Cycle Stuck! nitrites at 1.0 for three weeks and counting (sorry so long)
Here goes. A little history first.
Been using my Q tank successfully since last November to Q my additions before adding to the DT.
First I Q'd 5 yellow tail damsels. No trouble, in the DT they went are thriving in the DT.
then I Q'd 2 Sleeper Gobies a yellow head and a Two Line. No trouble, in the DT they went. Both were great until the two line (my favorite fish) jumped out of the tank. :( Yellow head still thriving. Want to get another two line but they are rare around these parts.
I Q'd a Royal Gramma. No trouble, in the DT he went. Thriving also would not leave "his spot" in the tank for two months but now he explores the entire tank but still favors "his spot" Eats like a pig and has become the largest fish in the tank.
I Q'd a Flame Angel and a Coral Beauty together... not the best idea... there was relentless fighting the Q is a 20 high (not much space for them both) the flame was relentlessly attacking the Coral Beauty. In with the tank divider within 24 hours, they were not going to work things out. Broke the Q rules I know. Some fin damage to the CB from the nipping of the FA. With Peace returned and both eating well and on separate sides of the tank. The CB's fin damage fully healed and everything was going well. Only testing for PH/Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate all continuous 0's except nitrate and I'd do a 25% water change when nitrates reached ~20ppm. Both eating well still. I was getting anxious to put them in the DT and decided I would give them another week and if all was well they would go into the DT next weekend. A couple days into the last week the CB stops eating, still swimming around like normal. flame still eating. Water tests all the same. I tried feeding Formula one pellet with garlic, and "Seaweed Select Green sheet algae with garlic" CB still not eating, FA eating normally. day two symptoms CB not eating and hiding a bit... Day three of CB not eating I come home to a dead CB. flame angel is still ok and on his side of the divider. I cancel any plans of moving the Flame to the DT because I have NO CLUE why the CB died. several days later the FA stops eating. same pattern as the CB. dead three days later.
There's the Q's history. So I have NO CLUE why either of these fish died after what seemed to be going well after the initial fighting was resolved. Due to circumstances and timing I suspect a water pathogen has done them in or cyanide but no confirmation. So I break down the tank. Wash everything with 15% water/bleach solution, sponge filter, filter box power head EVERYTHING. anything in/on that tank soaked in 15% bleach solution for two days. emptied rinsed with tap water refilled and soaked everything for two more days with a fresh 15% bleach solution. Rinsed with tap water again. Let tank sit with fresh tap water and all goodies soaking in it for a few days. Emptied let dry and sit DRY for nearly a month. Refilled with RO/DI water put all the stuff that I soaked in bleach solution in the tank and let it soak in the RO/DI for a few more days. Emptied and refilled with RO/DI again and this time set the filters up and ran them with the RO/DI water (no salt) for a week. Emptied again and filled with salt water. Threw one small piece of live rock from my DT sump into the Q right next to sponge filter. I will discard this piece of rock when i remove it. used it to seed the filters after their sterilization. Tank has been cycling for over 6 weeks at this point. PH 8.2 ammonia is 0 nitrite is 1ppm and nitrate is ~25ppm normally i would say this is great and the cycle is almost done. BUT. my water parms have not changed AT ALL in 3 weeks. still PH 8.2 ammonia 0 nitrite 1ppm and Nitrate ~25ppm. i have not done any water changes during the cycle and my nitrite does NOT BUDGE hasn't in three weeks. anyone have any ideas on what i can do to help things along... I realize nitrite can take a while to drop... but it has been three weeks without a change. dont want to Q anything in the tank until nitrites are at 0 but am getting frustrated because i have been patient for three weeks and there has been no change. this cycle is in it's 7th week right now. obviously there is 25ppm of nitrate in the water so something MUST be happening. anyone...
Obviously I would do a 100% water change after my cycle is complete before q'ing any fish as well.
way too many abbreviations.. I got confused reading that.
Q is Quarantine tank
DT is Display Tank
CB is Coral Beauty
FA is Flame Angel
think thats all of them...
With an angelfish that is not eating my first thought is Flukes but that is obviously just a guess. Prazipro is the solution I most often read about for that but I have not personally dealt with flukes.
Cycle= 6-8 weeks. You are correct, something is happening if your Trates are still at 25. But i have a question, what do you have in the tank to harbor the bacteria growing? Patience. If you used Live Rock and water from your DT, the cycle would have probably never happened. And, you can't put Angels of the same family together.
sponge filter in bottom left side and a hang on back filter (just like for the past 10 months or so) rock in HOB filter only in there to seed the filters after my tank cleaning. I remove the rock after the cycle. Sponge filter and the remaining media in the HOB filter pictured below have always been enough to run this Q tank without issues.
I did not use any DT water to restart this Q just a small piece of rock (like the picture) to seed the filters.
In regards to the 100% water change after the cycle... should this be a problem? I admit I have only been doing this for about 10 months, and this is only the second time cycling my Q tank. I did the same last time but without the deep cleaning first, it took several weeks to cycle, but not 7+ weeks with no changes to water chemistry, more specifically, 3+ weeks of high nitrite readings that didn't change in any way! Unless I misunderstand something the purpose of the cycle is more to do with to preparing your filters and grow the required bacterial colonies in your filter media (whatever that media) and on the tank glass surfaces even, to do the job of converting Ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate. Everything I have read thus far seems to suggest that the water itself doesn't harbor much of the bacteria. If this is the case I would think a 100% (or as close as you can get to 100%) water change would do nothing more than to give your tank nitrate free fresh salt water. After all the bacteria is in the filter media. Am I missing the mark here?
I'm just a newb and been having a crack at this and enjoying it quite a bit. I do my homework and did nothing but read read read for almost a year before I even purchased a single piece of equipment for this hobby, much less a single fish. I still have ALLOT to learn I'm sure... If i'm missing something please educate me if you will, I am eager to learn.
I also read that you shouldnt put two angels together, I also know you shouldnt Q more than a single fish at a time. Like I said in my original post "I know I broke the rules" When I put the angels in together. I also had a divider ready because I knew this would most likely be an issue. Ultimately I dont think the fighting had anything to do with the death of both of them since I separated them right away when it was confirmed to me they were NOT going to work things out. Although I'm not a fish and cant be positive they were no longer stressed or weak from the fighting a few weeks earlier. They both appeared to be doing fine after being separated for a few weeks before the first one stopped eating.
YAY! YIPPIE! YAHOO! after SEVEN full weeks of cycle and THREE full weeks of 8.2PH 0 ppm Ammonia 1 ppm nitrite and ~25 ppm nitrate my nitrite has FINALLY started to drop. it's now at 0.25 ppm :D the cycle end is near...
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