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1-2ppm ammonia, zero nitrites and .5 ppm nitrates.. confused...

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by miringrains, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. miringrains

    miringrains New Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    Likes Received:
    So I've been having hell cycling my 2 week old fish tank, I cant get the damn ammonia down. I originally bought 4 fish, two of which died from what I assume to be ammonia. My betta fish was dying (it was laying on its side at the bottom of the tank) and I removed it from the tank, placed it in an isolation tank and nursed it back to full health. The only fish left in that original tank is my pleco who strangely enough is living just fine. Now I bought every bacteria start kit you can imagine, dumped it in there and the results I got today are confusing to me. On one hand I have no nitrites, I have .5ppm of nitrates and ammonia is still 1-2ppm (I cant tell theyre the same damn shade of green).

    I guess my questions are:
    Should I change the tank water, because an employee of a fish store told me to leave it alone and let the bacteria start growing, however I dont want my pleco to die.
    How the heck can I get the damn ammonia levels down without killing the bacteria

  2. Toney

    Toney Fishaholic
    Tank of the Month Winner!

    Aug 20, 2016
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    Your just barely into your cycle it's going to take probably 4 more weeks, change the water if you want it to live.

    You need some live bacteria out of an old sponge or filter to get started fast
  3. fluttermoth

    fluttermoth The current Mrs Treguard ;)
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator

    Sep 6, 2010
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    You just have to keep changing enough water to keep both ammonia and nitrite as near to zero as possible. That might mean 80 or 90% changes, or multiple changes a day, whatever it takes.

    As long as your new water is temperature matched and dechlorinated, your bacteria are safe; they live stuck onto surfaces, they're not floating around in the water, so you can change as much as you like.

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