Can Anyone Figure Out What We Are Dealing With?

Nicole B

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Can anyone maybe figure out what we are going through?
I like hearing what other people have to say.

So we had a 10 gallon tank that was mostly cycled.
0-.25 ammonia
0 nitrite
5 nitrates

We upgraded tanks and accidently put tap water in with our tank water then treated with prime. (No fish In yet) My boyfriend accidently turned the filter on with our 10 gallon media for a few seconds before I realized he had did that.
I had treated the 10 gallon with prime the day before so not sure why that would kill our BB. (Tap water mixed with treated tank water)

Well it seems like we lost our cycle.
As our ammonia is slowly going up
No nitrites
And no nitrates
Wouldn’t our levels be different if our BB was fine and didn’t die off?

Our levels in the 20 gallon are
1.0 ammonia
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

(Our tap water has 1.0 ammonia in it also)
Just did a 50% water change yesterday because ammonia was .50 and now it’s 1.0

What do we do? I feel bad for our poor fish. I doubt they can handle going through cycling this tank now.


Our snails besides 1 also died when we did the switch.

Has anyone else gone through something similar when upgrading tanks?
 

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I think we’ve all done something like this at one point or another. With everything affected, it does sound like you lost your cycle. I have a a tankful of goldfish fry that I lost the cycle on. I panicked with them being so tiny but with daily water changes and Prime, they are all surviving. Get Safe Start + and some regular chlorine remover to start off. Don’t use Prime for 24 hours after using the bacteria. Use the other chlorine remover instead. After 24 hours you can use the Prime. I also used Stability too daily to help jump start my cycle again. It’s slowly getting there. Your fish will be fine with the w/c’s and Prime. Good luck!
 

Mick Frost

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Chlorine and Chloramine kill bacteria, which is why they put it in Tap water. The 1% that a Brita doesn't neutralize can be enough to kill a tank.

Do you have another tank going? I pre-cycle my foam filters in an established tank (and I give it a good stir) and it works well. Takes about 3 days in a dirty water tank, I'd guess it would take a week or more in an average tank.

You could also try chemical cycling.

The worst part will be the dead bacteria in the tank, which is Algae food.
 
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Nicole B

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Goldiemom said:
I think we’ve all done something like this at one point or another. With everything affected, it does sound like you lost your cycle. I have a a tankful of goldfish fry that I lost the cycle on. I panicked with them being so tiny but with daily water changes and Prime, they are all surviving. Get Safe Start + and some regular chlorine remover to start off. Don’t use Prime for 24 hours after using the bacteria. Use the other chlorine remover instead. After 24 hours you can use the Prime. I also used Stability too daily to help jump start my cycle again. It’s slowly getting there. Your fish will be fine with the w/c’s and Prime. Good luck!
I have all of those. Would you suggest stability or tss+? We used stability with success in our last tank. I honestly just have no idea where to go from where we are right now. We have 2 filters going. The 10
Gallon one and the 20. I didn’t think just a few seconds would kill all our BB and neither did a lot of other people but that’s the way it’s looking. We had .50 ammonia the other day and did a 50% water change and it went up to 1.0. We have about 1.0 ammonia in our tap water though. 2 days later and it’s still at 1.0. I don’t want to do so many water changes like we did before and stall our cycle. Any suggestions? Fish are still doing good.

Mick Frost said:
Chlorine and Chloramine kill bacteria, which is why they put it in Tap water. The 1% that a Brita doesn't neutralize can be enough to kill a tank.

Do you have another tank going? I pre-cycle my foam filters in an established tank (and I give it a good stir) and it works well. Takes about 3 days in a dirty water tank, I'd guess it would take a week or more in an average tank.

You could also try chemical cycling.

The worst part will be the dead bacteria in the tank, which is Algae food.
What is chemical cycling? We have fish in the tank right now. We only have our 20 gallon. Got rid of the 10 because we had no where to put it.
 

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To me it sounds like your bb colony just isn't quite large enough to keep up with the waste of your fish. Bottled bacteria may be helpful, but I will let others guide you with their use.

I would say keep testing your water daily. If ammonia + nitrite < 1, dose tank with Prime. If ammonia + nitrite > 1, do a 50% water change and then dose tank with Prime.

Hang in there! You'll get there!!
 

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I use Stability as a booster, I have no complaints. Chemical cycling only works for fishless tanks afaik, but it's basically chemically bioloading the tank to initiate bacterial growth.

Nutrafin ChlorXchange not only neutralizes Chlorine, but Chloramines as well. I'm not sure if you have Chloramines in your Tap water, but I would dose with a Chloramine neutralizer to make sure.

Consistent water changes will keep your fish alive (hopefully) until your cycle catches up.

You could use a product like AmmoLock in your Tap water (before adding to the tank) to bring your Ammonia down. You'll need a half decent HOB running in your bucket for it to work best, add Chloramine neutralizer, wait 5 mins, turn the filter on and add AmmoLock as per directions. This will remove the 3 biggest possible contaminants from the equation and at the very least narrow down the problem.

If you have the supplies, you could also chemically cycle another bucket, but I'm not the person to advise on chemical cycling.
 
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Nicole B

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pugletfan said:
To me it sounds like your bb colony just isn't quite large enough to keep up with the waste of your fish. Bottled bacteria may be helpful, but I will let others guide you with their use.

I would say keep testing your water daily. If ammonia + nitrite < 1, dose tank with Prime. If ammonia + nitrite > 1, do a 50% water change and then dose tank with Prime.

Hang in there! You'll get there!!
Thank you! Would you keep doing 50% water changes with 1.0 ammonia or wait? Our tap has 1.0 ammonia so it seems to make it worse. Thinking about using stability again for 7 days.

Mick Frost said:
I use Stability as a booster, I have no complaints. Chemical cycling only works for fishless tanks afaik, but it's basically chemically bioloading the tank to initiate bacterial growth.

Nutrafin ChlorXchange not only neutralizes Chlorine, but Chloramines as well. I'm not sure if you have Chloramines in your Tap water, but I would dose with a Chloramine neutralizer to make sure.

Consistent water changes will keep your fish alive (hopefully) until your cycle catches up.

You could use a product like AmmoLock in your Tap water (before adding to the tank) to bring your Ammonia down. You'll need a half decent HOB running in your bucket for it to work best, add Chloramine neutralizer, wait 5 mins, turn the filter on and add AmmoLock as per directions. This will remove the 3 biggest possible contaminants from the equation and at the very least narrow down the problem.

If you have the supplies, you could also chemically cycle another bucket, but I'm not the person to advise on chemical cycling.
Our fish made it through cycling the 10 gallon but not sure they will this time. Consistent water changes stalled our cycle last time. But I think that’s because we kept doing them every day. And we were over cleaning. We used stability too but I’m not sure where to start again. Doesn’t stability have to be used with water changes or can you dose the tank with it? And Doesn’t prime neutralize cholorine and chloramines? At least I thought that’s what it did. Lol
 

Mick Frost

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Nicole B said:
Our fish made it through cycling the 10 gallon but not sure they will this time. Consistent water changes stalled our cycle last time. But I think that’s because we kept doing them every day. And we were over cleaning. We used stability too but I’m not sure where to start again. Doesn’t stability have to be used with water changes or can you dose the tank with it? And Doesn’t prime neutralize cholorine and chloramines? At least I thought that’s what it did. Lol
Not sure about Prime, shipping cost forces me to more concentrated liquids (ChlorXchange is 1 drop per gallon).

50% water changes shouldn't be done every day. Mathematically, if your bacteria are growing at a rate of approximately 25% daily, and you change 50%, you're actually losing 32.5% of your colony daily.

I can't give you a step-by-step on how much to change, how much to dose, etc to fix your issue unfortunately, as I have no experience with your water.

If RO is available, daily 10% water changes with RO might be something to consider, but close monitoring is a must.

Stability is pretty safe. Starting over with the 7 day dose shouldn't overdo it. Just monitor closely.
 
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Nicole B

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Mick Frost said:
Not sure about Prime, shipping cost forces me to more concentrated liquids (ChlorXchange is 1 drop per gallon).

50% water changes shouldn't be done every day. Mathematically, if your bacteria are growing at a rate of approximately 25% daily, and you change 50%, you're actually losing 32.5% of your colony daily.

I can't give you a step-by-step on how much to change, how much to dose, etc to fix your issue unfortunately, as I have no experience with your water.

If RO is available, daily 10% water changes with RO might be something to consider, but close monitoring is a must.

Stability is pretty safe. Starting over with the 7 day dose shouldn't overdo it. Just monitor closely.
Gah. I just have no idea what to do next. Lol! I don’t want to keep doing the water changes but don’t want to kill my fish either with 1.0 ammonia. We did add in stability with the water change a few days ago but that was it.
 

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Nicole B said:
Our fish made it through cycling the 10 gallon but not sure they will this time. Consistent water changes stalled our cycle last time. But I think that’s because we kept doing them every day. And we were over cleaning. We used stability too but I’m not sure where to start again. Doesn’t stability have to be used with water changes or can you dose the tank with it? And Doesn’t prime neutralize cholorine and chloramines? At least I thought that’s what it did. Lol
You can dose the tank with stability or use it with water changes. Prime does neutralize both chlorine and chloramines; it also neutralizes ammonia and nitrite for 24 hours.
Mick Frost said:
Not sure about Prime, shipping cost forces me to more concentrated liquids (ChlorXchange is 1 drop per gallon).

50% water changes shouldn't be done every day. Mathematically, if your bacteria are growing at a rate of approximately 25% daily, and you change 50%, you're actually losing 32.5% of your colony daily.

I can't give you a step-by-step on how much to change, how much to dose, etc to fix your issue unfortunately, as I have no experience with your water.

If RO is available, daily 10% water changes with RO might be something to consider, but close monitoring is a must.

Stability is pretty safe. Starting over with the 7 day dose shouldn't overdo it. Just monitor closely.
Most of the bacteria is housed in the filter instead of floating in the water so water changes don't really affect your bacteria levels. Water changes with RO aren't a good idea either unless you use something to replenish the minerals.
 
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Nicole B

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shutterbug13 said:
You can dose the tank with stability or use it with water changes. Prime does neutralize both chlorine and chloramines; it also neutralizes ammonia and nitrite for 24 hours.

Most of the bacteria is housed in the filter instead of floating in the water so water changes don't really affect your bacteria levels. Water changes with RO aren't a good idea either unless you use something to replenish the minerals.
We have been dosing the tank with prime for right now but ammonia still high.
 
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Nicole B

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shutterbug13 said:
The ammonia will still show up on tests but it's changed to a form that won't harm the fish.
This link explains what prime does: Seachem - Prime
Thanks! I know quite a bit about prime but how do you know how much ammonia is actually present in the tank then?
 

Mick Frost

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shutterbug13 said:
Most of the bacteria is housed in the filter instead of floating in the water so water changes don't really affect your bacteria levels. Water changes with RO aren't a good idea either unless you use something to replenish the minerals.
Several factors can cause a filter to be incapable of housing a large bacterial colony, including large amounts of dead bacteria or too much flow. Depending on oxygen content and circulation, bacteria can live in the water column (though most people freak out when it happens).

RO water is nutritionally deficient, yes, but its also deficient of Chlorine, Chloramines, Ammonia, Sodium, Copper, Aluminum, Cadmium, Arsenic, Carbonate Hydroxides, Vitamin A, Cysts, Parasites... Ill stop there.

Water toxicity is the issue here, using guaranteed non-toxic (there are a few contaminants that survive the RO process, but they are rarely seen in toxic amounts) water won't make anything worse.

10% daily RO will take at least 2 weeks to reduce trace nutrients to deficient levels, and most fish and plants wont start to show symptoms for another week or two. A good quality food has 90% of the trace nutrients required added, so thats well over a month before any "bad" happens as a result of RO.

It will buy time, and more importantly narrow down the cause of the issues.
 

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Nicole B said:
I have all of those. Would you suggest stability or tss+? We used stability with success in our last tank. I honestly just have no idea where to go from where we are right now. We have 2 filters going. The 10
Gallon one and the 20. I didn’t think just a few seconds would kill all our BB and neither did a lot of other people but that’s the way it’s looking. We had .50 ammonia the other day and did a 50% water change and it went up to 1.0. We have about 1.0 ammonia in our tap water though. 2 days later and it’s still at 1.0. I don’t want to do so many water changes like we did before and stall our cycle. Any suggestions? Fish are still doing good.


What is chemical cycling? We have fish in the tank right now. We only have our 20 gallon. Got rid of the 10 because we had no where to put it.
I would use the Safe Start first and then with each water change add some of the Stability. Remember to give it 24 hours without Prime after putting in Safe Start...just use another chlorine remover for now. After 24 hours, use the Prime and Stability with each w/c. Good luck and keep us posted. Test daily and change water as needed.

Oh, and I think he meant bottled bacteria when he said chemical cycling.
 

Mick Frost

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Goldiemom said:
Oh, and I think he meant bottled bacteria when he said chemical cycling.
Bottled Ammonia, actually. I dont do it, but iirc theres quite a few different compositions that all work a bit differently.
 

Goldiemom

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Since you already have fish in, you won't use ammonia. The fish will produce that.
 

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Nicole B said:
Thank you! Would you keep doing 50% water changes with 1.0 ammonia or wait? Our tap has 1.0 ammonia so it seems to make it worse. Thinking about using stability again for 7 days.


Our fish made it through cycling the 10 gallon but not sure they will this time. Consistent water changes stalled our cycle last time. But I think that’s because we kept doing them every day. And we were over cleaning. We used stability too but I’m not sure where to start again. Doesn’t stability have to be used with water changes or can you dose the tank with it? And Doesn’t prime neutralize cholorine and chloramines? At least I thought that’s what it did. Lol
If ammonia + nitrate = 1, I would do a 50% water change (treating new water with Prime) and then dose your tank with Prime.

I know people use Stability with fish in cycling and you can do water changes with it. I'll let others advise you on the details, since I haven't used it.
 

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What are your water parameters now?

Sorry! Just reread your post. If I were in your shoes I would do a 50% water change and then dose the tank with Prime. After this, the ammonia still shows up on your water test but your fish will be protected .

I have been doing exactly this with my quarantine tank. Testing, water change if needed, dose with Prime. It finally cycled after 3 weeks!! Yay!! I had added a bag of cycled media to my QT filter but apparently the bb colony wasn't large enough to keep up with 5 cories .
 
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