am i ever gonna get this right

jpatt50

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I messed up and didnt do any research bought a tank got a filter and heater conditioned the water let it all run for an hour then put the fish in. lost a few fish tank water is really cloudy ive done a few water changes. I curently have 3 zebra dainos 1 pleco(when he outgrows this tank it will give me an excuse to buy a bigger one lol) and 1 dalmation fish. I went out and got a bacteria supplement to try and help out the cycling. ive finnaly discoverd this sight and I really want to get this right. I don't want to start all over. I have a test kit but its strips and the readings are GH(general hardness)120 KH(carbonate hardness) 80 Ph 7.5 no2 0.5 no3 20. what can I do?
 

James95

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Welcome to Fishlore

Until you tank cycles, you need to be doing daily 50% water changes to bring down your ammonia and nitrite levels. Also, you'll need to dose the tank daily with a product called "seachem prime". Prime keeps the fish safe from the harmful affects of ammonia and nitrite while your tank cycles. Prime is available at Petsmart.

Bacteria supplements won't do much for your tank since they contain the wrong type of bacteria. The only supplement that works is called "tetra safestart".

Also, feed lightly and don't clean or replace the filter cartridges while the tank is cycling, as this will set you back farther and the tank will take longer to cycle.

Best of luck to you!
 

Lucy

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Welcome to FishLore!!

Good advice above.
Many of us started out on the wrong foot.
You'll get it
 

Lupinus

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You'll get there, heck I'm still getting there. Go for the safestart, it,s been working good for me so far.

Asfor cloudyness don't be freaked out. If it,s. A milky color its likely a bacterial bloom. This happened to me shortly after adding tetra safestart and is clearing up as things stabilize.
 
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jpatt50

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wow 50% water changes ive only been doing 10% but thanks for the advice I can't wait till its up and running good, what kind of time frame am I looking at?
 

pirahnah3

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dont worry you'll get there, we have all been there before and can relate, take your time and it is WELL worth it. Just relax, your danios are some VERY hearty fish that WILL survive the ordeal. Feed them well and treat them right they are some fun little fish which will bring you much relaxation in the future.
 

James95

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Generally speaking it takes 3-5 weeks to complete the nitrogen cycle


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bowcrazy

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Get a good liquid test kit and toss the quick dip test strips in the trash. Liquid kits are a lot more accurate and are not so easily contaminated by the air and your fingers. Do large daily water changes until you get the proper reading with a test kit.
 

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If you decide to use Safe Start do not add it within 24hrs of adding prime... Safe Start needs ammonia to work and Prime takes ammonia away... Follow directions on the bottle you can not do any water changes within the first 14 days unless ammonia is off the chart... I would suggest 50% water changes and using prime... Seems to be more safe for fish... Also bag some gravel from an established tank or use some established media from another tank... Goodluck!
 

YoungClayB

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I know that you are getting lots of different advise but it's very important not to mix and match all the different advise. As someone who has recently cycled a new tank, I can tell you what worked for me...and what didn't.

I started my tank almost exactly like you did. No research and dumped some fish in. After about a week, I started to worry about the ammonia so I did a 50% water change and added a bottle of Tetra Safe Start (TSS). The TSS did not work for me. A week after I added the TSS my ammonia levels were dangerously high. I did an even bigger water change and based on a recommendation from my local fish store (LFS), I started using a product called Microbe-Lift Nite Out 2 (5ml every other day until ammonia readings are less than .6ppm. About a week later and my tank was completely cycled.

The TSS that didn't work was $13.99 plus tax. The Microbe-Lift Nite Out 2 was only $5.99 plus tax and I still have 3/4 bottle left.

I received advise from a few people to use Prime (which is even cheaper), but I went the Nite Out 2 route and I am happy I did. I think that daily water changes coupled with doses of prime would have also worked but it would have been a lot of work to change the water every day and I suspect that it would have taken longer than a week to complete the cycle.


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James95

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I'd like to chime in and add something. TSS comes with very specific directions. If you add after adding fish the likelihood of it not working is very high.

As for the Nite out II, you should still be using prime to detoxify ammonia and nitrite no matter what bacteria supplement you use.

Keep dosing with prime until there is no ammonia or nitrite present.


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James95

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RTBS said:
If you decide to use Safe Start do not add it within 24hrs of adding prime... Safe Start needs ammonia to work and Prime takes ammonia away... Follow directions on the bottle you can not do any water changes within the first 14 days unless ammonia is off the chart... I would suggest 50% water changes and using prime... Seems to be more safe for fish... Also bag some gravel from an established tank or use some established media from another tank... Goodluck!
Prime does not remove ammonia and nitrite. It only detoxifies ammonia and nitrite to keep the fish safe from their harmful effects.


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jdhef

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Yes, but Prime is incompatable with SafeStart, until after the tank cycles. I believe that Prime turns ammonia into less harmful ammonium. But ammonium is not as good of a food for the bacteria as ammonia is.

Many people with low ph, have a hard time cycling, since as ph drops below 7, ammonia starts turning into ammonium. The further below 7.0 the ph is, the worse (for feeding bacteria) the ratio of ammonia to ammonia gets.
 

YoungClayB

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James95 said:
I'd like to chime in and add something. TSS comes with very specific directions. If you add after adding fish the likelihood of it not working is very high.

As for the Nite out II, you should still be using prime to detoxify ammonia and nitrite no matter what bacteria supplement you use.

Keep dosing with prime until there is no ammonia or nitrite present.


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NO2 also detoxifies ammonia and nitrite - at least the package says it does. I suppose you could use NO2 in conjunction with prime but the NO2 by itself worked well for me.


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bowcrazy

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Here is what Seachem has to say about Prime:

Prime® is the complete and concentrated conditioner for both fresh and salt water. Prime® removes chlorine, chloramine and ammonia. Prime® converts ammonia into a safe, non-toxic form that is readily removed by the tank’s biofilter. Prime® may be used during tank cycling to alleviate ammonia/nitrite toxicity. Prime® detoxifies nitrite and nitrate, allowing the biofilter to more efficiently remove them. It will also detoxify any heavy metals found in the tap water at typical concentration levels. Prime® also promotes the production and regeneration of the natural slime coat. Prime® is non-acidic and will not impact pH. Prime® will not overactivate skimmers. Use at start-up and whenever adding or replacing water.

Prime® also contains a binder which renders ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate non-toxic

That was taken right from their web site. I was unable to find out how the binder works or if it does convert ammonia into ammonium but I use it all the time and would recommend it over any other product out there that claims to do the same job.

As for using Prime while cycling a tank with TSS it is commonly recommended to not use the two together. TSS is a bacterial supplement that feeds on ammonia and nitrites to grow bacteria colonies in the filter and any thing you do to alter the ammonia will have an effect on the TSS results. Adding Prime while using TSS does just the opposite of adding pure ammonia and both can cause the TSS cycle to fail but it don’t mean it will cause it to fail. The problem being too little or too much ammonia will cause TSS to fail and that is why the recommend adding it at the same time you add the fish not a week before or after.
 

jdhef

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Actually the very first line says "Prime® removes chlorine, chloramine and ammonia."

So for anyone who doesn't read the whole discription, I could see where they would get the wrong impression. Additionally when they write "Prime® detoxifies nitrite and nitrate, allowing the biofilter to more efficiently remove them." many beginners may not understand that it means leaves ammonia in a form that will still feed the bacteria

Also, I read an artilce once that I believe was on SeaChems FAQ where SeaChem something to the effect that they didn't realize Prime removed nitrates, but users reported that after using Prime for awhile, their nitrates started to reduce.

But let me be clear, I am not disparaging Prime in anyway, and I almost always recommend it to members, even though I personally use Amquel+ since I believe it removes more nitrates than Prime does (and my tap water contains 10ppm nitrates)

EDIT: I found the "article" I was referencing above in the FAQ section of SeaChem's website:

Q: How does Prime make a difference in reducing Nitrates?

A: The detoxification of nitrite and nitrate by Prime (when used at elevated levels) is not well understood from a mechanistic standpoint. The most likely explanation is that the nitrite and nitrate is removed in a manner similar to the way ammonia is removed; i.e. it is bound and held in a inert state until such time that bacteria in the biological filter are able to take a hold of it, break it apart and use it. Two other possible scenarios are reduction to nitrogen (N2) gas or conversion into a benign organic nitrogen compound.
I wish we had some more "concrete" explanation, but the end result is the same, it does actually detoxify nitrite and nitrate. This was unexpected chemically and thus initially we were not even aware of this, however we received numerous reports from customers stating that when they overdosed with Prime they were able to reduce or eliminate the high death rates they experienced when their nitrite and nitrate levels were high. We have received enough reports to date to ensure that this is no fluke and is in fact a verifiable function of the product.
 

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