Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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marshallsea 05-08-2012 02:33 PM

ammonia, nitrite spike
 
my tank has been up for 2 weeks. it has 1 adult platy and 6 fry. its a 20gal. ive tested the water every day. this morning the adult was skimming the top but wasnt gasping. the fry were at top in the corner. they had never done this. so i tested and ammonia was up at .5ppm. nitrite was 1.5ppm. nitrate was 0. the rest were normal. i did a 40% wc. 4 hours later they were acting the same. so i retested and ammonia was .25, nitrite 1.0, nitrate 0. i did another 40% wc. i had been do0ing 40% wc every other day.what caused this? is it beginning to cycle? what else do i need to do?

rhymon78 05-08-2012 02:42 PM

are you adding a water conditioner, seachem prime is a good one, this neutralises ammonia, and nitrites etc for a day or two, it also removes chlorine in the water too. Using this will at least keep your fish safer for a while, its likely your tank is going through the nitrogen cycle, there is a spike in ammonia, then it drops down, then there will be a spike in nitrites then they will drop down too, then the nitrates will kick in. then your good to go.

marshallsea 05-08-2012 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rhymon78 (Post 1073816)
are you adding a water conditioner, seachem prime is a good one, this neutralises ammonia, and nitrites etc for a day or two, it also removes chlorine in the water too. Using this will at least keep your fish safer for a while, its likely your tank is going through the nitrogen cycle, there is a spike in ammonia, then it drops down, then there will be a spike in nitrites then they will drop down too, then the nitrates will kick in. then your good to go.

yes i use prime. so what you're saying is ride it out?

rhymon78 05-08-2012 02:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marshallsea (Post 1073818)
yes i use prime. so what you're saying is ride it out?


ok, I have only just started using prime myself, as I had a nitrite spike out of nowhere last week. Prime was suggested to me as a quick fix to get rid of the nitrite.

When testing the water after dosing with prime, I believe that the test will stick pick up ammonia and nitrite as the tests can't differentiate between ammonia and ammonium (prime converts the harmful chemicals into harmless chemicals for a while) which is actually not harmful to fish. I could be wrong here, but basically if your dosing prime correctly and water changing every day/other day and are still seeing levels, they are probably harmless levels.

I do not know enough to be able to say...just ride it out. you need to make your own judgement, if things look bad then you need to do something. others will help, better than me, I am sure.

Sorry if I have confused you.:-?

urghhh I haven't explained that at ALL well. sorry.

marshallsea 05-08-2012 03:27 PM

thanks for your help , it makes sense.

rhymon78 05-08-2012 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marshallsea (Post 1073861)
thanks for your help , it makes sense.

bottom line is 2 weeks in, your tank is not cycled. as you have fish in there, there is potential for them to die. my best advice to you, and what I hear over and over again from more senior members is add some live plants to you tank, if its small, then just a few, but they need to be fast growing stem plants like Green Cabomba, Anacharis or stuff like pennywort I believe. avoid slow growing stuff like anubias, or java fern. although any plant is better than none.

if you don't want live plants, then I guess its just do not add more fish for a good few more weeks, and do daily water changes. prime only makes the water safe for 24/36 hours, so keeping on top of levels, are they toxic aren't they is gonna get confusing! add the the plants, they look good and will help immensely in the cycle process. I cycled with live plants and have never had any problems, even with an over stocked tank.

marshallsea 05-08-2012 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rhymon78 (Post 1073873)
bottom line is 2 weeks in, your tank is not cycled. as you have fish in there, there is potential for them to die. my best advice to you, and what I hear over and over again from more senior members is add some live plants to you tank, if its small, then just a few, but they need to be fast growing stem plants like Green Cabomba, Anacharis or stuff like pennywort I believe. avoid slow growing stuff like anubias, or java fern. although any plant is better than none.

if you don't want live plants, then I guess its just do not add more fish for a good few more weeks, and do daily water changes. prime only makes the water safe for 24/36 hours, so keeping on top of levels, are they toxic aren't they is gonna get confusing! add the the plants, they look good and will help immensely in the cycle process. I cycled with live plants and have never had any problems, even with an over stocked tank.

i added 2 plants yesterday, anubias and a java fern. i got them at petsmart. i know, i know, but its all i could do for the time being. if my platy dies, should i replace him? and if he does die , its not for a lack of trying on my part, i promise.

rhymon78 05-08-2012 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marshallsea (Post 1073930)
i added 2 plants yesterday, anubias and a java fern. i got them at petsmart. i know, i know, but its all i could do for the time being. if my platy dies, should i replace him? and if he does die , its not for a lack of trying on my part, i promise.

lol, the two I said to avoid. never mind, they are better than nothing. but a bunch of cabomba would be great!! I'm sure petsmart have that. hopefully the platy won't die, it doesn't help that you have fry in there too. the platy will probably eat them though, I heard they do that if they are not separated. I have four platys, and they survived my crisis the other day with the nitrite spike. but, platys are not hardy fish, if you read their profile on the tropical fish profiles tab top left one here, you should see that they shouldn't not be used to cycle a tank. which is what you are doing, danios are a good fish for this. I used glow light tetras and then danios as the next fish. but I had 10 plants in from day 3.

If it does die, and you must have another or more platys then get them to sex them at the store, they are fairly easy to sex. and get just males! i have 4 males, and although I think they might be gay as they try to mate, at least you won't have millions of fry all the time. what a nightmare that would be. unless thats what you want of course.

marshallsea 05-08-2012 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rhymon78 (Post 1073952)
lol, the two I said to avoid. never mind, they are better than nothing. but a bunch of cabomba would be great!! I'm sure petsmart have that. hopefully the platy won't die, it doesn't help that you have fry in there too. the platy will probably eat them though, I heard they do that if they are not separated. I have four platys, and they survived my crisis the other day with the nitrite spike. but, platys are not hardy fish, if you read their profile on the tropical fish profiles tab top left one here, you should see that they shouldn't not be used to cycle a tank. which is what you are doing, danios are a good fish for this. I used glow light tetras and then danios as the next fish. but I had 10 plants in from day 3.

If it does die, and you must have another or more platys then get them to sex them at the store, they are fairly easy to sex. and get just males! i have 4 males, and although I think they might be gay as they try to mate, at least you won't have millions of fry all the time. what a nightmare that would be. unless thats what you want of course.

these fry are about 1/2'' too big to be eaten. i have six fry left from 3 batches, so they will eat all they can but they cant eat them all

Termato 05-08-2012 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marshallsea (Post 1073930)
i added 2 plants yesterday, anubias and a java fern. i got them at petsmart. i know, i know, but its all i could do for the time being. if my platy dies, should i replace him? and if he does die , its not for a lack of trying on my part, i promise.

I disagree as Java Fern and Anubias are two of my favorite plants.

Depending on the strand the Fern could be short or tall.

Good buy IMO ;-)

You should really look into Java Moss and Hornwort.


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