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Holly 11-29-2007 12:05 PM

New tank and levels not coming down
I set up my 55g Friday. Unfortunatly I had to put 3 fish in it before it was cycled since I had no other place for them and I had to get the old tank out of the house. My pleco has been with me for 2 years so I know he's a strong guy since he's been through all of my beginer's mistakes. There's also 2 cory's in there that seem to be doing ok for now. So I've been testing the water for the past 3 days and it's stayed the same.

Ammonia 1.0
Nitrite 2.0
Nitrate around 30ppm
Gh & kH off the chart
and the kicker I don't understand is my pH is 6.0

I haven't done water changes except 20% 2 days ago. I was using Cycle for the first 3 days and it didn't seem to help so when I ran out, I picked Seachem's Stabalizer. Which has calmed everyone down and no one is sitting at the surface or gasping for air. I'm still very concerned about the levels since it's been almost 7 days. I used the canister filter that was in the old tank thinking that the bacteria would still be there and help with cycling. I know I need to upgade my filter since it's good up to a 75g, I'll feel much more confortable if it was good for a 100g+. I have air stones in the tank to make sure there's water surface movement and Oxagen in the water. If the levels haven't changed by tonight, I'm going to flip out. Any advise?? I've been told to change my carbon but I don't think that's going to help. I also have Seachem Stars, ceramic rings and the nitrite reducer, I can't remember the name, in the filter.

fish_4_all 11-29-2007 12:27 PM

The carbon might help for a week but won't get your levels down enough to make them safe.

First thing, do a 50% water change as soon as possible. This will theoretically reduce your levels by 50%.

When you say that GH and KH are off the chart, is that from a liquid regeant test kit or test strips? Also, are the toher results form test strips? If they are, then you could very well be getting very poor readings and very inaccurate. For now, if money is a problem, the ammonia and nitrite tests are the first ones you need, then nitrates then GH and KH.

Also, test your tap water and see what the levels are after it sets out for 24 hours.

You said you added the old filter, was it an immediate move or did it go dry any lenght of time? As for getting a larger one, it is up to you. It is hard to overfilter, though very possible, and a 100 gallon rated filter won't hurt anything. Just make sure to move the biochem stars, the ceramic rings and anything else you can into the new filter without letting them dry out or sit for more than an hour or so during the change over.

Don't give up, it can be frustrating to have problems with new tanks but so rewarding once the problems are gone and you can enjoy your fish.

mgamer20o0 11-29-2007 12:42 PM

why not do a bunch of major water changes..... 50-75% best way to get the levels down.

Holly 11-29-2007 01:42 PM

No the filter never went dry. It was disconnected for about 2 hours but wasn't dry which is why I thought I'd be ok. I'll do the water changes when I get home. All the tests were done with API master test kit. I gave up on dip tests a long time ago.

fish_4_all 11-29-2007 02:03 PM

Well the bacteria boosting products could still be giving you a false reading becvause they also lock up ammonia and nitrites.

I think you did everything right and it should be a mini cycle, hopefully. Should be over in a couple days. Just keep up with the water changes and keep us up to date on your progress.

As for your GH and KH, I actually try to keep mine as high as 20dGH and 10 dKH so if your numbers are close then they should be ok.

Holly 12-03-2007 11:44 AM

As of last night my numbers are the same except for the nitrite came down to 0.5 which I was very happy about. My ammonia is still at 1 but that might just be from the Stabalizer. I'm taking the que from my fish that things arent' that bad since my male guppies have started to chase the female's again and everyone seems to be acting normal again. My kH last night was a 4 and gH 21. I'm going to stick with the smaller water changes and testing for awhile. How long could this cycle last and if I want to upgarde to a bigger filter, is it going to happen all over again?

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