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  1. Hello I need advice I have a 75 gallon tank and it's been cycling for 8 weeks. I did a 90% water change yesterday but it has never fully cycled, my NO2 levels has always been high. What should I do now? Should I add more NH3 or let it sit for another week? My NH3 levels are about 1ppm and I know by now both NH3 and NO2 should be zero Thank you Kayla
  2. Hey guys, quick question. I'm in the middle of fishless cycling my new tank, and it seems to be chugging along just fine, but I find myself needing to occasionally top-off the water. My question is, is it better for the cycle to just use plain, untreated tap water? Or should I use Prime-treated water, and then add more ammonia after an hour? Any advice would be much appreciated!
  3. Hi guys, I just got in the mail a new AC filter to replace my old Chinese and extremely noise hob filter. The tank I'm going to place it in is fully cycled and water change isn't due until 4 days from now. My question is: can I just change the old filter for the new one (not switching the filter media) without having them both run for a few days? I tought I could do that and start adding some Seachem Stabilty to help the filter accumulate beneficial bacteria. M
  4. When I first bought my fish I had a 10 gallon aquarium and a cascade 100 filter. After learning about goldfish, two weeks later I purchased a 75 gallon and an aqueon quiet flow 55/75. I use the two of them together right now but I know it's not enough GPH for my tank. I will be finally purchasing my second aqueon quiet flow. My tank is still cycling, almost done though! Will removing my cascade filter affect the cycling process? Obviously I will be leaving in my other filter which has been going through the cycling process as well. My poor little guys have been through so much, I just want to make sure I do the right thing for them! ????
  5. Hi all, As I've mentioned before, I'm new to growing plants (properly), and have had some happier plants over the past week and a half from a good source. However, this morning, I noticed that some of the leaves on my anubias frazeri were looking sick. Namely: one had a lot of holes. It should be noted that I'm in the middle of fishless cycling (at the high nitrite stage--I'm doing a 90% water change now since nitrites were more than 2 ppm this morning). Ammonia hasn't started to drop significantly (it was between 1-2 ppm this morning, though I will get it down to 1 ppm after the change). I have been dosing Flourish comprehensive and Excel (only 1 capful for 29 gallons) about twice per week or with water changes, and I use root tabs. I've read that Flourish comp takes care of "micronutrients," but should I be dosing "macro" ones? How do I tell what kinds they need? Other than one of my banana plants rotting from the roots, the plants have been doing OK so far. I have had to replant my stem plants (Brazilian pennywort, creeping Charlie) a couple of times, but my Amazon sword is looking a little anemic. I also have a red crypt that is doing well. I have Italian vals and a dwarf lily coming in the mail. I use an inert sand substrate and have a 5000-7500 K T5-OH light with a small Finnex LED that I only use periodically. Temperature has been at 81-82 F for the cycle. My pH has been at 8 steadily, though Koko has recommended that I stop buffering my water to try to lower it (my tap is 7.2). I have read that holes in the leaves can be a sign of nutritional deficiency. Could this be so? Or are the water conditions stressful and/or should I expect some leaf problems in the first couple of weeks with the plants? Sorry for all of the questions, but I would like to keep these ones alive. They aren't cheap! If it helps, this is my whole tank picture as of this morning: Thanks!
  6. Hi, sorry for all of the questions lately. I am planning to start dosing potassium before I take the plunge and go the dry fert route, but I also ordered Seachem Nitrogen since I am noticing some yellowing on new growth (namely my sword). However, I'm still cycling the tank (high nitrite phase), and I don't want to screw anything up. Would it be advisable to hold off on any kind of Nitrogen dosage until things settle and the fish can fertilize everything? Nitrates are at around 5 ppm before I do a big water change. One other question: my Brazilian pennywort keeps wanting just to float in the tank. Should I let it? I've noticed that some people seem to be able to grow the pennywort in kind of an attractive daisy chain, but my penny wort just wants to float all over, which I don't find attractive. Would I have to put the stems close together (floating one of them) with the hope that their aerial roots will link them? Or should I just keep replanting them? I've also noticed that my creeping Charlie wants to be more of a thicket than a set of orderly planted stems, so I've let a couple float in the thicket there. Would it need more water column ferts to succeed? (I use Excel and Flourish comprehensive... and the potassium soon). My pennywort isn't growing as much as I'd anticipated and isn't sending out a lot of aerial roots. The Charlie is doing better. By contrast, my bulb plants are doing decently (growing some new leaves fairly regularly. Sorry for all of the questions again and thanks for any advice.
  7. So I've had two filters cycling in a 5 gallon tub for going on two months. Both have a large sponge and a bag of biomax, one has some carbon that expired after the first month but I figured I would leave it for the bacteria to hang out on. It's my first fishless cycle so I had started it with leftover fish food but then switched to pure ammonia about two weeks in. It was doing fine for a while, I got all my ammonia eaters doing great, and could take any added down to 0 in a day. But then about three or four weeks ago something weird happened. I got sky high nitrites (and to a lesser extent nitrates) that would not drop. I did a series of partial changes for about a week, and then a 90% and 100% change in the same day, but within a few hours it was back off the charts (API liquid test kit by the way, bought it new right before I started with the filters). I tested the tap water and levels were negligible, so it wasn't that and it wasn't a defective test kit. So I tried cleaning the sponges in some tank water, there was some gunk I rinsed off the surface that I believe was rotting food and thought could be causing the spike. That was around the last week of may. After that I decided to leave it, testing every other day or so, and see if it would level out. I stopped adding ammonia almost entirely, just a drop or two here and there to keep those bacteria alive. I also periodically added extra doses of prime since that is supposed to make things easier to break down? It still hasn't, I did two 100% changes today and it's already back to almost the max level on the test card. I'm completely stumped and have no idea what to do at this point. Nitrates are also rising, although more slowly, so I know there are some bacteria doing something. I'd hate to have to start over but I just have no idea what's going on. I don't know if there are some food particles trapped inside the sponge? I can't get them out and I would think they would be mostly gone by now anyway after all these weeks? Anyone have any ideas?
  8. I’m on the 19th day of cycling with fish. On the 10th day I added "filter mud" from a cycled tank in hopes of speeding up my cycling. Currently the parameters read: Tap / Tank Ammonia: 0 / 0 Nitrit: 0 / 0.1 Nitrate: ~3 / 1 ph: 7.8 acc. to homepage How can the gap between tap and tank of nitrate happen? Am I on the right path or did I mess something up? Should I do a 50% WC or just add prime? Thank you for your help.
  9. Ok. I thought I was getting a pretty good handle on all this, but I just keep learing more things I didn't know I needed to. Is there some sort of master guide for doing startup the right way - or rather, picking up from where we are and correcting? I'm only a week and a half in, but I think I'm missing steps and messing everything up! To begin with, I bought the fish first - so obviously not ideal. In our fish's first three days with us, we were completely clueless - 'he' was in a bowl with another fish (who sadly didn't make it), and he came down with a fungus on his body. So we've been treating for the fungus, and doing water changes since we're not cycled (he's in a 29 gallon now). I was starting to feel pretty good about our progress - the fungus spot is looking much better, and I was hopeful that we'd be through with that treatment this week and could focus on cycling. But I just read about the prevalence of flukes -- I have done nothing on this front, because I didn't know about it! And now I'm worried about what else I'm missing, that I don't realize I'm missing, and haven't researched how to fix. We were wanting to buy a second tank and starting cycling on that one, even starting to think maybe about live plants, so that it would all be prepared the correct way before introducing new goldfish, but I'm getting scared and don't know what I should do - I guess I'm afraid things will never be quite right now, or that we'll always have some sort of sickness... Help.
  10. Hello, I've had two small (1 - 1 1/2'') fancy (bubble-eye) goldfish in a 30 gallon tank for over a month now. My water tests are done with a liquid API test kit. pH stays around 7.0, temperature is 72 (maintained by heater) Penguin biowheel power filter rated for more than enough filtration and two airstones ammonia fluctuates from 0 - 0.25 (hard to read, even in sunlight at times) no nitrite or nitrate whatsoever I change about 25-30% of the water at least twice a week. Sometimes my fish act fine, but the past few days one bottom sits or likes to swim near the top of the tank. There should be no problem with oxygen saturation in the tank, and ammonia never gets above 0.25 - 0.50. I feed them a varied diet once a day, just enough for them to eat in 2 minutes. They never refuse food, but at times the fins on this same one are clamped. What is going on? Weird. I kept the salt level around 0.2% for a couple of weeks (slowly bringing them up) to help relieve some stress when I first got them and to ward off the dreaded ich, and I've been bringing the salinity back down slowly. I read on several forums that the minute salt level should not effect the biological filter. The weird acting fish seems to be happier with the salt added so I added a bit back to bring it up to 0.1% again. I did add some Tetra Safestart a couple of days ago to hopefully boost the bacteria, but I tested the water today and I keep getting no ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. I'm baffled! I've kept all kinds of fish from freshwater to marine over the past 25 years, so I feel like a somewhat experienced aquarist, but I've just come back to the hobby after a 5 year hiatus. So confused!!!! Any input is much appreciated. I've never had this much trouble with goldfish before, and I even kept bubble eyes and celestials for many years in the past. Maybe they are fine and I'm just fretting over them too much. Or maybe they have flukes? I do not see any visible parasites, but the funny acting one does flare his gill covers sometimes and yawns. Something is irritating him, and I don't think it's the water parameters. But the tank isn't cycling for some reason. Thank you, Heather
  11. Hello, I will try to make my story as short as possible.... I received 2 goldfish as a gift - one XL chocolate oranda and a medium red fantail. I made the usually new goldfish owner mistakes in a 10 gallon and terrible water quality. They were in terrible shape - laying on bottom, red streaks in tail, burn marks, clenched fins, etc..... They have improved GREATLY - only symptom now is hovering (not laying) in corner of tank - pretty much all day - all other issues are resolved. I then did my research and purchased a 55 gallon and have been cycling for over 20 days (fish in - not by choice) THey also came with Ich which was treated with API super ich cure and they are ICh free now. I've been doing daily 50% - 75% water changes sometimes 95% - the entire time ive averaged the same results: PH - 8.0 Ammonia - 0.5 Nitrites - always 0 Nitrates - between 10-20 This morning : PH - 8.2 Ammonia - 0.25 Nitrites - 0 Nitrates - 10 Living Environment: 55 gallon Two - 70 gallon aquaclear 2 air stones Heater set to 68 degrees (What is the correct temperature to use?) bare bottom with large river stones scattered (used to be pebble bottom but held too much food waste so I removed) I ordered Instant Aquarium Sand - arriving today which I will add - in hopes it will assist in cycling I use Prime and API stress Coat (and API quick start for a week) My home's water is with a water softener Diet: Currently tiny amount of gel food (repashy soilent green) Once daily --- I was overfeeding slightly before with a variation of Hikari pellets, gel food, shelled peas, hikari frozen bloodworms, daphnia and freeze dried plankton. I did not give these all at once - just a little at each feeding - mixing it up throughout the week. Past 3 days I was instructed to only give small amount of gel food once a day until this ammonia is under control. They hover in the corner all day next to each other under the filter by the heater. I feel terrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please advice me what to do to help this cycle move along - it seems like forever!!!! ---- I was told originally to water change daily - but yesterday was told by a privately owned fish store that I am slowing the cycle by constantly removing all the ammonia and not letting the beneficial bacteria grow. He said to stop doing daily wc and only change when it goes above .5 - 1.0 ..... so I have not done a WC for the past 2 days and my readings are listed above.... I have gotten soooooo much totally different advice.... salt / no salt , heater / no heater , Feeding variations , substrate variations , water change / don't water change - I don't know what to believe any more.... Please help - Thank you
  12. Hi Guys, Looking for opinions from personal experience. I have always used Tetra Safestart on all of my aquariums when cycling. I have a bottle of colony and for some reason I am scared to try it. I have heard that your tank will become dependent on those additives. Has anyone used Colony with success or should I stick with the Safestart?
  13. Okay, I'm having a tank cycling heart attack >... <!!! Firstly: I have a 29gal long tank.. I bought it off a previous fish hobbist via craigs list.. I rised and scrubbed a clean unused sponge with hot water no chemicals. A heater set at 82¤ No substrate I used ammonium chloride solutionfor fishless cycling by dr tims aquatics. I also used seachems prime to treat my tap water. My tank log: Aug 24th: dosed amm to 4ppm Ph of tap is same as tank... 8.2 I added prime. AUG 30th: Amm 4-5? Nitrite 0 :c I did a partial water change to lower amm like 10 gals. 24 hrs later no change in amm. Level so I did a 100 percent water change. I thought maybe I didn't dose the correct ammount of prime because honestly I don't really understand how to measure the dose using the cap. I feel dumb but the lines inside swirl upwards no leveled. So I changed all the water and dosed a whole cap of prime(for 50gal) which I don't think it'll hurt will it? I dosed amm. to 2-3ppm afread to go to high. When I tested the next morning I kid you not... I had a reading of .25 nitrite! I was uber happy and decided to add 2 more drops of amm. To helo increase the food ammount and colony size... 6 days later.. I got 2ppm amm reading. And my ph dropped to 7.4. And NO NITRITES. HELP ME... I wanna do this right. Its my first time.
  14. Here are the details: 10 gal tank set-up on 8/18 with a HOB Top Fin filter that came with starter kit 1 Ryukin added 9/1 after 2 positive water tests 1st water change Sun 9/8 10% aged with Top Fin water conditioner Since my 1st water change, I have had elevated nitrItes. I have done 25% water change between Sept 8-9. The last 10% I did was with Prime rather than Top Fin water conditioner. Recently (since 9/9 after work) Golden has been hanging out near the bottom of the tank behind the plant where she sleeps. (We only have 3 artificial plants, no live) I watched her from 10:30a - 2p yesterday and she will swim around occasionally (but vigorously) only to return to the corner near the bottom. She also seems to have shallow breathing. I don't think I've been overfeeding her as we feed her once per day 3-4 sinking pellets. I gave her peas on 9/4 (pellets every other day) and have only given her peas since she started this lethargic episode. She eats everything readily and does not leave food at the bottom of the tank. She will still swim over to eat and find food even with this lethargic episode. Other than elevated NitrItes (Ammonia and Nitrate levels, pH has been normal) my other concern is the temperature of the tank. It stays 75-80 degrees. We have air conditioning, but her tank is on the top floor where is stays warmer. I have closed the blinds to reduce heat during the day and her tank is not near a window. Right now as I type I am floating a frozen bottle of spring water with Prime in the tank and removed the hood. I have the standard incandescent lights that came with the starter kit and noticed yesterday that the hood gets pretty hot on top. I will go later today and buy some fluorescent lights. So my questions: - Should I keep the light off during the day on hot days? (i.e. which is worse for her overheating or not having a light?) - Should I keep performing daily 10% water changes until the nitrItes normalize or will I mess up the nitrogen cycle? Or should I add 1mL of prime to the aquarium daily? - Should I feed her? I was thinking I would fast her today just in case the elevated nitrItes are due to overfeeding - Any other recommendations??? I hope this forum can help! The pet store people are of limited help and many forums & websites contradict each other. I found Koko's to have the most consistent advice. I have read 3 Goldfish care books based on postings in your forum. I have not been able to sleep and have been running around town getting twice daily water tests (last night I purchased the API master freshwater kit so I can do my own testing). Attached is the result of the nitrIte test as of 4:30a today. I added 1 mL of prime directly to the water this morning. Thank you, Golden's Grandma **UPDATE** Haven't slept! After reading your article on cycling, I did a 40% (only had 4 gallons prepared) water change at 6:30a. Golden swam around quite a bit and scavenged for food (more typical behavior). I noticed she did go up to the top a few times as if looking for more oxygen. I did not turn on the aquarium lights today, but left lights on in the room. After about 30 minutes she was back bottom sitting in her corner with clamped fins, but her gills were opening quite a bit more than last night when it almost looked as if she wasn't breathing at all. I will test the water again in a few hours. I forgot to ask earlier about bacteria supplement. I used 10 mL Top Fin to start my tank and the bottle says use 5 mL with each water change. People/ forums say do not use it again, one guy in pet store said only use it when I change the filter cartridge (my filter is all one piece so I can't save any good bacteria). I don't know what to do, but my logic would say if my nitrItes are high and I need bacteria to convert it to nitrAte, perhaps I should be adding it??? Thanks so much! Golden's Grandma
  15. So I've decided to Cycle my 29 gallon and not seed it from my old tank that is currently owned by my brother. He lost my black moore about a week or so ago. I don't want to take any chances infecting a new tank especially since I will be ordering 2 Ranchu from ECR. The 29 gallon will only be a temporary home for the two until I can go get another 55 gallon. I figured I might as well start my cycle and prepare. I'm tempted to become a subscriber again and enter the new Raffle! I've been keeping a log of everything I have done to the tank to ensure that everything is going well with the cycling process. My notes on here will be verbatim from my hand written log, mistakes and all lol. I am going to keep updating it on here so if I miss something, someone can hopefully go ahead and point it out to me 29 Gallon Tank with AQ110 Air Stone Two Tank heaters. Tank Temp about 80 Degrees F Started Cycling 8/12/13 ( Monday ) First Dosage of Ammonia 1/4 tsp. Will wait to see the results before re-dosing. Need to obtain 0.5ppm of ammonia. First Reading appears to be @ 1.0ppm Ammonia Will re-test to make sure its accurate. * Stirred the tank water around. Re-tested and it came down to 0.5ppm Ammonia PH Level is Currently @ 7.2. Cycling 8/13/13 ( Tuesday ) Re-tested Ammonia in tank. Still at 0.5ppm as expected. Added 1/2 tsp. Tank currently has 3/4 tsp of ammonia. Tested Ammonia and tank is @ 4.0ppm. Perfect. * Will leave tank alone until Monday or Tuesday of Next week to see where it is at. Cycling 8/19/13 ( Monday ) Tested : Ammonia = 0.0ppm Nitrite = 0.0ppm Ammonia and Nitrite Readings are not what I expected. Hypothesis was 4.0ppm of ammonia and possible slight Nitrite reading. PH = 6.8ppm ...... Ph has dropped. May need to consider using " Buff it up" Re- tested. Results came back the same. Added a 1/2 tsp of ammonia. Reading is now at 4.0ppm of Ammonia. Will check on 8/21/13 ( Wednesday )
  16. First off, I'm a complete noob at caring for goldfish. I got my API Freshwater Master Test Kit in the mail this morning. I tested the water and the ammonia and nitrites are too high and there seem to be tiny amount of nitrates. I quickly did a 50% water change, the ammonia reading went down to about 1ppm. I'll be doing 20-30% water changes each day from now, something that I should have been doing from the beginning, I just knew nothing about the whole ammonia-nitrite-nitrate cycle . By the end of this week I will have a 190L tank (currently they are in a 20L tank that they came with) and a 1800LPH canister filter. They are three tiny goldfish (backstory and pics here). I have a 'filter' which is attached to an air pump and not very effective AT ALL - some poop is left on the bottom but I try to scoop it out at least once a day. Okay, the questions: When I set up the new tank, I should have the filter running for at least 24 hours before putting in the fish, correct? When I set up the new tank, should I do a water change in the old one and move the water that I took out to the new tank, to kick start the cycle with the ammonia and nitrites in the water? (and move over the living plants I have?) After waiting the requisite amount of time, do I move the fish over with all of their old water and the old filter? Do bio boosters work? It seems most people think that the bacteria is anerobic and therefore can't actually survive in bottles? Should I, in the future, buy a second filter? What size? I've been reading that it's good to have a second one for back up. Once I've moved the fish to the new tank I'll definitely be keeping an eye on the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels and doing water changes when needed. The last two weeks have been a steep learning curve and I've had to scramble to get all the bits and pieces I need but I'm hoping I'm on the right track to give these guys a good time for the rest of their lives. Thanks for reading .
  17. I have been all over this forum lately, and I apologize if you're all getting sick of me by now! You've been true lifesavers, that's for sure. I have a question about my 30 gallon tank. I got it as an upgrade from a 10 gallon (I had no idea what I was doing) and started cycling, with the fish (already had them) in it, mid-February. First few weeks, everything's going smoothly. I start getting nitrites....okay good. But it has been 10 weeks altogether (keep in mind, I did have a filter break around mid-March and had to switch it out, but I transferred the media into the new filter. I also bought extra biomedia and added it to the filter during this process, and added crushed coral as a substrate last week) and my nitrites are STILL spiking. Strangely, the only time they disappear is when I'm running a round of prazi in the tank. Then, ALL values are zero. What is going on??? Ammonia: 0.25ppm Nitrite: 0.25-0.5ppm Nitrate: 5ppm pH: 8.2 ^This is roughly 8 hours post-WC. The cycle is driving me INSANE and I would imagine it's driving the fish insane, too. Is this normal? How much longer is this going to last? I have API Quick Start that I have added to try and help the bacteria become established. The tank has also been a 0.1% salt solution for nitrites for about 1.5 weeks now....is this too long? I feel uneasy about it... Thank you all SO SO much for any help.
  18. This may be a bit wordy, but I wanted to be sure to give as many details as possible to receive the best advice for my situation… In October (2012) my daughters went to a little carnival/fair type event with their Grandma and came home with a bagged goldfish in tow. (I specifically asked my mom not to do this as she had done it once before and that fish died about a day later as we had no way to sufficiently care for it, which I felt would be unfair to allow to happen to another fish). So there we were with a fish in a bag and no idea what to do with it. I filled a storage dish with water, acclimated the fish (about the only thing I knew to do properly) and released it into the container. We then went about explaining to our 4 year old as kindly as possible that “Goldie” would only be with us a few days because goldfish don’t live very long (I know, I know… I seriously had no clue…). Anyway, I did the best I could for someone with no knowledge, but every morning I woke up expecting Goldie to be floating lifeless in his/her little dish. And then another week went by… So by this time even I know there is no way this fish is happy in such a small dish so I found the largest container I could and moved him/her into this. I also decided to do some research into the care of goldfish… and that’s when my mind was blown! Seriously, I had NO idea… I’d only ever known one person who kept an aquarium (a roommate from my early twenties) and she was constantly rotating dead fish out of her tank and replacing them with new live ones (I have a giant list in my head now of all the things that weren’t right about that tank of hers- LOL). So yeah, it blew my mind to learn how large they can get and how long they can actually live under the proper conditions. In truth, I was overwhelmed by it all and my first thought was, “There is no way I can take this on.” So Goldie remained in her (still too small) container for another month with me still expecting to find him/her floating every morning. It may sound horrible, but I actually really resented that fish and the fact it kept hanging on. I couldn’t stand knowing it was suffering, but was also irritated that all the responsibility for it had fallen on me. And then something happened… I pretty much fell in love with that stubborn, spunky little thing. I went out and bought the largest tank I could afford/ had room for at the time (a 10 gallon), some accessories (gravel, plants, a small castle) which my girls picked out and the basic care items I had read I should get (things like food, Tetra AquaSafe, Jungle Start Zyme, net, gravel vacuum, etc). The tank itself came as a kit with a filter, small water heater and hood with lights. I read about cycling, but had no idea what was being said so I pretty much shot for the whole, “Do water changes” concept and went from there. Everything seemed to be going fine after that. Goldie became a different fish… from super lethargic to super swimmer, from not eating much to eating really well. Not to mention the fact that she grew over an inch the first couple of months in her new home! I figured all must be going well and I continued to do weekly water changes and bi-weekly filter cartridge changes. Then my tank got really murky and nothing seemed to be helping. Finally I decided that surely the tank must just need a really good cleaning. Uhm… by good cleaning, I mean this… I removed 90% of the water, all of the gravel (and cleaned it in non-conditioned tap water), all of the accessories (again, rinsed them with water straight from the tap), scrubbed all the sides and changed the filter cartridge (I had remembered reading somewhere to never scrub the build-up from the filter itself as this was part of a beneficial eco-system in the aquarium, so at least I didn’t do that). Then I refilled the tank with treated water (but not Start Zyme for some reason), replaced the gravel and decorations… and there you have it! My sparkling clean, but completely awful aquatic environment. Of course I didn’t know that at the time. A few weeks later I noticed that Goldie’s body looked terrible… the scales, the tail… I just knew something was wrong. So that’s when I went online looking for some answers and discovered she had the symptoms of ammonia poisoning. I immediately did a large water change to try to get the ammonia levels down. I then proceeded to do water changes every other day (with what I know after finding these forums I wish I had done them every day). Still, after a week of doing this I could tell she was looking much better. Then the black spots signifying healing showed up and I felt really relieved. I ended up finding my way to this website when I went online looking for every bit of information I could find to make sure my fish (yes, it’s MY fish now… just don’t tell my 4 year old) lives a long and healthy life. Since finding this site a few days ago this is what I have done/ found out… On Sunday my water tested 3.0 for ammonia (yikes) so I did a 40% water change. I also added Start Zyme to my tank after this to try to start cycling my tank (which I think I finally have an understanding of after finding an easy to grasp article on here). On Monday I did a 30% water change in the morning and in the evening my ammonia test came back with a .5 reading. Today (Tuesday) I again did a 30% water change. After waiting about an hour I did the ammonia test and also did a 5-in-1 strip test. My ammonia results were .25 and the 5-in-1 results are as follows: TANK Nitrate: safe (20) Nitrite: safe (0) Total Hardness: 75 (soft) Total Alkalinity: 40 (not good!) pH: 6.2 (not good!) I am a bit confused as to why my alkalinity and pH would be such a problem as every time I do a water change I not only use the AquaSafe water conditioner, but I also use the Easy Balance which is supposed to help with water chemistry and pH levels. Also, after reading some more in the forums, I thought maybe I should go ahead and test my tap water also, so here are those results: TAP Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 0 (safe) Nitrite: 0 (safe) Total Hardness: 75 (soft) Alkalinity: 40 pH: 6.2 I know from reading other posts that the ideal is for ammonia to be at 0. I also understand that if my tank is cycling, I should soon be looking for the nitrite and then eventually the nitrate levels to increase (and then decrease over time with water changes and as the process progresses). I am concerned about the alkalinity and pH levels. If I had to guess, I’d say this pH and alkalinity are probably the same as they have always been in my tank. Should I be trying to raise them immediately? What is the best way (or product) to do this? I also know I desperately need to get a larger tank (40g minimum, but shooting for the 50-55 range) AND a better filter for Goldie. I am currently saving for this (we have just bought a home and are moving in a month so a larger tank isn’t possible until we have moved). I also plan on trying to cycle the new tank without my fish this time around. I am very concerned about Goldie making it through this upcoming move. She is already stressed and going through a tank cycling and if she survives the move she will basically have to start all over with going through another tank cycle. I will admit I wasn't sure whether to post this here or in the Horror Story thread, but opted for here as it deals with water quality. (I still think it's quite a horror story though...). I really want to be the best fish mommy possible. I feel so bad that I have already made so many mistakes that have caused harm to Goldie. I would really love some advice and feedback on how to proceed and also possible products to use in the new tank. PS. Goldie is a beautiful little Comet!
  19. Hi everyone. This is an update from my last post about Pickle, who was gasping for air at the surface of the tank (which is still cycling). Alex advised that I add salt, making a 0.1% solution. I have been doing this for about a week now, and it seemed to help a lot at first. Now, however, it seems like the salt isn't helping as much and Pickle is still gasping. Buttons and Speckle are a little jumpy at times, yawn a lot, and sometimes clamp their fins - though not extremely tightly. I really want this cycle to just establish itself already Does anyone have any advice on how I can make it easier for them? I get the feeling it has to be cycled soon...please help! Here's my params: Test Results for the Following: * Ammonia Level (tank): 0.25ppm * Nitrite Level (tank): 2.0ppm * Nitrate level (Tank): Between 0ppm and 5ppm * Ph Level, (Tank): 7.4 Other Required Info: * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Aquaclear 70 * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime * Water temperature? 74F * How often do you change the water and how much? Daily, 80% * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Today, 80% * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 30gallons, 2 months * How many fish in the tank and their size? 3, less than 3 inches each * What do you feed your fish and how often? Saki-Hikari pellets (daily), repashy soilent green (2x a week), green peas (daily/every other day), hikari frozen bloodworms (2x a week), hikari freeze dried brine shrimp (2x a week); usually feed very small meals 3-4x daily * Any new fish added to the tank? No * Any medications added to the tank? No * List previous issues experienced (dropsy, SBD, etc.) SBD; Speckle had septicemia * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? No * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Gasping at surface, slight clamping, occasional jumpiness, yawning * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. Speckle: maracyn 2, for septicemia, 1wk treatment; salt is the only other thing I've used, x1wk
  20. i have a fishless cycling 55 gallon for about 5 weeks now...FILLED with algae, pea-soup green, reading about 30 PPM nitrates, three plants thriving in there. Feeding ammonia to about 1 PPM everyday. The ammonia is being regularly metabolized, but there's a fair amount of nitrites AND nitrates. i guess just wait for the nitrobacters to multiply to reduce the level to nil? is it possible to have all the above happening without nitrobacters?? clearly NH3 is ending up nitrate. Perhaps the nitrobacters need more time to multiply enough. Not sure. i really dont wana put fish in until nitrite falls and remains at 0 (i did a water change)
  21. So in 3rd week of fish less cycling on my 55 gal. Using pure ammonia. The ammonia has started to disappear within hours of feeding the aquarium, so thats great. However, there is a huge nitrite spike---totally purple on the API test kit. AND there is a nitrate reading around 60-80 PPM...tawny color. So is this correct? Nitrosomonas in some numbers obviously. But how is my nitrate reading getting so high without nitrites going down? This look okay? NOTE I was keeping the aquarium heated at 86 ˚ F but then I took out the heater and it's gone down about 7 ˚, holding there. I heard then that Nitrobacter can quit on you if the temp changes too much... Help me Obi Won.
  22. Hi all! It's Day 4 of cycling Baxter's newest tank. I'm just really anxious and paranoid about it, I guess. I'm really terrified I'm going to do something wrong with testing the water quality. For example, on Wednesday night I changed the water in the new tank for the first time to bring the ammonia down to 0, and it was successful. But yesterday morning and afternoon I checked the water again using my Tetra EasyStrips, and it said the ammonia was still 0...so I let it go without changing the water yesterday. I checked the water again this morning/afternoon, and the color chart for the EasyStrips was still reading 0. But the water was slightly cloudy (maybe that was my paranoia too... ), and I got all worried that my kit wasn't reading right so I changed about 90% of the water. Was that bad of me? I just *really* don't want Baxter to get sick during this process...I'm so worried about him, even though his behavior is totally normal and happy and beggy-for-foody. I am so afraid of being a bad fishy parent... I ordered the API Freshwater Master Kit on Amazon tonight, and it should be here Tuesday/Wednesday. Until then, I'll use my strips, but just in case the ammonia is hard to read for me, should I continue changing the water every day? Maybe not 90% every day, but if the ammonia goes almost 2 whole days as still reading 0, (almost, but not quite, leaning towards the .25 color), should I consider changing the water 60% or so? I am sooooo paranoid. xD I mostly just want comfort/advice about this. I'm sure you guys know how I'm feeling...yay for support groups. On a lighter, happier note, Baxter will officially have been adopted a week ago tomorrow!!! YAY!!! I love him so stinking much. :3
  23. Hey guys! So I've been fighting with my new tank and it's water. So generally I've had no nitrites (yay!) but since I set it up (about a week ago) I fought with ammonia levels and Nitrate levels. Now I've gotten to the point where ammonia is under control for sure! One thing is the Nitrate levels... I had a bottom sitting scare but Basil turned out to just be playing a cruel joke on mom sooo he's fine but I had posted a forum in the diagnosing section and they said that because I was not having much problems with ammonia or nitrate then my filter wasn't cycled. Right now I've been checking my water everyday sometimes twice a day and have hada few time where my nitrates got high and did a water change. How long does it usually take to cycle a filter? Things seem to be better now as last night and this morning the readings were at or under 5 pmm. Do you think my filter is cycled? Next on my list of questions is my pH it's been at a steady 7.2 which is a little low but better then what it was (6.6 ). Now it did that on it's own slowly. But I know it's still low so should I add a buffer? Next on the list is hardness. I have a question about figuring out test results. I know that it's by drop but when you are reading the chart (I have the API kit) is the number with the little degrees sign by it the number of drops? If so I had 4 drops so would thatbe 50-100pmm? And then is that okay for water hardness or should I worry? How do you make the water harder? Whew.. sorry for the crazy post once I got the ammonia and I think the nitrate levels now under control I had other questions! Go figure! Thanks guys!!
  24. I have until Jan 14 th to cycle my tank. Please list all mistakes you have made or advice you want to give. It will improve my chances to doing a proper cycle. It is imperative that I get my cycle going.
  25. Hi everyone! I had a question with goldfish plants. I was wanting a couple anubias to tie to rocks for the new tank. I havent cycled yet so i was wondering if you could cycle with plants after sterilization or after cycling when the goldies go in. Of course they would be sterilized. Would cycling be too harsh on the plants? I may also get a java fern or a couple different low light plants. The tank is going to be bare bottom. If i decide to have crypts they would be planted in jars with nutrient rich soil. Thank you soo much!
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