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Old 01-24-2020, 05:41 PM   #1
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Water Quality

We bought our tank roughly 4 weeks ago, allowed it to run and temps to adjust for 24 hours. I added Fluval Aqua Plus and Bacterial Booster per instructions.
Specs: 45 gallon tank, filter and heater are compatible for the tank. Rock Substrate, live plants and artificial decor (all aquarium ratings).
Species: Angel fish (1) the other died
Balloon belly Mollyís (4)
Mystery Snail (3)
Platy (4)
Dwarf African frog (died today)
I tested the water with an API test kit every other day and numbers were great. I added fish and the ammonia spiked (which I expected), but within a day everything seemed to be getting back to where it needed to be. (The fish have been in the tank for roughly 3 weeks) I have since done 1 water change (1/3 of the tank) and cleaned the gravel. We have only been feeding every 2-3 days, the lights are on a 10 hour timer.
My ammonia levels spiked at some point between Tuesday morning and today and I had a couple fish die. When I tested, my pH was a little lower than normal and the ammonia was registering .5ppm
I did a 1/3 water change and my ammonia levels are still the same. Is there a product I can add that will take care of the ammonia before I have more fish die?
My daughter (19years old) is calling me a fish murderer 🙄 any advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:27 AM   #2
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Ever thought about just jump starting the cycle with a used sponge filter from your local fish store?


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Old 01-25-2020, 08:22 AM   #3
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Hello R...

When cycling a tank with fish, you should be removing and replacing a third of the tank water a couple of times a week for roughly three weeks to establish the bacteria colony. After three weeks, when the bacteria is working, you change half the water weekly for the life of the tank. This way, you're always removing the dissolving fish waste before it builds up to anywhere near toxic levels.

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Old 01-25-2020, 09:23 AM   #4
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Thank you! I think I have it fixed - I drove the 45 minutes to a store which specializes in salt and freshwater fish. The big box pet stores aren’t very beneficial when things are going crazy. We added a sponge they gave me to my filter around 7pm and when I just tested this morning, the ammonia has already dropped slightly. I will test again tomorrow morning.
I had tanks growing up and had my last one about 5 years ago - I don’t ever remember purchasing a test kit and watching numbers like a hawk! Water changes and cleaning the gravel was about the extent of our maintenance - so it’s almost like I’m all new to this world �� Thank you again!!
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:10 AM   #5
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Hello again...

No problem. Glad to help. Once the tank is established, you really only need to remove and replace half or more of the tank water weekly. This will guarantee a steady, safe water chemistry for the fish. By keeping the water this clean all the time, you really don't need to do any water testing or vacuuming. Just clean the filter system every couple of weeks and replace the media regularly, so it works efficiently.

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