Slaphppy7

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Welcome to the forum.

Daily LARGE water changes, wait 24 hours between testing each time, and make it a priority to get either the Seachem Prime or API Tap Water Conditioner...add nothing else to the tank, including salt...the less chemicals , the better.

Big water changes daily, using conditioner only, is your best bet...be sure to match the tap temp to the tank temp when doing WC's....good luck.

Why the low water level?
 

Slaphppy7

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Welcome to the forum.

Daily LARGE water changes, wait 24 hours between testing each time, and make it a priority to get either the Seachem Prime or API Tap Water Conditioner...add nothing else to the tank, including salt...the less chemicals , the better.

Big water changes daily, using conditioner only, is your best bet...be sure to match the tap temp to the tank temp when doing WC's....good luck.

Why the low water level?
Also, refer to this while you are cycling: https://www.fishforums.net/threads/rescuing-a-fish-in-cycle-gone-wild-part-i.433769/
 

NannaLou

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If you keep changing the water the cycle time is most likely to be extended
I answered you quite quickly earlier but have had further thinking time…
Can you explain this to me please..? As I don’t think the Beneficial Bacteria live in the water itself but the other, hard surfaces and plants in the tank. Therefore changing the water won’t (shouldn’t?) effect the length of the cycle..? By having a few fish, excreting ammonia at low levels, surely the water changes will keep the water safe for the fish until the BB build up enough to cope with the bio load of the fish in the tank..? Granted, as you add additional fish you will need to check the water parameters more frequently until you are certain the BB are back to the right level.
 

Slaphppy7

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I answered you quite quickly earlier but have had further thinking time…
Can you explain this to me please..? As I don’t think the Beneficial Bacteria live in the water itself but the other, hard surfaces and plants in the tank. Therefore changing the water won’t (shouldn’t?) effect the length of the cycle..? By having a few fish, excreting ammonia at low levels, surely the water changes will keep the water safe for the fish until the BB build up enough to cope with the bio load of the fish in the tank..? Granted, as you add additional fish you will need to check the water parameters more frequently until you are certain the BB are back to the right level.
100% correct.

No offense intended, but I tend to take P J's posts with a block of salt...
 

coriesinhawaii

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I answered you quite quickly earlier but have had further thinking time…
Can you explain this to me please..? As I don’t think the Beneficial Bacteria live in the water itself but the other, hard surfaces and plants in the tank. Therefore changing the water won’t (shouldn’t?) effect the length of the cycle..? By having a few fish, excreting ammonia at low levels, surely the water changes will keep the water safe for the fish until the BB build up enough to cope with the bio load of the fish in the tank..? Granted, as you add additional fish you will need to check the water parameters more frequently until you are certain the BB are back to the right level.
The thinking here is probably that if you are removing the bacteria’s food (ammonia and nitrite) from the water with large daily water changes it won’t be able to establish as fast because there is not as much food there for it to do so. It can only develop to the amount that the low ammonia/nitrite levels permit. You would have to gradually decrease the amount or frequency of water changes to allow the bacteria to build up to the level they need to be at for the real bio load of your tank and the desired maintenance regimen.

That said, I definitely agree that it’s worth the extra cycling time to reduce fish stress/loss.

Is there a reason why no one is suggesting adding in an ammonia and nitrite detoxifier while the levels remain above zero? I know in the past there were some products available that bound to the ammonia and nitrite and rendered them unusable by the bacteria so it could prolong the cycle but with most of the products available now the ammonia and nitrite are still available to the bacteria even after they have been detoxified. I’ve used these products a few times with much success—fish showed no signs of stress at all even with high ammonia and nitrite and it didn’t seem to have any significant effect on cycling time. This would be in addition to large water changes. I wouldn’t want my fish exposed to any ammonia or nitrite and would use one of these products any time I get a reading for them. I also understand the desire to use as few chemicals as possible in one’s aquarium but if my fish are being damaged by ammonia and nitrite that’s where I draw the line. Anyway just curious other people’s thoughts on this.
 

Slaphppy7

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More than welcome, again.

Fish-in cycling is one that many of us have been through, when we knew no better as beginners, or from misinformation from a fishstore employee, etc.

It's much more tedious for the fishkeeper, and much more stressful on the fish who go through it...a fishless cycle is much more successful, IME, and with many other fishkeepers, as well....in this hobby, you live and learn

See here for more on Fishless Cycling: https://www.fishforums.net/threads/cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first.421488/
 
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Kaystojj

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For me, I don’t know anything about them and have no experience of using them.
I’ve just retested the water - 24 hours later since last 90% water change

ammonia .025
Nitrite 2ppm
Nitrate 20ppm

I think my good Bactria is low? But then again I’m mind boggled…. Almost starting to feel overwhelmed now
 

Essjay

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Ammonia detoxifiers only work for around 24 hours, then they undetoxify. Water changes still need to be done every time ammonia and nitrite read above zero, but using a water conditioner which detoxifies ammonia and nitrite will keep the fish safe till the next day's water change.
Many water conditioners detoxify ammonia and there are some stand alone products as well. But as far as I know, Seachem Prime is the only one which also detoxifies nitrite (there may be others I'm unaware of).


There are other products which remove ammonia eg zeolite. But this is not a good idea as the bacteria won't grow if the ammonia is removed by these products.
 
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Kaystojj

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Thank youuuuu!
Sounds like I just need to ride it out…. Any long term affects of Prime if I use it daily for the next few weeks until I ride out the cycling process?
I feel like that’s my best bet
 

Essjay

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With a nitrite of 2 ppm, another water change is needed. Basically you need to do back to back water changes to get ammonia and nitrite down to zero. Then another water change next day if either have gone above zero again.



Edit to add
Prime should be used to condition new water at a water change. The water changes still need to be done whenever the readings are above zero. It's just that Prime will keep fish safe between daily water changes.
Prime is not something which should be added to a tank between water changes.
 

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