Water change now or wait? Fish in Cycle mayhem

AilyNC

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Hey :)

You can read about my initial catastrophe here when I lost my Molly and learned about cycling a tank too late. At this point I'd tank about 5 weeks & lost 4 fish. Thanks to all the help in that thread.


I've now lost fish number 5 and this is so stressful. A neon tetra died last night.

Yesterday evening the Ammonia was zero but nitrite was 1.36 so I did a 50% water change at 9pm. I had done a 75% change the day before.

The water this morning is ammonia zero and nitrate 0.22.

Should I change water again? Or wait for those levels to rise?

Tank is 58L & 60cm long (about 16 US gallons & 24 in)

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0.22
Nitrate 31
KH 11
GH 20
PH 8.0 (this is best it's ever been!)
Chlorine 0
CO2 7
Temp 27.3 (81F)

Stock (I know it needs fixing)

1 black Molly
3 Platies (1 agressive to other females male & 2 preggers when purchased females)
2 brittlenose Plecos (I will purchase bigger tank or re-home these)
4 adult neon tetra
1 tetra fry

Deceased

2 angel fish
1 Dalmatian Molly
1 Betta

Plants:

1 Anubis plant added yesterday
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KevinZ

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You should do 30% water change to decrease your nitrate, i believe people keep nitrate around 0ppm - 15ppm (Or at least i did), make sure you use dechloninator to treat the water :)
 

seangee

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Right now nitrite is the biggest issue. I agree nitrate should be lower long term, although I don't know how muchis in your tap water.
My personal rule of thumb is that any time the nitrite is not 0 change 75%. The fish have already been weakened by what has happened so (IMHO) there is no such thing as too much clean water at this stage to give them the best possible chance.
 
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AilyNC

AilyNC

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Cool thanks. I'll do a 75% water change so. And just keep that up with testing. I can't imagine what's it's like losing fish you've had for years cause this is killing me already :sad:
 
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seangee

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Cool thanks. I'll do a 75% water change so. And just keep that up with testing. I can't imagine what's it's like losing fish you've had for years cause this is killing me already :sad:
Hang in there. Most of us have been in the same boat at some stage - it does get easier.
Are you able to get some fast growing surface plants? Water sprite, frogbit and salvinia are all good choices. The Anubias is great and easy to care for but it grows quite slowly. The others I mentioned grow quickly so will use up a lot of the ammonia before it causes problems. Choosing floating plants means you don't really have to do anything for them - except thin them out if it gets too thick. They also make the fish feel more secure
 
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AilyNC

AilyNC

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I've been trying to source floating plants. No luck yet for places that deliver to Ireland but I'll give it another search & ring a few places to see can they order them for me. My LFS was very against floating plants when I asked for them yesterday.

Do I ignore my filter during these 75% water changes? Like I unplug it but should I be rinsing the foam or cartridge in old water?

My goal now is to get this tank cycled and hopefully not lose any more fish in the process. I'll then address my stocking issues & look at a second bigger tank.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Hang in there. Most of us have been in the same boat at some stage - it does get easier.
Are you able to get some fast growing surface plants? Water sprite, frogbit and salvinia are all good choices. The Anubias is great and easy to care for but it grows quite slowly. The others I mentioned grow quickly so will use up a lot of the ammonia before it causes problems. Choosing floating plants means you don't really have to do anything for them - except thin them out if it gets too thick. They also make the fish feel more secure
I've been trying to source floating plants. No luck yet for places that deliver to Ireland but I'll give it another search & ring a few places to see can they order them for me. My LFS was very against floating plants when I asked for them yesterday.

Do I ignore my filter during these 75% water changes? Like I unplug it but should I be rinsing the foam or cartridge in old water?

My goal now is to get this tank cycled and hopefully not lose any more fish in the process. I'll then address my stocking issues & look at a second bigger tank.
AilyNC has ordered a mixed plant package from Amazon, from a source I've used before. It's likely to contain some fast growing stem plants, mine included hornwort and elodea, along with some others if I remember rightly. These would help as well, wouldn't they @seangee ?
 

seangee

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Do I ignore my filter during these 75% water changes? Like I unplug it but should I be rinsing the foam or cartridge in old water?
Swish them around in the old water if they look particulary manky. Normally its recommended not to touch them during the cycling period but if they are covered in gunk you should clear it off. No need to get too aggressive about ensuring they are spotless though.
 

seangee

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AilyNC has ordered a mixed plant package from Amazon, from a source I've used before. It's likely to contain some fast growing stem plants, mine included hornwort and elodea, along with some others if I remember rightly. These would help as well, wouldn't they @seangee ?
Yes it would. If any start melting (Elodea can be prone to this) remove them and try to bring them back to life in a bucket. Dying / dead plants can contribute to ammonia.
 
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AilyNC

AilyNC

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I found somewhere that will deliver Salvinia auriculata a few counties away.

So I'll have a floating plant in a few days.

Completed a 75% water change just now. I can't put the water down the drain (biowaste septic system) so have to carry it outside and dump away from house (but on our land). I'm wrecked tired haha
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I found somewhere that will deliver Salvinia auriculata a few counties away.

So I'll have a floating plant in a few days.

Completed a 75% water change just now. I can't put the water down the drain (biowaste septic system) so have to carry it outside and dump away from house (but on our land). I'm wrecked tired haha
If you have any plants or flowers out there, tank water is great fertiliser for them. My garden loves all the tank water I pour out there :)
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I was a bit apprehensive but did put some water on a Salix Integra (flamingo tree) and some hydrangeas. We've a half acre plot with small house so plenty of plants in the garden.
There's nothing to worry about. All the fish poop and waste and any gunky plant matter is all food for plants. Declorinator doesn't do them any harm either :)
 

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