29gal.freshwater community tank Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by tony scott, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. tony scott

    tony scottNew MemberMember

    Hello everyone,I currently the owner of a 29gal. F.W. community tank up and running for a month 2day.I already have 5 different species,20 occupants in all:6 zebra danios,3(shwartz)corys,5 male fancy guppies,3seapae tetras,4 ghost shrimp.My current PH level is 7.2 and my ammonia level is 2.0-4.0. I let my cycle for 4days before i added my first group of fish(arranged in the order i got them)And i make water changes twice a week.Completely ignorant of the nitrogen cycle at the time,i got them all within a 4 wk. span,fortunately my constant water changes saved ma,hopefuly.Just recently i notice 1 of looks faded,he's a grayish pale color,he no longer swims with his mates,no fin rising when they face off U know,all he does is sits on the bottom by himself,or sometimes I'll find him floating just below the surface.I could tell someone's has been nipping at his fins alittle.What i want to know from his lost of color and strange behavior is he sick or is he just stress out from being bullied?And 2 days ago 1 of my danios has disappear,the last time i saw her(i'm persuming it was a female because of her protruding belly)looked like she something stuck in her mouth,and it look torn underneath,I don't know if she's alive or not.I'm thinking she's dead and stuck in one of my rocks.I haven't notice anything unusual or any discoloration in the water or foul odor in my water.Have this ever happen to anyone and what was the end result?
  2. BritJo

    BritJoValued MemberMember

    Having just experienced a mass fish death due to the same amount of ammonia you currently have in your tank and my tank is close to, if not completely cycled (I say it's cycled...but others say not lol), I'd say you are quite lucky to only have 1 sick fish and 1 possibly dead one. I'm just a beginner but this is my 2nd time cylcing a tank...and with that amount of ammonia in your tank I would say you should start doing at least 25% water changes every day or you to will come home to 8 dead fish. What are your readings on nitrite and nitrate?

    As for the missing fish you really need to get in there and find her because dead fish bodies also give off ammonia not to mention the other fish might be munching on her...ewww. For your bullied fish...unless you move him into a hospital tank he probably won't make it much longer...he sounds pretty miserable.
  3. OP
    tony scott

    tony scottNew MemberMember

    I tested my nitrate and nitrite using API test strips,GH level-0,KH level-0,PH level-6.5, NO2 level-0,and NO3 level-0.That's from a test i done yesterday,I see the inaccuracy of the strips.
  4. BritJo

    BritJoValued MemberMember

    Yeah I was using those strips...and they were COMPLEtELY wrong...hence my fish being dead.

    I dunno...from what I know the absence of nitrite (no2) is good, the absence of nitrate (no3) not so much. Nitrate should be present in a cycled aquarium in FW usually beneath 40ppm under 25 ppm even better. I would take your water to a good pet store ( I don't recommend petsmart because the one near me at least uses the strips) and get it tested so you have accurate readings, and then invest in a good test kit (everyone around here seems to like API master, I have the API individuals).

    I'd start doing every day water changes of 25% at least. And to be perfectly honest, w/ ammonia that high I'd do a massive water change immediately. When my ammonia hit 4ppm I did about a 90% change and it got my ammonia to .25ppm immediately. The next day then I did another 50% change and I'm sitting w/ perfect levels across the board right now (who knows what tomorrow will bring). The way I looked at it was that the fish that weren't dead WERE going to die if I didn't do something w/ the water and they COULD die from the stress of the changes. So I took the COULD route lol. So far so good.

    Someone much more experienced could tell you something completely opposite, but I thought I'd share my experience w/ you. Just my humble beginner opinion but I hope it helps :)
  5. kcarmartinez

    kcarmartinezValued MemberMember

    Sadly, I don't think you are very far into your cycle at all. The extra water changes were great (and probably so far life saving) for your fish, but not good for establishing the tank.
    My suggestion... get some Prime (detoxes Ammonia and Nitrite for 24 hours) and do daily water changes adding Prime each time. Tetra Safe Start is supposed to be the only benefitial bacterial additive that really works, but I am not sure if it is too late for you to start using it and it is supposed to be hard to come by (and expensive). Someone else with experience with that product will have to advise you on that.
    Prime will be good though. Unfortunately untill you are completely cycled you are going to have to do daily water changes. Sadly, even though you reduce the ammonia in your tank, there still is a possibiltiy that the fish will not live because of the damage already done by ammonia poisoning. Hopefully everyone will be fine though.
    Missing fish... the others can do a number on them pretty quick. She may be gone. I would look around though because as was mentioned before decay adds ammonia and anymore in the tank right now is really not good for you fish.
  6. Prince Powder

    Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    If I haven't said so already welcome to Fishlore! Sorry about your tank troubles. Even though API makes a GREAT liquid test kit, I would be skeptical about the strips. Strip tests have a tendency of being very inaccurate. If it is at all possible I would recommend investing in a liquid test kit like API's master test kit. Walmart.com sells them in a repacked (no-name packaging) version for really cheap on their site.

    Assuming for the moment that your test strips are accurate I would have to agree with kcarmartinez, it doesn't sound like you're very far into the cycle. Ammonia is step one in the cycle, nitrite step 2 and nitrates the final step. With no showings of nitrite or nitrate you would be at step one. I agree with kcarmartinez that getting a bottle of Prime or Amquel+ and starting a routine of daily water changes until your tank cycles.

    As for the TSS (Tetra SafeStart) it is most definitely not to late to use it. It can be hard to come by as chain stores don't carry it, but it is easily found online and some smaller local fish/pet stores may carry it. As for cost, the smaller bottle is generally around 13 dollars and the larger is generally around 20. The smaller bottle is supposed to be good for a tank up to 30 gallons in size, but since you're right at the max I would recommend the larger bottle which is for tanks up to 75 gallons. It is impossible to overdose with TSS (I used the large bottle on a 10 gallon) and since you already have the fish in the tank and ammonia present you'd be more likely to have success if you went with a larger dose. You would have to get your ammonia levels down though. High levels of ammonia would overwhelm the bacteria and cause the TSS to fail. The closer you can get to 0 with your daily water changes the better. 1ppm or less. Since your fish are already showing signs of stress and/or illness I would recommend at least a week of daily water changes with Prime or Amquel+ before adding the TSS just so your fish have a chance to recoup a bit. While cycling with TSS is fast, during the time you're cycling your readings will be all over the place and you will not be able to do water changes for at least 7-10 days.

    As for the missing fish, I agree with kcarmartinez yet again :) She was probably eaten by the other fish, but in case she wasn't definitely search every nook and cranny for her. Including inside the filter. Smaller fish can get sucked up into it, particularly when they are too weakened to swim out of the current. If there is anything left of her in the tank you'll want to remove it as quickly as possible or your ammonia will continue to climb.
  7. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    I think you did quite well..... :;hug2
  8. BritJo

    BritJoValued MemberMember

    Thanks! :;hf

    OP sounds like some great advice you've gotten and I've learned lots from your thread as well, thank you for sharing :)
  9. crashcrf

    crashcrfNew MemberMember

    Another thing to remember if not already mentioned is that the more you do water changes during your cycle the longer it will take for the whole cycle to complete...
  10. OP
    tony scott

    tony scottNew MemberMember

    Thanks guys 4 the info.
  11. e_watson09

    e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    You have some great advice that people posted. But wow that's a lot of fish in just a month's time. It took me a month to get up to 7 total fish in one of my tanks. Good luck tho I hope everything works out for you.
  12. Craig-D

    Craig-DValued MemberMember

    20 fish is a lot for a 29 gallon. I only have 10 in my 29 right now with an eventual limit of 13, maybe 14 tops. I say eventual because you're supposed ot add fish gradually to give the bio filter time to catch up. But I guess since you have no bio filter because you just started cycling, that point is kind of moot.

    There are two options to keep your fish in good health. One is to get some Tetra Safestart. I have used it in the past and it cycled my old tank in 4 days. The other is to allow your tnk to cycle with the fish, but you need a treatment to neutralize the ammonia and nitrites in your tank until it cycles naturally. I suggest Amquel+ over Prime. In my opinion Amquel is the better product. Prime is a binder that detoxifies ammonia and nitrities for 24 hours. Amquel however does not last for only 24 hours. Its effect is permanent. It breaks the chemical bonds of the elements that make up ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. The remaining pieces are harmless to fish but still consumed by the biofilter which doesn't know the difference. There is no need to add it again or even change your water until more of these substances are detected in the tank. This is a good thing because water changes delay your cycle. You must do one of these two things or you will face a loss of life.
  13. Jrobber

    JrobberWell Known MemberMember

    I have used Tetra SafeStart and it cleaned up my tank within 4 days. I would say get yourself a bottle of it and put it in as soon as possible.
  14. 1hawaii50

    1hawaii50Valued MemberMember

    I used TSS when I was stuck in a mini cycle. It says on the bottle that you can use it with water changes, so it isn't too late! I used the large bottle (75 gallon treatment) on my 38 gallon tank. I already had 13 fish in the tank. The TSS bottle says 7-10 days, but mine took 14 days. Also, don't do any water tests for the first 7-10 days, or you'll just make yourself crazy. Also, make sure you wait 24 hours AFTER the last Prime treatment BEFORE you add the TSS. Good Luck!