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I have an 80ltr (20gallon) tank that I set up 8 days ago. I have a smaller tank that has 3 guppies in that is currently cycling, but taking forever...anyway my problem is the big tank. Where I am I can't get pure Ammonia, and I really didn't want to use fish to cycle the big tank, so I've just been feeding the tank small amounts.
The tank is apparently having a bad algae bloom....I've been told to do several things with both my tanks and now I really don't know which is the correct advice.
I've been told to change the water in my smaller tank daily to keep the ammonia down.
I've also been told to not change the water and just leave it until I start getting readings of nitrates.
I've been told to ditch the water in the big tank and start again and use my goldfish to cycle the tank.
I've been told to just leave the big tank and see what happens...
So yeah I'm really confused...The big tank looks like milk has been poured in it, there is slime on everything and it stinks. What do I do? should I get rid of all the water and start again? should I be rinsing the ornaments, gravel and filter in water from my other tank?
I don't have access to filter media from an already cycled tank so my only option is either cycling with guppies or just adding food. I'm planing on buying some nutrafin cycle to add to the tank, I just wasn't sure if I should leave it or start again.
Forgot to add
pH is 7.4 in the small tank and 7.2 in the big tank
Ammonia is 1ppm and has been for over a week in the small tank (daily water changes)
Ammonia is 0ppm in the big tank and have only done one partial water change.
Nitrites and Nitrates are 0 in each tank.
Mid range and high range pH
Will be taking some water to LFS to test gh and kh.
Thanks a lot, one more thing...should I remove the carbon from my filter while the tank is cycling? and how often should I be replacing the carbon? I've gotten a few different answers on that too.
Have you tested the water coming out of your tap? If you have 1 ppm of ammonia, change 50% of the water and test again to get 1 ppm....it seems to me like your tap water's got ammonia in it. If this is the case, you might want to consider using bottled water. At the very least, you should use a water conditioner that "removes" ammonia. It doesn't actually remove it, it just binds it so that it's not harmful to your fish. It will still get processed by your biological filter (once that's established after the cycle) but it will also still show up on the API ammonia test until it is processed by the bacteria.
How much food are you putting in the tank? The slime and moldy smell you describe could actually be mold. Leaving uneaten fish food in a tank will often lead to it getting covered in a white mold. I don't believe it's harmful to the fish, but if it gets out of control you can suck it up with a gravel vac.
As for the carbon, I can't really help you there as I don't use any carbon in my tanks at all. The carbon shouldn't remove any ammonia or nitrites from your water (so it shouldn't have any negative impact on cycling) and it does provide extra surfaces in your filter to grow on, so it might actually be helpful. Carbon should usually be replaced once every four weeks or so.
I tested the tap water, no Ammonia fromm there. But the pH can change from day to day, generally I rest my water for 24-48 hours and the pH for some reason is lower after its been rested. For example one day the tap water was 7.8pH left it overnight and it was 7.2. I need to get the hardness tested (do that next trip to LFS).
I'm only adding water conditioner when I do big water changes, the rest of the time I just use the dechlorinator.
I've only put 2 crushed up flakes of food in at a time, and have only done that 6 times. I've rinsed the filter once in the last week, to get any decaying food out. And I gravel vacced today and got some out. Its strange that the tank with the fish in it is fine other than the high ammonia.
I did a 50% water change on the other tank with the high ammonia, got it down to .5ppm but was up again to 1ppm the next day. This is where it gets a little tricky, am I right in thinking that the cycle isn't going to happen if I'm doing 50% water changes every day in order to keep the ammonia at a safe level.
I've been advised it isn't a good idea to use products such as Ammolock since this will also have the same effect in slowing the nitrogen cycle. I can see why people give up the hobby fairly quickly, other than the cost its darn confusing!
At least I know a lot more than what I did two weeks ago :D
MMM...not sure what to do with this smelly tank. IF it is mold can that be harmful to humans? We've got a 3 month old baby.
Should I empty it? I'll go get a shrimp (or prawn as we call em here down under) and try what you suggested. Do you shell it, or just chuck it in whole? do you leave it in until you get high ammonia readings and nitrite?
When the shrimp is in there, do I need to do any tank maintanence during that time, such as water changes, gravel vaccing and cleaning out the filter?
another thought....would I be better off using an undergravel filter? the LFS suggested this would be better, but we'd already bought and used the cannister filter so I haven't thought much about it. The tank dimensions are 62cm length x 31.5cm deep x 31.5cm high, at the moment we're planning on putting in an Angelfish and some Cory catfish, maybe a pleco or some small schooling fish (cardinals maybe). Haven't completely decided yet on what stock.
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