Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Mikey1973 02-14-2012 09:30 PM

new tank cycling
 
Ok I got way confused. I to have been vacuuming my gravel on every water change. Now I have part sand and part gravel substrate. I have recently planted a Cryptocoryne wendtii. I have placed it in the center of my tank. Was told that this would be a good place because it will grow tall and wide.
I had my water checked today. My ammonia is down, PH was good. Nitrite was a little high and Nitrate was perfect. I don't overfeed the fish, they seem healthy, but will eat every time I try to feed them. My Zebra Danios will come to my lid opening when they are hungry.
To sum it up, I should not vacuum my gravel near as much as I do?
**edited to add, today when I added my sand I also added Prime to my 60% water change. **

Byron 02-15-2012 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikey1973 (Post 982629)
Ok I got way confused. I to have been vacuuming my gravel on every water change. Now I have part sand and part gravel substrate. I have recently planted a Cryptocoryne wendtii. I have placed it in the center of my tank. Was told that this would be a good place because it will grow tall and wide.
I had my water checked today. My ammonia is down, PH was good. Nitrite was a little high and Nitrate was perfect. I don't overfeed the fish, they seem healthy, but will eat every time I try to feed them. My Zebra Danios will come to my lid opening when they are hungry.
To sum it up, I should not vacuum my gravel near as much as I do?
**edited to add, today when I added my sand I also added Prime to my 60% water change. **

Provided the tank is not overstocked but is balanced (fish load to water volume, plus plants) it should not be necessary to vacuum the substrate. All the detritus provides natural nutrients for the plants and the biological system.

Your high nitrite is not good though. Is this a relatively new tank setup?

Mikey1973 02-15-2012 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 982941)

Your high nitrite is not good though. Is this a relatively new tank setup?

Its about 6 weeks up. last week was told only the Ammonia was high at a 3, its down to a 1. This week the Nitrite is up but Nitrate is perfect, wasn't given a number.
It may well be a little over populated. I have in my 10 gal:
5 Zebra Danios
1 neon tetra, the other 4 died right after I purchased them about 4 weeks ago.
1 Marbled Talking Catfish
3 Marbled Mollies
1 live plant.

Byron 02-15-2012 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikey1973 (Post 982993)
Its about 6 weeks up. last week was told only the Ammonia was high at a 3, its down to a 1. This week the Nitrite is up but Nitrate is perfect, wasn't given a number.
It may well be a little over populated. I have in my 10 gal:
5 Zebra Danios
1 neon tetra, the other 4 died right after I purchased them about 4 weeks ago.
1 Marbled Talking Catfish
3 Marbled Mollies
1 live plant.

This tank is still cycling, and yes it is overstocked. But before getting into that, let's get you through the cycle to save the fish if we can.

Nitrite (or ammonia) above zero is serious, and while fish may initially survive, it often affects them and down the road they die or develop other issues. Are you using any products (other than the Prime conditioner, which is a good one at this stage)? How often are water changes being done?

I'm also moving this issue to its own thread in Freshwater Aquarium as this may get lengthy and others can assist too.

Byron.

Maxillius 02-15-2012 01:14 PM

well since I have been down this road and the only thing that helped me is coming on here and listening to byron im gonna suggest listen to byron! =P and gonna add what he suggested to me and saved my fish, live plants and lots of live plants! :) make yourself a little jungle in there ! and you will see numbers go down in a few days if not in one!
just make sure you do a good water change when adding your plants! oh and make sure you have plants that are right for your lighting , tank size and substrate!

Mikey1973 02-15-2012 01:31 PM

Water changes are either every day or every other day, 50% or more each time. I have used some Stress Coat made by Mars. Honeslty the fish seem do be doing wonderful they swim all over the tank playing, they are eating and looking healthy. I really need to get my own master test kit, due to reading that the strips the LFS uses are not accurate. As per reading several fish forums, found after new tank was set up, I will keep on the water changes and Prime for a couple of weeks, then get my water tested. (Its 30+ miles to the LFS.)

Byron 02-15-2012 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikey1973 (Post 983055)
Water changes are either every day or every other day, 50% or more each time. I have used some Stress Coat made by Mars. Honeslty the fish seem do be doing wonderful they swim all over the tank playing, they are eating and looking healthy. I really need to get my own master test kit, due to reading that the strips the LFS uses are not accurate. As per reading several fish forums, found after new tank was set up, I will keep on the water changes and Prime for a couple of weeks, then get my water tested. (Its 30+ miles to the LFS.)

You're doing the right things, which is why the fish are doing well. Here's how it is working.

Prime detoxifies ammonia by changing it to the basically harmless ammonium. Ammonium and ammonia both read as "ammonia" with tests, so don't worry there. It detoxifies nitrite by binding it somehow (even Seachem are not certain how this works), and it will still show as "nitrite" with tests.

Prime is effective for 36-48 hours according to Seachem. So if you have ammonia or nitrite today, and you do a 50% water change with Prime, you are detoxifying whichever for up to 36 hours. That means that tomorrow's test will still show ammonia or nitrite, but they will not be toxic. However, if the following day still shows ammonia or nitrite, do another 50% water change with Prime. In other words, you are OK to do alternate day water changes using Prime. But, if you don't mind daily changes, that will not hurt.

Whichever method you follow, it has to be kept up until both ammonia and nitrite are reading zero two days after the last water change. At that point, nitrates should be showing up in a nitrate test.

Live plants make this much easier by grabbing so much ammonia/ammonium, and the benefit with plants is that this does not produce nitrite as a by-product.

Another aid is a biological supplement. Those containing live bacteria will increase the establishment of nitrifying bacteria and shorten the cycling period. They do not magically "cycle" an aquarium, just help it cycle faster. Seachem's Stability and Tetra's SafeStart work. There are some others.

Byron.

Mikey1973 02-19-2012 04:39 PM

OK been doing the water changes,, I just did like 70% or better. I am getting green alge on the sides of the tank. I did vacuum the gravel due to way nasty from not vacumming. Still have white specs floating around the tank. I have decided to leave of my bubbler for a little while to see if things clear up some. Had water tested yesterday at Petco, they were packed. Said my nitrites were still high. Not sure how much I actually trust them though. I will keep posting updates.

Mikey1973 02-23-2012 12:34 PM

Update... Took my water in to test. Had 0, 0,0. He said keep doing what I am doing, its working. Hopefully the tanks is completed cycling and can enjoy it more then working on it now. Thanks for all the help.

Byron 02-23-2012 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mikey1973 (Post 991270)
Update... Took my water in to test. Had 0, 0,0. He said keep doing what I am doing, its working. Hopefully the tanks is completed cycling and can enjoy it more then working on it now. Thanks for all the help.

Glad to hear things on on track.


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