Accu-clear overdose please help!

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aussiealex

Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Joined
Apr 1, 2024
Messages
12
Location
Noosa Heads
We have been cycling a new tank (200L) for a week and a half now and were told by our local aquarium shop to add quick start daily to help it along. Woke up this morning and my bf accidentally picked up the Accu-clear and added 50mL in… (a. This is why I look after the chemicals and b. Accu-clear dose is 5mL per 190L so it’s 10x the dose)
I wanna cry, is there anything we can do?
We we’re planning on adding fish in 4 days
 
Just do a big water change.

You do know that adding Quick Start wont cycle a tank dont you. You also need an ammonia source.

Do you know how to cycle a tank?
 
How big of a water change?
Yeah I didn’t think it would help either but that’s just the advice we were given from the aquarium store.
We’ve had our ammonia spike already so just waiting for the nitrite to balance out before adding fish. I’m new to this but doing lots of research so I think I understand the basics of it, I know for sure 50mL of Accu-clear is not going to help hahaha
 
I would change 75% of the water today, and depending on how you plan on cycling the tank at least 1 more water change before getting fish.

There is more to cycling a tank than you think. Its more than just seeing ammonia rising and dropping and then seeing nitrite rising and dropping.

If you are wanting to cycle a tank before getting fish you need to be able to add 2ppm of ammonia into the water, and see that ammonia cycle out to zero ammonia and nitrite in 24 hours. This takes regular dosing of 2ppm of ammonia over an extended period, until your tank is sufficiently cycled to remove that amount of ammonia on 24 hours. This typically takes a couple of months. Seeing ammonia rise once, then dropping in however long it took, isnt enough to say your tank is cycled.


If you are wanting to cycle the tank with fish its a process of adding a small number of fish, regularly testing the water, frequent water changes to stop the water getting too toxic, and gradually adding more fish as the tank cycles.

 
Thank you so much for your help this is awesome!! Can I begin with the cycle without fish and then add a small amount of fish after say 2 weeks and continue with the ‘fish in cycle guide’, or if you choose to cycle without fish you have to see that cycle through and vise versa?
 
You can do what you suggest. If you start with a fishless cycle, then make sure you do a big (90% +) water change to remove any the toxic ammonia and nitrite before adding any fish.

2 weeks of fishless cycling will give your cycle a head start, but its unlikely to have completely cycled. What you have been doing so far wont have achieved very much. You are trying to grow microbes that feed on ammonia and nitrite but with no food (or very little), they just wont establish.

We get a lot of traffic on this forum from people struggling to cycle a tank. By far more people struggle with fishless cycling than fish in. Switching over almost always solves any issues. So planning on a switch isnt going to be a problem as long as make sure to get the water safe before getting fish.

Let us know how you get on. What plans do you have for your new hobby?
 
Oh wow that’s so interesting!! I didn’t realise you should empty so much water before adding fish after having it cycled for a few weeks, but that’s great advice!!
So maybe I’ll do the 90% today, add prime and then add some fish tomorrow to start the fish in cycle?
When you ask plans do you mean like fish etc for the new tank? We currently have a small tank which we’re upgrading! (The small tank quite full at the moment because it was only for a couple of days before we planned to move it over)
We have 2 bristlenose (I found a peppermint bristlenose which is absolutely stunning), we have 4 glass catfish (planning to get 2 more) and then plan to add around 15 guppies and maybe a Kuhli loach! We’re still new to the aquarium life so don’t want to go too crazy straight away, what do you think? :)
 

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Oh wow that’s so interesting!! I didn’t realise you should empty so much water before adding fish after having it cycled for a few weeks, but that’s great advice!!
So maybe I’ll do the 90% today, add prime and then add some fish tomorrow to start the fish in cycle?
When you ask plans do you mean like fish etc for the new tank? We currently have a small tank which we’re upgrading! (The small tank quite full at the moment because it was only for a couple of days before we planned to move it over)
We have 2 bristlenose (I found a peppermint bristlenose which is absolutely stunning), we have 4 glass catfish (planning to get 2 more) and then plan to add around 15 guppies and maybe a Kuhli loach! We’re still new to the aquarium life so don’t want to go too crazy straight away, what do you think? :)
So you better understand what " cycling" means, it's the process of creating the nitrifying microbes in the aquarium to help absorb the ammonia in the water and convert it into nitrites and then nitrates. So it's better to say that you are trying to establish a biological filter by "cycling" the aquarium. ( The "cycling" is just the rise and fall of ammonia and nitrite and rise of the nitrate. ) So where is this " biological filter" ? The microbes need oxygen to survive so they are going to congregate anywhere in the aquarium that has the highest amount of oxygen available. That could be anywhere but most often, the filter is where the most amount of oxygen will exist in an aquarium so the filtering material is where they will go. If you have bubblers in the tank, the microbes will congregate around them as well or any surface that has exposure to higher oxygen levels. There will be a very little amount of these microbes in the actual water column so you can change 100% of the water and not really effect the biological filter. If you were to add live bacteria products, you wouldn't want to change water for the first 24 hours so that those microbes will have enough time to find a home and attach to it. If you are not adding live bacteria, it doesn't matter when you do the water change or how much you change.
Another thing when it comes to cycling a tank: When a tank finishes " cycling" , it only means that there are now enough microbes in the system to handle the amount of ammonia currently being produced. So if you did this with 1 fish, the tank would be cycled for 1 fish that produces the amount of ammonia that 1 fish creates. If you did 10 fish, your tank is "cycled" for amount of ammonia produced by those 10 fish. So just because a tank is " cycled" does not mean you can immediately add a lot of fish unless you cycled the tank with a lot of fish. This is why fishless cycling uses the amount of ammonia is does because that is usually more than what most aquarium stock will produce. YOU will just have an overload of microbes that will naturally reduce to the amount of ammonia your livestock is producing. When you do Fish In cycling, as I said, at the end, you will only have enough microbes in the end to handle the amount of ammonia produced by those fish. You never want to add a lot of fish at one time after a fish in cycle because you will just overload the system and the ammonia level will go crazy and until the biological filter catches up with the ammonia amount, all your fish will be in danger of ammonia poisoning. When it comes to adding fish after a fish in cycle, "slow and steady wins the race". ;) (y) (Hope you are not confused here. I'm sure your store help didn't tell you all this. :( )
With all that said, you say you have a tank with fish already in it. Is that an established tank or one that still needs to go through the cycling process? If it's an established tank, you can transfer the substrate, decorations and filter to the new tank and it will be instantly established for the amount of fish you currently have. Even if you are using a new larger filter, by running the old filter as well will be the same as adding live bacteria to the tank. Let the both filters run for about 3-4 weeks ( the longer the better) and there should be some of those microbes in both filters and you can remove the old filter . ( Another option is to just add all the filtering material from the old filter to the new filter.)
So there you have it. Hope this helps. (y)
 
WOW! I actually feel like I understood everything you said, you explained that SO well thank you! It’s crazy you go to a fish store and they say cycle your tank for 2-3 weeks and then just add fish..
I definitely understand the fish in cycle more so I’m going to try this!
With our other tank, I don’t know if it’s fully cycled yet but our fish seem to be going okay in there - can I move the filter/plants/decorations into the new tank whether it’s cycled or not? Will this have a bad affect on the new tank if it’s not completely cycled or because I’m moving the same fish into the new tank they will be used to it?
 
WOW! I actually feel like I understood everything you said, you explained that SO well thank you! It’s crazy you go to a fish store and they say cycle your tank for 2-3 weeks and then just add fish..
I definitely understand the fish in cycle more so I’m going to try this!
With our other tank, I don’t know if it’s fully cycled yet but our fish seem to be going okay in there - can I move the filter/plants/decorations into the new tank whether it’s cycled or not? Will this have a bad affect on the new tank if it’s not completely cycled or because I’m moving the same fish into the new tank they will be used to it?
The object for moving over old established materials is to bring along the nitrifying microbes with it. There are 2 different microbes that make up the biological filter so if the old tank wasn't finished being cycled, whichever microbe that was in there will be like an inoculation into the new tank. If both microbes were in there, that's even better. The good news is that once these microbes are introduced, they will multiply rather quickly but that doesn't mean instantaneously. As long as the ammonia load is not higher in the new tank than it was in the old tank, the cycling process should continue from there. If the ammonia level goes up, you may need to do water changes to keep the level in a range that the fish can handle until the microbes catch up.
Regarding whether your old tank was cycled, if you started with plain water and it did not have any nitrate in it, if you test the old tank and it's showing nitrates, you have both microbes in there doing their job. (y) If there are no nitrates, then it was not finished cycling. You can see this in this picture of the cycle in graph form. 1713274144156.jpeg

Regarding the information from your local shop, sadly, it's a worldwide problem it appears. I spent many years working in pet stores in the 60s, 70s and 80s so I often heard about bad information being given to customers by my customers. I'd listen to what was said to them and do a lot of this 🤦‍♂️ and this :banghead:. Even the internet is full of misinformation or information that does not apply universally. This means you need to verify everything you read or hear with more than just one or two sites. I use many university and scientific sites for my information if it's not in my stacks and stacks of books I've accumulated over the near 60 years I've been keeping fish. The bottom line is that over the years there have been new products, new methods, new scientific designations or name changes but the process of keeping fish has remained the same all the time. (y)
 
The object for moving over old established materials is to bring along the nitrifying microbes with it. There are 2 different microbes that make up the biological filter so if the old tank wasn't finished being cycled, whichever microbe that was in there will be like an inoculation into the new tank. If both microbes were in there, that's even better. The good news is that once these microbes are introduced, they will multiply rather quickly but that doesn't mean instantaneously. As long as the ammonia load is not higher in the new tank than it was in the old tank, the cycling process should continue from there. If the ammonia level goes up, you may need to do water changes to keep the level in a range that the fish can handle until the microbes catch up.
Regarding whether your old tank was cycled, if you started with plain water and it did not have any nitrate in it, if you test the old tank and it's showing nitrates, you have both microbes in there doing their job. (y) If there are no nitrates, then it was not finished cycling. You can see this in this picture of the cycle in graph form. View attachment 389903

Regarding the information from your local shop, sadly, it's a worldwide problem it appears. I spent many years working in pet stores in the 60s, 70s and 80s so I often heard about bad information being given to customers by my customers. I'd listen to what was said to them and do a lot of this 🤦‍♂️ and this :banghead:. Even the internet is full of misinformation or information that does not apply universally. This means you need to verify everything you read or hear with more than just one or two sites. I use many university and scientific sites for my information if it's not in my stacks and stacks of books I've accumulated over the near 60 years I've been keeping fish. The bottom line is that over the years there have been new products, new methods, new scientific designations or name changes but the process of keeping fish has remained the same all the time. (y)
You’re AMAZING! I can’t thank you enough for your help, wow you have been doing this for a while then! You must have must have some seriously impressive fish tanks. Thank you again for taking the time to explain this and making sure we have the correct knowledge and understanding!
We’ve been taking water to the pet store for check ups but today I went and bought my own test kit to be able to check all the time - I just checked out small tank and our nitrite is through the roof (probably because we temporarily have 6 fish in 30L) but we did have about 5.0ppm on the nitrate so that’s good right? It means nitrite is changing to nitrate?
Then we tested our new tank, PH is a little high but ammonia and nitrite are both at 0.25ppm but then nitrate at 5.0ppm (this is with no fish in) so we are going to transfer our fish across because it seems to me like the new tank is healthier than the old one especially having more space!
 
You’re AMAZING! I can’t thank you enough for your help, wow you have been doing this for a while then! You must have must have some seriously impressive fish tanks. Thank you again for taking the time to explain this and making sure we have the correct knowledge and understanding!
We’ve been taking water to the pet store for check ups but today I went and bought my own test kit to be able to check all the time - I just checked out small tank and our nitrite is through the roof (probably because we temporarily have 6 fish in 30L) but we did have about 5.0ppm on the nitrate so that’s good right? It means nitrite is changing to nitrate?
Then we tested our new tank, PH is a little high but ammonia and nitrite are both at 0.25ppm but then nitrate at 5.0ppm (this is with no fish in) so we are going to transfer our fish across because it seems to me like the new tank is healthier than the old one especially having more space!
You're going to make me blush. ;) I like to think of myself more as experienced rather than amazing. I spent over 45 years in the pet industry specializing in fish so I had to have a lot of experience. ( My bio will explain my details. (y) ) Helping others keep these magnificent creatures is just my nature. :)
As for you having a nitrate reading in the small tank, if you are using the API liquid test kit, the nitrate test can pick up some nitrates from the nitrites so with such a small amount of nitrate, I'd be cautious that the reading is true. When the nitrites start to go down that's when you should see a rise in nitrate and that is when you will know the readings are true.
As for the large tank, if there are no fish in the tank and you haven't been adding any ammonia, your readings don't make sense unless the nitrate is in your tap water. Run a full panel test of your tap/ source water. Please post numbers, not descriptions like " a little high" or " A little low." Actual Ph numbers can make things more understandable and can be the difference between a" No big deal" and " Pure panic mode" situation. For example: high ammonia in a tank can be a pure panic mode situation unless the Ph is under 6.8. Under 6.8, ammonia is converted to ammonium which is not toxic to the fish so under this situation, it's a no big deal situation. Ammonia and nitrites are more toxic at higher Ph levels. So you need to find a balance to keep things steady and once the biological filter is established, this helps keep things stable as long as you maintain a good water changing schedule. (Just a hint on the liquid test kits: your home lighting can play tricks on your readings. It's best to hold the test vial against a pure white sheet of paper under natural sunlight to see the true test result. (y) ) As for what to do with the large tank, If your new tests show that the ammonia and nitrite are closer to 0, you can do a small water change to try to get them to 0 and then add your fish and do a " fish in" cycling process. Do not add any new fish until the tank has finished cycling. If the test results are accurate, do a large water change to get them to 0 and then add your fish to do a " fish in" cycle and do not add any new fish until your tank finishes cycling. The whole key to a fish in cycle is water changes. You don't want either the ammonia or nitrite to get to toxic levels. There is no need to test for nitrates in a fish in cycle until you see a natural reduction in nitrites. ( You do want to know whether your source water has nitrates in it so you'll know at what level they need to be in order to be coming from your biological filter and not your source water.
Finally, I know this all sounds very technical and sciency because.....it is. ;) But once you master all of it, you get a diploma in the form of healthy and happy fish to look at and admire. ( Sorry, you don't get any papers to hang on the wall unless you take pics of your healthy fish and hang them there. ;):lol:(y) )
 
Ohhhh okay yes I will do a test of our tap water to make sure! We panicked last night and moved the fish over (along with the old filter, plants and decorations) to the big tank because I thought the readings in the big tank were healthier than the small tank and the fish have actually been swimming around and they look way happier before they were just all hiding in one corner and never really exploring! Now that they’re in there we’ll do daily tests and get the ammonia and nitrite down to zero. I just couldn’t keep them in the small tank because the nitrite was at 5.0 ppm and that stressed me out!
That’s a great tip with the white background and natural light for readings thank you!!
I hope we haven’t stuffed it up.. but going to keep a very close eye on it now, especially having our own test kit, that’s essential!
 
Ohhhh okay yes I will do a test of our tap water to make sure! We panicked last night and moved the fish over (along with the old filter, plants and decorations) to the big tank because I thought the readings in the big tank were healthier than the small tank and the fish have actually been swimming around and they look way happier before they were just all hiding in one corner and never really exploring! Now that they’re in there we’ll do daily tests and get the ammonia and nitrite down to zero. I just couldn’t keep them in the small tank because the nitrite was at 5.0 ppm and that stressed me out!
That’s a great tip with the white background and natural light for readings thank you!!
I hope we haven’t stuffed it up.. but going to keep a very close eye on it now, especially having our own test kit, that’s essential!
It's too late for the pre fish water changes. Both of those values are low enough that they shouldn't be a problem but if they were 0 before you added the fish would have been better. You need to have ammonia in order to cycle the aquarium so at this point, you just want to keep them low, under .5 ppm, but not zero. Do your water changes when either the ammonia and/or nitrite levels reach that .5 level to reduce them. I suspect that you read the test results under the wrong light ( a VERY common mistake with new fish owners) but you now know how to get a more accurate reading. (y) Fish in cycling was the only way we did it " back in the day" so it's very possible to do. The key is to not let anything get high enough to be toxic to the fish so water changes are going to be your fish's best friend. Don't be fooled by the products that say they " detoxify ammonia and nitrite" because they only do that for 24-48 hours and then you are back to being in trouble. 😲
As for panicking with the small tank, a water change would have served the same purpose as moving them in a panic. Just sayin' ;)
 
Hey Andy! Great news, my ammonia has been at 0 for 4 days straight and my nitrite is down to 0.25ppm but for some reason my pH has stayed high this whole time, I’ve got it down to 7.6ppm (using pH down) but is this a major concern like ammonia/nitrite poisoning?
I did some research and it looks like rocks/too many plants can make pH rise but I love my rocks and we only have 5 small plants in 200L so I don’t think the plants would be an issue?
Any tips.. just keep using pH down (how much should I be using)? Will it stay down?
Thanks in advance!!
 
Hey Andy! Great news, my ammonia has been at 0 for 4 days straight and my nitrite is down to 0.25ppm but for some reason my pH has stayed high this whole time, I’ve got it down to 7.6ppm (using pH down) but is this a major concern like ammonia/nitrite poisoning?
I did some research and it looks like rocks/too many plants can make pH rise but I love my rocks and we only have 5 small plants in 200L so I don’t think the plants would be an issue?
Any tips.. just keep using pH down (how much should I be using)? Will it stay down?
Thanks in advance!!
Certain rocks ( that contain calcium i.e. coral rock, seashells, etc.) will cause the Ph to rise so this is only an issue if the fish you want to keep don't like high Ph and high GH water. It's usually best to keep fish that work in your water parameters than trying to keep the water parameters for a certain specie. You chase your tail more then not doing this. :( What you can do is take each rock, one at a time, and pour a little vinegar or other acid on it. If it sizzles, it has calcium in it so I'd remove it and see if that helps keep your Ph from going too high. Also, higher bubbling from air stones or other bubblers can also raise the Ph.
I still wouldn't add any new fish until that nitrite gets down to 0. (y)
 
I use the QuickStart stuff as well as add cheap fish I really don’t care about. I had a male Molly cycle smaller tanks several times and he’s still alive and well! But this isn’t typically the case. Generally your cycle fish will die. Idk how this fish got so lucky lol
 
Certain rocks ( that contain calcium i.e. coral rock, seashells, etc.) will cause the Ph to rise so this is only an issue if the fish you want to keep don't like high Ph and high GH water. It's usually best to keep fish that work in your water parameters than trying to keep the water parameters for a certain specie. You chase your tail more then not doing this. :( What you can do is take each rock, one at a time, and pour a little vinegar or other acid on it. If it sizzles, it has calcium in it so I'd remove it and see if that helps keep your Ph from going too high. Also, higher bubbling from air stones or other bubblers can also raise the Ph.
I still wouldn't add any new fish until that nitrite gets down to 0. (y)
Hey Andy! Just another little one, we’ve had zero ammonia and nitrite now since our last discussion almost a month go which is amazzzing! But I don’t quite understand what nirate is? This is the only one that hasn’t dropped, does this just take the most time? Is it bad for it to sit between 5-10 ppm? Thank you!!
 
Nitrates are the end biproduct of the nitrogen cycle so they will not go down on their own like the ammonia and nitrite did. ( refer to the picture in post #11 of the nitrogen cycle. ) You can control the level of nitrates either naturally with certain live plants, mechanically with nitrate absorbers in your filter like a Polyfilter pad or Seachem De-Nitrate or API Nitra-Zorb or physically by doing water changes. Nitrate levels under 40 PPM are considered acceptable so 5-10 ppm is fine but unless you are doing live plants, close to 0 is the goal and your fish will appreciate it. High nitrate levels can lead to health issues with some fish.
So that's where they are coming from. (y)
 

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