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Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by NICKOLAS, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. NICKOLAS

    NICKOLAS New Member

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    Hey guys im a new fish owner even though my family have been in it for ages. Lately i seemed really intrested in breeding so i decided to get a suitable tank for my room. Its around 20 gallons in capacity. I have had the tank for about 5 weeks and cycled it for a good 10 days. To enhance the cycle i put one of my koi fish in from the pond. After about 10-12 days i took the koi out and waited another 5 days to eventually add 3 electric yellows. 1 male and 2 females. The electric yellows have been in my tank for about 2 weeks now and in the past week and a half iv noticed my water has gone cloudy. I decided to test for ammonia and received readings of 4.0ppm. I freaked out immediately and consulted my local aquarium who told me what to do. I stopped feeding my fish as they stopped eating anyways because of my poor water quality. I did an immediate water change around 40%. Added a second filter, applied more oxygen and after 3 days i did another 40% water change. In this process i was adding prime water conditioner as well as adding good bacteria in the tank as weell as scooping up any excess waste i see floating. My PH level is also at 8.0 which i heard is perfect.

    Its been a stressing week now since the ammonia levels are still high sitting at 2.0ppm. I don’t know what else to do i don’t know why my ammonia is still high and why my water is still cloudy can anyone please help any advice. P.S i know africans should be in at least a 55 gallon tank but i heard that what im doing and my tank size shouldn’t affect my ammonia issue if i maintain it right. Please help.
     
  2. Eden's-Aquaria

    Eden's-Aquaria New Member

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    Hi! 10 days is definitely not enough for the cycle to complete. Cycling an aquarium can take up to months! Your koi fish probably screwed up the whole thing there. Koi fish are commonly kept in ponds because of their heavy bio-load. Because your tank was barely cycled, the good bacteria couldn't take on that waste, causing a bacteria bloom. Get those fish out, return to the store if you still can. Keep on adding prime, and use Tetra safestart or Seachem stability as the bateria supplement, do this everyday. Keep up on water changes every 4-5 days. Make sure to test your water every day. Post on this thread if you need more help. Good luck!
     
  3. NICKOLAS

    NICKOLAS New Member

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    Yea thought so, i have been adding prime and bacteria starter everyday, its helped but I wouldn’t say alot. How long do you think my tank will tank from now to be up and running
     
  4. Fishter

    Fishter New Member

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  5. Fishter

    Fishter New Member

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    Hi Nicolas sorry for your tank situation. I am an older woman who has catfish for 40+ years I do think if you're starting a brand new tank and you have no other tanks and no access to any used filter media you should next time go for six weeks to fully cycle your tank.
    Putting the Koi fish in the tank thinking that it would help with your cycling situation actually probably -contributed a lot- to your Ammonia situation by the urine and by the poop The fish produced.
    First of all you state that your family has kept fish for a while if you have access to any of their tanks and can speak with them perhaps they can give you some used filter media that is a good fibrous stuff they either put inside their filter or if they have a sponge filter they're using ask if you could have that to help your tank situation. Be sure and vacuum your gravel to get out any poop from that fish. And yes African cichlids take a higher pH but with your problem with ammonia and it 8 it is just exacerbating the ammonia situation and really causing a spike the fish would be safer with super clean water and a lower pH as they're pretty tough Fish.
    Do another water change -partial water change--- it's your filter media that is helping with your cycle that isn't changed when you change your water that's where your biological filter is where you want to get that bacteria good bacteria established that eat the byproducts of fish waste etc. I really hope you're close to your family and have access to a good used sponge filter because it should solve your problem.
    Good clean water is better than any medicine. I hope for the best for you.
     
  6. Fishter

    Fishter New Member

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    Psthat should've read I have kept fish for over 40 years...
     
  7. NICKOLAS

    NICKOLAS New Member

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    I managed to get 30L of my parents take. Ammonia tested at 0 but i put prime in it just in case. I took out 30L from my tank and put my parents water in my tank. Will this help bring down my ammonia?
     
  8. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Ammonia is caused by anything that breaks down in water, be it fish food, fish waste, dead fish or dead plants. The ammonia is normally broken down by beneficial filter bacteria and converted into nitrite. Then more filter bacteria convert the nitrite into nitrate. You get rid of nitrates by doing water changes.

    It normally takes about 4-6 weeks for a filter to develop these colonies of beneficial filter bacteria. During that time you should only feed the fish a couple of times a week, and do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate 4-8 hours after feeding them. You should also do a 75% water change any day you have an ammonia or nitrite reading above 0, or a nitrate reading above 20ppm.
    *NB* Make sure nay new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

    Ammonia is toxic in water with a pH above 7.0. The higher the pH, the more toxic it becomes. If you have a pH of 8.0, any ammonia will be doing serious damage to the fish.

    For the time being, reduce feeding and do big water changes whenever there is an ammonia or nitrite reading. Continue doing this until the tank has cycled in a couple of months time. Then you can increase feeding and do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate once a week.

    If you can add some floating plants to the tank, they will use some of the ammonia and help keep the levels lower.

    ---------------------------
    You do water changes for 2 main reasons.
    1) to reduce nutrients like ammonia, nitrite & nitrate.
    2) to dilute disease organisms in the water.

    Fish live in a soup of microscopic organisms including bacteria, fungus, viruses, protozoans, worms, flukes and various other things that make your skin crawl. Doing a big water change and gravel cleaning the substrate on a regular basis will dilute these organisms and reduce their numbers in the water, thus making it a safer and healthier environment for the fish.

    If you do a 25% water change each week you leave behind 75% of the bad stuff in the water.
    If you do a 50% water change each week you leave behind 50% of the bad stuff in the water.
    If you do a 75% water change each week you leave behind 25% of the bad stuff in the water.

    Fish live in their own waste. Their tank and filter is full of fish poop. The water they breath is filtered through fish poop. Cleaning filters, gravel and doing big regular water changes, removes a lot of this poop and makes the environment cleaner and healthier for the fish.
     
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  9. Fishter

    Fishter New Member

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    Nicholas I am glad you have access to your parents tank but what would really help is if you could take from their filter some of their established filter media (a piece of sponge or the used fiber they put inside if it's a box filter) The reason that this would help is that there are growing on that sponge or filter insert beneficial bacteria that will eat the ammonia up in your tank. If your parents tank is not a bare bottom tank but has gravel -it also is acting as a filter as beneficial bacteria etc. is growing and established in it and it is helping clean their tanks. Your tank has not had a chance to grow any of these things. The water alone is not enough... keep doing those partial water changes and if you can get a hold of some floating plants the roots on those will suck up some of that bad ammonia
     
  10. NICKOLAS

    NICKOLAS New Member

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    Okay perfect thanks yea ill smash that media out. Instead of partial water changes should i do big ones like 80%?
     
  11. Fishter

    Fishter New Member

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    I like the 75% mentioned in previous post ... and came back on here to put a PS to my previous comment. You can purchase little media filter bags for about $.50 to two dollars at the most. You can put in them whatever you would like but I would suggest that you take a handful of your parents gravel from their Aquarium... this established Aquarium of theirs has biofilm and good algae already on the gravel then put this gravel in your little white filter bag and put this inside your filter ... this is a natural tweak I've used many times to speed up the cycling process along with a used sponge filter
     
  12. Fishter

    Fishter New Member

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    Ps one more great product you can add to that filter bag is Zeolite by Marine land...this absorbs ammonia
     
  13. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    However, if you use zeolite the bacteria won't grow because there is nothing to feed them. Then when the zeolite gets full, the ammonia will rise again. Personally I would find it easier to do the water changes and use plants rather than keep replacing the zeolite before it gets full.

    Water changes need to be as big and as often as necessary to get ammonia to zero then keep it there.
     
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  14. Fishter

    Fishter New Member

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    Essjay is right about the Zeolite because the goal is a beautiful naturally balanced aquarium (a symbiotic relationship between fish plants water gravel oxygen) - I'm just trying to save those fish and share a quick fix... Zeolite is like duct tape--- helps in a pinch to get you to where you can fix something properly.
    Little filter bags with some used sponge filters, gravel or used biomedia are a --natural biological jump start.
     
  15. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator Tank of the Month Winner!

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    I agree. The water from your parents tank is of no benefit as the beneficial bacteria lives in the filter media, gravel, and decor. Get some of their filter media or substrate. You may need to do water changes daily if numbers are high. You mentioned ammonia but do you have any nitrates yet?
     

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