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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a 5 gal tank that went through a fishless cycle last month, and after a week of testing consistently no nitrites or ammonia and little nitrates, where I thought it should be, I added fish, 6 ember tetras, two rcs and a nerite snail. I added them sunday, and noticed this morning the fish were acting kind of erratic, darting around and more 'clumsy' knocking into things etc which I thought was weird so I tested nitrites, ammonia and pH. I did this yesterday/last night too and they were fine, there was a little bit of ammonia, less than .25 but more than 0 but I didn't find it overly concerning. Today though ammonia was still 0 and .25 but nitrites were close to .5. I did a water change and they're down to .25 but it's still scary, what do you think happened and can I fix it? Is there anythings I can do to reduce nitrites except water changes? The fish are darting around now chasing each other and not schooling which is a change from yesterday but they don't seem to be knocking into things anymore at least
 

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ANY ammonia or nitrites above ZERO is bad!! There are many variables that could have caused this, but right off hand, with the info you've given, I would have to say you added too many fish at once. What kind of filtration do you have? As far as saving the critters, you need to detoxify that ammonia and nitrites IMMEDIATELY, I always use Amquel plus from Kordon. Petsmart carries it. Follow dosing directions carefully, use every 24 hrs.. Or Seachem Prime I believe detoxifies amm. and trites also. Your tank sounds like it is going through a mini-cycle, too heavy of a bio-load at once will knock your nitrogen cycle out of whack (so to speak). Also, I don't know your future plans are, but that pretty much sounds fully stocked for a 5 gal. IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah I am well aware this isn't good, and the tank is fully stocked don't worry, the most I'll add are some more rcs. I was planning on adding fish a few at a time but it's hard for me to get to my lfs and when I asked in one of my other threads I was told it should be fine since I'd already cycled the tank. Unfortunately I have work every day till sat so I won't be able to get anything. I'm doing fairly large water changes twice a day for now until I can get to a store to pick up chemicals...Is there any other way to detoxify ammonia/nitrites?
 

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OH Almost forgot; for long term, consider some live plants, if you havn't already. I would use some faster growing stem plants like Anacharis, Wisteria, Jungle Val. and maybe fill in the spaces w/shorter plants like Anubias and Java Ferns. Live plants are fantastic at sucking up excess waste, and those are great starter plants. Also keep feedings minimal, remove uneaten food after 1 hour (there shouldn't be any), and 1/3 water changes WEEKLY!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, I did order mosses (Java and Flame) that should be here in about a week, I have java ferns, anubias nana, a patch of crypt wendtii and a marimo in there now, most of them are too slow growing to affect much at this point though. I saw some plants when I was getting my fish that I didn't have a chance to check out so I'll have to go back to that store and see what they have, thanks everyone!
 

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How exactly did you fishless cycle? If done properly you would see no bump in the cycle at all and I worry for your tank. Add an entire bottle of Tetra SafeStart and use Prime as a water conditioner. TSS contains live nitrifying bacteria and will immensely help in jump-starting your cycle. Remember you NEED to change the water whenever your ammonia and nitrite combined are 1ppm or over.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've been changing my water twice a day, I used almost a whole bottle of seachem stability and added fish food for ammonia everyday for a month and monitored the water conditions, my readings followed exactly what they should have during a cycle, the end result being a slight rise in nitrates every week and I let it sit a week or two after that and then added fish.
 

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Why did you change water for a fishless cycle? If you let it sit and didn't add ammonia, your cycle starved. Fish food is not a stable or high ammonia source, either, so you didn't fishless cycle the full bioload of your tank. It's like fish-in cycling with one guppy, then adding an oscar if that makes sense. Your tank basically has to cycle again for this reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No I changed the water because the ammonia/nitrites got high enough to stall it at one point, I didn't want to do a fish in cycle because I have such a small tank, what would I do with the fish I used after? I didn't want to risk it, my fish seem fine and I've managed to keep the nitrites to a minimum with all the water changes, I started adding bacteria again so this should play out on its own.
 
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