04-09-2013, 08:53 PM
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Hi Catfish! I'm sorry you are having troubles. First off... it's a fairly new tank and has not finished cycling. This process takes 6-8 weeks. In these early stages you can suffer a lot of fish loss. You will see spikes in both Ammonia and NitrItes before you see stable numbers of NitrAtes at 20ppm or less. Water changes can still continue thru this time span but any elevated numbers will require extra water changes. When your numbers settle you can go back to weekly. If you don't have your own testing kit you are unable to stay on top of issues as they occur. Your only option at that point is to do a substantial water change, or several.
Having the testing kit at home allows you to test several times in one day if you want, or test at night, see a high number, do a water change and test again in the morning. That type of thing. You don't have to wait for another trip to the pet store just to have them say, "it's fine". You also should test your tap water to know what those numbers are too.
The other item you can keep in your arsenal is Prime water conditioner. It's a little more expensive but is used at 1 cap for 50 gallons so it will last a very long time. It can be used to neutralize Ammonia, NitrIte, NitrAte, Chlorine and Chloramine and can even be used at 5x the strength in an emergency.
It has been suggested here on the Forum to add a small dose daily (it only lasts for 24 hours which is long enough for the good bacteria to grow and take up the ammonia). Then as you go thru the NitrIte stage it continues to protect your fish.
Lastly, is your new larger tank in the process of cycling too? You will need to start it or transfer gravel, filter etc from one tank to the other. Are you planning how you are going to do it? We're here to help if you have questions.