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A Bit Confused...

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Aerowyn5, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. Aerowyn5New MemberMember

    I have a 5 gal tank in the 3rd week of cycling with one fish. Amonia is 0, but nitrite and nitrate are 80ppm. I have heard that I should do partial water changes, (i was doing 1 gal per day) dont do water changes, add Prime, add stability, dont add safe start, do add safe start, I am getting a bit confused at what to do?? Also just got done treating for ich during the cycle and water temp has been elevated (bringing it down now). I feel bad for fishy as he doesnt seem happy and has been rubbing on things. Please, any advice on what i am doing right or wrong would help. Also should i treat for other bacterial infections since ich seems gone now? Thank you
  2. DuaneVWell Known MemberMember

    Okay, since youre doing a fish-in cycle you HAVE to do water changes. Without them, the water can become deadly.

    Although 80ppm nitrate isnt crazy, its not ideal. Since your ammonia and nitrite are 0, just do a 50% water change. If youre battling Ich, raise the temp to 86/88 and LEAVE it there. Do 50% water changes daily with GREAT gravel vacuuming. Ich is a parasite and when its attached to your fish its feeding. Then it drops off, multiplies and reattaches. When its dropped off you want to be vacuuming it out of there. Do this for 2 weeks and it SHOULD clear up. Also, add extra air stones for help with oxygenating the water as warmer water contains less oxygen and its believed Ich kills fish by suffocating them.

    Ich is a byproduct of another issue. Stress and a broken down immune system from either constant stress, poor water conditions, another illness, etc. Figure out why your fish has Ich and correct the problem. A 5 gallon tank is really only big enough for a single Betta or Pea Puffer. What kind of fish do you have?

  3. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    I understand how confusing it can be when you are getting suggestions from lots of folks. The suggestions have worked for the person suggesting you add this or do that and it can get overwhelming.

    I will ask questions and your answers will help me help you. You have had your tank set up for 3 weeks and I am assuming you added the fish right away. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    What are you using to test your perimeters?

    First I want to point out that nitrites and nitrates are two different things so your statement that nitrites and nitrates are 80ppm can't be correct.

    Please let me know how you are testing your water and we can go from there.

  4. DuaneVWell Known MemberMember

    Yup, I read that wrong. Nitrite and Nitrate are two VERY different things. Nitrites are VERY poisonous to fish and will kill them, Nitrates are not good, but wont kill your fish unless theyre elevated into the hundreds for a period of time (and even thats debatable).

  5. Aerowyn5New MemberMember

    Not sure i am replying correctly, but here it goes. Have 1 gold fish in 5 gal tank ( i know now that is not big enough now, but trying my best to cope with situation). Yes, he has been in there the whole 3 weeks. To clarify ich is gone after temp increase, salt and unfortunately after it reoccured, meds. Ich med was 3 days ago, no sign of it now. Amonia is zero but nitrites are 80ppm and nitrates are 80ppm. I hope this helps
    Oh and using test strips to check levels
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2019
  6. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    what are you using to test your water. I have never seen a reading of 80 ppm for nitrites but you need to do an immediate 75% water change.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  7. Aerowyn5New MemberMember

  8. DuaneVWell Known MemberMember

    A nitrite reading of 8 would be deadly, let alone 80, so something is amiss there.
  9. Aerowyn5New MemberMember

    Ok, with or without Prime, Stability, etc

    I use the same strips on our other 5 gal i set at the same time ( no fish) and readings were 20ppm nitrates and 0 nitrites and tested no amonia, i thought the strips might be goofy or just a bad way to measure?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2019
  10. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    I see you are using test strips. I am thinking they don't test for ammonia. Does yours? The liquid test kits are more accurate.

    When doing a fish in cycle, which is what you are doing, the most important thing you can do is water changes. I do highly recommend an API Master Freshwater Test Kit. It can be bought for somewhere around $25.00 and will last for a very long time. I am still using the one I bought over 3 years ago. It is much more accurate than test strips. The test strips do have their place for quick checks but when doing a fish in cycle you need more information that the strips can supply.

    What water conditioner are you using? I use and trust Seachem Prime. It is first and foremost a concentrated water conditioner but goes one step farther and detoxes low amounts of ammonia.

    Right now the most important thing you can do for the health of your fish and get this cycle complete is water changes. Since you don't have a reliable way to test your water you need to be doing at the very least 50% every other day after the 75% you need to do right now.

    With Prime
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2019
  11. Aerowyn5New MemberMember

    I had another test strip for amonia that shows no measureable levels. Ok going to do 75% water change, add Prime, get new test kit. Thank you both so much for your help with this... gunna do my best to get Gerald through this
  12. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    I firmly believe "less is best" when it comes to cycling and then taking care of our tanks in all things but water changes. Fresh clean water is the very best thing we can do for our water pets. Prime is the only thing I add to my tanks.

    When you get your test kit you will want to run all of the tests on your source water. Have you been adding ammonia to the tank that has no fish? If not then it hasn't started the cycle but I am wondering where the nitrates are coming from. It is possible that they are in your source water. Have you tested it with your strips?

    we will do our best to help you keep Gerald healthy :)
  13. Aerowyn5New MemberMember

    I did not use amonia in the fishless tank, used fish food for amonia production, not good? We have well water, so nitrates are probably naturally occuring from there
  14. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    The fish food would have produced ammonia so no problem there. It is just difficult to control the amount of ammonia produced when using fish food but it is totally doable. :)

    It helps to know the perimeters of our source water. By knowing that we kinda know what to expect in the tank.

    For example: say you have 20ppm nitrates in your source water. That would tell us that there is no way to get the nitrate level down lower than that with water changes. If you have nitrites or ammonia in your source water (not likely but possible) once the cycle is complete the bacteria you have grown will process that out. It just helps to know what we have to work with.
  15. Aerowyn5New MemberMember

    Not sure what next, after the big water change yesterday, Gerald took a turn for the worse. I added back the water over 3 hours to let him aclimate to temp, levels went down (nitrite, nitrate), but now he just lays at the bottom. He did not even get out of the corner for breakfast. I dont know maybe this has all been too much?? Not sure how to help him now
  16. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    I am sorry to hear this. I don't understand what you mean when you say you let him acclimate to the temp. The water you were refilling the tank with should have been the same temp as what you took out.

    I read back through this thread and it reminded me that you use well water in your tanks so you shouldn't have chlorine or chloramines in your water but we can't know what else could be in there. We do have to think since this tank isn't cycled there will be an ammonia buildup in it. Prime will detox the ammonia up to a certain point.

    I am assuming you do have Seachem Prime. You have actually never said that you do have it. You've only said that folks have recommended it.

    The only way I can really help you is if you can tell me step by step what you are doing and what if anything you are adding to this tank. Without that information I can only guess as to what is happening.

    The one thing common to every tank out there in the world -- fresh clean water is the best way to keep fish healthy. The only difference is how we go about accomplishing it. We have to know the water we are using to do water changes is good clean water. One can only know that by testing the source water from time to time to make sure we know what we are working with.
  17. FrankieflowazValued MemberMember

  18. Aerowyn5New MemberMember

    Sorry i did not respond until now, but i was with my son monitoring Gerald, unfortunately he died earlier this afternoon. I am just sick about it. I dont think i have ever tried so hard to do something right, to have it fail so badly.
    To answer some questions, when i did the 75% water change, i had to add water slowly because we had just got done treating his ich so i had started bringing the tank water temp down but it was still about 80, but the water i had out resting for changes was about 74, the temp of the room the aquarium is in. In hind sight i probably messed that up too. Yes, i did add Prime to the added water and aquarium salt.
    I did test the tank water and the resting water with the API kit. The tank water was 2.0 nitrite, 5.0 nitrate, .25 amonia and 7.6ph. The resting water was 0 nitrite, 5.0 nitrate, 0 amonia and 7.6 ph. So that explains the nitrates and i tested it twice to make sure.
    Thank you Mattgirl and the others for your responses and help, also for not making me feel stupid or ignorant because i didnt know enough to start a tank the right way. I do now and hope to do better in the future. For now i guess i will clean the tank and maybe try again. Not sure at this point.
  19. FrankieflowazValued MemberMember

    That's not to big of a degree difference thats not it bud don't beat yourself up
  20. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    I am so sorry to hear that Gerald didn't make it. know how heartbreaking a loss like that can be. Please don't beat yourself over it. I know that is easier said than done. Just try to take it as a learning experience and try to move on. Just know that we will be here to help you when you decide to try again.

    Since the cycle has started in this tank you may want to just go ahead and finish doing a fishless cycle in it and once done you can add your fish.