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Old 01-31-2009, 01:12 AM   #1
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Questions (Fish cycle...again)

I had a major ammonia spike today, I noticed that one of my mollies was on the bottom of the tank not moving too much, I actually thought it was dead. But she (I'll call it a she) started swimming again. I immediately did a 20% water change and plan on doing another 20% in the morning. Before the change the ammonia was over 4 and after it is about 2ppm.

1. Is 20% OK or should I change more or are 20% changes everyday appropriate?
2. Should I add any chemical to bring it down or just wait it out? I know I am in the middle of the cycle but for the fishes sake should I do something other than water changes? I did add Dr. Fosters and Smith Neutralize to the new water I just added. And added a little aquarium salt to the water.
3. Do I need to stop feeding them for a couple of days?

Thanks, I guess this is why I should have done the fishless cycle.
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:28 AM   #2
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I wouldn't be waiting to do another water change. Right now, your ammonia levels are way too high. Do a big 75% water change ASAP and then check your ammonia levels again. If it's still above 0.5ppm, do another one. You need to change as much water as required to keep the ammonia under 0.5ppm.

If ammonia is you're problem, you don't need to add any additives. They'll be removed from the water with the water changes anyway. The only additive your mollie needs is fresh clean water.
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Old 01-31-2009, 03:35 AM   #3
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agreed! you can never do too many water changes

THE SOLUTION TO POLUTION IS DOLUTION!!

you can never do to many water changes!
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:30 AM   #4
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I also recommend a large water change. A 75% water change would get the level down to about .50 immediately. You should do one ASAP and then 12 hours from now do as large of a water change as you can (50-75%). This will cut the ammonia to .25 or less. What size tank is it? If it's a 29g or less I wouldn't even think twice about changing out 75-90% of the water 2 times today and then 2 times tomorrow.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:18 AM   #5
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It is a 12 gallon tank. Can I just put the tap water in the aquarium and then treat it, or treat it before? I only have a small amount of treated water on hand.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:36 AM   #6
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I'd do 3 10 gallon water changes today then. You can add the dechlorinator to the water going in or to the tank itself. Treat for the volume of the tank if you add directly to the tank otherwise treat what you are adding. It's not necessary to have treated water IMO, you could simply get water that is the same temp out of your faucet and treat that with dechlor and add to the tank.
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:44 AM   #7
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Well I lost the molly . The other fish seem to be doing quite well. I am going to stop feeding them for a couple of days, I just did a 75-85% water change. Treated the water after it was in the tank, made sure the water was about the same temp as the tank water, if anything it was a little warmer than the tank water. So I should do this two more times today?
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:21 AM   #8
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I would do a couple more water changes today. That will basically bring your ammonia level down to nothing. Either that or do a single 100% water change..your choice.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:35 AM   #9
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I just checked the levels and it appears to be between .25 and .50ppm. I have a hard time telling the difference between the two with this API kit. It has a hint of green in it. I'll do another change this afternoon. Maybe a stupid question but how does the water changes affect my cycle, or is the thought that the good bacteria is establishing itself on the gravel, filter, decorations in the tank therefore it isn't really affecting the cycle?
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:53 AM   #10
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Nearly all of the nitrifying bacteria will be in the sand/gravel, in filter media, and on surfaces like plants, other decorations, sides of the tank, heater, etc. Changing out the water has no effect on the cycle of your tank unless your tank isn't cycled. It's biggest effect then would be the rate of the population growth of the beneficial bacteria.
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:02 PM   #11
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Yeah my tank is not fully cycled at this point. Thanks for all of your help.
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:09 PM   #12
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The big water changes removes the material that the beneficial bacteria need to grow....This weakens the bacterial growth and in most cases is a shock to the bacteria and fish if there are any....Frequent 10 to 15% w/cs will be far more beneficial...Ammonia detoxifiers such as Prime or Ammo Lock will reduce the harmful effects of the ammonia so that the fish will not stress as badly.....Only the natural growth of the beneficial bacteria will complete the maturing of the tank and any shock or other setbacks will only prolong the cycling.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:06 PM   #13
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Well new update, I checked the water this afternoon and it appears the ammonia is gone. I tested the water about a hour after the water change and there was a little ammonia still there but now it is gone. The water is very cloudy at the moment. Ideas? Suggestions?

I think the big water change was necessary because the levels were so high, the other fish in the tank were really stressed this morning but now they appear to be doing very well.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:21 PM   #14
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thats very good to hear, fish loooove water changes, in addition to removing ammonia, it also adds more oxygen to the water. and also the more water changes you do, the bigger your fish will get
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:24 AM   #15
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This sounds strange but I think my two other mollies are feeling a little "frisky" after the water change. Is that possible? I just went back there to check on things in the tank and one was chasing the other but in a strange way, one would "nudge" the other one, the other would swim away and stop and kind of tread water in one spot and then the other one would "nudge" again. I am not familiar with how they breed or their breeding behavior but it just seemed a little different from their normal behavior. They are definitely not stressed out.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:02 AM   #16
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It's quite possible that they are, ahem, enjoying the fresh water.

You have livebearers (male and female), you'll have fry. Molly babies for you! (although depending on what else is in the tank they may become lunch in short order.)
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:54 AM   #17
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The ammonia is gone now?....that is amazing...
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:31 AM   #18
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The ammonia is gone now?....that is amazing...
Yes at the moment it appears to be gone. I am going to test again in the morning and make sure. I even had my wife look at it as well and showed her the color chart as well and we both agreed that there was no green tint to the water. I will keep on monitoring it, I am paranoid about it showing back up.
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Old 02-04-2009, 03:39 PM   #19
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Any updates?
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:34 PM   #20
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i'd recommend as many water changes a day as your fish can take and also add some aquarium salt. it is the best cure for everything.
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