PDA

View Full Version : Can somebody tell me how my tank is doing with cycling



GeneralGoldeneye
08-26-2008, 03:12 AM
Hi I have a 29 gal thank that is a little over 2 weeks old I change 6gal of the water out every day and my reading are with teast strips Ph 7.2 Alkalinity 180 hardness 75 nitrite 3.0 nitrate 20. I was geting a 0 on this one till today. I have 4 fish in this tank and Im not sure what going on with my Electric blue Hap he has been shaking and scraching on the gravel the last few days

Holyvision
08-26-2008, 03:20 AM
Whenever I've cycled, I didn't change the water that often, maybe just me; I always do ever 2 to 3 weeks, any more and it's hard for my biological filtration to keep up. If it were me, I would probably put in some wide-range prevention meds (I always mix some garlic xtreme or elixir with my freeze dried) and put in some bacteria agent (like colonize) to help get those nitrate and nitrite down...I might be wrong though.

To my knowledge, scratching at the rocks can be a sign of the all-too-common Ich.

SkinnyChicken
08-26-2008, 04:17 AM
If you are still testing positive for nitrite then have you tested for ammonia - you can't have one without the other. Your Hap might be suffering from ammonia poisoning. Cycling with fish is a tricky science as you have to balance the changing of water with the amount of toxins in the water. Fluctuating water parameters of ammo, nitrite and nitrate are all going to stress your fish to some degree - add to that water changes every other day and the poor little fella isn't going to know whether he's up or down. In my experience, whenever a fish is acting oddly, it can usually be attributed to the water quality. Just the other day my Corys started racing to the top of the water surface - which in itself isn't a major problem as Corys are often want to do that from time to time. But I watched them for a while and realised that this was not normal behaviour in that they were doing in more often that they usually do. And as I missed a water change last week I already knew what the reason behind it was. A water change later and all is good and the Corys stay on the bottom just where they like it best.

So, do a 50% water change and re-check your ammonia and nitrite levels. Then, if the levels are reasonable, observe your fish and see what their behaviour is like before doing any more water changes. You will always have to do water changes when cycling with fish, but do larger changes less often so as to minimize stress on your little finned guys.

Lady Hobbs
08-26-2008, 04:43 AM
You really need a test kit to know what your water parmeters are. If you have a low level of ammonia, then you are fine and need no water changing. If your levels of ammonia or nitrites have reached dangerous levels, then water changes are necessary for your fish to survive.

Since your fish are new and you are seeing them scratching, look closely to see if you are seeing white, salt like specks on him. If so, you will need to treat your tank for ICK. There are several meds for it and Ick Quard being just one of them. It's not unusual for new fish to have ick but it will kill them if not treated ASAP. You must treat the whole tank as ick breeds in the bottom of the tank and all your fish will get it.

But, these daily water changes are not necessary without first testing of the water.

No cleaning at all. Do not vac the gravel or change your filter media or you are losing the good bacteria you are trying to grow. And always use dechlorinatored water.

Please read the cycling thread in this section. (I have moved this post there, as well.)

GeneralGoldeneye
08-26-2008, 01:08 PM
I did a test this morning with strips and it looks like my ammonia is 1.0 ph 7.2alkalinity 180 hardness 75 my nitrite looked like it was around 5.0 it jumped up a lot from yesterday and nitrate 20. Im going to go out later ang get the other testing kit and will repost them later. Also I dont notice any white spots on my blue Hap he has a few darker spots that are not that noticable

gourami*girl
08-26-2008, 02:00 PM
[QUOTE=Lady Hobbs]If your levels of ammonia or nitrites have reached dangerous levels, then water changes are necessary for your fish to survive.
[QUOTE]

A clarification question for the poster (and myself). What would a dangerous level of ammonia or nitrites be? For instance would a nitrite of 1 be dangerous? (sorry to hijack this thread a little bit)

Thanks!

SkinnyChicken
08-27-2008, 02:29 AM
Though a cycled tank should show zero levels of both ammonia and nitrite, when cycling with fish (or without fish for that matter) it will be impossible to not have both showing at some point. From what I've gained from the people I've talked to the following levels are a 'rough' guideline (and 'rough' means that there are such a lot of factors to consider outside of the actual ppm levels):

Safe Ammonia Level: < 1ppm
Safe Nitrite Level: < 0.3 (and even prolonged exposure at his level may be harmful to your fish depending upon the species)
Safe Nitrate Level: < 20ppm

The signs of ammonia poisoning can be:
# Fish gasp for breath at the water surface
# Purple or red gills
# Fish is lethargic
# Loss of appetite
# Fish lays at the bottom of the tank
# Red streaking on the fins or body

Effective treatment:
# Lower pH below 7.0
# 25 - 50% water change
# Use chemical to neutralize ammonia
# Discontinue or reduce feeding

If the ammonia level rises above 1 ppm as measured by a standard test kit, begin treatment immediately. Lowering the pH of the water will provide immediate relief, as will a 50% water change (be sure to use water that is the same temperature as the aquarium). Several water changes within a short period of time may be required to drop the ammonia to below 1 ppm.
If the fish are in severe distress, the use of a chemical to neutralize the ammonia is recommended. Feedings should be restricted so that additional waste is reduced.

In cases of very high ammonia levels, feedings should be discontinued for several days. No new fish should be added until the tank until the ammonia and nitrite levels have fallen to zero.

Because ammonia toxicity is linked to the pH, testing of both ammonia and pH levels are critical. Ammonia becomes increasingly toxic as the pH rises above 7.0. Because there are so many variables, there is no magic number to watch for. However, there are general guidelines to follow.

At a level of level of 1 ppm or 1 mg/l, fish are under stress, even if they don't appear in acute distress. Levels even lower than that can be fatal if the fish are exposed continuously for several days. For that reason it is critical to continue daily testing and treatment until the ammonia drops to zero. When ammonia is elevated for a long period, it is not unusual to lose fish even after the ammonia levels start to drop.

Prevention:
# Stock new tanks slowly
# Feed sparingly and remove uneaten food
# Change water regularly
# Test water regularly to catch problems early

The key to avoiding fish death from ammonia poisoning is to avoid ammonia spikes in the first place. When starting a new tank, add only a couple of fish initially and do not add more until the tank is completely cycled. Even in an well established tank, only add a couple of new fish at a time and avoid overstocking. Feed fish small quantities of foods, and remove any food not consumed in five minutes. Clean the tank weekly, taking care to remove an dead plants or other debris. Perform a partial water change at least every other week, more often in small heavily stocked tanks. Test the water for ammonia at least twice a month to detect problems before they become serious. Anytime a fish appears to be ill, test for ammonia to rule out ammonia poisoning. If the filter stops, test for ammonia twenty-four hours later to ensure that the bacterial colonies that eliminate wastes were not affected.

Nitrite poisoning follows closely on the heels of ammonia as a major killer of aquarium fish. Just when you think you are home free after losing half your fish to ammonia poisoning, the nitrites rise and put your fish at risk again. Anytime ammonia levels are elevated, elevated nitrites will soon follow. To avoid nitrite poisoning, test when setting up a new tank, when adding new fish to established an tank, when the filter fails due to power or mechanical failure, and when medicating sick fish.

Symptoms:
# Fish gasp for breath at the water surface
# Fish hang near water outlets
# Fish is listless
# Tan or brown gills
# Rapid gill movement

Also known as 'brown blood disease' because the blood turns brown from a increase of methemoglobin. However, methemoglobin causes a more serious problem than changing the color of the blood. It renders the blood unable to carry oxygen, and the fish can literally suffocate even though there is ample oxygen present in the water.

Different species of fish tolerate differing levels of nitrite. Some fish may simply be listless, while others may die suddenly with no obvious signs of illness. Common symptoms include gasping at the surface of the water, hanging near water outlets, rapid gill movement, and a change in gill color from tan to dark brown.

Fish that are exposed to even low levels of nitrite for long periods of time suffer damage to their immune system and are prone to secondary diseases, such as ich, fin rot, and bacterial infections. As methemoglobin levels increase damage occurs to the liver, gills and blood cells. If untreated, affected fish eventually die from lack of oxygen, and/or secondary diseases.


Treatment:
# Large water change
# Add salt, preferably chlorine salt
# Reduce feeding
# Increase aeration

The addition of one half ounce of salt per gallon of water will prevent methemoglobin from building up. Chlorine salt is preferable, however any aquarium salt is better than no salt at all. Aeration should be increased to provide ample oxygen saturation in the water. Feedings should be reduced and no new fish should be added until the tank until the ammonia and nitrite levels have fallen to zero.

Nitrite is letal at much lower levels than ammonia. Therefore it is critical to continue daily testing and treatment until the nitrite falls to zero.

Prevention:
# Stock new tanks slowly
# Feed sparingly and remove uneaten food
# Change water regularly
# Test water regularly to catch problems early

The key to elminating fish death is to avoid extreme spikes and prolonged elevation of nitrites. When starting a new tank, add only a couple of fish initially and do not add more until the tank is completely cycled. In an established tank, only add a couple of new fish at a time and avoid overstocking.

Feed fish small quantities of foods, and remove any food not consumed in five minutes. Clean the tank weekly, taking care to remove an dead plants or other debris. Perform a partial water change at least every other week, more often in small heavily stocked tanks. Always test the water for nitrite after an ammonia spike has occured as there will be a nitrite increase later.

GeneralGoldeneye
08-27-2008, 03:52 AM
Thank you and what would cause both of my electric blue haps to start shaking and scraching on the gravel.

SkinnyChicken
08-27-2008, 03:58 AM
I'd be more that willing to bet my house on it being ammonia poisoning in the first instance, closing followed by extended nitrite exposure in second place. Replacing only 6g of water per change may not have been enough to lower the toxin levels significantly; remember, halving the water to 10g would have cut the ammonia and nitrite levels in half but you were only performing between a 1/3 and 1/4 water change so the nh4 and no2 levels would still have been toxic for the next couple of days (and rising all the time) before your next change.

GeneralGoldeneye
08-27-2008, 04:29 AM
I have been changing my water everyday and only 6gal a day not helping? So your saying I should change 10gal a day? When I added my female today she started to do it right away so i knew it wasnt ick inless it affects them that quickley. My tank had 4 fish in it and I moved them around and there is still 4 in that tank when I added her so i wasnt adding more fish to a cycling tank. My mollies will soon leave also when i gen another tank for them. Back to the female hap she has been just floating around the top of my tank behind some fake plants by the heater. I kinda thought she would be at the bottom of the tank as that is where the male is still staying. I order her off the internet and she was shipped to me next day and I tryed to feed her and shes not interested in the food I just think it was her trip and she still stressed out. Hopefully she will eat tomorrow so I dont have to worry about her not eating.