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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have kept fish tanks before. Several small sizes (>30 gallons) and a couple big ones. I've kept African Cichlids and even have them spawn! I've had a nice planted community tank! But that was 6 years ago, and now I am having my butt handed to me by some carp.

Here is the set up:
55 gallon tank, about 4 weeks old.
2 Aquaclear 50 filters (one for either side)
25 live plants (that serve as perpetual snacks)

3 6 inch koi
1 3 inch black moor
2 2 inch mollies
2 1 inch ballon mollies
And a resident small pleco

Measurements are sans tail fins.

I know I am experiencing NTS ( new tank syndrome). My last readings showed everything being fine -except for nitrites. I bought some ammonia chips for the filters and now have them set up with ammonia chips, carbon, and then sponge in that order. I can't remember ever having a cycling issue with previous tanks. But I never kept koi. I know that the koi are not staying in this tank, we had the bright idea that we wanted a koi pond, and wanted to grow them from small fish. The water is cloudy from when I assume is bacteria and we've done a 50% water change this week.

The fish were added like below:
Koi and pleco
1 week later
Mollies
1 week later
The black moor

(Please excuse my typos, I am using my phone to post.)
 

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Did you cycle your tank before adding all the fish or with all these fish (cycle done = Ammonia, NO2, NO3 at 0 permanently)? What are your parameters now?
Is the tank cloudly like someone added a lil milk to it, like white cloudy? That'd then be bacteria bloom.
 

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I agree with the above...doesn't sound like your cycled yet...another thing that caught my eye....why are you using ammonia chips? (i'm assuming the ones used to remove ammonia) during a cycle you need your ammonia levels to build up....putting ammonia chips in your filter pretty much negating all of that. You need ammonia to cycle your tank, either by fish food, fish waste or actual ammonia....

You're tank is trying to cycle itself by using the fish waste as an ammonia source....you're counter acting that by using ammonia chips....if your constantly removing ammonia, you'll never cycle your tank...ditch the chips...

I would also lose the carbon, I'm not a pro yet on plants, but i do know that carbon removes some of the nutrients that plants thrive on in an aquarium....not to mention that cabron "burns up" pretty quick, it doesn't last long and is a waste of money...I've ever only used it after medicating a tank....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Okay I will try those. The tank was not given the chance to cycle properly (my fault). I was told the amonia chips would help with the nitrite levels (NO2 I think?). Once I remove these, how often should I concern myself with water changes? The cloud is milky and I am sure the result of a bacterial issue. The fish are not always at the top, but are gulping and seem stressed.
 

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Dep on the NO's levels and Ammonia Level; possibly daily water change of 50% to keep the fish alive.
Bacteria Blooms clear up over night; that's less the issue in your tank then the toxins from the Ammonia that'll indeed kill your fish.
 

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I'd buy a liquid test kit, test daily, any time the ammonia or nitrite readings are above zero, do a 50% water change. The good news is that since you have nitrite readings, your bacteria are building up so i bet it doesn't take too long to cycle. You could try adding some live bacteria like Safe Start (yellow bottle, refrigerated) to jump start the nitrite-eating bacteria.

I've never heard of koi in an aquarium...is it a special kind? I'd love to see pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The koi started because my boyfriends youngest daughter won a drawing contest run by a local koi club and I decided to buy her one, they sold some small koi at the convention that was going on. His oldest got one too, (you can never have one of anything in our house) and we set up a older eclipse 6 gallon that housed them for about a year with my koi (I wanted one too). Well, they out grew that so we finally bought this in hopes to get them to a decent size before putting them in a pond. Once the tank clears I'll post some pictures. I'm too embarressed with it right now. I'll try taking out the carbon and ammoniqa chips and continue changing their water. This bloom has been going on for about a week. I stopped feeding flakes and am only doing sinking pellets which they all eat.
 

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Good call on ditching the flakes, as these are known to cause buoyancy problems with goldfish and koi. I agree with what others have said; ditch the ammonia chips (and the carbon if this is a planted tank) and replace them with biomedia like ceramic rings. Test daily for ammonia and nitrites and do water changes as needed to keep both of these as low as possible.
 

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You mentioned that you have live plants? "25 live plants (that serve as perpetual snacks)
" Are they growing? Normally you won't see a cycle with live plants. I agree with the above posts on the "chips". remove them.
 

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I have kept fish tanks before. Several small sizes (>30 gallons) and a couple big ones. I've kept African Cichlids and even have them spawn! I've had a nice planted community tank! But that was 6 years ago, and now I am having my butt handed to me by some carp.

Here is the set up:
55 gallon tank, about 4 weeks old.
2 Aquaclear 50 filters (one for either side)
25 live plants (that serve as perpetual snacks)

3 6 inch koi
1 3 inch black moor
2 2 inch mollies
2 1 inch ballon mollies
And a resident small pleco

Measurements are sans tail fins.

I know I am experiencing NTS ( new tank syndrome). My last readings showed everything being fine -except for nitrites. I bought some ammonia chips for the filters and now have them set up with ammonia chips, carbon, and then sponge in that order. I can't remember ever having a cycling issue with previous tanks. But I never kept koi. I know that the koi are not staying in this tank, we had the bright idea that we wanted a koi pond, and wanted to grow them from small fish. The water is cloudy from when I assume is bacteria and we've done a 50% water change this week.

The fish were added like below:
Koi and pleco
1 week later
Mollies
1 week later
The black moor

(Please excuse my typos, I am using my phone to post.)
Am I the only one that thinks this tank is too small for its current inhabitants. 3 6" kois and a black moor is an awful lot of bio load for a new tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The tank is young, I think that the green and white acorus has grown and I see a little new root growth on my mondo grass. Anything that has nice leaves, amazons and wisteria has been eaten though. I did another 75 % water change yesterday and left the water level about 5 inches low to keep the aeration as good as I could sustain it. I took the carbon and ammoinia chips out too. I have the other ceramic chip things that came with the aqua clear filters and I'll try those instead. Thank you guys for your help. I've looked in a few different places and get a different explaination every time. Some of the murkiness cleared up with the last water change, but might return. How long does that normally take? I even had a friend say it's because of El Nino. I had to explain it is most likely a bacteria bloom.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Am I the only one that thinks this tank is too small for its current inhabitants. 3 6" kois and a black moor is an awful lot of bio load for a new tank.
You are right, I certainly should have let it cycle properly before putting the fish in. I do not think that it will be too much once the tank is established. With 25-50% water changes, I should be able to work through my blunder.
 

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The tank is young, I think that the green and white acorus has grown and I see a little new root growth on my mondo grass. Anything that has nice leaves, amazons and wisteria has been eaten though. I did another 75 % water change yesterday and left the water level about 5 inches low to keep the aeration as good as I could sustain it. I took the carbon and ammoinia chips out too. I have the other ceramic chip things that came with the aqua clear filters and I'll try those instead. Thank you guys for your help. I've looked in a few different places and get a different explaination every time. Some of the murkiness cleared up with the last water change, but might return. How long does that normally take? I even had a friend say it's because of El Nino. I had to explain it is most likely a bacteria bloom.

Bacterial blooms can last for a couple weeks or less in some cases. I agree with all of the others. Is wise that you chose to use the ceramic in the filter along with the sponges. ceramic will provide additional biological filtration(place for good bacteria to colonize) that will be needed in this tank due to large waste producers like goldfish and possibly pleco (depending on species.)
May be necessary to rinse the sponges in the filter frequently in old aquarium water that you take out during water changes .These fish will in my view ,cause the sponges to become dirty more quickly. You can also help the water quality by feeding these fish sparingly while the aquarium is maturing, perhaps,,every other day . Were it me,, I would perform fifty percent water changes whenever ammonia levels appeared above .25 on test kit. Plants may help use some of the ammonia for growth but a close eye will still be needed to assure that the ammonia levels remain as close to zero as possible. Fish produce ammonia constantly through respiration ,and waste (poop). Plants alone, may not be able to use enough ammonia to keep levels low so water changes will be needed as well.
Should of added this earlier... Do be sure and not clean any material in the filter under tapwater. The tapwater may contain chlorine,or chloramines that will destroy substantial portion of the good bacteria that you are trying to encourage. A water conditioner such as PRIME that detoxifys TOXINS such as chlorine,chloramines,and ammonia is a necessity in my view. Prime will detoxify ammonia but render it in a form that can still be used by the bacteria(good kind) and I wish everyone used it.
One further note. The mollies are tropical fish that appreciate hard alkaline water that goldfish also do well in ,but the similarity ends there. Mollies need warm temperatures of closer to 80 to 82 degrees while the Koi would absolutely be uncomfortable in temps much above 74 degrees in my opinion with perhaps even cooler temperatures to remain comfortable. I am certain given my own exoieriences with regards to mollies ,but unclear as to ideal temp for Koi.
These fish will appreciate the pond you are planning on placing them in and until then,, they will be a large load on the present tank and filters. Keep up with water changes which may ultimately mean 50 percent twice a week. They are not in ideal situation, but with extreme care, ,,they may be ok until you can place them in a pond. Hope some of this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Bacterial blooms can last for a couple weeks or less in some cases. I agree with all of the others. Is wise that you chose to use the ceramic in the filter along with the sponges. ceramic will provide additional biological filtration(place for good bacteria to colonize) that will be needed in this tank due to large waste producers like goldfish and possibly pleco (depending on species.)
May be necessary to rinse the sponges in the filter frequently in old aquarium water that you take out during water changes .These fish will in my view ,cause the sponges to become dirty more quickly. You can also help the water quality by feeding these fish sparingly while the aquarium is maturing, perhaps,,every other day . Were it me,, I would perform fifty percent water changes whenever ammonia levels appeared above .25 on test kit. Plants may help use some of the ammonia for growth but a close eye will still be needed to assure that the ammonia levels remain as close to zero as possible. Fish produce ammonia constantly through respiration ,and waste (poop). Plants alone, may not be able to use enough ammonia to keep levels low so water changes will be needed as well.
Should of added this earlier... Do be sure and not clean any material in the filter under tapwater. The tapwater may contain chlorine,or chloramines that will destroy substantial portion of the good bacteria that you are trying to encourage. A water conditioner such as PRIME that detoxifys TOXINS such as chlorine,chloramines,and ammonia is a necessity in my view. Prime will detoxify ammonia but render it in a form that can still be used by the bacteria(good kind) and I wish everyone used it.
One further note. The mollies are tropical fish that appreciate hard alkaline water that goldfish also do well in ,but the similarity ends there. Mollies need warm temperatures of closer to 80 to 82 degrees while the Koi would absolutely be uncomfortable in temps much above 74 degrees in my opinion with perhaps even cooler temperatures to remain comfortable. I am certain given my own exoieriences with regards to mollies ,but unclear as to ideal temp for Koi.
These fish will appreciate the pond you are planning on placing them in and until then,, they will be a large load on the present tank and filters. Keep up with water changes which may ultimately mean 50 percent twice a week. They are not in ideal situation, but with extreme care, ,,they may be ok until you can place them in a pond. Hope some of this helps.

Thank you for the information. In regards to the temperature, the mollies will soon have their own tank. The tank right now is room temperature, about 70 degrees. The koi should be able to withstand some heat if they can be outdoors in our normal temperatures. I am hoping that I can get the pond situation set up in the next year or less. I don't want a hard shell type, but do not wish to dig since we are planning on moving (to just add to the problem) soon.

Currently the tank has settled some, there is still a little cloudiness, but you can see to the back of the tank. I am feeding very small amounts twice a day. Sinking pellets only and 6 of them. If I continue to have issues with the ammonia (which is good right now) and nitrites I'll just have to stick them in a temporary pond.
 
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