Ammonia, Nitrates, and Nitrites, OH MY
So i've been having water issues. Monday I brought my water in to get tested and it did not look good. Ammonia, nitrates and nitrites were high. They advised me to do a big water change. So I followed the pet stores advice and I did a 50% water change and tried to clean the gravel of all the crap. Now it's Wednesday, I brought my water back and it's tested high again. Their advice was to add cycle to the tank. Well I did this morning, and as you can see it was a big help.
Any advice out there? My fish are stressed out.
26G tank, fake plants, gravel, temp 24C, Ammonia .5, Nitrite 1.0, Nitrate 20
5 baby panda cory, 5 cherry barbs, 2 black tetras, 4 glo-light tetras, 8 guppies.
Tank is about 1 month old (and I realize now I added fish too fast)
I'm also setting up another tank because my guppies are pregnant. Does a "fishless" cycle actually work?
Your tank is currently undergoing a fish-in cycle. You really need your own API test kit(not the strips). Expect to be doing water changes still. Your nitrite is still in the lethal zone. Another 50% water change should be done ASPA. Goal is to always have ammonia and nitrite at zero, anything else is poisoning the fish.
Yes fishless cycle does work, but takes takes time. Its quicker then fish-in, and really the only option for a pregnant fish. Fry certainly won't fair well at all with water quality problems.
Ok I would do another water change but more gentle... i.e. do two at 25-30%. so remove say 30% and fill the tank back up to the top (de-chlorinate) and then do another 20 % and fill it back up... what you do that way, is not shock them so much with the big change in all three numbers. A,NI,NA. Remember that fast things in a tank are not good things. It's like diluting your water if that makes any sense. lol Make sure your temperatures are exact too.
Eventually you are looking for Ammonia 0, NitrItes 0, and NitrAtes at 20 or below. My water out of the tap is .25 ammonia no matter what I do.
You are just going to have to keep at it until you come through the other side of the cycle. I have 3 Panda Cory's too... they are somewhat delicate I hear, darn cute tho.
Try to get yourself an API liquid test kit. It will save on worry and time and gas to the LFS.
I don't know anything about the fishless cycle but you could put the second filter on the main tank to obtain good bacteria and then move it in 2-3 weeks to the new tank when needed. I don't know the timing exactly but it is certainly a start and you could move some substrate over as well. Good luck.
Thanks! You're input is very helpful. I have the strips and I don't find them helpful at all. My next pay cheque is when i'm getting my master kit for the testing. As much as I like talking to my pet store, I don't feel like driving down there every few days. Plus not everyone there is helpful and knowledgeable. I should just ask my few fish people for their schedules!
I did a 40% water change, so i'll probably do smaller water changes. But how often? Every day? Two days? Any ore advice about the water changing schedule?
I'd do at least 20% a day until your ammonia and nitrite is 0. It will take longer to get your tank cycled this way than a fishless cycle, but since you already have fish, you don't have an option at this point.
Fishless cycling takes 2 to 3 weeks, depending on size of tank, what you use to add ammonia and to get your beneficial bacteria going, etc. In other words, you need to set up your second tank immediately, because guppies are only pregnant for 3 or 4 weeks, and if she already looks pregnant, you may not have time to cycle another tank before she drops. The key to fishless cycling is to add an ammonia source to the tank, add some beneficial bacteria to the tank, check your ammonia levels every day or two. You can use regular ammonia from the grocery store (I have), but some people will tell you that you need a certain kind of ammonia. Alternatively, you can add some fish food to the tank every day, about enough for one or two fish. As the food breaks down, it creates ammonia. When your ammonia level peaks and starts back down again, start checking nitrite levels. When that peaks and starts back down, start checking nitrates. Don't add fish until ammonia and nitrite are at zero. For guppies, you can have nitrates up to 40ppm, but 20 or less is probably better. If you have lots of plants, they will absorb the nitrates, so you don't have to worry about it as much.
Some things that will jumpstart your cycle: Jackiebabie's suggestion of putting the filter for the second tank on the first tank now is a good one, if you had more time. On the other hand, with a pg guppy, I'd go ahead and start the new tank, and you'll need to be running the filter in the tank as you are cycling the tank. Next time you do a water change on tank one, rinse your filter media in the new tank water - if your current filter has a sponge, squeeze it out in the new tank. It will add lots of gunk, and will look horrible, but the gunk adds lots of decaying stuff for ammonia, as well as lots of good bacteria. Put a handful or more of the substrate from the old tank into the new tank, for the same reasons. Use something that adds beneficial bacteria to your new tank, such as BioZyme, StressZyme, Special Blend, etc.
Good luck with the current tank and the new tank!
My new tank has been set up since Sunday night.
Good idea about the sponge. I'm going to do that now. Thanks! :-)
Ammonia .6, Nitrite .3, Nitrate 20
This is what my tank is currently sitting at. I'm also dealing with ich at the moment. Still doing water changes every day. Lost one fish to ich and maybe another by tomorrow.
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