new 100l tank suggestions and advice on fish +more - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-11-2010, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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new 100l tank suggestions and advice on fish +more

I have recently started a new 100L aquarium and have been cycling it for just over 3 weeks, i used bacterial cultures froma bottle and heated it to improve bacterial growht, using a fishless cycle and using flakes as my ammonia source after just 10 days i had had my ammonia spike and it settled at 0ppm still 2 weeks later and with a few new additions in the form of live plants the nirtirte level is still 5.0ppm+ using the API master test kit.

i took some advice from a neighbour who breeds and keeps betta's for shows ( didn;t know people actually had fish shows but there you go) and he said that in his experience aquariums rarely sort themselves out fully untill fish are added anyways, i know this is more than a little incorrect but at 3 and after 2 weeks of my ammonia settling down and my nitrites still really high i decided to do a few pwc's 20L each and do 3 in spaces as to not change parameters too quickly and shock fish that i planned on adding.

I was pretty set on keeping live bearers and i know guppies are no longer hardy due to being intensively bread for their colours and so settled for mollies for now. i have 4 of these (2 black, 2 white)
also i have read that danios are very hardy and do well in hard water so i have 10 of these a mixture of leopard and zebra's
Also i loved how the Rainbow sharks in the LFS looked so i couldn;t resist getting one.

the fish seem to be working well together and all but the mollies are not showing any signs of nitrite poisoning and even then mollies are only a tad lathargic in my opinion, is this normal for mollies to be quite still and calm compared to danios.

i was concerned the shark would be too aggressive after i had put him in the tank but i have supplied some Pvc pipes covered in gravel to form caves and i have some bogwood already in which he likes to hide in to. although he seems to love hiding behind my heater?

okay now for my questions, when my tank finally stabalises and not untill will guppies be able to be kept with the fish i currently have in it?
and is there anything i could be doing different or on top of what i'm doing to help lower the nitrite levels?
Thanks for any help in advanced guys
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-12-2010, 05:04 AM
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The bacteria that convert nitrite to nitrate don't reproduce as quickly as those that convert ammonia to nitrite so the nitrite portion of the cycle generally takes longer than the ammonia portion. Do you have an established tank, or could you get your betta breeder buddy to give up some of his filter media? Introducing large quantities of bacteria via putting filter media from established tanks into your cycling tank can really help move things along.

I wouldn't say there are many fish out there more active than danios. Zebra danios could make a three year old on a sugar binge seem sedate by comparison. Mollies, however, are particularly prone to the ill effects of ammonia and nitrite poisoning so it is a good idea to monitor your parameters and do water changes whenever you get a reading for nitrite (or ammonia, for that matter).

In my experience, rainbow sharks are only aggressive when it comes to similar fish (other rainbow sharks and red tailed sharks especially) or when their personal space is continually invaded by intruders. None of the fish you have now fits into either of these categories so you shouldn't really see aggression issues but it's always something to be on the lookout for.

Guppies could be kept with your current fish but you should be aware that guppies and mollies can interbreed, which isn't something that's seen as desirable in most cases.

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post #3 of 6 Old 05-12-2010, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the helpful reply and i am going to ask if i could borrow some filter media from my neighbour (fingerscrossed) if not would my local LFS be likely to donate some for a fee? if you have had any experiences with that.

Also my mollies are looking rather unwell so i don't think interbreeding with guppies will be much of an issue, i'm hoping that they don't die but it's looking evermore likely as time goes on, well all but one, one still seems well and active which i find puzzling.

my ammonia levels are at 0ppm every time i test and i am feeding my fish once a day will there be enough ammonia produced from the extcriment to keep the tank cycled for it's current load. also what percentage water change can be taken without ill effects.

at the moment i am taking water from my taps into a bucket adding enough water treatment to it to make it safe and leaving it for a couple of hours to reach room tempreture, is this a good method or is there something else i should be doing.

i know chemical soloutions are short term and not great but is there anything out there that will give me a nitrite quick fix to maybe save my fish? i have my air pump jacked to max output to try and maximise oxygen and my spray bar filter is disturbing the water surface substantially aswell, as i have read high oxygen lowers the effect of nitrite poisoning.

once again thanks for any and all the help you guys can provide.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-13-2010, 04:25 AM
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As for lowering the nitrite, I think water changes are your best weapon. I know plenty of people that regularly do pretty big changes but I usually don't change more than about 50% on any of my tanks. If you do water changes, it has two effects: 1) it dilutes the nitrite you do have in the tank and 2) if you're using a water conditioner that neutralizes nitrite, like Seachem's Prime, you'll have a 24 hour window where small amounts of nitrite won't harm your fish. If you do a daily water change (or more) then nitrite poisoning shouldn't be an issue. Things like Prime will neutralize nitrite but it's still available for processing by bacteria, so that shouldn't slow down your cycle.

Usually (especially if you're buying something) the LFS will just give you some of their media for free.

As for the ammonia, it should stay at zero. Your fish are constantly producing it but it gets metabolized by the bacteria as quickly as it gets produced so once the tank is cycled you should never see any amount of ammonia.

For water changes, I usually just adjust the temperature of the tap until it's close to the tank water temperature, fill the buckets, add the Prime to the buckets and gently pour the water into the tank. Room temperature can be quite a bit colder than the tank water temperature so that's a better method, I think, then letting the water get to room temperature first.

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post #5 of 6 Old 05-13-2010, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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okay i have purchased seachem prime from online as my lfs's don't stock it. whilst i wait for it to arrive even after it has de toxified nitrites, nitrates and ammonia will they still show on my test (API master test kit)
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-15-2010, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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Hey thanks to your recomendation of Seachem's Prime i think my fish are saved!
after 1 hour of dosing my tank my fish are all (including once sickly looking mollies) loking active and well, but i still have the question from my earlier post, once the prime has detoxified the nitrite, will my API liquid test still pick it up?

Thanks for the help!
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