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More Questions About this Mini-Cycle (1-19-07)
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lenoirj
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Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2007.01.17(Wed)9:25    Post subject: More Questions About this Mini-Cycle (1-19-07) Reply with quote

A couple of days ago I removed a large decoration from my tank and put in some more natural-looking rocks to make some caves for my new corys. This morning when I turned on the light, I noticed my betta didn't greet me like he normally does. He was just hanging in the back of the tank with his lips almost glued to the surface gulping air. The 3 cherry barbs were acting very sluggish and the corys were racing up and down every few seconds to gulp air at the surface then just sitting at the bottom breathing very rapidly. Sooooo.....I checked the nitrite and got a "trace" reading, in other words it was so small an amount that I would put it between 0 and .25ppm (API test kit). My nitrate was higher than normal at 20ppm but still within okay range.
I went ahead and did a 60% water change. I've been dosing my tank with MelaFix to treat my new corys (that's a whole other story) so I went ahead and added a dose of MelaFix after the water change.
My QUESTION is: Will changing a decoration start a mini-cycle like that??? Does MelaFix cause inaccurate nitrite/nitrate readings? Maybe it's the rocks?


Last edited by lenoirj on 2007.01.19(Fri)17:39; edited 2 times in total
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haname
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Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona USA

PostPosted: 2007.01.17(Wed)10:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long was the decoration in place? Removing the decoration probably released some of the hydrogen sulfide that is produced by anaerobic bacteria. These bacteria grow in places where there is little water flow such as in deep gravel and under decorations.

Do another larger water change and you should see an improvement.
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lenoirj
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Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2007.01.17(Wed)16:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only had the tank a little over a month and that's how long the decoration has been in there. I will do another large water change tomorrow and see what happens.

Thanks!
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lenoirj
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Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2007.01.17(Wed)17:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

I decided to go ahead and do another water change (that makes 2 today) because I noticed ALL of my fish gulping air. What a scary sight! I tested the ammonia and nitrITes and the ammonia was 0, nitrites were .25ppm! I also treated the water with AmQuel+. I realize that a few of you here are against treating the water with that stuff but at this point I will do anything to bring down the nitrites so that my fish don't suffer! Those poor corys were in such a nasty tank when I bought them and their poor little fins look so ragged. I just don't want them to suffer any more than they have to.
Well, everyone has settled down (no more racing to the surface for air or gulping air) and I just hope it stays that way. I'm going to stop the MelaFix treatment until I can get the nitrites under control too!
If anyone has any other advice, I would greatly appreciate it!
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haname
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Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona USA

PostPosted: 2007.01.17(Wed)21:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

lenoirj wrote:
I also treated the water with AmQuel+. I realize that a few of you here are against treating the water with that stuff


Personally I recommend this product highly. It is not the same thing as adding chemicals that alter water chemistry. It changes the nitrogen compounds to detoxify them which makes water safe for fish, yet still makes them available for bacteria.

I would test the water each day and if nitrites show, do a water change then dose the tank with the amquel+ and I would also use Novaqua+ as well.
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lenoirj
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Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2007.01.17(Wed)23:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have NovAqua and AmQuel+. Are you saying I should use both at the same time? Before adding new water I normally just treat it with the NovAqua to kill the chlorine and chloramines. The bottle of AmQuel+ says it does the same thing plus lowers (or gets rid of) the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates so that's what I've used in the last two water changes (both water changes were today). My question is, why would I use both?

By the way, THANK YOU for your help. I'm still so new to this and I feel like I'm just doing everything all wrong most of the time. It's good to know that there are people who really want to help someone like me! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
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haname
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Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona USA

PostPosted: 2007.01.19(Fri)8:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kordon has detailed info on both products available here http://novalek.com/kordon/index.htm

Read the product info and you'll see that they serve two different purposes. The AmQuel mainly detoxes the water while the NovAqua mainly helps stressed fish. They can be used at the same time.
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lenoirj
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Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Location: Yakima, Washington

PostPosted: 2007.01.19(Fri)16:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there!
I'm still struggling to get this mini-cycle under control. I noticed my cherry barbs gulping air again this morning and the corys racing up and down to the surface for air. I tested the water and came back with a .25ppm ammonia reading and a 1.0ppm nitrITE reading. So I did a HUGE water change (approx. 75%) and dosed with AmQuel+. After that the cherry barbs seemed better. I also added a couple new plants - brazilian milfoil and a java fern. I added 4 more ghost shrimp (1 small one got eaten by the betta and another one died of "unknown" causes overnight so I actually have 3 in there now).
I'm just at a loss as to what else to do. After the water change this morning, the cherry barbs began acting normally. Now this afternoon, they are back at the surface. I tested the water again and came up with 0 ammonia and 0 nitrITE. So, why the heck are they still acting like this? They aren't even eating! They all LOOK healthy but they don't act like it. I do realize that this cycle is probable stressing them.
A word of WARNING to people new to fishkeeping: When you first set up your tank BE SURE that it is exactly the way you want it before you begin cycling and adding fish! I am learning the hard way that decoration changes cause bad things to happen!
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haname
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Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona USA

PostPosted: 2007.01.20(Sat)10:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

moving the decoration was coincidental. If you've only had the tank for about a month, it is still getting established and you have to work through it. The cycle can take up to 2 months.

Rule #1 don't add any more livestock.

Do daily 50% water changes and dose the full tank volume with both AmQuel+ and NovAqua+

You may lose some fish as a result of the exposure they've already had to the toxins.
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