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HELP!! Newbie with 29 gallon tank

This is a discussion on HELP!! Newbie with 29 gallon tank within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by gracietank1974 Hello, I've still been keeping up with the 40-50% water changes every other day and STILL NO sign of the ...

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HELP!! Newbie with 29 gallon tank
Old 02-06-2013, 07:57 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by gracietank1974 View Post
Hello, I've still been keeping up with the 40-50% water changes every other day and STILL NO sign of the end!!! :( :(
The Ammonia is staying consistent at < 0.25, Nitrites DARK Purple (i assume > 5) and the Nitrates between 10 and 20. I'll try to add pictures in the next day or two.

I've added numerous live plants as well as some floating plants, I've been keeping up with the PRIME treatments and no more fishy deaths still.

This is getting really frustrating!! Is there much else I can do?

Thanks in advance!!
Nope, not much until the nitrites come down, assuming that you've been doing what has been suggested already. The fact that the ammonia is staying below 0.25 is a good sign, the tank is staying ahead of the ammonia. The nitrates going up is also a good sign as that means that the nitrite eating bacteria are doing their job too. It's only a matter of time before those nitrite eaters are numerous enough to handle both the regular supply of nitrites and the additional over supply. They reproduce exponentially so you should be a sudden drop in nitrites. Once ammonia and nitrites are both consistently zero the nitrates will continue to rise and water changes will still be needed to keep that level as low as possible, less than 20ppm or even 10 is better, but certainly not as much or as often as you are doing them now.

You must be just over 5 weeks now... I hear that it can take that long to cycle a tank. I went plants first so I didn't go through all this.

Jeff.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:15 PM   #22
 
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Have you been siphoning the gravel? Fish food can get stuck down there and decay. Unless you have sand, then you can just suck it off the top. You're using the liquid test right?
I'm not siphoning the gravel because was told not to by the pet store since that's where all of the bacteria lives.....

I am definitely using the liquid test kits and following the instructions provided to a T.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:39 PM   #23
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I'm not siphoning the gravel because was told not to by the pet store since that's where all of the bacteria lives.....
Oh boy. Pet store instructions strike again.

The bacteria actually adhere to the surfaces, gravel, glass, decor and they don't come off easily. Vacumming the gravel doesn't bother them. They were correct, sort of, as that is where MOST of them live. They are on pretty much every surface including the filter media, which would second to the gravel, or equal to it anyway.

Jeff.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:12 PM   #24
 
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Yup. I second what JDM says. Vaccuming the gravel isn't going to harm your bacteria at all, it's going to pull out all the fish waste and food that's rotting down there and producing ammonia.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:56 AM   #25
 
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Agree. In new tanks, where ammonia or nitrite is being detected, cleaning the substrate in the open areas (not around plant roots) is OK.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:03 PM   #26
 
Finally solved!!!!!

FINALLY!! The NITRITES ARE ZERO!!!!

Thanks so much for the helpful responses with this. The Nitrites have been zero for 3 days now, the Ammonia has been 0.25 and the Nitrates around 5.......

This means the setup cycling is complete right??

All I need to do is keep the tank clean and do the 25% water changes about every 2 to 3 weeks......Correct??

IMG_3827 by IronMan32611, on Flickr

Last edited by gracietank1974; 02-09-2013 at 04:07 PM..
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:16 PM   #27
 
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Ammonia should be zero :/ I'd keep doing WCs to get that down. Water changes should also be done on a weekly basis.

But good job on getting Nitrites down and sticking with it!! :)
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:39 PM   #28
 
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I concur with jentrala. Weekly water changes, 1/3 to 1/2 the tank.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:24 PM   #29
 
Do you think I need to keep up with the every other day 40-50% water changes??? I thought that once the Nitrites hit zero, the cycle is done.

Do you guys do weekly water changes always or just until the cycle is finished? I was under the impression that the water change were only needed every couple weeks once the cycling is over.....
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:58 PM   #30
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Do you think I need to keep up with the every other day 40-50% water changes??? I thought that once the Nitrites hit zero, the cycle is done.
Generally, that is correct. Once the cycle is done it means that the ammonia is actively being converted to nitrites, then from nitrites to nitrates. Although nitrates don't buildup fast and they are less harmful to the fish they need to be removed. I don't know how fast you will see them climb but you will and weekly changes will let you stay ahead of the buildup.

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Do you guys do weekly water changes always or just until the cycle is finished? I was under the impression that the water change were only needed every couple weeks once the cycling is over.....
Weekly is the most common. Although I don't need to flush nitrates (they are not building up due to my plant load and are being consumed by some of my plants when they do show up) I change the water on the weekends even if it only as a matter of course while vacuuming the bottom. Besides, the lower water level let me easier prune plants and play in the sand.

There are some who do daily changes, recently one fellow mentioned daily 7% daily changes. The more you do the smaller they can be, the easier they are.

Jeff.
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