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Old 11-01-2005, 06:10 PM   #1
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Help! Time for action! Tired of messing around...

I'm at lunch from work so I need to make this brief. Bio-spira failed, or can't keep up with my 4 Juve archers.

Here's the reference thread for the whole story http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=64609

After 48 Hours in the tank the fish have started to lose thier color to show the stress. I had premixed some water so I did an emergency 20% change right now and they regained their color and are active again. The NH3 is still at the 4.0-8.0ppm and NO2 is up at 5.0ppm.

How often do I need to do 20% PWC? I premixed 10-15G, 20% is only 5G for me. I need this tank to ultimately cycle but I also need to try my best to keep the fish alive.

I poured some sand in the 5G of water I took out hoping that maybe it would keep cycling if the bacteria had something to hold on to. Just a crazy idea.

So what do I need to do to make this happen? I need help guys!
TIA, Dave
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:17 PM   #2
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I would do a 50% water change now, and again tomorrow, and each day until you get the ammonia and nitrite under 1 ppm. I did't check your other thread, but doing PWC's won't hurt the cycle, it will just make it easier on your fish. If you can't do 50%, do as much as you can as often as you can to get the levels down. Hopefully this will be a short period of time.
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:33 PM   #3
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I just did a 50% PWC and the NH3 is down to 4.0ppm and the fish are regaining color and getting more active. The N02 is about 2.0ppm.

I have pre-mixed more water to do a few more 20%, or maybe 2 more 50%... what should I do? Maybe one more 20%?

I'm going back to work but my wife can do more water changes throughout the day.

Thanks a ton!
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Old 11-01-2005, 07:52 PM   #4
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I think like Tom, do 50% water changes everyday or maybe a little less, but I'm not sure if 20% will be enough once it will spike again...
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:19 PM   #5
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I'd do another pwc, IMO you can't do too many, at least 50%, just don't gravel vac.
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:24 PM   #6
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NH3 is still above 4.0ppm, I'm going to change more until I can get it down. Maybe every hour to make sure the temp doesn't change too much. I can't let these guys get burnt up anymore.

They're still just sitting on the bottom in their shoal. One hasn't regained it's color, the others have.
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:30 PM   #7
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If you add declorinator to the water you should be able to adjust it right out of the tap to the right temp and add it immediately to the tank.
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:35 PM   #8
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I did another PWC that stressed out the fish, however it got the NH3 from about 4.0+ppm to between 1.0-2.0ppm so hopefully they'll start feeling better.

They show stress by almost solorizing their colors, pretty wierd. You can tell they're feeling better because the colors come back to normal.

Should I keep doing this every few hours to keep the ammonia low? I'll wake up in the middle of the night too if I have to.
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagz
If you add declorinator to the water you should be able to adjust it right out of the tap to the right temp and add it immediately to the tank.
Ok, well I have enough declorinator to do 9,460G of water. It's Aquarium Pharm. just like my test kit.

My issue is wondering how much is too much to change the water? Greenmaji made it sound like a few days ago that I need change as much as I need to get that NH3 down.

So the question here is... when do I need to stop changing? How frequently is too much?
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:39 PM   #10
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Heres another thing that you can try along with your daily waterchanges. If you can get your hands on some stuff called prime from seachem that should help with your out of wack water parameters. Now, dont think I'm crazy but yes it is a declorinator but it also says it will detoxify those chemicals ammonia, nitrites and nitrates so that they are out of your tank. I doubled doesed on my tank in desperation when other stuff didn't work, and next day was down to normal levels. It made me a believer, but it couldn't hurt to try. HTH
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Old 11-01-2005, 09:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I'd do another pwc, IMO you can't do too many, at least 50%, just don't gravel vac.
I'm not touching any of the sand or decor so I'm good there. I have a bunch of bio-media in the filter so that's good too.

Right now I have a 40G with 20G of water in it. What about filling it all the way up so it has 40G of water. That should lower the NH3 lever and should take a lot longer for the NH3 level to spike that high, correct?

My only fear is shocking the fish in the process. What about my driftwood? Could That be producing high levels of ammonia? I didn't boil it before putting it in the tank so I could get a lot of tannin in the water from it. Now the wood should be covered with bacteria and I don't want to kill it.

Maybe I should QT a small piece in clean water for a few hours and test the water after that.
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Old 11-02-2005, 12:04 AM   #12
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I recently had to do 4 pwc's in one day to get NH3 down! Kudo's to you for doing what it takes to keep your fish safe and healthy!
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Old 11-02-2005, 12:06 AM   #13
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I would get the level up to the top, don't worry about your driftwood, it won't affect the NH3 levels.
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Old 11-02-2005, 12:41 AM   #14
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Ok, I'll raise the water to the top. But riddle me this... My bio-spira was only good for about 20-30G of water. If I exceed this will my bacteria have to work twice as hard?
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Old 11-02-2005, 12:49 AM   #15
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I'm thinking the bio spira didn't work entirely for some reason, but I have also read that bio spira doesn't always instantly cycle a tank, can't remember why, but I read a thread here somewhere. Since you have an NH3 spike anyway, it would appear the bio spira only partly did it's part. Your bacteria will have to work to get the NH3 and N02 down anyways. BTW what is your NO3 at?
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Old 11-02-2005, 01:02 AM   #16
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It's only been 1 hour but I want to do another water chance since I wasn't able to get the NH3 under 2.0 on the last change. If there's not problem with this, I'm going to do it and raise the level to the top.

NO3 is 20ppm.

Should I just keep changing the water one after another until the NH3 is under 1.0?
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Old 11-02-2005, 01:05 AM   #17
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Go ahead a do another pwc, I empathize so much, I just went through this! Good that your NO3 is 20 ppm, make sure not to disturb the gravel at all. One more water change and fill should get the NH3 under 1 ppm. Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 11-02-2005, 01:11 AM   #18
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I forgot to ask if you ever found out whether your water test kit was good or not? Did you confirm the NH3 reading with another kit or at the lfs? How is your SG through all this water changing? I'm not that experienced a great deal with SG and how this many water changes will affect it. Just wanting to make sure your SG doesn't change a ton with all these water changes.
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Old 11-02-2005, 01:26 AM   #19
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Another idea that might help a little is if you have a filter that uses media, put in some zeolite crystals to help with ammonia removal. That helped a bit when my tank cycled, along with dedicated PWC's. It's not perfect, but does help some.

Currently I still use Marinelands Diamond blend. It's a mixture of carbon and zeolite. I just didn't want to keep an empty media basket in my filter, so that's what I use in the empty basket. And the tank looks great.
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Old 11-02-2005, 01:35 AM   #20
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Zagz,

I'm down to 1.0 (maybe 1.5?) from 2.0+ppm NH3
NO2 is now 0.50ppm

But how long will this last? I also have about 30 gallons of water in there now. Didn't disturb the sand at all. I'll make more water for changes and maybe do it again in a few hours as soon as the NH3 comes up.

Seeing where I'm at, how does my cycle look? I'll probably wake up every 2-3 hours tonight to check the tank.
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