New Tank Syndrome and 10 Galllon Bio-Wheel Making a Clicking Noise - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 28 Old 09-20-2012, 11:39 PM
Chesh's Avatar
Missed a few. . .

I moss balls! I guess. . .if they came from a tank that had an established biological filter, then they would have a small amount of beneficial bacteria on them, which would get some into the tank to at least help get things rolling. But if you're referring to plants in general, and how they help to 'clean' ammonia from the tank, Marimo won't help very much from that aspect, I don't think. . . but they ARE super cute! Floating plants or stem plants are what you'd need to help get the tank through cycling, but you have to also bear in mind that plants need certain things to thrive as well, such as the right lighting and nutrients. If/when you're ready to get into that, there are many in the planting part of the forum who can help you with that.

Water agitation is generally a good thing - it gets oxygen into the tank by making the water at the surface move, which the fish need to survive. That said, I've had a bubbler or two in my time that were a bit heavy-duty, and seemed to be a bit much. The actual machines are rated depending on the size tank, so in my case I was using a bubbler in a small tank that had the power for a much larger one - and no valve to adjust it. To be honest, I just put a slight kink in the tubing outside of the tank and held it in place loosely with a rubber band. This slowed the flow of the bubbler down enough that it was still moving the water efficiently at the surface, but not - what did you say? Like a motorboat!

I'm not sure why it was foaming. . . maybe it was one of the chemicals you were adding to the water (perhaps the ammonia remover?) that was causing this odd reaction? Sorry! I don't know. . . I've only seen foam when using certain medications, and it was expected. Perhaps someone else will know.

Make sure that you clean your test tube vials AND CAPS after you use them! If there was a tiny bit of a chemical left in there from one of the other tests, it can throw the whole test off, and that's probably what happened. I've never seen a pink reading for ammonia, but. . . yellow is what we're going for, lol!
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post #12 of 28 Old 09-21-2012, 01:38 AM Thread Starter

lol if you had said water conditioner i woud have gotten it since i have seen things that say dechlorification i don't use that i do use water conditioner though i like aqueons and top fin's products so i use them when i use the water conditioner.

i actually found this blue bin today in my room a bit dirty but it was deep enought to where i didn't have to do a 1 gallon each tae out i don't feel it with clean water i used the other bucket instead.and yeah it's a pain but it as to get clean and i don't turn of the water once i have things set to the right temprature.well unless my mom is home then she turrns it off and i have to find that temprature again.

the heater is fairly brand new it isn't broken i just didn't know how to use it the one in the 10 gallon doesn't have number on it only a "Plus (+) sign" and a "Negative (-) sign" so it gets very confusing to tell what temprature it's on unlike the 45 gallon heater where you have numbers that you can read to set it on to the right temprature.

and i didn't add the medication in until after i did a water change on the 10 gallon and the 5 gallon til sunday of this week.

explaining things in typing is kinda hard for me to explaining things step by step i can not do cause then you will get very confused like i said i can't explain stuff in writting it's tp difficult for me

and i love the moss balls too i am thinking of getting one more for the 2.5 gallon and i might have to get a new one for the 45 gallon cause i can't roll thoemoss balls back into round balls anymore i was taking ome dead parts off when the were in the 5 gallon before the fish got the 45 gallon tank and it just won't stay rolled so i might need to throw that one away.there are two in there so the goldish peck food off of them when it drops to the tank the betta does the same thing when he misses he pellets and chases after them.

as for the betta fish i use it cause the betta was nippin his fin or getting the were getting torn by the old decorations which i am throwing out soon there are in the 2.5 gallon withe the female.i haaaaaate those decorations i am getting new plant ones when i can.

i didn't even know gravel kept benificial bacteria in it cause i get around the whole tank with the gravel vaccum and i prever it over the sand cause with e guppies and the neon tetras forgot to say what kind of tetras they were the neon gravel looks so cool with the neon black light or some kind of's a light were you can make it bright or dark depending on the day and the fish looks so awsome with it plus i really hate sand over gravel sand is just way to messy for me to deal with and it gets everywhere.when i am at a beach i litterally will rinse everything that has sand on it except my purse and towl i just shake those like no tomorrow til.don't get me wrong i will take a sandy beach over a rock one anyday i jut hate it in my house and it getting everywhere.anywho enough of that lol XD

yeah that's what i did with the test tube thingy after it went pink cause i got so confused and thought the testing strips were being weird then i did a nother rinse and got a better result

by the way the ammonia level,nitrite level,and nirate level were all 0 in all 4 tanks

Last edited by Ashtreelogger; 09-21-2012 at 01:42 AM.
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post #13 of 28 Old 09-21-2012, 08:21 AM
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Okay... it is GREAT that your ammonia and nitrIte levels are both at 0, HOWEVER in a fully cycled tank, there IS supposed to be a reading for nitrAtes. Since all 3 of the levels are at 0, this is telling me that NONE of your tanks are cycled right now. So you're going to want to be paying close attention to the levels for ammonia and nitrate, and you might have to do more water changes than normal to keep the levels low

As to WHY they aren't cycled. . . it *might* be because of the General Cure medication, that *can* knock out the bacteria, or maybe because too much cleaning of the gravel and filters has removed what beneficial bacteria may have been in there, OR because you were regularly using a product that removes ammonia - this is what Snappy was trying to explain earlier - the bacteria FEEDS on ammonia, so if you use a product that removes it all of the time, the bacteria will never be able to grow, having nothing to eat. But with that said, ammonia is still deadly to fish, so it's a balancing act while the tank is cycling, and a very dangerous spot for the fish to be in, no matter how you do things. So be very careful, and try to find more advice on how to get through this process with as little stress to the fish as possible. Regardless of the CAUSE, you're going to have to be very careful over the next 4-6 weeks, and monitor those tanks constantly while these bacterial colonies develop.

If it's it possible, ask a friend with established fish tanks, OR ask your pet shop - if they can give you some media from their tanks to help you get a bit of bacteria in there to 'seed' the tank(s). This can be a handful of gravel, a tank decoration, or a snip from the filter pad - ANYTHING that has a surface on which the bacteria has colonized. The cycling process will go a bit more quickly if there are some in the tank to begin with (though it still won't be instantly cycled, and you'll have to be careful!). Keep in mind - if you can get something - that the bacteria are living organisms that you want to keep healthy. Treat any media just as you would a fish - don't wash it and keep it wet in it's tank water while it's being transported back to your own tank(s).

A lot of people don't realize it, but the beneficial bacteria lives on the surfaces inside of the tank - not in the water, or exclusively in the filter - this is why 'dipping' the other filters in the new tank(s) wouldn't have helped much. Gravel is perfectly fine, stick to what you like! I wasn't trying to get you to switch to sand (don't think you should, actually) I was just letting you know that *I* don't have tanks with gravel, so I don't have much experience on how to properly care for it. Again, do your own research, maybe post a thread on how to properly clean your gravel, etc. But be aware that over-cleaning sure can be a problem - and I suspect that in your case it probably is.

Fish pee creates ammonia - and without the beneficial bacteria in the tank to take it away as it comes, the levels of ammonia can rise very rapidly. Between the ammonia suddenly 'spiking,' and your 50% water changes dropping it back very dramatically and suddenly, PLUS the temperature in the 10g being too high - I think we've figured out why you're having so many problems. . .

I've never used those water conditioners, but I'm sure they're fine - just make sure they remove everything that needs removing, and you're set!

I'm not familliar with your heater, but if you're sure that it is in working order, drop that dial toward the "Negative (-) sign," a bit and see if you can get the temps lower in the 10g tank - they ARE too high, and will harm your fish. What type of tetra do you have? If we know this, we can better figure out what temp would be good for that tank.

It's okay if you're not the best writer - everyone has their talents and weaknesses! I love to write, but I can't ever seem to keep things short and concise. Now that you've calmed down a bit, are spacing your thoughts out a little, and using some punctuation, it's been MUCH easier for me to figure out what you're trying to say! Thanks for trying, and not getting offended by that request! Keep in mind that when reading thoughts through text, things can get mixed up, and sometimes words come out sounding (to the reader) more harsh than they were intended (by the writer) - and the same thing is true in reverse! Try not to take things personally, and feel like you're under attack. I promise you, the people on this forum are generally VERY nice, and they only want to help. So even if something seems rude to you - remember that it probably wasn't intended to come out sounding that way!

Moss balls need to be gently rinsed in dirty tank water and re-rolled every so often to clean them of all the gunk they collect. Make sure that you put the ball back each time with a different side facing up, as this will help it grow evenly, and keep its round shape!

Betta have very delicate fins, so if your decorations have ANYTHING that they might get snagged on, take them out of that tank right away, so that he will be able to heal properly. I'm still suspecting that water quality might have been an issue, since his fins sound very dramatically torn. I know you're doing your best, so don't take it the wrong way, but you're learning. I'm still learning, too, and have made my fair share of mistakes. Every type of fish is different, and Betta have their own set of rules. My betta tank IS fully cycled, but many people DO keep their betta in small, uncycled tanks successfully - I just don't know how to help you with that. Do some research on your own, and post a thread on this fish's troubles in particular - hopefully you'll be able to get someone with more expertise to help you get him healed up and healthy again. Same thing applies to Goldfish - they're very unique fish that have their own set of rules that have to be followed. I don't keep goldfish, so I'm not familiar with their needs. You may want to post a new thread specifically with the goal of figuring out what they need, and how to get THEM through a cycling tank. Since they're notorious for having a high bio-load (they poop a lot!), you might need more experienced help to bring that tank and those fish through without harm.

I'm going to be very busy today, and over the weekend. I hope I've been of some help to you in getting things figured out, but please keep in mind that I am fairly new at fishkeeping, too. I don't want to steer you in the wrong direction, so be sure to do your own research and post some new, more specific, threads to get more detailed advice. Remember that it is way easier all around to ask questions about one tank or one type of fish at a time per post, than to try to sort through advice on four very different tanks at once.

Best of luck to you and your fish - and never be afraid to ask questions!

Last edited by Chesh; 09-21-2012 at 08:41 AM.
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post #14 of 28 Old 09-21-2012, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
ok first off i thought everything at 0 ment it was safe when i read the color chart everything at 0 was safe cause the chart reads from safe to harmful and the nirite and the nitrate were both white which ment safe and the amonia was at 0 which you said was yellow or something that was at safe levels too now as for the ahrdness it was a bit too high so i redid the water changes and got that down a bit same with the ph levels i brought those down to moderste and ideal.

lol also i said i had neon tetras when i was describing what i had with the guppies about comparing the sand and gravel i think you might have moissed it it's all right but i did say what teras of i have they are the neons and very interesting to say the least when the dark light hits them.

as for the betta he is actually been recovering since july from his fin loss so they aren't as bad as the use to be they've been growing for a while and getting back to the right length i posted a thread about his fin loss back in july and got someone to help me they said it didn't effect him to much just had to keep an eye on him not over medicate his tank with the betta fix and now he is getting back to normal.

yes i do plan to take out those plants in the 2.5 gal like i mentioned before i abosolutely hate them right now i have them in there for the little female to hide in but they will be replaced especially when she gets a bit bigger cause the female is still growing they had a couple of baby girls in stock so she's still a baby luckily she is at a size where she wont get sucked up ino the intake tube but shes still small i think she is at her half point befor getting to the size she is suppose to be.

like i mentioned earlier the 5 gallon is indeed cycled i have had that thing since march so i know for a fact the 5 gallon and the 2.5 gallon are both cycled which i had the 2.5 since the end of january towards the beginning of february i got it from my grandma after the chinese new years festival i had the goldfish i won which was lobster in a bowl when i first got him didn't have enough money for a tank so he just sat in a bowl til we got the tank and now 4 takes later that bowl is empty and i only use i to refil any small amout of water in the tank or if i have to take the fish out to clean there tanks if i don't want the fish harmed in what i'm doing but i rarely do that the last time i did that was when i had to remove the goldfish to see if we could find the disappearing goldfish's body but they got put back in after i finished redecorating the tank and giving them new water.

and the medication doesn't do that i read the instructions it cure over a hundered diseases and i was using it to treat ich just incase case like i said the black more mya have had it so i didn't want my fish to get treats parasites and i hate that problem with xun in the past.i had a post on that too and xun recovered from that,in a nutshell it shouldn't effect the bacteria.

with the gravel i guess i will just start cleaning a differret side of the tank each time to keep the bacteria here and there.i know what benificial bacteria is and i know it's good for the tank and fish a while abck i was over cleaning the tanks by taking owt more than i should have so when i came to realize this i'm like oh shoot i really need to quite cleaning more than i am taking out

i also like to point out i do my research befor i come here but sometime the answer i find aren't very accurate or a bit vegue so i just come here cause i get more accurate answers if i tell people what is going on and sldo by teh answers i get they are less vague and more accurate than the research i do on fish disease and tank stuff
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post #15 of 28 Old 09-21-2012, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
oh yeah i forgot to addthe tank is filtered i have a pump in there i was talking about the catridges i replace those not the filter pump it's self so i got confused on what you were saying for a sec about the bettas surving in a not filtered tank.both betta tanks are filtered i change the catridges every month
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post #16 of 28 Old 09-24-2012, 12:41 AM
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There are three things that we're looking at when we test the tank for toxins:

1. Ammonia is the first toxin that enters the system and it is the most lethal of all. This is introduced into the system via fish wastes, food wastes, and any decaying matter that is in the tank. In a fully cycled tank, you should always have a 0 reading for Ammonia. In a cycling tank, this number will 'spike' upward rapidly, and you must keep the levels down via water changes for the safety of your fish.

2. NitrIte is the second part of the chain, and doesn't appear until the bacteria does, meaning that if a tank has not yet started to cycle (and there is no bacteria) the reading will also be at 0. The bacteria turns the ammonia into nitrIte - without the bacteria, nitrIte won't exist. NitrIte is also toxic. While a tank is cycling, you will get a reading for nitrItes, and want to do water changes to keep these levels down. When the tank is fully cycled, you also should always have a 0 reading for NitrIte.

3. NitrAte is the third and final part of the cycle. Nitrate is only harmful to most fish when it reaches a very high level - 80ppm + (this varies depending on the fish), anything under that IS considered 'safe' for most fish. The bacteria turn the toxic NitrIte into NitrAte, so obviously the bacteria has to be present in the tank for you to get a reading for nitrAte, too.

NitrAte will stay in the water until it is removed via water changes. A 0 reading of Nitrate IS 'safe', because nitrAte isn't harmful until it reaches a very high level. A fully cycled tank will always have a reading for nitrAtes. The specific amount of nitrAtes depends on the tank size and stocking levels, but usually it seems that people report readings between 10-30ppm. So while 0 nitrAtes IS safe, it indicates a tank that is not cycled. The ONLY exception to this rule is in tanks that are very densely planted - which yours isn't. So you should have a reading for nitrates if your tank(s) are cycled.

I'm confused again as to what test you're using? The API Master Test kit is a liquid test that you add to tank water in a test-tube. There is no 'white' or 'safe' readings on these tests - when done properly, the water in the tube will change colors based on the level of toxins in the tank. When you match the color to the chart, you will get a number that will tell you where your levels are. Even a 0 reading has a corresponding color. If the vials are NOT changing color, then you're doing something wrong, or your chemicals aren't working and you should contact the company. Test strips are very inaccurate, and not to be trusted. You said you have the API Master Test Kit, so. . .if this is the test that you're using, and your nitrAte reading is coming up as 0, then - I'm sorry to say it again - it is very doubtful that your tank(s) are cycled!

The amount of time that a tank has been set up doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the nitrogen cycle. Things can happen in a tank that has been established for years that will kill or remove the beneficial bacteria that makes the cycle happen. Some of these things you've mentioned here - cleaning your tank(s) fairly aggressively is one (glad you're going to be cleaning the gravel in stages now!). Cleaning the filters incorrectly and/or changing the filter pads to often is another. Based on all that you've said in this thread alone, I strongly advise you to do some more research into the nitrogen cycle, and proceed as if your tank is not yet cycled until you start to get a reading for nitrAtes in your tank. You seem very convinced that your tanks are cycled, I won't argue with you - I'm not there to do the tests myself - but it can't hurt to be extra cautious, right? Just in case! I would if the tank was mine.

You may be right about General Cure, I feel like I've read somewhere that if used too often or for too long it *can* have a negative effect on the bacteria, but I'm not sure about this, I'm in no way a fish medicine expert, lol! I know that it is considered a fairly 'safe' medication to use. I still wouldn't use it unless you are SURE of what you're treating for, exactly. Medicating can be very hard on the fish. . . now that I'm thinking about it, I DO think I've read somewhere that Praziquantel can cause temporary foaming in an aquarium. Again, double-check this, but . . . perhaps this is why your bubblers were causing the water surface to foam, when they didn't before? I also *think* I've read that this drug can be tough on Tetra. . . but I'm really not sure. More research here is needed if you ever feel that you need to use this medication again. Hopefully you won't have to!

According to the profiles here on TFK, Neon Tetras should be kept in the range of 68-78F. If your tank hits 82, it's surely too high for them to be comfortable! Guppies, temperature range according to our profiles is 64-82F, so they will also do better in slightly cooler water. I'd suggest you try to get your tank somewhere around the 75-76f mark to keep these guys happier.

Anyway, I think I've given you all of the help *I* can offer regarding the problems you've been having - there isn't any more advice I can give you within my realm of experience! I hope you've found something in all of this that will help you on your way to happy healthy aquariums. Good luck to you - and your fishies!
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post #17 of 28 Old 09-24-2012, 01:01 AM
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The key point here is to go slow and carefully.... Try to let things happen as they should without to much intervention from chicks or man made substances. And keep a diary.... Reading this will teach you all you need to know in the future!
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post #18 of 28 Old 09-24-2012, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
yeah i use test trips just cause someone was like the liquid ones are inaccurate as for the temparture i've been plating with the heater a bet and checking the themometer now and then again to get the temprature down and turn it down it got a bit to warm once so i had to fix that
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post #19 of 28 Old 09-25-2012, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
thanks for the advice guys bad news though my 45gallon goldfish tank shattered this afternoon cause of some unneeded drama so but ts and xun died unfortunately from the tank shattering and killing them i wasn't home at the time but i came home a few minutes to late and got really upset about it
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post #20 of 28 Old 11-13-2012, 10:36 PM

I need more posts to get into the chat room? Exactly how many?
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