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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 10 gallon tank With an Aqua-Tech 5-15 with BioFiber filter (hang on back). a 2-10 Heater (keeps water around 76 Degrees)

I noticed I have high Nitrite levels, so I did a gravel vaccum clean and put in a new filter cartridge and changed 3/5ths of the water, i tested again a few hours after all that and the Nitrites are still very high,

My fish had Ick about a week ago and treated twice with some Ick Alka-Seltzer like tablets. all fish died but my betta and 2 ghost shrimp.


Any advise?? Thanks.
 

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How long has this tank been set up?

I would not have changed the filter cartridge. Your filter is home to a huge amount of the beneficial bacteria in your aquarium, so removing the cartridge altogether removes a significant amount of these bacteria. Whatever bacteria were on the old cartridge and multiplying are now gone, and you've essentially started over. I never replace my filter cartridges unless they are physically falling apart. If they start to gunk up with a lot of junk (which means you're probably overfeeding your fish), you can still "clean" the cartridges by gently swishing them around in some old tank water (i.e. right after you've done a water change).

In the meantime, keep the new cartridge in there until it starts falling apart, and keep doing water changes to keep your nitrites down. Once your aquarium cycles completely, it will have zero ammonia, zero nitrites and some amount greater than zero of nitrates. At that point, all you have to do is routine maintenance including weekly partial water changes and gravel vacs to keep your nitrate levels in check.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It says to change the filter every 2-4 weeks (but never the BioFiber), and its been about 5 weeks. The old cartridge stank really bad and was very gunky looking.

I have 2 ghost shrimp as my 'cleanup crew' but am thinking about getting some sort of small sucker fish "Chinese algae eater maybe?" or a mystery snail.

But I don't want to get any new fish till I get the Nitrite's under control.

Is it possible the Ick medicine killed the bacteria on the BioFiber?
 

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my chinese algae eaters are abt 8-9 inches each,so i wouldn't get them if i were u. Besides, no fish will get rid of the waste in ure tank...u're supposed to do that. fish wont eat rotten food, so limit the food u give them. Only change the white cotton layer of ure filter, the one that keeps the dirt(poo, plantpieces,..) out of ure filter. Dont change the rest, just rince it every few months.
Besides, a filter only helps to keep ure water nitrite free.
The best thing for a healthy tank is watching what u put into ure tank (fish,food,plant) and doing a WEEKLY water change.

With high nitrite levels i wd suggest more frequent water changes until the nitrite reading = 0. this might take a while cos u practically 'threw away' ure bacteria colonies with changing the filter and the gravel vacuuming.
when u vacuum the gravel, only vacuum the top few millimetres
 

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Discussion Starter #5
To be clear, I only removed the Filter (the blue sponge) NOT the BioFiber (White Fiber that is supposed to hold the bacteria)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Btw... here are the levels as based on my test strip.

Nitrate = 20
Nitrite = 8 (no, not 0.8 )
kH = 300
pH = 8.5

I do not have a Ammonia test kit at the moment..
 

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:| 8 nitrites? Even after that huge water change? What type of test kit are you using?? Do you have a tester for ammonia?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am using a color coded 5 in 1 test strip, unfortunately I do not have a test for Ammonia..
 

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That just might be your problem. Test strips are a huge waste of money, because a liquid test lasts longer and are more accurate. A lot of people like to use API liquid master test kit, it tests for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and pH. It may cost more at first but I promise you won't regret it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I tested a strip in another tank (nothing in it yet) and the test came back with zero nitrites, I don't think its the test strip. I'm wondering if the Ich medicine i used killed all my Bactria that was converting nitrite into nitrate?
 

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Ok, it is time to step back and take a good look at this situation. You have some very experienced people giving advice here.

It is highly doubtful that the ich medicine is the cause of your problems. The medicine could put a slight strain on the biofilter, but nothing significant to cause your situation.

The very fact that you have Nitrate levels of 20ppm in an aquarium that is only 5 weeks old is informative. Combine this with the fact that your filter pad began to stink after only 5 weeks, and we have eye opening information.

There are only 2 ways this can occur. Either you are overstocked, or you are overfeeding. Both of these situations will put a tremendous strain on your biological filter. Yes, the Biofiber will be your primary source of biological filtration. In addition, every surface in your aquarium will have a supply of bacteria, including the filter pads. In your case, these additional bacteria were needed to process the waste.

At this point, you need to stop feeding. Period. Don't put a drop of food in that tank for the next 3 days. Additionally, i would do a single 80% water change to bring your Nitrite down to a reasonable level. When adding replacement water, be sure to take pH and temperature into account. Also, be certain to use a gravel vac and give the substrate a good cleaning.

Finally, how is your pH so high? 8.5 is very difficult to achieve when trying. I hope this was a typo and your reading is actually 7.5.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
There are only 2 ways this can occur. Either you are overstocked, or you are overfeeding. Both of these situations will put a tremendous strain on your biological filter. Yes, the Biofiber will be your primary source of biological filtration. In addition, every surface in your aquarium will have a supply of bacteria, including the filter pads. In your case, these additional bacteria were needed to process the waste.
I think Overfeeding would be the main cause, if I had to pinpoint something.
I should however point out that the Nitrite levels where tested Before I changed the filter. and went down to what I posted after the water change.

Finally, how is your pH so high? 8.5 is very difficult to achieve when trying. I hope this was a typo and your reading is actually 7.5.
As for the pH, its a color test strip and 8.5 is my best guess, (its for sure more than 7.5) I believe its naturally high in my Tap.

Thanks for all the help guys, sorry If I came of as rude or something, was not my intentions at all. Thanks again.


Edit:
I just tested my tap water pH is only slightly lower in the tap.
(about 7.7 and I would say my estimate of 8.5 would be more around 8.1)
Also I had (before Ich Killed them) 3 Neon Tetras, 3 Rummynose Tetras and 1 Black Neon Tetra in the tank with what I currently have now. Would that be considered overstock?
 

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Ah true... Well I just looked up the meds I think your talking about and found this quote

"In my experience ick has always killed my fishes. Usually by the time you notice your fish has ick it's too late. Ick is a parasite that lodge themselves in the fish's gills. If you notice your fish acting very lathargic and dashing to the surface and banging off of the sides of the tanks add some alka seltzer as the most humane way of killing your fish."

So while I don't agree that you should humanly kill your fish just because they have ich... It clearly says to add alka seltzer to kill your fish? :|
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Lol no. I did not add Alka Seltzer, its a tablet that dissolves in water LIKE alka Seltzer. the product was: Ich Clear; by Jungle Labs. Sorry for this misunderstanding.
 

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I wouldn't say you had the tank overstocked with the fish you listed there, certainly not enough to cause major problems (like your sky-high nitrite levels).

I still believe that the aquarium isn't yet cycled. The nitrite portion of the cycle in particular can take a while to finish, and removing the filter pad didn't help. I agree with what Pasfur said - if it was gunked up and stinky after 5 weeks, there was some problem. I would assume overfeeding was the cause of it, since as I said those fish wouldn't gunk up a filter on their own. As he suggested, cut back on feeding. Fish are coldblooded creatures and thus can survive a lot longer than we can without food, so there's no worries about them not eating for a few days. Keep doing water changes to keep those nitrite levels down, and eventually the nitrite will disappear after your bacteria colonies are fully established.

When your cycle is completed and you want to restock the tank, here are a few things to think about: all of the tetras you had are schooling fish, so they should be kept in groups of at least six of their own kind. I would stick with six of either the neons, black neons or another similiarly sized non-nippy tetra. The rummynose tetras aren't a whole lot bigger, but they generally appreciate a lot more swimming space than a 10g tank can provide so you might want to skip them. Other good tetra choices for a 10g would be cardinal or ember flame tetras, among others. Of course, there are other choices as well beyond tetras, such as corydoras, kuhli loaches, livebearers, rasboras, etc etc.
 

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Lol no. I did not add Alka Seltzer, its a tablet that dissolves in water LIKE alka Seltzer. the product was: Ich Clear; by Jungle Labs. Sorry for this misunderstanding.
:lol: Hahaha ok, well I was super confused at the alka seltzer and when you google it enough fish links come up. No wonder I've never heard of that non existing medication. Sorry about the confusion.
 

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Feeding my fish

I'm a very new fish parent! About one month now. We have a 10 gl tank with filter, self-adjusting heater set at 78, and bubble curtain. I have a couple of questions. We have 2 cory cats, 2 small otto cats, an apple snail, 3 rummy nosed tetras and 3 tetras the store called bronze, but I can't find them online. We first had just one cory cat, but I just loved him, and then read that they are also schooling fish and like company, so we got him a friend. My first question, after reading that rummy nosed like more room, is this too small for them? Perhaps we would be better off finding the tetra's a good home, and getting a couple more cory cats? How many can we keep in a 10gl tank with the 2 otto cats and the snail? Also, my tetra's don't like all the flakes. Some they eat, other's they spit out. The rummy's like the tablets I put in for the cory cats, and I've seen one of the otto cats eating shrimp pellets. I don't want to overfeed, but I want to make sure that all these fish are getting the right food. Right now I have algae wafers, shrimp pellets, tropical tablets, tropical flakes. I've just recently tried baby shrimp and bloodworms, but can't really tell if the tetra's like them that much. I would appreciate any advice on how to keep all my fish happy and healthy.

_______________________________

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."
Ralph Waldo Emmerson


I wouldn't say you had the tank overstocked with the fish you listed there, certainly not enough to cause major problems (like your sky-high nitrite levels).

I still believe that the aquarium isn't yet cycled. The nitrite portion of the cycle in particular can take a while to finish, and removing the filter pad didn't help. I agree with what Pasfur said - if it was gunked up and stinky after 5 weeks, there was some problem. I would assume overfeeding was the cause of it, since as I said those fish wouldn't gunk up a filter on their own. As he suggested, cut back on feeding. Fish are coldblooded creatures and thus can survive a lot longer than we can without food, so there's no worries about them not eating for a few days. Keep doing water changes to keep those nitrite levels down, and eventually the nitrite will disappear after your bacteria colonies are fully established.

When your cycle is completed and you want to restock the tank, here are a few things to think about: all of the tetras you had are schooling fish, so they should be kept in groups of at least six of their own kind. I would stick with six of either the neons, black neons or another similiarly sized non-nippy tetra. The rummynose tetras aren't a whole lot bigger, but they generally appreciate a lot more swimming space than a 10g tank can provide so you might want to skip them. Other good tetra choices for a 10g would be cardinal or ember flame tetras, among others. Of course, there are other choices as well beyond tetras, such as corydoras, kuhli loaches, livebearers, rasboras, etc etc.
 

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Rummynose tetras are generally very active, fast-swimming schooling fish. It's possible to keep them in a 10g tank, but you won't see them behave like they would in the wild. If you're keeping fish because you enjoy them, why get ones that you can't get the most enjoyment out of, right?

I'm not sure what a bronze tetra is - could you possibly post a picture? If they're just some sort of smaller tetra (possibly ember tetras?) I would return the rummynose and get 3 more of the tetras and 2-3 more of the cories. This will make your tank fairly heavily stocked, but so long as you keep up with water changes and have adequate filtration it shouldn't be a problem. As for feeding, tetras tend to not eat a whole lot, really. Generally you want to feed only as much as the fish will eat in a couple of minutes. After a while you kind of get used to the eating habits of your fish so feeding appropriate amounts becomes much easier to gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update

I did not change any more water, and put them on a fast for a day and then continued things as normal, they nitrites are now zero. I guess it was still cycling . Thanks!
 
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