Tank troubles with ammonia and nitirites
I am new to the whole aquarium world. It has come along way since I was a child. Anyway, I recently purchased a 60 gallon tank and let the tank cycle for what I was told was a adequate amount of time. My wife and I purchased some fish and all seemed to be doing well. Suddenly, the ammonia and nitrites spiked and I can't get them to come down. I have heard and read a lot regarding water changes. The tank has a full compliment of fish and they seem to be doing well in-spite of the crazy levels. I would prefer not to loose the fish. Any advice would be great. Also, I made a huge mistake and changed the filter cartridges all at the same time. The water now is cloudy as heck and does not seem to want to clear.
I probably can't help you exactly but sounds to me like the tank is cycling but the people that can help you are going to need to know exactly what your numbers are and how did you cycle the tank?
I will have to go out and get the "Big Boy" testing kit. Right now I am only working with the test strips....
Do the strips give you any sort of numbers? What did you do to cycle the tank? I'm pretty sure you tank is just cycling, water changes making sure the numbers don't get to high for your fish is my idea not knowing much else right now. How much water are you changing and how often? This is not my area of expertise. lol
What was "an adequate length of time" to cycle the tank?
ok, first there is no 'adequate time' to cycle a tank. A tank will be cycled when its cycled, you cannot possibly put a time on it.
If you can possibly rehouse the fish at a friends etc please do, having fish in a tank thats not cycled really isnt fair on them.
Best advice is throw the test strips in the bin, they are rubbish at indicating the correct levels, pick up an API master kit and you will be set.
You need to get a product like sechem prime to help control the ammonia and get the water changes happening, id be looking at 75-80% DAILY until your readings get better.
By removing all the cartridges you effected destroyed your cycle and started a new one.
Can i asked why you changed your cartridges and didnt clean them in old tank water?
How did you initiate the cycle? Did you take readings during the cycle? There is no adequate length of time for a cycle...it's done when it's done. That could be days, weeks, months, some tanks never seem to cycle for one reason or another. You can only know a tank is cycled by testing throughout the cycle.
I would check to see if you can return the fish...explain what is going on and see if the store will take them back, or at least possible hold them for you. Otherwise, water changes to get the ammonia and nitrites low so the fish are affected as little as possible.
Hello and welcome to TFK :-D
As mentioned by others the cycling process can take awhile, especially depending on how you cycle the tank. When you are able please post the levels of your ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. The cloudiness that you are experiencing is probably a bacterial bloom, is it whitish in color? Definilty you will want to get a liquid test kit, as mentioned by another member API master test kit, is a good one and is used by many of the members here. Do you have any live plants in this tank? When doing filter maintenance you never want to change all of the filter media at the same time. If you are using an HOB you can rinse out the cartidge in old tank water.
With elevated ammonia and nitrites you will want to carry out water changes of 50%, 75-80% IMO is extreme and if changing out that much water should be done in a couple of water changes and not at one time. By doing the water changes you are diluting the ammonia and nitrites that are in the water. Also what is the ph of the water in the tank?
Here is a link to an article on bacteria in the aquarium which will help in understanding more about the cycling process and what is going on in your tank http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...91/#post757735
The only reason for not cleaning the cartridges was pure ignorance on my part....
We were told that a week was adequate time..... I was never instructed to check the levels at different intervals.
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