-sigh- another cycle?!
Hey all, so Im pretty sure I know what I did wrong but let me run this past yall just to make sure..
started a 10g tank. I cycled it using 3 cherry barbs, watched the ammonia rise and fall, watched the nitrIte rise and fall, then I watched the nitrAte rise as normal. Waited about a week to a week and ahalf to make sure everything was as it should be before I added anything else. Once I was happy with my numbers (no ammonia or nitrIte) I added two more cherry barbs to make my grand total in my 10g 5 barbs. About a week or two after I added the new fish I did my first major pwc and tank cleaning. Here is where I believe I went wrong, included in the cleaning I removed and replaced my filter. I've got a marineland penguin 100 bio wheel filter. I didnt replace the bio wheel, just the blue floss with the carbon. A day or two after that I noticed the fish a little flush and lost a little color. checked the water...my ammonia was high about .50ppm if I remember correctly (Im probably undershooting what it actually was :oops:). Did a few pwc to get the ammonia under control. This was on 10/10/09 today is 10/26/09. Since then my ammonia has always been high, around .25ppm, no nitrItes, but I do have nitrAtes but they dont normally get above 10ppm before I have to do a pwc due to the high ammonia. It seems like by now I should have seen the Ammonia go down..
I've checked my tap water soon after that happened and I didnt find ammonia. I checked it again tonight to make sure I wasnt crazy....I again didnt find any ammonia.
So Im pretty sure Im just in it for the long haul arnt I? Any tips, suggestions? (other then dont throw away your filter unless flow is stoped) I have stopped feeding twice a day. Im down to once a day and very little amounts at that.
maybe feed once every other day and keep with the w/c. you are correct in why you think it is cycling again. just grin and bear it, everything will be over soon and it sounds like you know what your doing so all should be well~
Alright.....so since I last posted something on this thread on 10/26 about what I did on 10/10...I'm still gettin high .50ish ppm ammonia. every other night mostly. 0 nitrites and 5-10 nitrAtes. Honestly getting kinda aggravating.. Almost two months of doing very very regular water changes, no gravel vacs and media changes, and unhealth/pale/washed out fish. SOO I guess would planting my tank be enough to help? I am really interested in planting a tank..and am looking for suggestions. Keep in mind this is a 10g(stocked with 5 cherry barbs). Thanks all for any advice and information.
Edit: lighting info is as follows: eclipse natural daylight f15t8 18" 17watt. good? bad? ugly?
i think plant would help for sure but you are absolutely on the right track just keep up the partial w/c... the only change i would make would be go to every two days as this may help it go a bit fater but only gravel vac 1x weekly so any bacteria colonies growing dont get disturbed..... your doing great! :)
I'm not convinced that you have ammonia levels to be concerned with. Unless you cleaned ,or replaced the biowheels or wheel,the bacteria should be developed in enough mass to accomodate the waste from five cherry barbs. This is assuming that you are offering only a dime size amount of flake food once each day which is all fish need. In fact, half that amount would be plenty for five small barbs. I would put the ammonia test away and stick with weekly water change of 20 to 25 percent and watch the fish for any sign of stress. I would also gravel vac one third of the tank each week and a different one third each week.
I would use nothing in the tank but dechlorinator such as PRIME or AMQUEL+ with new water I added to the tank. I would see that no one was feeding the fish that I was unaware of. I would rinse filter material out each week with aquarium water or dechlorinated water (NO TAPWATER).
The length of time your tank has been running even after the filter episode,, would result in new bacteria colony forming and I suspect,, inaccurate results from ammonia test could be causing unnecessary stress.
Take some sample water to your LFS, see if they come up with the same readings then you or not.
Then I personally would feed every 2nd day, keep up the w/c and be patient.
If you're planning on plants, that would be a perfect addition in your set up right now as they'll act like a 'bio filter' if you will. So if you can get any fast growing stems plants in there that would be excellent.
Bearwithfish I do try to go with a pwc every two sooometimes three days.
1077 I've thought that too. Is it possible that the test is inaccurate? Its the api master drip kit. Anyone know if they have a shelf life? I dont see any dates of production or "use by" dates on them.. I am very careful about how much I feed them, more or less one flake per barb per day...and believe me they fight for it. The only chemical at all I have ever used is the api stress coat + dechlorinator (as soon as it runs out I will be switching to PRIME).
Angel079 I could take some water to a LFS but I've seen each of the three that I'd choose to go to useing test strips, not a drip test. I guess it would act as a second opinion but could be inaccurate aswell.
Well to the ones that know plants...let me in on some information. What could I easly make work in a 10g due to the lack of space? Easy care if possible, recomendations as far as ferts, if my lighting is good enough, and anything else I may be forgetting.. :lol:
Edit: 1077 I fogot to say that I can watch the ammonia level rise one day say for instance is 10-15ppm next its 20-30ppm then the next higher. And also.....if Ive got nitrAtes......then Ive got bacteria making them from converting ammonia into nitrItes then to nitrAtes right?
Could be test kit is measuring total ammonia including ammonium which is not harmful to fish.
I would not wait to toss the stresscoat + dechlorinator in favor of Prime to see if readings remain same. Stress coat I believe can and does gum up filters and perhaps this is inhibiting bacteriaal colony to a degree though It might be a stretch.
Understanding what I know to take place in the aquarium, I cannot see how bacterial colony has not redeveloped in the period of time that has passed.
As stated ,so long as you did not or have not,cleaned biowheel with tapwater or replaced it, not all bacteria was destroyed if indeed the tank was once (cycled).
I believe something is causing a false reading for ammonia and I would ,ditch the ammonia test and watch the fish. You don't need ammonia test to see if fish are Flashing,darting about, laying on the bootom,rapid breathing,blood streaks on fins,and or gasping at the surface. Some of these would be apparent if fish were being exposed on regular basis to ammonia levels you are recording.
Do try a small bottle of PRIME sooner rather than later so you can see if results are same as with the conditioner you are using.
If the LFS test with strips, then that's pointless for comparison.
What are all your up to date current reading NO2, NO3 and Ammonia?
So pretty much when you do your w/c you have low Ammonia and then it rises over 2-3 days and you do another w/c. Does your kit's handbook tell you what the tolerated level for Ammonia is since its messured in ppm (I'm with 1077 there, only know mg/l)
Never used this stress coat stuff, so I can't help you how this influences your tank negatively or positively.
Good starter plants that will be fine with the light you have is plants like:
Pennywort, Cabomba, Ludwiga, Vallisnaria, Hygrophilia, Bacopa.
Just plant into he gravel, once they'll reach the top of your tank just cut the stems and replant the cuttings into your gravel.
Can't comment on your fertilizer wish, never used that neither as my plants grew wild enough as it was, add fert's would have my my tanks explode :-)
1077 this api master drip test kit does measure in like that. 0.25 0.50 1.0 2.0 4.0 and 8.0. I googled ppm vs mg/L and for liquid they are equivalent..the same thing. In fact on the card that you check the color of the fluid againt is has at the top 0ppm and under that it says (mg/L). The reason why I said in my last post 10-15ppm or mg/L and 20-30ppm or mg/L and not .25 or .5 is because the color didnt match those exactly and that was my best estament of what it would be. Ok out goes the stress coat (which does say it it removed chlorine chloramines and ammonia) in favor of PRIME. I didnt get PRIME originally because the petsmart I went to didnt carry it. I now know of a lfs that does. The biowheel has stayed intacted and onlyed removed but still floating in the aquarium water when cleaning the part where it sits in the fliter. The fish are acting..mostly normal. They are active, dont look very distressed, I mainly only see that the color isnt as bright as they once were for the couple of weeks that my tests showed no ammonia.
Angle079 Ammonia:1mg/L NitrItes:0mg/L NitrAtes:5 Ph:6.0
It doesnt say what level is "lethal" but it does say " This salicylate-based ammonia test kit reads the total ammonia level in parts per million (ppm) which are equivalent to milligrams per liter (mg/L) from 0ppm to 8ppm." Thank you for the recomendations for the plants I'll look into them and hopefully i can go by my lfs and pick them up.
While im at my lfs getting the PRIME, I've heard/been recomended "stability" from seachem..and I've seen it recomended by a few people on here. Should I get that as well while Im there?
Thanks for all the help and info once agian yall.
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