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Old 03-02-2013, 12:41 AM   #1
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persistent nitrites... should i change to a canister?

I have a 20g long tank that has a 3 inch goldfisha small tetra,danio and Molly all about 1 inch.. Its been up and running for about 2 months now and I still have persistent nitrites... I'm thinking that my filter isn't big enough for my Bio load... I have a marine land 30g HOB with a biowheel and an under gravel filter. Even with extra Bio media I can't seem to get it down. I know the bacteria colonies are good because I just finished a fishless cycle in less than a month with seeded media from this tank. And I get plenty of nitrates

If I switch to a canister hoe long would I need to run it before switching off the old one
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:42 AM   #2
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Unfortunately the 20 is overstocked and it's mixed with fish that aren't compatible (coldwater and tropical). You're definitely underfiltered as well. If you switch to a canister just move the media from the current filter and put it inside the canister. Long-term though the goldie will need to be moved to its own larger tank (what kind of goldfish is it? Some get too large for aquariums and need ponds, like comets, commons or koi).
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:46 AM   #3
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Its a calico shubunkin. We won him in a carnival and the girlfriend is very attached to him. We threw him in our original tropical tank and he seems to be doing wonderfully. That thing grows like a weed

Unfortunately its just a problem I'm going to have to deal with as he grows with a larger tank
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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On another note I have used acufel-f occasionally for cloudy water. I've been told this doesn't affect the cycle. Is this correct?
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazingatstars12 View Post
On another note I have used acufel-f occasionally for cloudy water. I've been told this doesn't affect the cycle. Is this correct?
I am not personally familiar with this product and could not find anywhere what its exact ingredients are. You honestly should not be adding any chemicals other than water conditioner. If your having issues with cloudy water, you need to address the root cause rather than adding temporary chemical bandaids.

As Librarygirl mentioned, your present stock is really beyond this tanks capacity and compatibility. Adding a bigger filter will help a bit but it will not eliminate the need for simply more water. As the shubunkin grows, your going to find it more and more difficult to maintain the water quality in this tank. The UGF is not helping matters much either and is likely contributing to the toxin levels by trapping waste & debris under the plates. With messy fish, UGFs are not a good idea. Please ask if you have any questions!
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:31 PM   #6
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Acurel-f... I misspelled it. Its a little red bottle

I think for now ill remove the ugf and put in a canister. A dormer is being built on my house right now and as soon as I'm able to get into the larger room upstairs I want to upgrade to a 50gallon
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:12 PM   #7
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OK the canister is in. I found an ehiem 2213 at the fish store for less than I could find it online.

I took all the media I had in the hob and took the biowheel apart and stuck it all under the media basket. Hopefully the BB will hop right onto my new media.

The UGF is coming out in the next day or two
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:03 AM   #8
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Sounds good! If you have any questions, please ask!
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:13 AM   #9
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I will. I'm gonna go back to testing the water every day also until.I'm sure the filter is set up good
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:04 PM   #10
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OK so I took all my decor out. Took the fish out and lifted up the UG plates. All I can say is holy crud... the water turned BLACK. You hit the nail on the head with the debris getting caught under the UGF



Edit:

Everything is all done... I had to rinse the gravel a few times but it worked out good in the end. I'm gonna give it a few days and then give the canister a good rinse, after seeing that I'm sure its pretty gross.
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Old 03-09-2013, 04:40 PM   #11
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Pics during the cleaning and afterwards
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:51 PM   #12
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Looks good! Just keep a close eye on your parameters because your tank may be a bit unsettled for a bit until things stabilize. I would hold off on cleaning the canister for atleast a week or so until your sure things are stable.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:08 PM   #13
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Yea I check to make sure things are stable before I do anything major. That's why I waited am extra week to take the UGF out. I was testing my water 1-2 times a day until I was sure the canister had established

It also finally answered my question about where all that cloudy water was coming from even after large water changes and why whenever I vaccummed the gravel I never seemed to get much out
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:55 PM   #14
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Hmm

I got home from work today and the water is a very slightly cloudy

I think ive got a mini cycle on my hands. I guarantee I wiped out the BB on the gravel when I cleaned

on the 3rd day after cleaning (which was friday night) ammonia and nitrites are <.25 and nitrates are around 10

Should I use prime to detoxify and wait it out for a couple days as long as the numbers stay ok or do a pwc?

at this point I dont want to do anything to disturb the tank further
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:01 PM   #15
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I would wait it out for a while, and see if it is a real mini-cycle. It could just be the bb getting disturbed. I wouldn't do anything yet, but keep testing. If you mean dechlorinating the water, then of course do that, you always should, but I don't think that is what you meant.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:09 PM   #16
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The water was dechlorinated with prime, but I meant detoxifying ammonia and nitrite in case one of them spikes. I think I read the detoxifying effect only lasts for 24 hours
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:30 PM   #17
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If your ammonia/nitrite levels stay under or around .25ppm, your fine to add a dose of prime daily. If they start venturing higher, you should do a water change if possible (you will still be using the same amount of prime anyway) just simply to reduce toxin levels.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:23 PM   #18
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I would wait it out for a while, and see if it is a real mini-cycle. It could just be the bb getting disturbed.
Just for clarity, what constitutes a mini cycle vs the BB getting disturbed?
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:13 PM   #19
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Just for clarity, what constitutes a mini cycle vs the BB getting disturbed?
Honestly, they are kinda the same thing to me. Anything that disturbs your good bacteria to the degree that you see temporary spikes in ammonia/nitrite is basically a mini cycle. If the spikes last weeks, then your just simply cycling/recycling.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:21 PM   #20
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Ok. It sounded the same to me too.

I closed off the valves going to my filter during the cleaning as not to disturb it. Hopefully it'll clear up shortly

The more I learn about fish keeping the more I'm finding I shouldn't be surprised something like this pops up after major disturbance to the tank
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