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Manktank

Mid Cycle Mayhem

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So, can I first tell you what I'm dealing with;

a 190l, (56 US gallon) tank, Been set up for almost two months..I think, it seems SO much longer... it's around that mark anyway, I test daily, this mornings readings are

Amm= 05+

Nitri= 0

Nitra= 0

pH = 6.8

water from tap pH= 6.8

I wasn't aware of the pH, I was told in the LFS that our local water, is generally fine for fishkeeping and that it would constitute a problem...

However after reading various threads about Cloudy water, I decided to check what the water actually was up to....

To elaborate, I initially had two Orandas, in the tank, (unfortunatley they both died after an accident with a faulty heater... *sniff*), I emptied the tank and started from scratch, leaving the tank vacant for two weeks, before introducing two small oranda... :heart:heart The water readings for Amm, Nitri, and Nitra have been constant, I am changing around 30% every two days... much to the consternation of my ignorant housemates

I introduced two new small fish, a red-capped Ranchu and a Blue Oranda :heart and ever since the water has been cloudy... murky cloudy, as in can barely see the fish at the back of the tank!!! Shortly after adding the newbies, I noticed a couple had white fuzz on their fins, and putting this down to flucuating water quality during the cycle treated with melafix.... could this have been the cause of the cloudiness...

I added Accu-clear thinking that when I'd done the water change last I'd stirred up gunk from the substrate, but nothing's helped...I added floss to the filter media mix, and still the cloudiness persists. Or am I worrying about a good signal of blooming bacteria???? :blink:

The fish perversely are happy happy happy, active, growing, showing typical behaviour... really looking good,

Can I ask what the opinion is for the cloudiness, is it, the increases detritus load causing it, and therefore the filter will rapidly (hopefully) manage to deal with it in time, or is it a symptom of something else....

I read that pH can be raised by using Baking soda... is that what we'd call Bicarbonate of Soda in the UK or Baking Powder, which I think has something else in it also, and how much do I add...

I figure that at a pH of 6.8 the cycle will take a Looooooong time, is this correct?

Many thanks in advance

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I am glad you are back to fish keeping... it is an addiction, huh? :)

Let me see if I have this all straight, ok?

You have the equivilant of a 56gallon tank that has been running for 8 weeks-ish with two small Orandas in it.

You recently added two new fish to the system.

You have a pH of 6.8 and ammonia of..... if I read this right FIVE? (not 0.5.... but 5.0, correct?)

What filter(s) do you have running on the tank - and what gph (lph) do they run?

If the ammonia is truly at 5ppm, then you need to do an immediate 100% water change. Do not disturb the filter but dump all the water and replace it. It would take too many water changes to get it back to "healthy" - and you will use less water doing a 100%. If the ammonia is at 0.5ppm, I suggest doing a 50% water change. Do not disturb the filters but dump the water. Treat the replacement water as you have been doing - and try to match temps.

This should help the fungus or whatever is going on with the fuzzy fish. It will not SOLVE it, but will be a huge step towards solving it.

As far as pH 6.8 is rather low for goldfish. I am not personally comfortable at anything below about 7.0, but what REALLY matters is your kH..... or buffer. With a high enough buffer or kH, your 6.8 pH will be solid and unchanging. Consistency is really the whole name of the game with pH - and with a solid kH and very consistant pH of 6.8, you will be ok. You can, of course, raise your kH and your pH at the same time with various methods - one of which is the addition of Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda - no additives) at each and every water change. You will need to work out a "recipe" for your particular water - and add in the measured amount to the measured amount of water you have removed and are readding...... OR you can add a baggie of crushed coral to your filter box - this will slowly dissolve, adding kH and subsequently raising your pH in the tank. It requires no weekly maintainence - just occasional replenishment.

If you do "manage" your ph, remember to change it VERY slowly. Each number is an exponential step from the last - a BIG one!

Cloudy water can come from ammonia in the water. IT can come from inadequate mechanical filteration. IT can come from BB that are blooming......

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Sorry I must learn to read and re-read posting before hitting the button,

Ammonia levels are 0.5, are I am keeping the at or lower as daily schedule allows.

I haven't treated the water for two weeks as the fin damage is healed, (whitish fuzz gone, and damaged areas re-grown so that the semi tranlucent perimeter has developed along fin edge...)

I am not giving up on these fish, I find them so endearing and entertaining, well worth the intial hassle of making sure I am doing everythign properly and looking after them right!

I've just used a dip strip, and (though massively colour-blind I take the readings to be)

Gh = 30ish

Kh = 0+, (as in not the colour of zero but nowhere near the next colour...40)

So I gather that KH should be way higher to counterbalance the pH...

*heads out to get Bicarb from the store!*

Thanks Daryl... it's much appreciated... everything I read contradicts the last thing I read....

Edited by Manktank

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6.8 is a bit low for pH, but not really a problem *except* for the fact that you have a very low KH as well. Baking soda is a good temporary fix, but for less work and more stability, you should really consider getting crushed coral and adding a cup or two or more of it to your filter.

The ammonia is okay, but keep doing water changes to keep it down. Also consider picking up some AmQuel+ or Prime, or another water conditioner that will keep ammonia/nitrite/nitrate down.

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I am adding Cycle/ Stress-zyme and Stress coat and adding Aquarium salt to the fresh water to the manufacturers recommended dosage...after todays water change the cloudiness is less...

The fish seem perfectly happy as I say, voracious but happy!

I will pick up the crushed coral...I assume it'll need rinsing through, first?

About adding more fish at this stage... I was thinking a gang of 5 might be nice, I'd lvoe a Black Moor I have seen; should I wait until things have settled down a bit?

I have resigned myself to daily water changes and I'm getting quite adept at it, barely takes more than 20 minutes!!! The only thing is the waiting whilst the water stands; if I am adding Chlorine/Chloramine removers is it always necessary to stand the water??? I am sure I read somewhere here that the additives work pretty much instantly only I can't find it now...

Can I do too much of a water change at this stage, I read that the filter has the Ammonia that the BB's need, the stuff in the water is only causing harm to fish and removing it in the water changes means I am notaffecting the tanks cycling...please confirm this so I can show my friends who think I am getting nuerotic!

PS I haven't managed to find Prime or Amquel+ in the UK, anyone know of stockist suppliers if they could let me know I'd be most appreciative!

Thanks again all...

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I have resigned myself to daily water changes and I'm getting quite adept at it, barely takes more than 20 minutes!!! The only thing is the waiting whilst the water stands; if I am adding Chlorine/Chloramine removers is it always necessary to stand the water??? I am sure I read somewhere here that the additives work pretty much instantly only I can't find it now...

If the temperature is reasonably matched - and as long as your water doesn't test positive for any other nasties (ammonia, nitrite, etc), then you don't need to stand the water. Standing is to remove chlorine.

Can I do too much of a water change at this stage, I read that the filter has the Ammonia that the BB's need, the stuff in the water is only causing harm to fish and removing it in the water changes means I am notaffecting the tanks cycling...please confirm this so I can show my friends who think I am getting nuerotic!

I dunno for sure. The tank will still cycle even if you keep ammonia, etc levels quite low... but it *may* take longer. I don't know if anyone here can tell you for sure. If you're more comfortable keeping it as low as possible, feel free.

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Thanks for the gen.... I had always assumed that the standing dissipated anything else that might be "nasty"... but if there's not then there's no need! THis is great news as I now feel I can do larger changes... I only have a limited space and use 5, 3gallon buckets... now I know they don't have to stand I can feasibly change 30-100% should the need arise!

When I kept Marine fish I used to have a large water butt that I'd add everything to (salt, conditioners etc) and use an air-pump in, I just don't have the house-space any longer!

It's amazing the things that prey on yoiur mind when you drift off to sleep dreaming of your fishie friends!!!

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So I added the coral and that seems to have upped the ph to a more satisfactory 7.6... I'll test again shortly to see if it's remaining constant...

As a broad general rule how long should it take for the Nitrifying bacteria to arrive...still no sign of nitrites yet and though everything in the tanks happy, I'm wondering if I'm changing out too much water so that the bacteria aren't growing quickly enough... in the last three water changes, the cloudiness has dissappeared and I was convincing myself that the cloudiness was a good sign of bacteria developing....

Would the bacteria that cause the cloudiness be the same nitrifying bacteria or others in the substrate etc.????

Sorry to mither!

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I can take anywhere from a week or two to several weeks depending on a whole ton of factors. Your low pH and KH definitely could have been slowing it drastically - you wouldn't be the first on here to experience this. Give it another week or two with the improved ph/KH and hopefully things will start to happen. Otherwise there may be something else at play, but pH/KH are big suspects.

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Thanks fredct, I just tested again and there is no change... not a peep out of nitrite... I am purposefully allowing some Ammonia so that there is "food" for the BB's but still no readings for Nitrite. (at this rate I'm gonna need another test kit!)

Thanks for reassuring me,

I don't know if it is any way connected but I am hardly getting ANY algae...like NONE! Everything in the tank is spotless!

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Well I spoke to soon on that front...algae has entered the building! In a major way!!!!

Still no Nitrites... i am getting concerned; what could be the cause of that???

And the fish are acting real strange too, "shimmying" alongside each other in "huddles"... is this normal behaviour... or is the water quality the underlying issue.

I'm going to change 150 lt, and see if they calm any.

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Nitrate is food for algae, so if you're getting algae are you sure you have no nitrate? What are the measurements today? Also, what kind/color of algae?

I'm not entirely sure about the behavior question, especially without seeing it. Just check your parameters after the water change and if they're normal and steady that's the most important thing.

Hopefully someone else can chime in on the behavior thing, as I'm just becoming more of a water chemistry geek ;)

Edited by fredct

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Hey... it seems my chococlate is female and this week is exuding all her feminine mystiquery and the other's are obligingly "making the intentions known" (and how)

Unfortunatley I have got an outbreak of whitespot too and I know all you guys here think that saltings the answer I used a treatment, *slapped wrists, and hangs head in shame* ( tobe honest I still don't know what I am doing with the salt; i know there are threads, but I need specific amounts, my maths abililty is shall we say "basic")

Now from what I gather, I can't be sure of accurate water params with the treatment in there can I?

I had hoped this return to fish keeping would be a calm and relaxing hobby that I can enjoy; the reality is stress, worry, panic, and general anxiety!

If Nitrates are present doesn't that mean that I have a cycled tank,.... in which case why is the Ammonia consistantly at 1 ppm by the time I come to do the daily water change. The algae is green, and is is covering EVERYTHING!!!!!

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Unfortunatley I have got an outbreak of whitespot too and I know all you guys here think that saltings the answer I used a treatment, *slapped wrists, and hangs head in shame* ( tobe honest I still don't know what I am doing with the salt; i know there are threads, but I need specific amounts, my maths abililty is shall we say "basic")

I think those threads do have the answers, and the math in them is 'basic'. Its multiplication and division - you can even use a calculator! ;) If you have specific questions feel free to ask, but do review the information that's alerady there.

If Nitrates are present doesn't that mean that I have a cycled tank,.... in which case why is the Ammonia consistantly at 1 ppm by the time I come to do the daily water change. The algae is green, and is is covering EVERYTHING!!!!!

Not necessarily, there's a couple ways you could have nitrates in an uncycled tank. The first is that your tap water itself contains nitrates. This is not uncommon at all.

The second is that you *had* an established cycle and nitrates in your water, and then something happened to bump or entirely break your cycle. If that's the case, the nitrates wouldn't go away, but your cycle would be broken and no more nitrates would be being created.

Since you say you have ammonia, the only option is either you're not cycled or something is interfering with your tests. Since you weren't cycled in the first place, that option seems most likely, right?

It seems you're not yet cycled, but tell us what treatment you used and maybe people will be familar with what impacts it can have.

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Just testing as I type... (I'm not even sure now there was a need; I know the "whitespots" fall off but there is no sign of any infection...arghghghhgh!!!)

I used Interpet Anti white spot... and turned the lights off.

I haven't changed the water since Sunday when I did about 150 lt (190 lt tank) todays readings are;

Amm 0.25

Nitrite 0

Nitrate 0

WHY am I not getting any development. Surely as this set up's been running since mid April, some degree of Nitrite would be present by now SURELY!!!!

It's getting to P*** me off now... I think I am doing everything worng, and although you'll say I shouldn't have used a treatment and that salts the way to do it, I haven't a clue... I appreciate your faith in it, and realise it's from your personal experience given my schedule and the facilities and space, I'd go with the treatment; I followed the directions to the letter and the fish are showing no signs of distress... they're happily devouring a Pak choi leaf as I type

I'm wondering if it's worth stripping the filter, and replacing all the media... start from scratch (again) and see what happens,

My local LFS say there are additive I can use to boost the cycling process, I guess I'm doing that with Stress Zyme, aren't I???

I have found a source on Ebay who sells along wiht Prime and other conditioners mentioned in these threads;

""Stability? will rapidly and safely establish the aquarium biofilter in freshwater and marine systems, thereby preventing the #1 cause of fish death: "new tank syndrome".

Stability? is formulated specifically for the aquarium and contains a synergistic blend of aerobic, anaerobic, and facultative bacteria which facilitate the breakdown of waste organics, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Unlike competing products, the bacteria employed by Stability? are non-sulfur fixing and will not produce toxic hydrogen sulfide.

Stability? is completely harmless to all aquatic organisms as well as aquatic plants, thus there is no danger of over use.

Stability? is the culmination of nearly a decade of research and development and represents the current state of the art in natural biological management.""

Would this work for me???

I really don't know what to do, I had taken heart in thinking pre-emptivley that the cycle WAS progressing, only now I test and find it's no better than it was weeks and weeks ago!

Waaaaaaaaaaaaah! :(

Edited by Manktank

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Stability may help, or it may not. Yes, it seems to do generally the same thing as stress zyme, but its a different 'formula', so who knows.

I think the biggest thing you need to do right now is chill out. You're keeping the water is good quality, the fish are healthy. Nothing's going wrong, its just not going entirely right either, but that's okay. You keep taking big steps one way or the other.

How has your pH/KH been doing? That was the biggest suspect at first. What have those numbers been? Where has the KH settled?

Calm down, relax, you're being a good fish parent, believe me :)

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THis morning the readings are

KH 0!

pH 7.2+

Amm 0.25

Nitrite 0

Nitrate 0

I appreciate your advice, I suppose reading all these articles about peoples problems make me think mine is "drastic". I'm looking forward to the day I get this bucket surgically detached from my right hand... Our water meters getting a bit giddy, and I dread the bill!

I added Coral in a mesh bag to the filter shouldn't that have had an effect on the KH at all; it seems to have bolstered the pH which is great, will the BB grow in low KH if the pH is mid sevens... If I've got this right the KH "protects" the fish from fluctuations in pH, which seems to have quite stable since adding the coral

RIght I'm off to fill some buckets.... Oh joy; oh rapture!!!

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How long ago did you add the coral? If more than a few days, maybe you could see about adding some more. Is there more room in the filter?

Alternately, what kind of KH test are you using? If its not a drop test, you may want to see about getting one of those. Drop tests tend to be much more reliable.

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The coral, (rinsed and put into a mesh bag) went into the filter, in a mid section last Sunday...there isn't much room in the compartment...

It is a strip test I have used, and I am massively colourblind, so I ask my housemates and partner to double check the result...in good light to the nearest approximate colour match.

I had read strips aren't good, I'll check my LFS this weekend.

Whilst we're talking about filter medium, I have a Fluval 205... and in it I have, Sponge, one one side and then in the baskets, starting from the top, Ceramic tubes (noodles?) Coral, then in the lower basket floss...the guide book that came with the tank said to add the supplied Carbonn to the lowest basket, but some here recommended not using Carbon at all hence the floss...

Is that a good combination... is the arrangement suitable, I'm just going off what I have been told at the LFS and in the guidebooks...

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So a further update...

I bought a KH/GH test kit, and looky here....no instructions, but after a little searching managed to find a pdf to assist. To that end I am unsure whether I have read the results right. (When it says yellow, does it mean bright canary yellow, or no longer blue but *yellow*???)

If I read it as the drop that made a yellow colour, it took 3 drops, which equates to 53.7 for the KH

and for the GH, read similarly so that the drop which changed the tester to green, was 5 equalling 89.5

This is after a week of having crushed coral in the mid section filter-basket.

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on the KH test kit I go with any change from blue to even a lime green color. That is what was said on another forum I was on as well.

Check your source water for KH also. Mine is very low from the tap. Personally coral may help to keep KH up, but if your source water is low I would really consider using the baking soda to bring the KH up. Kh will drop in a tank because it is used by the filter. It can contribute to a slow cycling of a filter as well. A tank cycle can take 6 weeks or even more. The low KH maybe making it a slower process. If your source water is high kH (and I doubt that it is with all the water changes you've been doing..) the water changes should bring it up. Use a tablespoon at a time. I just put it in my HOB filter where the incoming water comes in or you could mix it in a small pitcher of water and dump around through the tank.

It's good you got some drop test kits. The strips can be useful for a quick check but are just not reliably accurate enough to take as absolute. I'm not color blind and I have problems with the strip tests knowing what color is that little pad really???!!

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