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Urgent Help have i done something wrong?

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by leebrook, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. leebrook

    leebrook New Member

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    Hi all,

    Looking for some help if possible please.

    I have a 140ltr jewel tank, 3 weeks ago. I was miss advised when I bought this as I was told I could add fish straight away using API quick start.

    My issues are, have high amonia, nitrite, nitrate i know this as im using API water test the ones with the test tubes.

    I have been doing 20 / 20 % water changes on daily basis. But I cannot get these levels down, the fish seems all fine and not suffering, I even have a baby platty in there ( in a breeding tank).

    In my filter I was given a piece of sponge which was used in a local shop to help build the filter but still no joy.
    Thanks in advance

    Lee

     
  2. marnold00

    marnold00 Member

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    The joys of a fish in cycle. Ok so no matter how hardy the fish, anmonia/nitrites are bad in any quantity other than nil. Soooooo

    1) if you can keep the fish anywhere else whilst you finish off the cycle that would be ideal.

    Obviously, ideal isnt always possible soooooo.

    2) you've got to just keep up the water changes. Make sure you keep feeding to a minimum without starving them (fish can go for 2-3weeks without food and be ok) so just little pinches every few days. Youve then got to keep everything else as perfect as possible to keep stress to a minimum.

    The basics being ensuring the water used in the water changes is of similar hardness and pH to the tank water, and get the temperature to as close to the tank temp as possible.

    The good news is the beneficial nitrifying bacteria which processes the ammonia and nitrites are not in the water column, they live on the surfaces - mostly your filter and substrate. So the water changes wont negatively effect the cycle.

    Keep lighting on for 8 hours a day Max, and try to keep the time the lights go on and off consistent.


    Also, what are your tank parameters? So pH, hardness (GH and KH) - Your LFS should be able to measure a sample for you, and what is the temperature?

    What fish are you keeping in the tank? If any are unsuitable then itd be best to rehome/take back to the store before the worst happens.
     
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  3. leebrook

    leebrook New Member

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    Hi thanks for the reply.

    My ph is on the lower scale7.2.

    In my tank at the moment is
    12 neons
    1 bullnose plec
    1 upside down cat fish
    3 plattys which one had a baby (is in a breeding box) growing and eating well
    2 mollys
    1 red tail black shark

    Unfortunatly I dont have anywhere else to keep them so have no other option apart from leave them where they are. I do have 2 live plants in the tank aswell.

    So should I keep doing daily water changes if so for how long?

    thank you
     
  4. leebrook

    leebrook New Member

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    I have the API fresh water master test kit which I test eachday
     
  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I concur with post #2 but would add one thing. If you can, use either Seachem's Prime or Aquarium Solutions Ultimate as your water conditioner during the cycling. Once cycled, you can go back to your regular conditioner. Prime and Ultimate both detoxify ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. There are others that also deal with ammonia, but to my knowledge no other also detoxifies nitrite.

    These conditioners only detoxify ammonia/nitrite for 24-36 hours. So continue with daily or at least alternate day water changes (50-60% of the tank at minimum) using whichever conditioner you can.

    That's my addition. As for bacterial supplements (like QuickStart), some will help speed up the establishment of the cycle, and some will even handle the ammonia/nitrite if the fish load is small in relation to the water volume. I've no idea as to the effectiveness of QuickStart, but it certainly will not "instantly cycle" and neither will the others except for Dr. Tim's One and Only. Tetra's SafeStart and Seachem's Stability both quicken the cycling, I've used the latter myself. But again, you can't rely on these to cycle instantly, as the store seemed to suggest. Live plants also help, especially fast growers like floating.

    There is no point in deceiving you about the consequences; the fish may live through this, but they will be internally affected and that is irreversible.

    Byron.
     
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  6. marnold00

    marnold00 Member

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    I agree with byron, the likes of Seachem Prime will bind to the ammonia/nitrites which will detoxify them, meaning they are harmless from the perspective of the fishies, but the nitrifying bacteria should be able to process them. however Seachem themselves say that they will un-bind (bad grammar sorry) after 24 hours i think off the top of my head - i think they have instructions on dosing a tank every 48 hours or so when going through a cycle


    On a side note, does your upside down catfish happen to be a featherfin catfish (research the juveniles as they change in appearance a LOT as they grow)? My friend bought two juveniles as they were tiny and just labelled as upside down catfish. In 3 months they were 6 inches long and pretty fat. Now theyre 8 inches, truly monsterous and produce a lot of waste, although they are stunning fish, but these are getting rehomed out of his 240l tank....
     
  7. leebrook

    leebrook New Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I was told by another forum to just flush the fish away and clear the tank and to wait untill the cycle is done right.

    But I dont agree with that as these little guys deserve the best chance possible, even tho i was missed advised so I will do what ever it costs to get this tank right.

    I have just ordered this Seachem's Stability from amazon which will be with me on Friday. Is there anything else i can do to help my fish survive?

    When I do my water change each day I take about 30 % out and then use a solution to treat water out before i empty into the tank?

    Lee
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Something occurred to me as I read marnold's latest post. Again, a clarification. You might think that simply dosing the tank with Prime (or Ultimate) every other day will help, but it can make things much worse. When you do a water change, you remove a portion of the ammonia/nitrite completely. This is extremely beneficial. Using Prime means the ammonia/nitrite remaining is "bound" and harmless, temporarily. The water changes with Prime/Ultimate will work faster.

    Like all conditioners, Prime and Ultimate have chemicals that do the detoxifing of this and that, and they contain TDS (total dissolved solids). These chemicals/TDS once in the tank water then enter the fish. Fish don't like them, nor need them, and they are detrimental. Which is just another reason to do all this as quickly as possible, and nothing beats water changes to remove TDS and chemicals along with ammonia and nitrite.
     
  9. leebrook

    leebrook New Member

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    I wouldnt have a clue which one it is I paid £9.99 for him/her.

    Is there anyway to tell visualy when my filters are ready?

    Thanks to both of you
     
  10. Byron

    Byron Member

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    You don't mention the water conditioner you use now. If it is not either Prime or Ultimate, can you also get a small bottle of say Prime from Amazon with the Stability?

    Your last paragraph has me puzzled. Are you saying that you remove the water, threat that removed water, then refill the tank with it? Or do you remove 30%, throw it out (it's good for gardens and plants :)) and use fresh tap water conditioner to fill the tank? The latter is correct, the former won't help.
     
  11. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I assumed this referred to cleaning, but on re-reading maybe you are asking about the establishment of the bacteria?

    You can't see bacteria; when you get test results that are zero for ammonia and nitrite and for consecutive days, you can assume the nitrifying bacteria are established and handling the ammonia produced by the fish in the tank (and other organic processes).

    If you were meaning cleaning...I would rinse the filter media (the foam/pad/sponge stuff, and whatever else will lift out) at every water change. For the present, rinse the media in a pail of tank water, just to be safe as you are still establishing bacteria. A few months down the road, you can rinse this under the tap.

    The media need not be replaced provided it is still performing its intended function. It has to trap all water flowing through, but be clean enough not to slow down the flow.
     
  12. leebrook

    leebrook New Member

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    Sorry, I use EASY LIFE. filter medium.

    What I do is remove the water straight down the toilet. Then fill buckets up and then put the correct dosage of the treatment into the fresh water ( which is right temp) which makes it safe to put into the tank.
     
  13. marnold00

    marnold00 Member

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    Just realised i havent answered your questions. So, id personally do daily water changes for the next 4-5 days, but keep monitoring your ammonia and nitrite levels. If both are zero when you come to do your next water change, then leave it qnother 24 hours and retest. If its still zero then leave another 24 hours etc. If after 4-5 days its still zero id be confident the cycle is coming to an end, but still monitor it closely.

    7.2 isnt a low pH (7 is neutral), but with your stocking what matters kore is hardness. Mollies like very hard/almost brackish conditions, where as neon tetras like soft, neutral to acidic conditions - your pH is fine, whats more important is the hardness. KH is the carbonate hardness. The higher this is, the better 'buffering' there is for the pH. In laymans terms, the ability to maintain a steady pH. Fish waste, decaying plant matter will release acids over time, trying to lower the pH. As will excess CO2. So the higher the KH the less it will change.

    Make sure your KH and GH (general hardness - cant remember the definition sorry) are suitable for your fish - your LFS should be able to help you test.

    As i say, unfortunately you have hard water fish (platies and mollies), softwatwr fish in tetras. If the upside down catfish is indeed a featherfin squeaker then theyre good in a wide range of parameters.

    Also, with time im afraid to say your neons MAY become a tasty snack for the red tailed shark. Every fish is different though, so you may be ok, but i really think the stocking of the tank needs reconsidering. You have a nice sized tank which means you have a very wide and beautiful selection of fish to choose from dependent on your parameters
     
  14. marnold00

    marnold00 Member

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    Apologies ill keep shush about the stocking - that is for a different topic.
     
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  15. leebrook

    leebrook New Member

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