Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/)
-   Beginner Freshwater Aquarium (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/)
-   -   New Tank (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/new-tank-17354/)

catlaytic 08-26-2008 12:00 AM

New Tank
 
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.

Thanks

iamntbatman 08-26-2008 12:29 AM

Quote:

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.
That will work, although some people have said this is the slowest method of cycling a tank. You could also try using a shrimp (the kind you'd eat). Just toss it in a tank (you can put it in a filter media bag for easy removal) and as it decays, it will provide a steady source of ammonia for your bacteria to use.

Quote:

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.
Is the tank in direct sunlight? What sort of lighting do you have on the tank, and what's the lighting schedule? Those are big factors. Is the algae in the form of "green water" or is it growing on the surfaces in the tank?

Quote:

I've been told to change the water in my smaller tank daily to keep the ammonia down.
If you've got fish in the tank, yes, you need to do water changes any time the ammonia reaches levels high enough to be harmful to the fish. Later in the cycle, you need to do the same thing when the nitrite levels get too high. For both ammonia and nitrite, 0.5 ppm is a good cut off point; do water changes whenever either parameter gets above this number. If you don't have a good liquid test kit (which is pretty much a must-have for any hobbyist) then daily water changes are probably the best way to shoot in the dark.

Quote:

I've also been told to not change the water and just leave it until I start getting readings of nitrates.
They might have been talking about the tank that you're cycling without fish. If you don't have fish in the tank, you don't have any creatures to worry about harming and thus water changes during the cycle aren't necessary.

Quote:

I've been told to ditch the water in the big tank and start again and use my goldfish to cycle the tank.
Huh? I dunno who told you that. Why would you "ditch the water"? Goldfish are hardy enough to be good cycling fish, but they aren't tropical fish and get too large for a 20g tank, so if you plan on keeping them they're a poor choice unless you get a bigger tank and plan to keep them either by themselves or with other coldwater fish. Cycling fishless is often faster, plus it doesn't harm any fish, so I really don't understand why anyone would recommend starting over and doing a cycle with fish.

Quote:

I've been told to just leave the big tank and see what happens...
Whatever cycling method you choose, you can't just "leave it." You've got to provide some sort of ammonia source throughout the cycle or the bacteria will starve. Whether this is fish food, pure ammonia, the shrimp I talked about above or even live fish, there needs to be something in there providing ammonia or else you simply don't have an aquarium that's cycling. If you stop the cycling process, you'll have to start all over again, or else whatever fish you add to it will likely die from ammonia poisoning.

Quote:

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?
What sort of test are you using for the water parameters? Milky-white water is usually a sign of a bacterial bloom, which is common during the aquarium cycle. However, usually it's accompanied by high ammonia levels, which you say you don't have. What does this slime look like? Like I said, I wouldn't start over. There's no need to rinse or clean anything if you're doing a fishless cycle. You can worry about vacuuming up extra food and stuff when you do your water change right before you add fish. You say the tank stinks. What does it smell like? Rotten eggs? Urine? Fresh cut grass? Rotten eggs = gases coming from anaerobic bacteria pockets, which is a bad thing. A urine type smell is from ammonia, which is common during the aquarium cycle. If it smells of plants or cut grass, that could be algae.

catlaytic 08-26-2008 01:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamntbatman

Is the tank in direct sunlight? What sort of lighting do you have on the tank, and what's the lighting schedule? Those are big factors. Is the algae in the form of "green water" or is it growing on the surfaces in the tank?

Nope, its kept in the dark away from direct sunlight. I have a 10w light that is sitting on the tank next to it. The water is cloudy, more of a brown color than green. There is also a lot of brown gunk in the filter media.

Quote:

't have a good liquid test kit (which is pretty much a must-have for any hobbyist) then daily water changes are probably the best way to shoot in the dark.
I"ve got an API master test kit. Ammonia has been reading 1ppm for well over a week now. And this is with daily water changes, I can't get it any lower. I did a 50% water change last week and it made absolutely no difference to the ammonia level.



Quote:

They might have been talking about the tank that you're cycling without fish.
I was told to stop changing the tank with fish to let the ammonia levels rise enought to form nitrite...but yeah thats what confused me. I'll stick with the water changes, this was the same person that said to cycle my tank with a gold fish.




Quote:

Whatever cycling method you choose, you can't just "leave it." You've got to provide some sort of ammonia source throughout the cycle or the bacteria will starve. Whether this is fish food, pure ammonia, the shrimp I talked about above or even live fish, there needs to be something in there providing ammonia or else you simply don't have an aquarium that's cycling. If you stop the cycling process, you'll have to start all over again, or else whatever fish you add to it will likely die from ammonia poisoning.


Quote:

What sort of test are you using for the water parameters?
API master test kit
Ammonia
Nitrite
Nitrate
Mid range and high range pH
Will be taking some water to LFS to test gh and kh.

Quote:

Milky-white water is usually a sign of a bacterial bloom, which is common during the aquarium cycle. However, usually it's accompanied by high ammonia levels, which you say you don't have. What does this slime look like?
you can't actually see it, just feel it when I go to move the spray bar or wipe my finger around the water line of the tank.

Quote:

You say the tank stinks. What does it smell like? Rotten eggs? Urine? Fresh cut grass? Rotten eggs = gases coming from anaerobic bacteria pockets, which is a bad thing. A urine type smell is from ammonia, which is common during the aquarium cycle. If it smells of plants or cut grass, that could be algae.
it smells like mould, like when you forget to take the washing out of the machine for a couple of days, its smells earthy. The other tank smeels slightly earthy but is crystal clear an pleasant compared to the other tank. I changed about 10 litres of water in the big tank it looks less cloudy now, I'll leave it for now. Its just the smell was really starting to bother me. We haven't got lids for them yet.

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.

iamntbatman 08-26-2008 01:49 AM

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.

catlaytic 08-26-2008 04:20 AM

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

catlaytic 08-26-2008 04:29 AM

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.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:13 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2