Where did I go wrong with my 55 gal tank? (NTS problems) - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-29-2010, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
Where did I go wrong with my 55 gal tank? (NTS problems)

I have kept fish tanks before. Several small sizes (>30 gallons) and a couple big ones. I've kept African Cichlids and even have them spawn! I've had a nice planted community tank! But that was 6 years ago, and now I am having my butt handed to me by some carp.

Here is the set up:
55 gallon tank, about 4 weeks old.
2 Aquaclear 50 filters (one for either side)
25 live plants (that serve as perpetual snacks)

3 6 inch koi
1 3 inch black moor
2 2 inch mollies
2 1 inch ballon mollies
And a resident small pleco

Measurements are sans tail fins.

I know I am experiencing NTS ( new tank syndrome). My last readings showed everything being fine -except for nitrites. I bought some ammonia chips for the filters and now have them set up with ammonia chips, carbon, and then sponge in that order. I can't remember ever having a cycling issue with previous tanks. But I never kept koi. I know that the koi are not staying in this tank, we had the bright idea that we wanted a koi pond, and wanted to grow them from small fish. The water is cloudy from when I assume is bacteria and we've done a 50% water change this week.

The fish were added like below:
Koi and pleco
1 week later
Mollies
1 week later
The black moor

(Please excuse my typos, I am using my phone to post.)

Last edited by DappleDoxieGirl; 01-29-2010 at 08:36 AM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-29-2010, 10:05 AM
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Did you cycle your tank before adding all the fish or with all these fish (cycle done = Ammonia, NO2, NO3 at 0 permanently)? What are your parameters now?
Is the tank cloudly like someone added a lil milk to it, like white cloudy? That'd then be bacteria bloom.

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post #3 of 15 Old 01-29-2010, 12:00 PM
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I agree with the above...doesn't sound like your cycled yet...another thing that caught my eye....why are you using ammonia chips? (i'm assuming the ones used to remove ammonia) during a cycle you need your ammonia levels to build up....putting ammonia chips in your filter pretty much negating all of that. You need ammonia to cycle your tank, either by fish food, fish waste or actual ammonia....

You're tank is trying to cycle itself by using the fish waste as an ammonia source....you're counter acting that by using ammonia chips....if your constantly removing ammonia, you'll never cycle your tank...ditch the chips...

I would also lose the carbon, I'm not a pro yet on plants, but i do know that carbon removes some of the nutrients that plants thrive on in an aquarium....not to mention that cabron "burns up" pretty quick, it doesn't last long and is a waste of money...I've ever only used it after medicating a tank....
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-29-2010, 12:33 PM
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going to agree with everyone else here, lose the ammo chips and dont add any chems untill your tank clears up. the only thing you can do for unsafe levels during a cycle is water changes amount and frequency vary depeinging on tank size and levers of toxins.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-29-2010, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
Okay I will try those. The tank was not given the chance to cycle properly (my fault). I was told the amonia chips would help with the nitrite levels (NO2 I think?). Once I remove these, how often should I concern myself with water changes? The cloud is milky and I am sure the result of a bacterial issue. The fish are not always at the top, but are gulping and seem stressed.
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-29-2010, 03:17 PM
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Dep on the NO's levels and Ammonia Level; possibly daily water change of 50% to keep the fish alive.
Bacteria Blooms clear up over night; that's less the issue in your tank then the toxins from the Ammonia that'll indeed kill your fish.

~ Life Is Too Short, Break The Rules, Forgive Quickly, Kiss Slowly, Love Truly, Laugh Uncontrollably And Never Regret Anything that Made You Smile.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-29-2010, 03:20 PM
I'd buy a liquid test kit, test daily, any time the ammonia or nitrite readings are above zero, do a 50% water change. The good news is that since you have nitrite readings, your bacteria are building up so i bet it doesn't take too long to cycle. You could try adding some live bacteria like Safe Start (yellow bottle, refrigerated) to jump start the nitrite-eating bacteria.

I've never heard of koi in an aquarium...is it a special kind? I'd love to see pictures!

Stephanie's updated tank profiles:
29 gallon 10 gallon
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-29-2010, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
The koi started because my boyfriends youngest daughter won a drawing contest run by a local koi club and I decided to buy her one, they sold some small koi at the convention that was going on. His oldest got one too, (you can never have one of anything in our house) and we set up a older eclipse 6 gallon that housed them for about a year with my koi (I wanted one too). Well, they out grew that so we finally bought this in hopes to get them to a decent size before putting them in a pond. Once the tank clears I'll post some pictures. I'm too embarressed with it right now. I'll try taking out the carbon and ammoniqa chips and continue changing their water. This bloom has been going on for about a week. I stopped feeding flakes and am only doing sinking pellets which they all eat.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-29-2010, 05:15 PM
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Good call on ditching the flakes, as these are known to cause buoyancy problems with goldfish and koi. I agree with what others have said; ditch the ammonia chips (and the carbon if this is a planted tank) and replace them with biomedia like ceramic rings. Test daily for ammonia and nitrites and do water changes as needed to keep both of these as low as possible.

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post #10 of 15 Old 01-29-2010, 08:22 PM
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You mentioned that you have live plants? "25 live plants (that serve as perpetual snacks)
" Are they growing? Normally you won't see a cycle with live plants. I agree with the above posts on the "chips". remove them.
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