I am Lost, PLEASE HELP
Okay i have a pretty new aquarium (55 gallon),,,Our pet store had a great sale about 2 and a half months ago and i knew nothing about setting up new aquarium's so i got there advice witch was the biggest mistake i've made.
I have in the tank right now....
3 Opaline Gourami's
3 Dwarf Flame Gourami's
3 blue Dwarf Gourami's
4 red Cherry Barbs
2 Yoyo Loaches
3 Kuhli Loaches
1 Chinese Algea eater
I did not know about cycling a new tank because the pet store did not tell me a thing about it, I got ich a few weeks ago and treated with salt/heat method and only lost my Pleco. I got a water test kit a few weeks ago also and have been fighting to get my water levels normal wich is an ongoing fight and i have no idea what im doing wrong.
I have been doing daily water changes (30-40%) for over a week now, I have added nutrafin cycle for the first few times but not anymore. My water levels are still going all over the place, as of right now my levels are,,,Ammonia is around 1 PPM,,,,Nitrate-100PPM,,,,,Nitrite is around 2-3PPM,,,my PH has been good and stable and thats about it. What do i need to do to get this tank to be safe for my fish? Im surprised none have died yet and i have put a lot of money into it and love my fish. Its been 2 weeks of water changes and the only thing that has gotten somewhat better is the ammonia.
I really want to correct this mess and wish I wouldve known from the star but im here now and would greatly appreciate any help i can get.
Also i have cut back on feeding in my tank.
Hi! Welcome to the hobby and the forum! I'm sorry you got off to such a bad start, but we'll do our best to get you back on track.
If you want to try an artificial bacterial supplement I've heard good things about Tetra SafeStart and Dr. Tim's product. They don't always work, but it's better than nothing.
There is another route you can go: live plants. They will use the ammonia and nitrite that are in the water and decrease the concentration. The catch is you are going to need a lot of fast-growing ones to counter act the fish load you have in there even a little bit. Right now if you can find some plants like water sprite, anarcharis, or hornwort, you can toss them in and let the float. These will help bring down your ammonia concentration but won't totally eliminate the need for water changes. You might end up doing them every 2-3 days instead of every day.
You do have some stocking problems, but we'll address those once the tank is cycled. In the meantime you can read about each of those fish in our tropical fish profiles (the link is in the top left). You can also get a link to the fish/plant profile when you see a fish name highlighted like goldfish or dwarf gourami.
Thanks for the friendly welcome and help!..Is the Nutrafin Cycle Supplement i am using not good enough? I dont think it has helped much to be honest, I have also been using Prime with each water change. Should i keep doing what i am doing right now and it will eventually level out?
And i am curious as to what stocking problems i have, All my fish get along just great. Maybe i am missing something here i have researched quite a bit. I know a lot have said they wont get along but there has been no territorial problems, yet anyway. Thanks again!
EDIT: Forgot to say my LFS doesn't carry many live plants but i will check if they have any that you listed and pick them up tomorrow. I also have a gravel substrate do i just dig the roots in the gravel and there good to go?
Most of the stocking problems will be aggression issues that will arise as the fish get older. Younger fish are more tolerant of each other, but as they age they can become cranky. If you check the profiles for those fish, they are spelled out rather nicely.
About the supplement: most of the ones on the market don't actually contain the species of beneficial bacteria that make up the nitrogen cycle in an aquarium. There is absolutely no quality control or accountability with these things. Manufacturers can claim their products do anything. That said, the reason I suggest those two is because Dr. Tim (who actually is a doctor just likes to be called that) identified the bacteria as well as found a way to preserve those bacteria for a short amount of time. He sold the formula to Tetra for a few million dollars. This is why those two products tend to work more than other products.
As for the plants, I suggest you float them (the ones I recommended will grow well floating). They will have better access to light there and be able to grow and assimilate ammonia faster there.
And certainly keep using Prime!!
Hello welcome to the site. I myself am a new member as of a few days ago. My advice to you is the same with the others on the water changes. Do them as the others on here have described. The one product that has always helped me get my cycle process in order is. Product made by Seachem called Stability. I have used this product on 4 aquariums that I own. One being a 75 gallon, 2 being 5-6 gallons and the other is a turtle tank that my daughter loves. The product establishes beneficial bacteria in your aquarium in just 7 days. You can google the product before you buy or use it to ensure its what you need or go directly to the Seachem website and check it out. The product has never done me wrong and has always helped me cycle an aquarium quickly and efficiently but make sure you follow the instructions to the letter. It doesn't work correctly if you don't.
I hope I was able to help.
If you can get it, Lysofoss is brilliant for introducing beneficial bacteria into your tank. It's a powder form of the bacteria that is activated by water. I used it to fishless cycle my 26G tank and it was done in 3 weeks (Only lysofoss and food, no plants either!). :-) It's completely natural and the algae eaters will eat the excess. Without trying to sounds like a sales pitch, I can't recommend it enough. I also use it every so often when I do a filter clean and water change to give the bacteria a boost :-) Oh and my Platy fry love it too! lol
Welcome to TFK!
Doing such large daily water changes and still having such high nitrates suggests to me that just maybe you have high nitrates in your source water. You should test your source water to confirm this. (I have a well in an agricultural area that has very high nitrates).
To clear up some confusion, years ago bacteria supplements were not as good as they are today. As a matter of fact, many even used incorrect species that did little or no good in the aquarium. But nowadays, these supplements have come of age and most major players are now in the game with good products. Tetra's safe start, Dr. Tim's one and only, Seachem's Stability, API's quick start to name a few.
> Test your source (tap) water.
> I'm uncertain if you need more more bacteria supplement or just more time.
> I do agree that adding plants, even floating plants will help your situation.
> You might also use Prime as conditioner as it has properties to detoxify ammonia, nitrite and nitrate for 24-48 hours allowing beneficial bacteria to process. This can be a good advantage until a tank is cycled and stabilized.
> Finally, since your tank nitrates are so high, you might consider getting Fluval Lab Series Nitrate Remover (FNR) or API Nitra-Zorb for your filter as temporary measures to reduce tank nitrates. These are synthetic polymer (scavenger) resins that adsorb nitrates and can be recharged several times using salt water.
> Also, since tank nitrates are so high, you may need more focus on gravel siphoning and/or filter maintenance to remove decaying detritus.
Keep us posted.
I am at college for the day I will head out after and see if the LFS carries any of these cycle products, and will pick up some plants for the tank. I will add them after the water change today.
Also my tap water does contain nitrates that's why I've been using prime, as it is a dechlorinates and removes renders the nitrites and nitrates harmless if that is correct.
Now that I will have live plants in my tank is there any acclimation process for them and how does care for them go?
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Acclimating plants is really really easy. If they come from a tank with fish, it's not a bad idea to let them sit in a separate tank for a week or so to ensure they aren't carrying any diseases with them. If you're worried about snails some people will rinse the plants in a bleach solution, but I don't recommend this. I just rinse my plants under tap water for a few minutes and then stick them in the tank. It will take the plants a few days to get adjusted to your tank.
Another option for finding plants is the classified section here. A lot of people will sell or give away their plant clippings instead of throwing them away.
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