Messed up water levels...please advise.
I have a 70 gallon mixed African cichlid tank. I admit I was a bit premature adding m 25 fish:oops::oops: but now the levels are confusing me. I had about 1ppm Nitrite and Ammonia when I added half the fish. I waited for the levels to come down to about .5ppm to add the rest. The levels have never been optimal in the tank...but thats just the precursor to the problem. Now the tank doesn't seem to be producing the Nitrate that it used to. It was putting out a solid 40ppm when I would check every two days, now its down to about 5ppm. Ammonia is currently <.25ppm and Nitrite is still hanging at 1ppm. I have done two smaller water changes and conditioned with Prime (which detoxifies the Nitrite and Ammonia) so the fish seem fine, all eating well and acting normal. When I added the second half of the fish, over two days I added a flask sized bottle of Nitromax to the tank. Levels did not change much but the bacteria bloomed and then took hold in certain areas. Now, for the past few days I have been slowly adding Top Fin's version of a bacteria supplement.
Please help me with my current problem, :oops:I know I was premature with the fish:oops:, but its to late to debate that.
Thanks for any advise. :?:
You need to do major water changes to keep Ammonia and Nitrite both under .5ppm. So you have 2 choices, return most of the fish, or be prepared to do major water changes daily til the bacteria levels get up to proper levels, which can take up to 6-8 weeks. Especially for a full bioload. Cycling a tank doesn't take just overnight like many LFS's tell their customers.
Another option i to try Bio-Spira. If you can get it at the LFS, just remember to keep it cold until you add it to the tank. It needs to remain refrigerated until you actually use it. It's supposed to ininstantly cycle the tank, and had a very good track record of success, unless the Bio-Spira was mishandled, and got warm for some reason.
I agree though that you should bring some of the fish back as you will run into more and more problems as you go down the road and they get bigger. Most stores offer a certain guaruntee and you may be within it. If you bought Topfin then you shop at Petsmart and they have a 14 day guaruntee on their fish.
May I ask what kind of filter you are running on that tank? Some filters don't even provide enough means to hold the ammount of bacteria needed for an overstocked tank. I had some customers with a similar problem and it was because they used a topfin filter which has no specialized area for holding bacteria. When they would change the filter they would throw away their bacteria colonies and their tank could never fully cycle no matter what supplements they threw in there. I sold them a punguin biowheel to put on the tank with the topfin and problem solved.
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