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Need help to tweak my cycle.Fish dying.
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jacki.r3
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Joined: 14 Feb 2012
Location: Western North Carolina, USA

PostPosted: 2012.02.15(Wed)17:11    Post subject: Need help to tweak my cycle.Fish dying. Reply with quote

I have a 10 gallon tank that I started a fishless cycle back in mid Dec. My water parameters have been all over the place. I'll get the nitrates going down to 20-30's, nitrites down to 0, pH - 6.4-6.8 and ammonia will get down as low as.25 but won't go down any lower. 6 days ago I added safe start as I wanted to add 3 guppies as test fish. nitrates were 15, nitrites were 0 pH was 6.4 and ammonia was .2. Safe Start is supposed to help rid nitrites, ammonia and lower nitrates. on third day I added 3 guppies. Yesterday in am my parameters changed to nitrates were 40, nitrites jumped up to .15-.20, pH was 6.6 and ammonia went up to .25. I did a 25% water change and added Safe Start with 1ml of Prime. Fish started gasping at surface and did not look good. I retested last night, Nitrates were 40, Nitrites were .25 pH was 6.6 and ammonia jumped to .50. Did another small w/c and turned off lights and went to bed. Got up this am Both guppies were dead. Lost 1st on on Sat. Tested water this am as follows Nitrates were 20, nitirites was 0, pH was 6.8 and ammonia was still .50. I did serious cleaning by taking out decorations and vac'd gravel pretty well. I have a Aqua tech 10-15 gallon HOB filter with extra fibre filter for BB to grow on and an airstone for extra aeration. Why can't I get my water right. It's usually the ammonia that is high some times spikes as high as 2.0-very toxic. I want to finish cycle with some starter fish. What do I do next? I don't use my tap water as I have ammonia in my well. I collect rain water that test fine and supplement with bottled water. All my starter fish die within days. Sorry for the book.
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2012.02.15(Wed)17:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

What tests are you using?
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jacki.r3
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Joined: 14 Feb 2012
Location: Western North Carolina, USA

PostPosted: 2012.02.15(Wed)18:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been using flake fish food and Sea Chem's stability for ammonia source. Started using guppies last thurs or friday. Last 2 died last night.
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jacki.r3
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Joined: 14 Feb 2012
Location: Western North Carolina, USA

PostPosted: 2012.02.15(Wed)18:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

My test kit is API Master test kit for nitrates, nitrites, pH, ammonia.
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diademhill
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PostPosted: 2012.02.15(Wed)18:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I suggest you do a 100% water change add a simple dechlorinator and then add a frozen shrimp per 10 gallons.
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jacki.r3
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Joined: 14 Feb 2012
Location: Western North Carolina, USA

PostPosted: 2012.02.15(Wed)19:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

In other words, start over? Isn't there some way I can finish cycle with 1 shrimp as tank is 10 gallon. It seems like I'm almost there as nitrites are finally down to 0. nitrates are between 20 and 40.? Do I leave filter alone? I have 3 fibre-floss filters in it, since ammonia is down from4.0 to .25 isn't that a sign there is BB in it and possibly in gravel too. If I do 100% w/c do I wash gravel or leave it as is and just vac with w/c? Sorry I am asking so many questions, I've never heard of doing a full w/c.
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jacki.r3
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Joined: 14 Feb 2012
Location: Western North Carolina, USA

PostPosted: 2012.02.15(Wed)19:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way I have no chlorine in water as it is well water.
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diademhill
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PostPosted: 2012.02.16(Thu)2:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dead shrimp is to cause an ammonia spike so you can test the cycle is finished.
My guess is you will see a nitrite spike. Once this has cleared the filter is ready for fish.
Just use the gravel vac to remove water, don't mess with the filter. You don't do a full water change once fish are in but this is to get rid of residuals which may affect test readings.


Do you have a well water analysis? A water conditioner may help even if you don't have chlorine.
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jacki.r3
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Joined: 14 Feb 2012
Location: Western North Carolina, USA

PostPosted: 2012.02.16(Thu)5:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in a mobile home park and all they are required to test for is bacteria once a year. I called health dept and they said they would do it for $250.+ dollars. I can't affoed that. I live in apple country where they have uded all kinds of pestasides for years. So who knows what is in water. I've been collecting rainwater and using bottled disstilled water to consume and for fish.

My in home aide just bought me 2 tiger Danios. I had no choice but to put them in tank. Tested water and added water conditioner by Sea Chem called called Prime. It was what I always used when I had my Oscar fish in a 55 gall tank. Will 2 little Danio's be enough of a ammonia source? Did get to do water change before she showed up with 2 fish.
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diademhill
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PostPosted: 2012.02.16(Thu)5:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you mean zebra danios?
These are probably the toughest fish around and with care they will survive a cycle.
Don't add any more until the cycle is complete & then add one a week until you have five. If they are tiger barbs please return them.


Be ready to do a water change at the first sign of them reaching to the surface or opening & closing their mouths. The classic Bob, Bob, Bob of a goldfish is the sign of ammonia & nitrite poisoning.

Distilled water is not a good idea - bottles table/drinking water is better for you and the fish.
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