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Thread: Gotta question for all
11-16-2012, 02:30 AM #1
Gotta question for all
I'm currently battling a weird problem in my 55 gallon, nitrites. Tank has been running for three months, First three weeks fishless, had the Bacterial Bloom. Started the beginning of the second week in September. On the 2nd of October I added two corys and a pleco. On the 2nd of November I added three more Corys and four Angelfish. I was doing a 25% water-change each week until the week after I added the AngelFish, then I stepped up the water-changes. The last five water-changes I've done were 50% water-changes, two in the last four days.
I'm using a fresh API master test kit(Expiration date is 2017), every time I get the same readings, 0 ppm Ammonia, 5 ppm nitrates and a whopping 5+ ppm of Nitrites! I've been running a pack of Nitra-Zorb in the filter for the past couple of days and treated with Quick Start(Shows how desperate I'm getting) today. I'm going to test again tomorrow and if it's the same, another 50% water-Change.
Have any of you run into this before?
11-16-2012, 02:44 AM #2Banned Swordtails
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
If it was me I would continue doing smaller partial water changes (to control the nitrites somewhat) and leave it alone for a while without adding any more fish or chemicals in the filtration unit. I would imagine the spike in nitrites is normal after your second addition of fish on Nov. 2nd. Once this "spike" is taken care of maybe 4 or 5 months of no new stuff in the tank to let everything settle in and your nitrogen cycle to take hold again. If your fish start showing symptoms that are abnormal you can always step up the water changes. Your filter is adjusting to the new additions to the aquarium-- it takes a few weeks for this to happen. Currently it has only been 12 days...
I agree with testing the water, but this might be an example of where testing gets out of hand a little. Most of the time if you just stick with a good, solid maintenance schedule based on certain things (i.e. you added a lot of fish at once, change a little more of the water for a couple of weeks) everything will be ok.
11-16-2012, 04:29 AM #3
I'm confused. Why did you start adding fish after a bacterial bloom? Did you take readings and find 0ppm ammonia, 0 nitrites and a large amount of nitrates?
It sounds to me like your fishless cycle never had a chance to finish and then you started it over by adding fish, which would offset the amount of ammonia you were supplementing beforehand, probably slowing your cycle. Now you're doing a fish-in cycle, which will take much longer to complete and become much more of a hassle.
Now you just need to carry on as if you never started a fishless cycle, and perform daily water changes to keep your readings of ammonia at .25ppm or less, and keep your nitrites as low as possible.
Continue to do your water changes until you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and a spike in nitrates. Then you'll have completed your cycle.
11-16-2012, 05:26 AM #4
Kevin, the bloom occured two days after I first filled the tank, it then cleared and the tank ran for almost three weeks afterward, fishless. I didn't put the fish in as soon as it cleared. The only test kit I had at the time was for Ph. You have to remember, I've been out of the hobby for nearly 20 years. I had no idea they had kits for testing Nitrites and nitrates at the time. We never had those problems back then as water treatment plants didn't use all the chemicals they use now( I'm guessing here that may be part of the problem). As soon as I found out about the kit I went and bought one.
Last edited by Dave Waits; 11-16-2012 at 05:30 AM.
11-16-2012, 06:07 AM #5
Dave, I was much like you untill recently. All I used was a pH test kit and did my water changes every two weeks. Suddenly for the first time in years my tank crashed so I bought the whole test kit (wife's Idea) and found out my ammonia levels were way out off whack.Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
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11-16-2012, 11:23 AM #6
welcome back to the hobby and sorry to have to learn the hard way.
but if you only could test the pH during your fishless cycle-then you didnt really cycle it at all
you would have had to known the ammonia/nitrite levels for when the cycle would be complete.
so now you are experiencing and going to go through a fishIN cycle. and thats okay, many people go that route.
what dechlorinator are you using for your water changes?
know anyone around you with an established tank? grabbing some of their filter media will help the cycle along.
also-what is your current filtration? if it is under filtered-then your cycle will struggle to get going and complete
11-16-2012, 12:15 PM #7
How did you do your fishless cycle, Dave? Did you cycle with pure ammonia?
If you cycled and then only added one pleco and 2 corys, you would have only had enough bacteria in your filter to support those 3 fish. A month later, you added 3 more corys and 4 angelfish. Perhaps the addition of these other fish taxed the bio-load.
You can not allow nitrites to be that high and have to do as many large water changes as necessary to bring those nitrites down. They are just as lethal as ammonia levels.
Apparently you had an ammonia spike and why you have those nitrites again. What size filter are you running on your tank and did you clean your filter out?
11-16-2012, 01:00 PM #8
I am confused - you have 5 ppm nitrites and you haven't done a near 100% water change, yet?! Lady Hobbs is correct and those nitrites are really bad. Also, KevinVA is right on.
Your filter hasn't fully cycled and large water changes to keep nitrites at or below 0.1 ppm are essential. Until then, all else is just waiting for the required bacteria to grow as you do water changes. Late/poor development of nitrite to nitrate conversion bacteria can occur if the ammonia levels were high during cycling (fishless.)
I'd also consider aquarium salt (1 tsp/10 gal water) and an air stone since the fish have burned gills with that nitrite level.
Hope things improve fast and best of luck.
11-16-2012, 01:25 PM #9
0Originally Posted by Lady Hobbs
It's very important to do as many large water changes as possible to get those nitrites down.46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT
Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in
11-16-2012, 03:57 PM #10
I've done a total of 17 partial water changes since I got the test kit middle of last month. The last five were 50% changes, three in the last five days.
Here's how I figured, obviously wrongly but, I wouldn't have had that Cloudy Bloom if there were no Ammonia present,correct? Now, I am basing all this on old experience. Back then we filled the tank with conditioned water, ran it three days without filter media to make sure all Chlorine had dissipated, then run with filter media for the rest of the three week period. Water is obviously treated with a lot more chemicals now.
As for filtration, I'm running an Aqueon50 with the original filter media in ita Fluval U1 sat one end with a sponge, mainly to provide some circular current, and a 80 gallon rated Sponge Filter at the other end driven by a Whisper 10-30. Plenty of surface disruption and I should be adequately filtered although I have a 55/75 on order from the LFS.
I just did another 50% change this morning, letting the water circulate a bit before I test again.