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Please Help With Cycling New Tank

This is a discussion on Please Help With Cycling New Tank within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by 1077 If not overfeeding,or overstocked, substrate won't get too dirty. Vaccuming one third of the tank during water changes, and a ...

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Please Help With Cycling New Tank
Old 03-06-2011, 07:32 AM   #11
 
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If not overfeeding,or overstocked, substrate won't get too dirty. Vaccuming one third of the tank during water changes, and a different one third each week ,would be what I would do.
That's sort of what I have been doing, except with a 10%-15% water change, I find I can only vacuum about 20%-25% of the gravel. No doubt I'm still getting the hang of vacuuming.

So, I'll continue to vacuum just a portion of the gravel each week. That will mean the gravel essentially gets vacuumed once a month, which is also what gingerael suggested. Thanks again guys!
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:44 PM   #12
 
Update. Well, I’ve followed everyone’s advice so far. I didn’t do a water change until today, which was a week after my last change. I'm feeding sparingly, once a day. I have continued to test the water daily. In the past week (my 11th week of cycling), ammonia levels have stayed between 2 and 4. Nitrite has always been 0, and PH is always 7.4, but Nitrate is now at 5. I thought ammonia was supposed to go down, then nitrite rose, and then nitrate appeared after nitrite. But I have nitrate with high ammonia, and I’ve never had any nitrite (in the entire 11 weeks). Go figure. Oh well…I shall just plod on.

On the plus side, all of the fish are alive and doing well. In fact, my little platys are now breeding. THAT came as a shock, because I thought I had only males. That’s what I asked for...all boys. But the guy at the fish store apparently doesn’t hear very well. I’ve now learned how to tell males from females and I have 3 girls, along with about a dozen babies. I only noticed the babies a few days ago, although they were no doubt born before that and were hiding. They’re tiny. Hypothetically, if I were to glue them all together, they wouldn’t even be as big as one platy!

Am I correct in assuming that these babies are not wreaking havoc with my bio-load, and are not the cause of my high ammonia levels? Or might they be the problem? Any suggestions as to what I might do with all of these babies? (This is why I only wanted boys!)
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:10 PM   #13
 
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Update. Well, I’ve followed everyone’s advice so far. I didn’t do a water change until today, which was a week after my last change. I'm feeding sparingly, once a day. I have continued to test the water daily. In the past week (my 11th week of cycling), ammonia levels have stayed between 2 and 4. Nitrite has always been 0, and PH is always 7.4, but Nitrate is now at 5. I thought ammonia was supposed to go down, then nitrite rose, and then nitrate appeared after nitrite. But I have nitrate with high ammonia, and I’ve never had any nitrite (in the entire 11 weeks). Go figure. Oh well…I shall just plod on.

On the plus side, all of the fish are alive and doing well. In fact, my little platys are now breeding. THAT came as a shock, because I thought I had only males. That’s what I asked for...all boys. But the guy at the fish store apparently doesn’t hear very well. I’ve now learned how to tell males from females and I have 3 girls, along with about a dozen babies. I only noticed the babies a few days ago, although they were no doubt born before that and were hiding. They’re tiny. Hypothetically, if I were to glue them all together, they wouldn’t even be as big as one platy!

Am I correct in assuming that these babies are not wreaking havoc with my bio-load, and are not the cause of my high ammonia levels? Or might they be the problem? Any suggestions as to what I might do with all of these babies? (This is why I only wanted boys!)
The babies arent wreaking havoc, promise. :)

If you have any babies that make it to a good size, you might see if your local lfs will take them off your hands, or if you have any friends who might be interested.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:41 AM   #14
 
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The babies arent wreaking havoc, promise. :)

If you have any babies that make it to a good size, you might see if your local lfs will take them off your hands, or if you have any friends who might be interested.
Thanks! I figured the babies were a bit too small to be causing any problems (for now!). I can only assume there's something wrong with my ammonia readings. I can't believe my fish, including the babies, would all be healthy if I truly had ammonia levels of between 2 and 4 day in, day out.

As for the babies...yes. I will try to see if my LFS will take them, along with the 3 females, because I don't want continual babies. Now that I know how to tell males from females, heaven help the next person who tries to give me more girls!
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:47 PM   #15
 
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Thanks! I figured the babies were a bit too small to be causing any problems (for now!). I can only assume there's something wrong with my ammonia readings. I can't believe my fish, including the babies, would all be healthy if I truly had ammonia levels of between 2 and 4 day in, day out.

As for the babies...yes. I will try to see if my LFS will take them, along with the 3 females, because I don't want continual babies. Now that I know how to tell males from females, heaven help the next person who tries to give me more girls!

You would be surprised what some hardier breeds of fish can withstand. But I would consider taking a sample of your tank water to your local lfs and see if they will test it and see if they get a different reading.

What kind of water testing are you using? Verify the experation date on it, too, just to be safe.

Yeah, I am very particular with my mollies and guppies (especially since they can crossbreed)...I keep only males, as livebearers reproduce faster than rabbits!!! lol
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:10 PM   #16
 
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HAve you tested your tap water? cause I thin you said somewhere that you were using it
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:25 PM   #17
 
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HAve you tested your tap water? cause I thin you said somewhere that you were using it
Yes, I've tested my tap water twice. Both times it read zero ammonia.
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:31 PM   #18
 
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You would be surprised what some hardier breeds of fish can withstand. But I would consider taking a sample of your tank water to your local lfs and see if they will test it and see if they get a different reading.

What kind of water testing are you using? Verify the experation date on it, too, just to be safe.

Yeah, I am very particular with my mollies and guppies (especially since they can crossbreed)...I keep only males, as livebearers reproduce faster than rabbits!!! lol
The fact that my platys are ok doesn't surprise me too much, since I know they're hardy. What surprises me are my two show guppies, since I've heard show guppies are not hardy.

I'm using the API liquid test. You read my mind, since I tried to check the expiration date early today. You wouldn't happen to know where to find the expiration date, would you? I've looked high and low and can't find one. The individual bottles each contain a lot number, but I've yet to find an expiration date. Perhaps I will take the water in to have it tested.

I will be returning my female platys and my babies when they're a little bigger. I spoke to a guy at my lfs and he said they'd be happy to take them off my hands. Thereafter, it will be "No Girls Allowed"!
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:38 AM   #19
 
Me again with another update and another pesky question. Well, after 11 weeks of cycling, I'm finally getting some readings that make a bit more sense. I will note at the outset that I find it very difficult to do the color comparisons, since the colors are never identical to those on the charts...they always seem to be somewhere in between. Anyway, best I can tell, ammonia is between 1 and 2, nitrate is between 0.5 and 1.0, and nitrate is between 5 and 10.

Since I'm now getting nitrite (which I know is even more toxic than ammonia), should I do a partial water change, or should I just leave things as is. I'm not yet seeing any signs of stress in the fish, so I'm thinking of leaving as is unless and until I see signs of stress...following which I would do a PWC. But perhaps that would be leaving things too late. Thoughts?
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:06 PM   #20
 
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Me again with another update and another pesky question. Well, after 11 weeks of cycling, I'm finally getting some readings that make a bit more sense. I will note at the outset that I find it very difficult to do the color comparisons, since the colors are never identical to those on the charts...they always seem to be somewhere in between. Anyway, best I can tell, ammonia is between 1 and 2, nitrate is between 0.5 and 1.0, and nitrate is between 5 and 10.

Since I'm now getting nitrite (which I know is even more toxic than ammonia), should I do a partial water change, or should I just leave things as is. I'm not yet seeing any signs of stress in the fish, so I'm thinking of leaving as is unless and until I see signs of stress...following which I would do a PWC. But perhaps that would be leaving things too late. Thoughts?

As far as the experation date, I would expect them to be near the lot number, if not I dont know where as I dont have mine available to look at right now...it has to be somewhere though.

Ammonia and nitrite levels seem high enough that I would personally do a small water change...maybe 15-20%.

Dont feel so bad with having this issue with your tank...my tank has perfect water parameters and yet remains cloudy despite every different option for cloudiness in a tank isnt the issue...tried clearifiers, phosphate removers, water changes, algae removers, gravel vac, new filter cartridges, additional filtration media to reduce cloudiness, and NOTHING. Still cloudy as anything!! Sometimes, it just doesnt make since to me with the tanks!!! lol

Hope yours works itself out soon enough...at least you are getting the nitrite readings now.
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