Ok....now what??

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Ok....now what??

Post by rkraposa on Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:26 pm

Hello all!

Figured instead of continuing the "Need Help" post I started I would start a different one.

So....I am 12 days into the new tank. Here is what I have....6 fish that appear healthy, a crystal clear tank, nitrites at zero, Ph at 8.0, Temp between 78-80, and...........Ammonia that still won't go below .50!

I am very fortunate to have a local fish store that is wonderful. You could walk in every single day just to talk and they would make time....even though it is always busy. They have been around for 40+ years and people travel from everywhere to go to this store. I even met a guy in Kentucky who would travel here (Pittsburgh) a couple of times of year to supply shop. So...all that to say,...I am very comfortable with their advice. So..here is what I have done:

I have continued using biological additives (Fritz zyme), I have an AquaClear filter that I have an ammonia bag in, and I have been feeding very sparingly...yet I cannot get this ammonia down. The only thing I haven't done is any water changes....which in all my experience is a last resort when a tank is first cycling.

Ok....let the expert advice roll in! Very Happy
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Re: Ok....now what??

Post by ovyaker75 on Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:12 pm

my opinion youre doing it right, I would just do 25 % water changes w/o changing out your filter bags every 2 to 3 days for a few weeks or so

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Re: Ok....now what??

Post by Aura on Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:24 pm

Sounds like it's going the way it is supposed to. Without any water changes, I wouldn't expect that ammonia reading to go down yet.

I'm with ovyaker on the water changes. I would do them for the sake of the fish in the tank, even if it prolongs the cycling process. The last time I cycled a tank, I went with the fishless method to avoid that.

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Re: Ok....now what??

Post by rkraposa on Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:20 pm

Sounds good! I will do a partial water change tonight. I have a 36 gallon....so 20%? And then....how often?
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Re: Ok....now what??

Post by Aura on Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:44 pm

I would do 25% and take another reading and then another test the next day. If it's going up quickly, I'd do the water changes each day. This is just my opinion though -- I tend to worry a lot , maybe over-reacting, about the fish's health. And I am not an expert! Smile

Anyone else have any ideas?

What dechlorinator are you using? Does it detoxify ammonia?
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Re: Ok....now what??

Post by jmcfive on Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:50 pm

Aura wrote:Sounds like it's going the way it is supposed to. Without any water changes, I wouldn't expect that ammonia reading to go down yet.

I'm with ovyaker on the water changes. I would do them for the sake of the fish in the tank, even if it prolongs the cycling process. The last time I cycled a tank, I went with the fishless method to avoid that.


I agree with Aura. You are trying to do 2 things at once:

1) cycle a tank...

2) keep your fish alive...

If I were in your predicament... I would do at least a 25% water change. It is going to take a little longer to cycle the tank simply because you have fish in it now. You still have a ways to go. The only way your ammonia is going to go down is for the nitrites to go up (you have to dilute it with water changes for now because ammonia isnt good for the fish). They won't be at zero for long. When they start to rise, you will see a decrease in ammonia. This is when you know the cycle has gone to 'stage 2'. It is just going to take a little bit longer, and a little bit more attention from you, to get things 'normal'.

load a pic, I would love to see them Smile
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Re: Ok....now what??

Post by rkraposa on Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:15 pm

Ok...Aura, I use NovAqua. It is what I have always used for all my other tanks as I was always told it was the best. I don't think it does anything for ammonia, though. I could be wrong but I was always told it was basically just a dechlorinator/water conditioner.

JMC...I definitely agree that a water change is good at this point and it was my first instinct...but I didn't do it I guess because I was worried about screwing up the cycling. I guess with all my other tanks I was just lucky because I never had these problems. (Of course, that was once I figured out what the heck I was doing!)

Thanks everyone...I really appreciate the help. I'll keep you posted and I'll get some pictures up here soon. Oh...and does anyone use a bluelight? I was told it really brings out the color of a Malawi tank. I got a "50/50" one today and put it in. It is pretty cool....but I'm not quite sure if I like it enough to keep it.
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Re: Ok....now what??

Post by rkraposa on Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:13 pm

Ha....amusing story......

So I did my PWC last night. I had more rock structures I wanted to add for more cave/hiding spots, so I did some rearranging and adjusting at the same time. So I refill the tank and finish everything up. About an hour later I go to check on the tank, and I realize I am missing my Johanni. Can't find him anywhere. Well, now I start thinking I sucked him up during the siphon (something I have never done before) or crushed him or something. I'm retracing my steps...you know, thinking, wouldn't I have seen him in the bucket or when I dumped the water? There's no way I could have missed him if I actually sucked him up! Irritated at this point, I start moving the stuff around in the tank. Pretty much move everything very carefully looking for this darn fish. Nowhere! Well, this is about 6 last night. Must have checked 10 more times before bed. Got up this morning, nothing. Leave and go to church...come home...and... there he was swimming around! Unbelieveable. Do Johanni's have cloaking devices??? Laughing
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Re: Ok....now what??

Post by jmcfive on Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:54 pm

haha! Its funny how these little fishies get, and keep, our attention!

One of my Crabro and I play a little game at evening feeding. I put my hand in the tank (kinda half curled) and she swims right into it. I'll close my hand loosely around her for about 20 seconds, then she gently swims out of it rubbing my hand as she goes. She then turns around and does it again. We do this daily for about 10 miunutes! When I figure out how to get the video off my BBerry, I will post it.
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Re: Ok....now what??

Post by Micheal on Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:49 am

One thing you can do to help cycle is get some filter media from a cycled tank. I run 2 to 3 filters on each of my tanks and when I start a new tank I just move a filter from a cycled tank to the new tank. Some fish stores will have media available if you ask them.
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Re: Ok....now what??

Post by Paintguy on Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:47 pm

My buddy uses a big sponge filter from an established tank to cycle a new one. Sometimes as quickly as 3 days this way.
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Re: Ok....now what??

Post by Aura on Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:51 pm

We did discuss the use of established media in the other topic on this subject. http://www.riftlakecichlids.com/t1318-need-some-help How are things coming along?
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Re: Ok....now what??

Post by dmetal on Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:21 am

I'm a little off subject but what is the name of the fish store you were talking about? It wouldn't happen to be Elmer's in Monroeville would it? Just curious because i'm only about 2 hours from Pittsburgh and have only been there once. I love going to different stores. especially if they have cichlids

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Re: Ok....now what??

Post by addicted2cichlid on Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:41 pm

How long has the tank been running for with fish? With just ammonia in the tank and no nitrite yet then your still early in the cycle.
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Re: Ok....now what??

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