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Cutting Short A Fishless Cycle


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Ever since the pea soup episode, Elvis' 12g, which had been cycled and had no bumps/spikes suddenly is spiking in Nitrates. Every day I have had to change 50 to 75% of the water. It's shooting way up and his gills are getting very red, red blotches all over his body, and he is developing a protuding chest and his back is starting to become dipped in behind the head instead of the smooth line he use to have.

I understand that the nitrates are causing the red blotches and gills, whitish poo and possibly the other things too.

I want to transfer him to the new 29, but it's only been cycling for two weeks. one on amm. 1st week with Bacteria added, and a pinch of fish food each day this week. I can still smell the amm. so I know it hasn't built up enough good bacteria yet. Can I still do a 100% wc and transfer Elvis to that tank? I figured the bigger tank would be easier on him.

Besides the 160 filter at one end, I have half of a 10g undergravel at the other end and have a 5 inch airstone to also go into it. How do I make it safe for him to transfer into?

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I'm afraid putting him in the uncycled tank, though bigger, would be a bad idea. You mentioned high nitrAtes in the previously cycled tank... Can you do large water changes to keep the water quality good and the nitrAtes low? What are your readings on both tanks?

EDIT: For clarity...

Edited by Desiree
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I'm afraid putting him in the uncycled tank, though bigger, would be a bad idea. You mentioned high nitrAtes in the previously cycled tank... Can you do large water changes to keep the water quality good and the nitrAtes low? What are your readings on both tanks?

EDIT: For clarity...

I have been doing large water changes every day. It's been going to 40 within a day, I retest after wc and it's down to 10 after the changes. I also have reduced his food, and only feed him once a day on Hikari Gold with 1 pea or small amount of broccoli evry other day or so. No more diarrea since I started cooking the peas and cut it back to one.

I haven't tested the new tank because the amm smell hasn't gone from the 1st three days I put in ammonia. Since then I have been feeding the new tank with a tiny bit of flake (at least flake is good for something :) ) and that's it. I haven't tested the new tank but I can if you need me to. The 12g runs 82ph, trItes 0, amm 0, trAtes 25 right now. That's after a 75% change earlier. My trAtes from my faucet run in the 20's, but I use both Amquel+ and Novaqua in every change and that helps the fresh water trAtes to drop to 10. I've never been able to drop the trAtes less than that.

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Personally, I think placing him in the new tank would cause more problems since this will be cause him to experience the whole cycle; including Ammonia and Nitrite spikes. But, since it is a larger tank, it may be easier to manage through daily water changes that way.

I noticed you mentioned an undergravel filter; is it possible the nitrates are spiking because of built up food/ feces under the grate? When I had an undergravel filter I could never get my Nitrates under 80, and that's exactly why...

Sorry I'm not much help...

Edited by Desiree
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Personally, I think placing him in the new tank would cause more problems since this will be cause him to experience the whole cycle; including Ammonia and Nitrite spikes. But, since it is a larger tank, it may be easier to manage through daily water changes that way.

I noticed you mentioned an undergravel filter; is it possible the nitrates are spiking because of built up food/ feces under the grate? When I had an undergravel filter I could never get my Nitrates under 80, and that's exactly why...

Sorry I'm not much help...

Actually, the undergravel is in the new tank. It's empty except the undergravel filter and a bowl of gravel on it to hold it down. It's in there for future live plants and to help the circulation tho it's not got air running in it yet.

Elvis' 12g is completely bare. I don't even keep the thermometer in his tank anymore because of all the health issues he has been going through.

As far as help is concerned, you are helping... you have made me stop and think about this.

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Undergravel filters aren't very good with goldfish. They work great for tropicals that don't have the waste output goldfish do, but with goldies they hold and harbor many nasty bacs that will keep the nitrates up and cause a lot of problems.

Right now while your fish isn't doing well I wouldn't put him through the cycling of the 29 gallon. Cycling is stressful for healthy fish but a fish that is ill and has a compromised immune system could be in big trouble in a cycling tank that isn't stabilized yet. If I were you I'd do larger wcs and try to keep the smaller tank pristine for now, IMO.

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Undergravel filters aren't very good with goldfish. They work great for tropicals that don't have the waste output goldfish do, but with goldies they hold and harbor many nasty bacs that will keep the nitrates up and cause a lot of problems.

Right now while your fish isn't doing well I wouldn't put him through the cycling of the 29 gallon. Cycling is stressful for healthy fish but a fish that is ill and has a compromised immune system could be in big trouble in a cycling tank that isn't stabilized yet. If I were you I'd do larger wcs and try to keep the smaller tank pristine for now, IMO.

That's what I am trying to do. Thanx Vickielm. I concerned because the blotches aren't going away and his gills are getting darker in color and are beginning to get that ragged look again.

How long do you think the trAtes will continue to spike like that? Should I reclean the bio wheel and filter medium? I rinsed them well in tank water after the pea soup days, but could there still be a prob with that? Why would a tank, cycled for 4 years suddenly begin to spike like that? Only meds have been prazi and jungle food and salt, tho none of the above for a couple of weeks now.

(End of May did use fluke tabs for a few days, but tank recycled quickly after I stopped using it. Found Kokos and Prazi I did. ;) )

I decided on using half of a ten gal undergravel in my 29 for water movement and a base for a live plant area in the tank. So this is NOT a good idea? What if I didn't put any gravel on it, just glass planters of gravel and plants?

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Well said, Vickie! :exactly One thing I was curious about, since the undergravel is in the other tank... what type of filter do you have in the 12 gallon? Also, how BIG is Elvis? I'm just really suprised to hear of a single fish creating that much waste! :krazy:

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Well said, Vickie! :exactly One thing I was curious about, since the undergravel is in the other tank... what type of filter do you have in the 12 gallon? Also, how BIG is Elvis? I'm just really suprised to hear of a single fish creating that much waste! :krazy:

So was Lynda. She was over yesterday and was suprised at the test results too. Elvis is a little over 5 inches. Small for a comet, but he is 10 yo. He is small because I never knew how to care for gf. I was a tropical big head with a little brain. ;)

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Unless you plan on removing the undergravel filter once a week and scrubbing it, I'd advise against it really. SOMETHING has caused the spike, but from what you've said I just can't figure it out!!

I wouldn't CLEAN the biowheel, but I'd give it a scrubbing in some old tank water and do a 100%wc. And just for good measure I'd add some Prime, as that will neutralize your nitrates. Anything to keep Elvis ok until the 29 has cycled!

C'mon tank...hurry up!!!!!

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Unless you plan on removing the undergravel filter once a week and scrubbing it, I'd advise against it really. SOMETHING has caused the spike, but from what you've said I just can't figure it out!!

I wouldn't CLEAN the biowheel, but I'd give it a scrubbing in some old tank water and do a 100%wc. And just for good measure I'd add some Prime, as that will neutralize your nitrates. Anything to keep Elvis ok until the 29 has cycled!

C'mon tank...hurry up!!!!!

I don't have prime, but I do use amquel+ AND novaqua with every wc. Is that good enough? Ok. I will do a 100% tomorrow and scrub the bio in the water I remove.

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Hi Roni,

I just wanted to let you know that I am rooting for you and Elvis. You and Lynda are my two So-Cal fish friends.

I feel like I have read somewhere on here that sometimes salt can cause a bump in the cycle? But I could in fact be totally wrong about that. If I were to make a wild guess it would be the pea soup (upset tummy) incident. So all you can do at this point is keep the tank as pristine as possible.

Trust me...your tank will cycle soon and Elvis will be thrilled at all of his new space.

Amy

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Roni, I'm not very familiar with Amquel, but have been told by some of the members here that it does the same thing as Prime.

Good luck with Elvis, and hopefully the bigger tank will cycle quickly. I think he'll be ok as long as you keep up the wcs. And if it turns out that he could use meds, the smaller tank will be easier to dose.

Keeping our fingers crossed... :goodluck

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I also want to say stay away from undergravel filters. I had on in my 150 because when I bought the tank the guy told how great it was for him (he had saltwater). My fish were having problems like showing signs of stress. I moved the fish and removed the filter and it was REALLY nasty under there. So hopefully you won't have to go throug what I did.

As far as the problems you are having now. Have you posted in the Disease section? Are nitrates present in your tap water? What kind of filter are you using on the tank he's in now? Maybe move the filter and the accessories into the 29 gallon.

Edited by Ajno
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