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Old 08-04-2013, 11:22 AM   #1
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Hey everyone.. Glad I found this place, seems like there is A LOT of valuable info here that is going to help me figure out what I am doing a little easier.

I currently have a 10 gallon tank with an Aqueon QuietFlow 10 filter. I placed some Aponogeton (sp?) bulbs in there when I set the tank up, and added my first 4 guppies to begin cycling after running the tank empty for about a week.

I was checking my Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and pH levels daily after the fish were introduced, and changed 40-50% water when the levels would increase.. 3 of them didnt even make it 2 weeks and the last Gup was holding strong and is still in there at about the 6 week mark..

Last week, a buddy of mine at work brought in 7 baby cichlids (all 1" or smaller) which I brought home and added to the one lonely guppy that has been in there by itself for the previous 3-4 weeks. I didn't think this would be an issue since the Cichlids were so small and so far everything has been going well. The ciclids seem to love it in the tank, I love watching them go crazy at feeding time!..

My only concern at this point is that my tank is still not cycled and I am running for 6+ weeks.. I still have to change water (at about 40-50%) every 2-3 days at this point because the nitrite and nitrate levels seem to increase drastically while the ammonia stays at a safe level. I think this is because the plants are absorbing the ammonia?

Should I be changing the filter media in my QuietFlow during cycling? I noticed it has a lot of muck built up in the media and I don't know if I should leave it (for good bacteria) or just replace it with a new one and continue letting the tank do its thing.

Once I get the tank cycled, i am going to work a little more towards gearing my tank for Cichlids, possibly change the gravel over to sand (which I know is another process in itself) and add some more "cave-like" rocks and things for them to swim through. Probably will replace the real plants with fake ones too because these little guys like nibbling the roots of my Aponogetons..

Looking forward to getting some advice from you guys
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:28 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by MikeyThumbs View Post
Hey everyone.. Glad I found this place, seems like there is A LOT of valuable info here that is going to help me figure out what I am doing a little easier.

I currently have a 10 gallon tank with an Aqueon QuietFlow 10 filter. I placed some Aponogeton (sp?) bulbs in there when I set the tank up, and added my first 4 guppies to begin cycling after running the tank empty for about a week.

I was checking my Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and pH levels daily after the fish were introduced, and changed 40-50% water when the levels would increase.. 3 of them didnt even make it 2 weeks and the last Gup was holding strong and is still in there at about the 6 week mark..

Last week, a buddy of mine at work brought in 7 baby cichlids (all 1" or smaller) which I brought home and added to the one lonely guppy that has been in there by itself for the previous 3-4 weeks. I didn't think this would be an issue since the Cichlids were so small and so far everything has been going well. The ciclids seem to love it in the tank, I love watching them go crazy at feeding time!..

My only concern at this point is that my tank is still not cycled and I am running for 6+ weeks.. I still have to change water (at about 40-50%) every 2-3 days at this point because the nitrite and nitrate levels seem to increase drastically while the ammonia stays at a safe level. I think this is because the plants are absorbing the ammonia?

Should I be changing the filter media in my QuietFlow during cycling? I noticed it has a lot of muck built up in the media and I don't know if I should leave it (for good bacteria) or just replace it with a new one and continue letting the tank do its thing.

Once I get the tank cycled, i am going to work a little more towards gearing my tank for Cichlids, possibly change the gravel over to sand (which I know is another process in itself) and add some more "cave-like" rocks and things for them to swim through. Probably will replace the real plants with fake ones too because these little guys like nibbling the roots of my Aponogetons..

Looking forward to getting some advice from you guys
Hi, welcome to AA. Do you have Africans on NWs cichlids, 7 full grown cichlids will be way over stocking a 10g, so I would be looking for a larger tank soon. Alson African like there ph to be higher. Words of waring, they'll eat the guppy in the future. Your filter can't keep up with the bioload, so a larger filter is also needed. There are dwarf cichlids that can live in a 10g
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:36 AM   #3
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Thanks beast! They are African Cichlids.. My pH is about 7.8 and I think the reasoning for the original guppies dying off was due to my pH being much higher than the store where I bought them.. Somehow the 1 guppy was able to make it through and now it works out since I know AC's like higher pH levels.

As for overcrowding, I know this is going to be an issue.. wondering how long it will take for these babies to grow. How many AC would you recommend in a 10g tank?

I will probably give 3-4 of them back to my buddy once they get a bit bigger since I can't really afford to upgrade everything to a larger tank at the moment..
Would 4 AC be alright in the 10g?
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:42 AM   #4
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Thanks beast! They are African Cichlids.. My pH is about 7.8 and I think the reasoning for the original guppies dying off was due to my pH being much higher than the store where I bought them.. Somehow the 1 guppy was able to make it through and now it works out since I know AC's like higher pH levels.

As for overcrowding, I know this is going to be an issue.. wondering how long it will take for these babies to grow. How many AC would you recommend in a 10g tank?

I will probably give 3-4 of them back to my buddy once they get a bit bigger since I can't really afford to upgrade everything to a larger tank at the moment..
Would 4 AC be alright in the 10g?
No prob, hmm, well, there are may different species of AC, some can be really aggressive while some are really docile, most get over 6 in they also like there ph to be in the 8.0 and above, really acidic water. The only ones I know that can live premently in a 10 g is mulites and Brevis. For the fishes best health, I would try to give them to somebody with a bigger tank or trade them to a store,
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:06 PM   #5
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:59 PM   #6
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Not sure of the species of AC.. I will ask my buddy from work if he knows tomorrow.

Like I said in a previous post, they are all about 1" or smaller at this point. What is the average growth rate of ACs. I'm assuming I should be ok with these babies for almost a year before I would have to start giving the bigger ones new homes but that's just my guess.

I sent my wife to the LFC today to pick up a heater and some filter cartridges, gave her a sample of water to have tested for me.

The guy at the store told her that I am cycling the tank completely wrong by doing any kind of water changes at this point and that I should just leave the tank alone unless fish die. That sounds a little ridiculous and harsh to me... He also told me I can't keep the guppy in the same tank as the cichlids although they have been getting along fine for the week they were together so far.. I would think as the cichlids get larger this might pose a problem but I should be okay for now.. He was basically telling me I had to get the cichlids out now and put some more guppies in the tank. My plan though is to keep these cichlids in the 10g until I can get them a bigger tank, just don't know how long that could be without harming or hindering them in any way..

Not for nothing, but I would rather trust the info I find here over that of what a Petco employee tells me...

Every 2-3 days I wind up doing a 30-40% WC, at this point my readings are usually as follows:
Ammonia -- .25 ppm
NitrIte -- 2.0-5.0 (closer to 5.0 ppm range)
NitrAte -- about 40 ppm

Should I not be changing the water so often at this point? I had assumed that when Nitrates and nitrites elevate, water should be changed. Should I wait until ammonia rises regardless of the Nitrite and nitrate readings?
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:56 PM   #7
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Not sure about the cycling question, my cycle was over in a week. are you changing anything in the filter. An with the AC you should be fine with them until 3 in. Then they will start to show aggression.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:11 PM   #8
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The nitrite level is way too high and will poison the fish. You need to get it down to 0.25. Large back to back water changes + adding prime to treat the water.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:24 PM   #9
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Thanks beast. That's along the line I was thinking.. About how long would an AC take on average to grow 3"?

Lynxx, thank u as well. I know the nitrite is too high, hence the frequent water changes. When you say back tp back changes do u mean one right after the other (ex: drain 3 gallons, add 3 gallons, then drain 3 and add another 3, so 6 total gallons broken up by a refill in between?) or do you mean 2 consecutive days of 50% wc or more?

Is Prime sold at chain pet stores like Petco?
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:30 PM   #10
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Thanks beast. That's along the line I was thinking.. About how long would an AC take on average to grow 3"?

Lynxx, thank u as well. I know the nitrite is too high, hence the frequent water changes. When you say back tp back changes do u mean one right after the other (ex: drain 3 gallons, add 3 gallons, then drain 3 and add another 3, so 6 total gallons broken up by a refill in between?) or do you mean 2 consecutive days of 50% wc or more?

Is Prime sold at chain pet stores like Petco?
My guess is a few months 2-5 mabye sooner
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:31 PM   #11
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If it were me I'd change 50% of the water, top it up with conditioned water then straight away do a 50% change, top it up again let it all settle then re-test the water. Because you have fish in there you need to get the nitrites down. Also you dont want the temperature in your tank to crash, or do you add water of a similar temp to tank?

Prime is sold in nearly all aquatic sections and it will bind ammonia and nitrites and make them non toxic.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:37 PM   #12
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Thanks beast. That's along the line I was thinking.. About how long would an AC take on average to grow 3"?

Lynxx, thank u as well. I know the nitrite is too high, hence the frequent water changes. When you say back tp back changes do u mean one right after the other (ex: drain 3 gallons, add 3 gallons, then drain 3 and add another 3, so 6 total gallons broken up by a refill in between?) or do you mean 2 consecutive days of 50% wc or more?

Is Prime sold at chain pet stores like Petco?
I'd do 6 or 7 gallon water changes back to back (one right after another) and yes prime is sold at Petco.

I'm not sure about your question about the AC's growth rate. Someone else will have to answer that one
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:42 PM   #13
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In regards to the filter, you can clean the media by swishing it gently in tank water. That allows u to keep the BB. You don t replace it until it falls apart unless you re also using Polyfill , which can just be tossed & replaced as long as you have other filter media in there .
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:08 PM   #14
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I usually do a water change, then fill 1 gallon containers with tap and condition them for the next change so it sits and gets about room temp.

I will prepare 6 gallons for tomorrow and change like you said. I probably won't be able to get around to picking up the Prime until Tues or Wed, but I will get it as soon as possible.

I'll clean the filter with tank water rather than replacing it and see how it goes.

Thanks for all your help everyone.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:11 PM   #15
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You're welcome!
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:21 PM   #16
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Hey Mikey where in NY are you from? I'm a Long islander
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:52 AM   #17
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I'm from LI as well.. East Meadow...
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:31 PM   #18
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W. Babylon, little far lol
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:55 AM   #19
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So I haven't changed the water in my tank now in almost a week after being told by 2 different LFS (one chain and one aquarium only store) that I should be leaving the tank alone during the cycle process unless fish are dying..

Sounds harsh to me but I figure they must know what they are talking about..

SO.. like I said, been about a week now and just last night the Guppy wasn't looking good (floating around near the top, getting tossed around by the filter, etc.) I didn't even think the little guy would make it to morning but when i had my wife check this morning, the little guy is still clinging to life. I checked my water last night, ammonia is around .25, nitrites are through the roof, and nitrates are around 30 PPM or so..

I'm assuming its the high nitrite level that is harming my guppy. If the little guy is still hanging in there when I get home from work, I plan on doing a 50% WC (or possibly a back to back change like previously mentioned) in hopes that it can pull through..

At this point, I don't know what to believe as far as cycling the tank.. There are so many different opinions out there that I am just beyond confused and kind of using my judgement..

Even though the guppy isn't looking too good, the ACs are looking happy and healthy..

Also on a positive note, I think I found out that these AC that I got are a species of "shell-dwellers" so I might be okay with the 10 gal tank for longer than I expected. Just going to change the substrate over to sand and get some shells for them to swim in and out of after I'm finally cycled.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:50 PM   #20
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So I haven't changed the water in my tank now in almost a week after being told by 2 different LFS (one chain and one aquarium only store) that I should be leaving the tank alone during the cycle process unless fish are dying..

Sounds harsh to me but I figure they must know what they are talking about..

SO.. like I said, been about a week now and just last night the Guppy wasn't looking good (floating around near the top, getting tossed around by the filter, etc.) I didn't even think the little guy would make it to morning but when i had my wife check this morning, the little guy is still clinging to life. I checked my water last night, ammonia is around .25, nitrites are through the roof, and nitrates are around 30 PPM or so..

I'm assuming its the high nitrite level that is harming my guppy. If the little guy is still hanging in there when I get home from work, I plan on doing a 50% WC (or possibly a back to back change like previously mentioned) in hopes that it can pull through..

At this point, I don't know what to believe as far as cycling the tank.. There are so many different opinions out there that I am just beyond confused and kind of using my judgement..

Even though the guppy isn't looking too good, the ACs are looking happy and healthy..

Also on a positive note, I think I found out that these AC that I got are a species of "shell-dwellers" so I might be okay with the 10 gal tank for longer than I expected. Just going to change the substrate over to sand and get some shells for them to swim in and out of after I'm finally cycled.
You need to do a water change ASAP. Pretty soon all your fish will die if you don't.

There is great articles on the forum about cycling a tank, I would check them out.

Fish less cycle = no water changes, just dosing pure ammonia or putting a raw shrimp in and let the cycle take its course.

Fish in cycle = the fish is your Ammonia source so it is constant and you need to do pwc whenever needed (you need one!!)
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