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Hi everyone, I posted a few days ago about my sad experience loosening all my fish and I thought I had tank back to stable. Well it's not . I did a 50% water change per advice given here , next day Nitrites were really high again, off the chart ! I did another water change yesterday , about 45% , 15g to a 36g tank. It's climbing again this morning. I picked up a liquid test kit , was using strips before to be sure I'm getting more accurate readings thanks for that advice. This is a new tank for me and I'm getting back into the hobby after a long time and trying to learn how to do it right for a community tank. Trying to understand this "cycle" and what to do and how long it lasts and how not to kill any more fish. Do I keep doing water changes ? Tap water is very hard and has high pH , no signs of ammonia, nitrate or nitrite. Is there a better conditioner I should try , almost out and need to pick up some today. Should I add some bacteria ? All help is much appreciated.
 

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hi

I would keep doing 25% wter change every day until nitrite and nitrate readings are 0. Hardness of water and ph are less of an immediate concern than nitrite, ammonia, and nitrate. I have very hard tapwater and never have had a problem because of it. I am very conservative aboutt water changes. Some people reccomend 50-75% water change daily. I never use artificial bacteria supplements, but I can't say that they don't work. Nitrites are produced by bacteria that process ammonia. A second type of bacteria process the nitrites into nitrates. Ammonia and nitrites will kill your fish fast. Nitrates( with an A) are much less dangerous, but are still harmful. Nitrites will continue to spike until you have a healthy population of those second-stage bacteria to process them. I would not add fish until nitrites are stable and very close to 0. Even after that, nitrates will usually build up in most tanks . I change 25% of the water in my tanks onxce per week to keep nitrates. down. Live plants will process some nitrates but usually not enough to prevent accumulation. So to boil it down- 25% water change every day till nitrites are 0, then 25% water change every week forever.
 

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You will still need to feed the tank. A pinch of flake or pellets will do..every other day or so.The high nitrites are good. I would let it go on through until you see nitrates and no nitrites. Do a 50 percent water change and add no more than three fish within 24 hours.I am sorry you lost your fish. Next time, consider doing a fishless cycle or add beneficial bacteria. I recommend Dr. Tim's One and Only.
 

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Hi everyone, I posted a few days ago about my sad experience loosening all my fish and I thought I had tank back to stable. Well it's not . I did a 50% water change per advice given here , next day Nitrites were really high again, off the chart ! I did another water change yesterday , about 45% , 15g to a 36g tank. It's climbing again this morning. I picked up a liquid test kit , was using strips before to be sure I'm getting more accurate readings thanks for that advice. This is a new tank for me and I'm getting back into the hobby after a long time and trying to learn how to do it right for a community tank. Trying to understand this "cycle" and what to do and how long it lasts and how not to kill any more fish. Do I keep doing water changes ? Tap water is very hard and has high pH , no signs of ammonia, nitrate or nitrite. Is there a better conditioner I should try , almost out and need to pick up some today. Should I add some bacteria ? All help is much appreciated.
Are there fish in the aquarium?
R
 

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fixing things is difficult.. I know.. i was there just a month ago....nothing in nature that is balanced happens quickly... a normal cycle takes at least 6 weeks.... a bacteria addative (I've used/use a top fin brand but the name is drawing a blank right now)can speed the process by a few weeks .. bacteria can only be suppoerted by the amount of "food" available to it so the additive shouldn't hurt... I use 1 ML per gallon after each media change when i change /clean the filter each month... your process has begun.. you did not give us the parameters of your amonia or NitrAte... ( at least i didnt see them , I'm only on my first cup of coffee).. be patient and stay the coarse.. continue the treatment you are on... I did see that you said ALL your fish died.. sorry for your loss.. I'd make sure I have stable readings for one full week before i added fish... and then only a few at a time.. don't over do the bio load once fish are added lest you risk an amonia spike and end back at square 1.. it's a marathon...not a sprint...

as a side note.. IMHO.. the test strips are virtualy worthless... the liquid test kits are the way to go... get your self an eye dropper to fill the tubes..( I bought my measuring spoon and eye dropper together as a baby wellness set at CVS)... I've also found that a small container ..like those spreadable butter comes in good to dip out enough water to do my testing... then take your large sample...test kit and eye dropper and sit at the kitchen ( or any other table) table and do your testing... I find this controllled enviorment the most accurate and quickest way to do my weekly testing ( daily when cycling or adding new fish)... enjoy the journey... again.. its a marathon..NOT a sprint...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I put a post in another topic about my tank deviation and mistakes I made. Somehow the ghost shrimp have survived and are still in there. Taking it slow even though it's killing me to look at this awesome 36g bowfront with no fish. I choose to learn from my mistakes hence starting not to be smart but wise and ask for help. Glad I found this site and all of your combined knowledge. I will test everything when I get home and post right away around 4:30.
I need to pick up conditioner on way home and would like some ideas of what you all prefer , thanks
 

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Seachem Prime is the only thing I use or recommend. The bottle is red/white.
Prime is all I use too as far as dechlorinator and harm reduction from ammonia/nitrite/nitrate is a water test shows high levels.

I would suggested if establishing a new tank grabbing a bottle of live bacteria.. "Cycle" was used alot back in the day, but I am pretty sure there is better stuff out there today. Stress Zyme i think is another one.. If this stuff really works is up for debate, I find it helps speed up the cycling process if nothing else.

I'll probably be corrected here, but I wouldn't do any water changes until all I see are high levels of Nitrate and 0 Ammonia/Nitrite. Thoughts?
 
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I would stop adding any food to the tank untill the nitrItes drop down.

I would also add live plants if you don't have any already.

once the nitrItes drop down I think you will find they just stay down. It's part of the (plantless) initial cycle.

I also supsect you lost the fish do to ammonia or high carbon dioxide.

so now's the time to take is slow

my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok I tested when I got home...

Ammonia 0
Nitrate 0+ (appeared to be inbetween 0 & 5.0)
Nitrite 2.0
pH 8.2

Did a 25% water change . Picked up some Prime , used it along with Stress Zyme +
I've been thinking about live plants, what would be a good plant for a beginner to start with ? I am willing to learn. I'm happy to see nitrites going down. I would like to keep the addition of chemicals limited as much as possible.
 

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hi

I read high nirtates-low nitrates to mean that you have a deficiency of secondary bacteria that process. Nitrite into nitrate. Prime should really help your tank. When you clean your filter, be sure you not doing too much and disrupting the bio. just a quick swish in aquarium water to unblock the media and rinse out large particles. I use no charcoal or any other additives to my filter, just extra pads of bonded filter material. Petco sells sheets of cut-to-size bonded filter material made by Marineland. I love the stuff. Not only can you cut it to fit any filter, it also has a very high total surface area for growing good bacteria, and it does not restrict the waterflow of my filters at all, even with double and triple layers in place. Please keep posting test results. Good luck my friend!
P.s. anubias is a good easy plant to start with.
 

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Ok I tested when I got home...

Ammonia 0
Nitrate 0+ (appeared to be inbetween 0 & 5.0)
Nitrite 2.0
pH 8.2

Did a 25% water change . Picked up some Prime , used it along with Stress Zyme +
I've been thinking about live plants, what would be a good plant for a beginner to start with ? I am willing to learn. I'm happy to see nitrites going down. I would like to keep the addition of chemicals limited as much as possible.
no need for prime with those values. and stop using the stress zyme also.

but do treat the replacement water. just no the entire tank.

Ind for an even better tank just replace the evaporative water with straight untreated tap water.

I use a mix of fast growing plants (anacharis, vals) and slower growing (small potted swords, crypst etc) plus a amazon sword centerpeice.

But just to help out this tank the faster growing plants will be the best immediate help.


my .02
 

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no need for prime with those values. and stop using the stress zyme also.

but do treat the replacement water. just no the entire tank.

Ind for an even better tank just replace the evaporative water with straight untreated tap water.

I use a mix of fast growing plants (anacharis, vals) and slower growing (small potted swords, crypst etc) plus a amazon sword centerpeice.

But just to help out this tank the faster growing plants will be the best immediate help.


my .02
I not a chemist, and you've been doing this a lot longer than me, so this is merely a question and not a challenge..

Also I do believe in a "a little as possible" chemical approach..

But doesn't even the littlest amount of tap water have chemical (chlorine) in it? IME that could damage and kill off the good bacteria.. thus creating unstable Ammo, Nitrite and Nitrate levels?

I don't see the harm in dropping a small amount of Prime in tapwater, regardless of the amount. In fact, all I see is the contrary. Can you help me understand? :)
 
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I not a chemist, and you've been doing this a lot longer than me, so this is merely a question and not a challenge..

Also I do believe in a "a little as possible" chemical approach..

But doesn't even the littlest amount of tap water have chemical (chlorine) in it? IME that could damage and kill off the good bacteria.. thus creating unstable Ammo, Nitrite and Nitrate levels?

I don't see the harm in dropping a small amount of Prime in tapwater, regardless of the amount. In fact, all I see is the contrary. Can you help me understand? :)
How long he has being keeping fish doesn't exactly mean he knows any more then you do. I highly suggest that nobody intending to keep fish in a decent looking tank in prefferable conditions take this advice seriously. There has been no basis on any thread yet that makes sense of why he chooses not to use prime or water conditioner.
 

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11/27 5:30am test results

Ammonia 0.25
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0.50
pH 8.4
The tank is trying to cycle just hang in there, have patiences, and us the Prime, your near the end

How long he has being keeping fish doesn't exactly mean he knows any more then you do. I highly suggest that nobody intending to keep fish in a decent looking tank in prefferable conditions take this advice seriously. There has been no basis on any thread yet that makes sense of why he chooses not to use prime or water conditioner.
I'm a pretty hard core water purist and even I use Prime (CloramX) when it's the best option.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I should keep doing 25% water changes daily right ? I hope this settles down soon. When I got the plant yesterday I ended up coming home with an extra friend that I have been looking for for a couple months and got him 25% off, last day of sale, no pressure lol. It's a Royal pleco 2 1/2 " and it is AWESOME ! He is patiently awaiting his new home in my 10g. Plan to setup a 55-75 for him next spring. IMO the Royal is one of the coolest plecos if come across. I'm sure I should have waited ......I couldn't help myself
 

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untreated ( municipal) tap water

I know this much.. IF.. I put untreated tap water into my aquarium in amounts larger than 5%... with in 15 minutes the water appears to look like diluted milk... a few hours latter it begins to give off an off putting odor... by sunrise the next morning.. most if not all the inhabitants are dead...my water contains a high amount of copper.. deadly to fish.. it was the main reason i purchased an R/O/D/I/filter unit... every municipality has differant levels of minerals, salts and metals....seasonal conditions may dictate the amount of chlorine in water.... there are times when it's only a trace elemnet.. other times the smell will knock you over...

sometimes "nature " needs a helping hand.. prime will secure the integrity of any stock in the tank and render clorines,cloramines, nitrIte and nitrAte non toxic.. a bacteria additive will help establish your bio system... live plants will consume amonia first... and nitrates as a secondary food sorce... as everyone here as said.. it's going to take time... it's a slow process... but everything will balance out.. even if you have to give it a helping hand.. chemicaly.
 
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