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Good Or Bad Idea? Please Help


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I am sorry for posting so many questions. I am sure there are answers to everything I've asked somewhere on the forums. I promise I have tried to do searches but I am so worried that it's a little overwhelming to go through each thread.

Thank you so much for all of your help and all of your patience while I take care of my Freds.

I just did a 50% water change as the ammonia levels were over 1.0.

I also removed the ammochips that I had in the tank for fear that they were stalling the cycle.

I have had 0 nitrite readings in the 29 gallon tank.

Due mostly to lazyness I never dumped the 10 gallon tank that they were originally in for a week.

I decided to test the water today just to see what the levels were at and I got a pretty dramatic reading on nitrites. All of the original gravel is still in the 10 gallon tank.

Would it be a good idea to take some of that gravel and put it in the new tank?

I took a picture of the test results because I'm not sure what it means, and I think nitrites are still bad for the fish so I don't want to make the levels TOO high for them by adding too much of it... Does that make sense?

IMG_2291.jpg

IMG_2292.jpg

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I would just remove the ammochips period. They can be dangerous especially if you put in salt. It'll just re-release the ammonia into the water. I would definitely do a big water change to get that ammonia down.

As for the gravel, has there been any other fish in that tank and have any of the fish in there been sick. If so, I would not risk it, but it may help you in your cycle. What is your water temperature in the 29 gallon?

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I would just remove the ammochips period. They can be dangerous especially if you put in salt. It'll just re-release the ammonia into the water. I would definitely do a big water change to get that ammonia down.

As for the gravel, has there been any other fish in that tank and have any of the fish in there been sick. If so, I would not risk it, but it may help you in your cycle. What is your water temperature in the 29 gallon?

I completely removed the ammo chips.

There have not been any other fish in the 10 gallon tank. It was the same fish that I moved to the 29 gallon. The 10 gallon has just been sitting on my dining room table waiting to be emptied and cleaned.

The 50% (maybe more) water change that I just did in the 29 gallon brought the ammonia under the 25 mark.

The 29 gallon is currently at 78 degrees. We're in one of the hottest summers our area has seen in a while, and I'm in a 3rd floor apartment. Even with the fans going across the top of the tank this is as low as it's been able to get.

The fish do not appear to be in any kind of stress. I took a video of them to my pond/aquarium center that has been helping me out here and there and they said they seemed to be acting fine. No one is bottom sitting, no gulping at the surface (except when they think I'm going to feed them).

Since it's the same fish, from the same tank, do you think adding the gravel would be a good idea?

There has been no filter or fish or anything else in that tank since around July 10th. The water in that tank has definitely been over 80 degrees prob closer to 90 degrees since there is no fan or AC in the kitchen. I suppose I could try to wait until the nitrites are 0 again, which would mean the tank is cycled, but does waiting really matter? I don't want to harm the fish since their tank has a 0 nitrite reading.

There is no salt in the tank. I was told that could stall the cycle.

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If you boil the gravel, you can kill the good bacteria on it.

That said, the gravel has been in an unfiltered tank for a while, without anything producing ammonia to feed the bacteria.

So I don't know how useful the old gravel would be as a seed. Probably not very.

I think nixing the ammo chips and keeping on top of those water changes are the most beneficial things you can do.

There are some products that can jump start a cycle, but a lot of them are bunk. I don't know the names of any good ones, but I do believe other members have used a few with some success.

And don't worry about questions! It never, ever, ever hurts to ask!

Edited by Iheartfishies1172
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I would take a handful of gravel or two and put it in a mesh bag and rinse it in tank water. There still may be some bacteria in it even though there was no filter going which means little oxygenation for those bacteria.

The temperature is actually good for your cycle as it's a good temperature for the beneficial bacteria to multiply. As for that 10 gallon cycling, I doubt it will ever continue due to there being nothing to feed that cycle.

For your 29 gallon tank by adding the gravel it doesn't necessarily mean you'll get nitrites. There are just bacteria that process the waste into nitrites in there. It'd be better to get some more bacteria in your tank to process the ammonia so that you can move onto the final stage of cycling which is when nitrates show up. They can take two weeks or more to show up, so the sooner you have nitrites the better. However nitrite is just as toxic as ammonia so you'll want to keep up with the water changes.

Edit: Just saw Iheartfishiespost What she said sums what I was saying up :exactly

Edited by Tay
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I don't think I would risk moving the media w/o boiling it,like IHF said.That old tank water has been stagnant,right? Too many nasties can/do occur in stagnant water. Just try to keep on top of the ammonia w/ w/c,you'll be doing them for a little while ;)

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If you boil the gravel, you can kill the good bacteria on it.

That said, the gravel has been in an unfiltered tank for a while, without anything producing ammonia to feed the bacteria.

So I don't know how useful the old gravel would be as a seed. Probably not very.

I think nixing the ammo chips and keeping on top of those water changes are the most beneficial things you can do.

There are some products that can jump start a cycle, but a lot of them are bunk. I don't know the names of any good ones, but I do believe other members have used a few with some success.

And don't worry about questions! It never, ever, ever hurts to ask!

You have been so very helpful and kind and always quick to respond to every post I've made. Thank you for helping me feel welcome here. :heart

I do a daily water change. At least once a day actually. My arms are starting to look pretty nice!

I'm hoping that taking out the ammo chips will help. When I first got the fish I couldn't keep the ammonia level under a 4 even with water changes I could never get it around or under .25, but that was before I added them to the bigger tank.

I added Special Blend Micro-lift to the tank 7 days ago. The next dose is tomorrow. I just don't really understand how helpful that stuff is if I'm doing big water changes every day since you add it directly to the water...

I feel like everything I've seen or read to get the tank to cycle only works if you don't do water changes. Which is why you should always cycle a tank before adding fish and in normal circumstances and in the past that is always what I have done with no issue at all.

Doing a cycle with fish is starting to seem impossible. Today marks 3 full weeks of having them. 2 full weeks of them being in the new tank. I am a huge animal rights activist, and an animal rescue person, and it is breaking my heart that nothing I'm doing is working. :cry1

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I don't think I would risk moving the media w/o boiling it,like IHF said.That old tank water has been stagnant,right? Too many nasties can/do occur in stagnant water. Just try to keep on top of the ammonia w/ w/c,you'll be doing them for a little while ;)

I didn't even think about the stagnant part. you're totally right.

Should I attempt a fishless cycle in the 10 gallon? Dump it and just start over? Or would that take just as long/longer than the cycle I'm trying to get going in the 29 gallon?

I was told to take the filter from the 10 gallon out of the 20 gallon after 2 weeks. That's today. I can leave the filter cartridge in the larger filter in the area to add extra media if that would be usefull. I can then move the filter to the 10 gallon tank so that the water doesn't get stagnant but there would be no media in the filter, so the bacteria would have to just be growing in the gravel.

Am I over thinking all of this?

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:hug

I was in your same boat, but with a 55 gallon tank. It took 2 months to cycle it. Boy was it a pain. It just depends on the fish load sometimes, but a fishless cycle is probably the easiest way to go.

Try adding the Special Blend Micro-lift to the filter directly so that they beneficial bacteria (If there are even any in there. These cycle things are often unreliable) they can directly adhere to the filter media, and they can colonize it more easily.

I know the water changes are tough, but the nitrifying bacteria are the hardest to get. It can take up to 2 weeks in itself for the nitrates to start showing up.

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Don't bother with the 10 gallon since it's too small for two goldfish. Leave the filter media alone in the 29 gallon so that the bacteria will go undisturbed. The fact that the water was stagnant just like Kukana said could possibly allow the bad anaerobic bacteria to get in there. The water is probably no good.

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Don't bother with the 10 gallon since it's too small for two goldfish. Leave the filter media alone in the 29 gallon so that the bacteria will go undisturbed. The fact that the water was stagnant just like Kukana said could possibly allow the bad anaerobic bacteria to get in there. The water is probably no good.

I meant that I could dump the 10 gallon and just start over again with a fishless cycle in there.

Hearing that it can take 2 months for the cycle is really helpful. I had been reading that a cycle with fish can take 30-40 days but I was seeing no improvement at all so *fingers crossed*

I don't actually mind the water changes. It's a good workout and thankfully I don't pay for water in my building. I will add the bacteria stuff directly to the filter, though, since it will be on and moving the water I don't see how it will help much. At least it will put my mind at ease and give me another step of something that might be helping.

Thank you for all the help!

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Personally,I would leave both filters on,just as Tay suggested,then should you need to isolate any of the Freds for any reason,you can just fill it w/ dechlor water(the 10g) and move a filter over,and :bingo: ,a cycled qt :D I do this same thing,and it's really a blessing in those 'unforeseen cases(aren't they all).

Try not to beat yourself up,LH :heart You saved those fish as they were on their way to the gallows,and an uncycled tank is VERY,VERY stressful :o It seems that you cannot get ahead of it no matter how hard you try. These w/cs are the best you can be doing for them right now :heart Those nitrites are just a fact of life in an uncycled tank :exactly Something you might try is,Sakura said she has had success w/ those bacteria things pouring them directly into the filter,where they can colonize :exactly I would have to check on which brand she does that with,however.

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I would clean out the 10 gallon and keep it for a hospital tank ;) But do a full cleaning of the tank since it's stagnant and empty the gravel from it. That way you can have a hospital tank when needed :)

Adding it directly to the filter will give them more of a chance to stay in the filter media instead of just floating around the tank with nothing to colonize on. You're doing a wonderful job with this :heart Keep us updated and I think you'll be good. Oh I forgot to mention, with the higher water temperature you're going to want to have more aeration. An extra bubbler could be good if you only have 1 and lowering the water level so the filter output makes a splash is very beneficial for the fish and the bacteria.

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I would clean out the 10 gallon and keep it for a hospital tank ;) But do a full cleaning of the tank since it's stagnant and empty the gravel from it. That way you can have a hospital tank when needed :)

Adding it directly to the filter will give them more of a chance to stay in the filter media instead of just floating around the tank with nothing to colonize on. You're doing a wonderful job with this :heart Keep us updated and I think you'll be good. Oh I forgot to mention, with the higher water temperature you're going to want to have more aeration. An extra bubbler could be good if you only have 1 and lowering the water level so the filter output makes a splash is very beneficial for the fish and the bacteria.

I have 2 air stones in the tank now. 1 large one that is either 12 or 14 inches and a smaller one that is 6 inches.

The water level is always a bit low due to evaporation since the smaller filter is sitting on the front of the tank right now which is propping the hood open. (it's not really an issue since I don't want the water to get TOO much warmer since most days it's actually over 80. Today is an exception)

I will clean out the 10 gallon then. I have several of them laying around. We've had them for so many different animals over the past 5 years it's crazy. But, that's what happens when you rescue everything people hand you.

Will I be able to remove the smaller filter at any point?

The "main" filter in the tank is a 40-70 gallon filter.

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Hang in there LadyHill! You are doing great. :heart

As the others have mentioned, give the 10 gallon a good wash and stow it away for emergencies. If you keep both filters going on the main tank, you can pull one off in said emergency, and as Kukana so eloquently put it: have instant cycle on the QT tank!

Makes emergency treatment go a little smother.

There are many benefits to having multiple filters, but total GPH is the most important factor. You could remove the old filter after cycling if you really wanted too, but it might cause a cycle bump unless you put the media from the old filter into the new one.

You don't exactly have to have the filter itself running as a spare to insta-cycle a QT tank. You could just keep extra media in your main filter and stick it in the old one when needed.

Edited by Iheartfishies1172
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Hang in there LadyHill! You are doing great. :heart

As the others have mentioned, give the 10 gallon a good wash and stow it away for emergencies. If you keep both filters going on the main tank, you can pull one off in said emergency, and as Kukana so eloquently put it: have instant cycle on the QT tank!

Makes emergency treatment go a little smother.

There are many benefits to having multiple filters, but total GPH is the most important factor. You could remove the old filter after cycling if you really wanted too, but it might cause a cycle bump unless you put the media from the old filter into the new one.

You don't exactly have to have the filter itself running as a spare to insta-cycle a QT tank. You could just keep extra media in your main filter and stick it in the old one when needed.

The GPH is the thing you want to have at 10x right?

I believe that the total was defintely at the 10x point before I put the smaller filter in the tank.

I like the idea of keeping the smaller media in the larger filter for emergencies and to help keep the cycling from bumping.

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Yep! GPH stands for Gallons Per Hour, and you need 10 times your tank volume.

More is never a bad thing though. Until you start blowing your fish around.

So in your 29 gallon tank, you want 290GPH.

I run three filters on my 29 gallon. I probably couldn't get away with the current if I had a fancy...

Paranoid much? Yep. But at some point in their lives, all of the filters have mysteriously stopped working. A jiggle of the intake tube usually fixes it, but I don't want to go away for a weekend and come back to stubborn filters and a dead T.F.

Having an extra filter hanging around is a good thing for vacations too! Pop that emergency media in and have two filters while you are out!

You know you are a fish nut when you get excited about filters...

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Yep! GPH stands for Gallons Per Hour, and you need 10 times your tank volume.

More is never a bad thing though. Until you start blowing your fish around.

So in your 29 gallon tank, you want 290GPH.

I run three filters on my 29 gallon. I probably couldn't get away with the current if I had a fancy...

Paranoid much? Yep. But at some point in their lives, all of the filters have mysteriously stopped working. A jiggle of the intake tube usually fixes it, but I don't want to go away for a weekend and come back to stubborn filters and a dead T.F.

Having an extra filter hanging around is a good thing for vacations too! Pop that emergency media in and have two filters while you are out!

You know you are a fish nut when you get excited about filters...

I am going away for 8 days in September and I am already completely freaking out about it. I don't think anyone will do huge daily water changes for me while we're away. I really hope the cycle kicks in by then and I can do a big water change the night before we leave.

Ugh. The stress!!

I do love my Freds though. They have grown on me and they are just so cute! Big Fred seems to like me too. Everytime I have to do something in the tank he wiggles into my hand. It's quite strange.

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