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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please help me interpret 3 diff tank results:

1. Established 55gallon tank, over 10 years old with multiple tropical fish (was under stocked with mature fish, Biowheel filter). Haven't tested levels at home for years. Random test showed nitrates at 100ppm. Probably just not good maintanence schedule, I think?? Water change, increase water temp!!! Nitrates at 5ppm. Everything basically fine til started adding new fish a few weeks later. Disease/stress/2 fish deaths. Quick Cure treatment to whole tank twice over 2 months.

Didn't follow cycle by testing as I didn't understand that I would wipe out the cycle with Quick Cure. Random spot check of nitrates a couple weeks later - 180ppm. Fish looking stressed, 1 death, so foolishly thought maybe recurrence of disease instead of nitrate stress. Did water change, aquarium salt and Quick Cure. Again to whole tank. Have not changed water since finished treatment 5 days ago. This time realized I wiped out the cycle, so following ---- all levels at 0 3 days ago. Today Ammonia 0.25, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 5-10ppm. Does this mean the tank has cycled again already? Have not done water change since 2nd Quick Cure treatment. Should I change the water now? Or not til Ammonia/Nitrates increase?

2. New 5 gallon tank. Fishless cycle over about 4 weeks with gravel added from 55 gallon tank to kick start. SLow moving til I added a heater about 10 days in. When levels at Ammonia 0.25, Nitrites 0.5 and Nitrates 5.0, I ssumed the tank cycled and ready for fish. Added 2 glo fish danio, floating plants (frog bit and duck weed). Doing well for about a week. First 15% water change. 1 died a few days later with no signs of stress. Retest levels and found Nitrates at 0, Ammonia 0.25. Confused, but LFS told me all ok. So added 2 guppies and 1 larger live plant. 1 guppy bullied by the danio, quickly stressed and died. Recheck levels -- Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate all at 0 - was told this good by LFS (!!!???!!!!). CONFUSED!
Due to 2nd fish death, thought maybe disease, so did Quick Cure treatment. 2 days post treatment, all levels 0; 5 days post treatment, Ammonia 0.25, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 0
Was this tank EVER REALLY cycled???? Perhaps the deaths are mainly stress related due to incomplete cycling??? I thought once nitrate appeared, tank cycled. Have the live plants altered the way the results should be interpreted???

3. QT tank. 5 gallon with heater set to 80F. Yes finally decided to set one up. Scared by all this possible disease....which may have been all stress anyway. Started QT 6-7 days ago. Kick started cycle with rock, gravel from 55 gallon, leaving the 5 gallon filter in with 55gallon biowheel for 2 days.
3 days ago, levels Ammonia and Nitrites at 0.25, Nitrates 5. Today, levels Ammonia 0.25, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 5ppm. Is this tank cycled and ready for fish? Should I change the water or watch for levels of Ammonia and nitrate to rise before changing?

If nothing else, I want to separate the still-being-bullied guppy from that glofish danio! Not really sure I need to QT fish for disease right now as I at first thought...I know the danio should be in a school..also.thinking of adding him to zebra danio school in the 55 gallon tank - good idea????
 

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Your tank is not cycled unless you see 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and some level of nitrate. Once you see 0 ammonia and nitrite I would check all levels 24 hours later to make sure consistent. I don't think that .25 ammonia is enough to cause a massive die off but any level is enough to cause stress and bring on disease. If QuickCure is wiping out your BB and recycling your tank I would discontinue use. I have found that most things could be cured with simple water changes. If your fish were living 100 ppm nitrates and you got it down to 5 ppm in one water change you must have done a very large WC. WCs stress fish.

When adding new fish after is complete do it slowly. A few at a time. You don't want to overload your bio-filter. It all sounds like that you were simply trying to do too much at one time. Switching to a more regular WC schedule will help. This will keep nitrate down. I would suggest testing weekly and changing when nitrates are 20ppm or higher. Then do a 20% WC and test again to see where nitrate is at. This should help as long as the water you're putting in doesn't have nitrates.

Live plants under the right conditions will consume ammonia then nitrites and some will even use nitrates but this is rare. It really shouldn't skew your test results by having plants.

What test kits are you using? I use API Freshwater Master Test Kit. It is very specific instructions for testing nitrates and if not followed properly and could give you incorrect results. I also usually test twice to make sure I get consistent results. If I get 2 different results I test again.


I am not sure if putting the goo danio with zebra danio school would help but my guess is it should school with the others as they are same species. I have schooled black neon and traditional neon tetras in the past.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Using API Master Test Kits.
This all makes sense now. The poor guppy died at the "fins" of the glo fish danio before I could rectify the situation.
The glofish is now in with the zebra danios (and others) in the 55 gallon. My zebra danios don't really "school" as I understand it to be (swimming same direction, turning together), but they all get along well.

Thanks for advice.
 
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