Lost a fish mid-cycle, should I replace or wait?
Well despite my best efforts to get my three little guppies through a cycle, I failed.
My weakest one died last night. He got really stressed with ammonia last week. He seemed to recover but his growth was stunted, he was clearly smaller and weaker than his tankmates and didn't eat much. Yesterday he had little energy and this morning I spotted him floating in the downdraft of the filter, dead. Although I have nitrites, he didn't show any signs of nitrite poisoning. He never seemed to be in any respiratory distress, he just kind of wasted away.
So I'm down to 2. They seem fine.
Ammonia levels are 0 and have been for 5 or 6 days now. Nitrites got up to 3 but I water-changed it down to 1. (Even at 3, they all looked great, even the little guy). Nitrate levels are 40. Yeah, that seems strange, but they've been up there for about the same length of time the ammonia has been at 0.
I reduced feeding to once per day, but he looked so weak yesterday I went back to 2 feedings. He ate a little each time.
Do I replace this fish? With only 2 left, my biological load has just gone down, will it take that much longer to establish the nitrite-consuming bacteria?
I am keeping up with water changes, about 25%, daily - more if nitrites get higher than 1. I am using a dechlorinator. I'm also using a bacterial booster, and yesterday when he seemed weak I used AmQuel+ to detoxify the nitrites. I also use an air stone from time to time.
It may extend it some, yes.
But no i dont think thats a reason to buy another fish and subject it to a cycle as well. Patience is a virtue.
Im befuddled as to why you have 40 nitrates, thats very high considering you have been doing water changes and only have 3 guppies.
I was probably overfeeding but I cut it back this week.
The 40 nitrites reading is a bit suspect. I changed test kits at the same time (now I'm using the API strips, before I was using the "Jungle" strips) and the very next day after starting the new strips, they indicated 20, then 40 2 days later and have stayed there since...even after a 50-60% WC!! Very odd.
Seems like I've been waiting forever for a cycle! The ammonia process took a month.
My tank is marginal, only 10 gallons and very poor water - pH 8.4, hardness 300, alkalinity 300.
you really need to get yor self the api liquid test kit, i just dont trust any of those strips
The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.
RIP Roscoe. We will meet again Bug.
You need new tests, if the readings dont change dramatically after a 50% water change either
1.nitrates in your tap
2. your test kits are bogus
My old test strips never showed any nitrates, so it may be that the new strips are bad, yes.
I don't like them. In particular the pH pad is impossible to read, it tends to "wash out" as the water sits on it after I take it out and I'm left trying to read kind of a tie-dye thing.
The nitrite and nitrate pads are hard to read - just a variation in intensities of pink. I always get my girlfriend to double-check, she has better colour vision than me.
I'm using an API liquid test kit for ammonia. It's easier to read but harder to use and I find the chemicals a bit dangerous...
Liquid tests are way, way more accurate and reliable, and you get 80-100 tests per bottle so they are actually cheaper.
Originally Posted by Fraoch
Ive gotten pretty much every test on my hands a little at some point. As long as u wash it off ur fine.
its important to get a syringe or similar to draw the tank water out, dont dip the tubes in the water. Making sure they are clean enough to do that takes a lot of work and isnt worth the risk, which still exists.
My first ammonia test kit came with a little plastic bulb with a neck to draw the water out - I'm using this with the new test kit.
Originally Posted by Wild Turkey
Yeah, I wouldn't trust my rinsing of the vial. I rinse it for several minutes but often there's still a smell of aspirin (probably the end product of the salicylate-based test).
IME, a tiny bit of the solution gets trapped in the bottom of the tube and cant be rinsed out, but has to be shaken out
Seeing that alone makes me think twice about sticking the tubes into the tank
Just use hot water to rinse it after every use and allow it to dry.
Just cycle with the fish you have left.
You can go a few days without feeding.It will not hurt your fish.
Ray Your Freindly Neighborhood,Fully Mod-ified, Self-appointed Pic Hound!! Need pics!!!
Have you filled out your profile yet ?????????????
The Fabulous AC ebook Please read>http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/ebook.html