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Old 04-16-2013, 03:40 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
Intro/In a bit of a pickle

Hey Guys,

First off, i've been reading a bit on here lately and decided to join up and pick your brains a bit, so here's my story..

I'd been wanting a tank for a while now, and finally got one for Christmas last year (YAY!). So i spent the next week preparing to set up the tank, cleaned the gravel, ordered some decorations etc. I Got my needed chemicals to start up (Seachem Prime, Stability and Clarity). Once everything had arrived i filled the tank up, put some plants in and and dosed the tank up... (Here's where i went wrong)

So with my Test strips (face palm) i test the water for 3 weeks (looking good ) so i go down and get some fish.. now my tank is 130L which is roughly 30 Gal i believe. So i got 4 Guppies, 2 Mollies, 4 Neons and a Yoyo Loach.

So after they go in everything looks fine, for about a week and a half, then one of my guppies starts to get all lethargic, sits at the top etc. so i take my water to the pet store and they tell me the test strips are dodgy and theres ammonia in the water! (OH NO!) so i go and get some liquid test kits (couldnt find and nitrate ones until today).

I read that to remove ammonia you can do water changes (awesome ill save the fish!) another fish dies one of my mollies

so i started doing bulk water changes of 50% every few days to keep the ammonia down, then one morning i noticed one of my neons dead... wasnt ammonia it was a bite mark! the loach got him i think!

so after the ammonia was down at 0-.25 for a week i figured it had cycled and i could get more fish (NOOOOB) so i got a few more Neons (another one has since been eaten) a few more guppies (now down to one after 2 more were eaten, this loach i tell ya) a rainbow cichlid and a bolivian ram. ive had the newest guys for about 2.5 weeks and my tests have been showing no nitrites the whole time, figured i was just having ammonia spikes and it would disappear..

Now i've realised the tank hasnt cycled and ill need to do a fish-in cycle here's what my test from an hour ago showed

Ph. 7.0

GH. 100-200ppm

KH. 50-100ppm

Ammonia .25-.50ppm

Nitrite. 0ppm

Nitrate. 0ppm

Current Stock

1 Guppy

1 Molly

5 Neon Tetras

1 Bolivian Ram

1 Rainbow Cichlid

1 Yoyo Loach

so my question is, how high will the ammonia need to be before nitrites will show up, and how long can i leave it at that level without harming my fish?

ill add a pic of my tank to my profile shortly if anyone wants to have a look and give feedback

basically joined so i can learn as much as possible about the aquarium world and fish care, hopefully one day wanna do a reef tank... when i have the floor space haha

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Old 04-16-2013, 09:03 AM   #2
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Welcome to Aquarium Advice, thanks for joining us!
Please don't forget about the toxins in some corals (like zoas and palythoas)
180 gallon reef announcement!:
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:30 AM   #3
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Welcome to AA, we hope ya enjoy!

In a fish in cycle it will cycle with the water changes. Just go slow on adding anything new, you'll need to let the bacteria catch up with the bigger bioload.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:59 AM   #4
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I am currently on the back end of a new cycle on a smaller tank. Here is what I have learned.

Do at least daily readings (twice of you can). Anytime you have an ammonia or nitrite reading of .25 ppm or higher you will need to do a water change. I have a small tank so I did 50% each time (cutting the toxin to .125 ppm). You could possibly do a 25% change if you read toxic in the morning and test when you get home in the afternoon/evening. Then do the larger 50%(+) to get low for the evening/night.

Every time you do a water change you are removing food for the bacteria... So by replacing the water you are prolonging the process, but the fish are in danger if you allow ammonia or nitrites above .25 ppm.

It took my 10 gallon four-five weeks to cycle (my nitrates are still just below 10 ppm so I am close). It was a lot of work, but very rewarding to see all of my fish make it through. I did lose my snails, but I am not convinced it was due to ammonia/nitrite.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:27 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum

"When creating an aqua scape, strive for the beauty of imperfection, as its art and there is no wrong or right, it's left open for interpretation" James Findley
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:16 AM   #6
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I've done water change yesterday & he's fine now chasing my clowns he plays with them. His gills aren't red so maybe it's after food I will check.? Do you think I'm feeding them too much I feed every day flakes & catfish pellets. Sometimes I give them cucumber or blood warms??

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