey...Well all seemed well until the next morning the Cory was dead. This was when I, again like so many other beginners, discovered water testing.
I started testing my water and discovered I hadn't cycled my tank at all and was still stuck on Ammonia. I began the task of multiple water changes, using Prime, and adding Start Zyme and Stress Zyme. (I also started using RO
water with added RO
Rite) Much to my excitement about three weeks ago I found Nitrite in my tank.
I continued water changes and Prime and very rapidly the Nitrite peaked and within a week my ammonia went to 0 and my nitrite to 0 with Nitrate reading about 5. YEAH!!!
After achieving a cycled tank, I added a Rainbow shark and the very next morning I noticed a white cloud starting. Within 24 hours, I couldn't see the back of my tank.
I quickly tested all the water parameters and discovered my ph is off the chart high, my ammonia is 0, Nitrite 0, and Nitrate between 5 and 10. I did a 25% water change and the cloud became worse but the ph dropped slightly.
I did a lot of reading which indicated I was experiencing a bacterial bloom, not to worry. Well 10 days later, I still can't see the back of my tank and am still getting readings of high PH (off the chart) 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5 to 10 nitrate, and Phosphate 0.
1) Am I missing something?
2) Do I really have to wait this out?
3) Is a UV
sterilizer an option? Pros? Cons?
4) Are my fish in danger?