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Thread: Ammonia Woes

  1. #1

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    Default Ammonia Woes


    0 Not allowed!
    I have a tank I just can't seem to get to cycle.
    It's a 120g tank,
    Temp: 78
    pH: 7.8
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 0
    Ammonia: 4.0

    I'm running two filters,
    Hydor 600 Pro, rated for up to 150g tanks,
    Magnum 350, rated for up to 100g tanks

    The Hydor has about 1500g of ceramic rings (3 boxes), a sponge and polyester mesh for mechanical, and some activated carbon, and the Magnum has a little over 500g of ceramic rings (1 box), with a mechanical filter pad.

    I initially started with a tp water conditioner that added a slime coat, tress reducer and whatever, but have since switched to a basic API conditioner that just removes chlorine and chloramines, When I first started, I added API Quick Start and added a few feeder goldfish a couple days later. The ammonia stayed at 0 for about a week, then I added 8 cichlids (the goldfish didn't last too long after that). Later, I added an additional 7 cichlids, 3 balas and an 8 in common pleco.

    Now, the cichlids are between 2 and 3 inches, balas are 3 to 4 inches, the pleco is still around 8 inches.

    Now though, my water levels are what is shown above.

    I do 20% daily water changes, every other day I add API Ammo-Lock (an ammonia detoxifer) as directed, I've added more API Quick Start, which supposedly immediately cycles a tank.

    Suggestions?

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Geez, if you have all those fish in the tank you need to bring that ammonia level down. 4ppm is unacceptable when cycling with fish. The ammonia and eventually nitrite should never be over .25ppm when cycling with fish.

    First do a few big water changes, I suggest two near 100% changes back to back. And with all those cichlids in the tank be prepared to do some large water changes every day for a while. It takes a while to safely cycle with fish. After you have the ammonia down to .25ppm or less, read this. http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=36492 The only thing I disagree with in that post is the temperature to keep the tank. The bacteria will grow fine at 77-78f and the fish would appreciate the cooler temps.

    The only thing that immediately cycles a tank is bacteria and not the stuff you buy in a bottle, although I have heard that it might help. So unless you have a large tank that is already cycled to rob the filter of some bacteria, your tank is not going to immediately cycle.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  3. #3

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    +1 to the above.

    You don't mention how long the tank has been set up. When cycling with fish, like you are, it will take you well over a month to cycle, and could take much longer. Until then, as mommy said, you need to maintain ammonia levels under 0.25 ppm, which means frequent, large water changes.

  4. #4

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    0 Not allowed!
    The tank has been set up with fish for two months.

    I thought the tank was cycled before I added the cichlids, with just the goldfish in there because the ammonia stayed at 0.

    Thanks for the advice, I try some bigger water changes and lowering the temp and let you guys know what happened.

  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    The current temperature of your tank (78f) is fine.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  6. #6

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    1 Not allowed!
    The tank might have been cycled with the goldfish, but the bioload of some shall feeder goldfish is very different from the bioload of 15 cichlids and a pleco. When you say two months, does that include the time with just the goldfish, or is that the time since you added the cichlids?

  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    My 75 gal tank has 21 full grown Cichlids and another 7-8 juveniles. They produce a good Bio Load and my filter needs cleaning about once every 3-4 weeks or when it gets to 10 PSI about shut off. I have only vacuumed the bottom once since I put them in. That was when I was way off on food with a auto feeder! If the filter quits moving water at a fast enough rate the levels will rise fast. Make sure you moving water thru those filters. Now I put 21 full size fish in my tank at once but I was ready for it but it took using filter material from another tank and good doses of ammonia and finishing the cycle before adding the fish. These guys dig so much in my gravel that the stuff gets washed into the suction by my inlet jets tumbling the tank water. Now my Pleco Tank is a different story he is 16 inches and can dirty the gravel plus there are about 2000 snails in there from one a long time ago on a plant! These filters that say 150 gals sometimes are not. I know my Cichlid tank does 3 changes a hour with one filter and pump and it is way better than my 45 gal tank with 3 filters running and each one of them are supposed to do this tank.

  8. #8

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Can you be measuring the ammonia wrongly?

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