Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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dethnode 10-10-2012 10:52 PM

Problem with nitrogen cycle
So I got a 20 gallon long tank 3 weeks ago, on bad advice and poor research I added 10 fish the next day. I lost 6 fish in two days, but the other four have held out pretty well. However I have been testing my water with the API master test kit. Today I tested and nitrite was finally above zero which I take to mean that the cycle has started, but nitrate is still 0, but the problem is that last week I had an ammonia level of .25 to .50 ppm, now today it tested at 2.0 ppm

redchigh 10-10-2012 11:24 PM

Ammonia and nitrite will both rise before ammonia will start decreasing. Just give it time and keep up the water changes.
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dethnode 10-10-2012 11:36 PM

Should I be using something like "prime" or aquasafe that detoxifies ammonia, or is just using a plain water conditioner okay?

And is a 25% water change every other day sufficient?

1077 10-11-2012 07:21 AM

Prime would be my choice .
Would also reduce feeding's to once each day, till the tank matures.
Daily 25 percent water change will not hurt anything or slow down the cycle to any measureable degree.
Four small fish in 20 gallon ?
Larger fish create more waste, which might make the need for larger percentage of water changed out according to test result's.
Reducing the amount of food going in the tank will help keep toxin's such as nitrites from getting too high between water changes.

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