Cycle Problem

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Aphelion0, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Aphelion0New MemberMember

    So, after setting up my latest in a medium-length line of tanks, I screwed up the cycle. I added a few too many fish too early and the ammonia spiked, leading to my fish getting ammonia poisoning and looking very stressed. As an emergency measure, I put them into my aunt's tank (very mature, been running for months). I'm going to wait for mine to finish cycling before bringing them back.

    Did I do the right thing?

    I kept one of the fish in my tank because it looks especially sick, and I don't want to jeopardise my aunt's tank with it. I'm pretty sure it has swim bladder disease caused by the ammonia, so I've ordered some swim bladder disease treatment stuff and I'm going to keep up regular water changes to curb the ammonia levels while it hopefully gets better.

    If anyone has any suggestions, they'd be hugely appreciated. I dunno, I hope I did the right thing. I've been feeling so guilty about this - the poor fish. :(

  2. Nicole BValued MemberMember

    How high is your ammonia? Get some prime. It’s a lifesaver!!

  3. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    agree with the above comment re: prime. it detoxifies ammonia & nitrite up to 1ppm combined.

    do you have an api master test kit? what are your ammonia, nitrite & nitrate levels?

  4. Aphelion0New MemberMember

    Thank you both. :)

    I've got a set of Tetra 6 in 1 test strips that I've been using. I did a 50% water change last night, and now the nitrates are back up to 100mg/l, and the nitrites are at about 3mg/l. I don't think I can test ammonia with this strip.

    How likely is it that my fish recover in the other tank? Should I add anything to it, or will they be okay just being out of the toxic water? Some of them look a bit dodgy so I'm thinking of putting some stuff in just to be sure. Maybe some prime and some swim bladder disease treatment stuff (will that help if it's caused by ammonia?).

    Thanks again!&
  5. JeffsgloValued MemberMember

    1st thing I would do is buy an API master test kit for fresh water. The strips are useless. And can give false readings. And then after testing you will know more of your parameters.
  6. Aphelion0New MemberMember

    Thank you - I've just ordered one. In the meantime I'll keep an eye on things with the strips.

    Update: I lost one fish and the rest seem pretty happy in my aunt's tank for now. I discovered that the biomedia in my filter was wrapped in plastic, which is probably why the water got so toxic so quickly. No, I didn't check it first and yes, I probably should have, but everything else was ready to go so I made an assumption.

    I'm also using some filter media from my aunt's tank to speed up the cycling process and detoxify the tank.

    Does anyone know roughly how long it will take for the tank to become habitable if half the filter media is from a mature tank? I'll keep checking with the tests, but just so I have a vague idea.

    Thanks in advance. Really appreciate all the help!
  7. JeffsgloValued MemberMember

    It could take 2 weeks or even up to a month. But since you are using mature media from Aunt’s tank. Might be better. Do you have fish in tank now? Or is it a fishless cycle? On this forum at the top of page under beginner threads there is an article on cycling your tank. Fishless and fish in cycles
  8. Aphelion0New MemberMember

    Thank you - I'll take a look. :)

    No fish in there now, but there are some live plants and I'm adding in tiny amounts of fish food to keep the ammonia going. I'm thinking the cycled filter media will make it habitable, and I could safely add a couple of fish to keep things going?...
  9. JeffsgloValued MemberMember

    You also need to buy an api master test kit for fresh water. This will accurately tell you all your parameters in the tank. Such as Ammonia, PH, Nitrite, and Nitrate. That way there is no guessing.
  10. Hunter1Well Known MemberMember

    No one can tell you how long it will take.

    But you have shortened the length by adding seasoned media.

    Make sure you have an ammonia source; fish or pure ammonia .

    The test kit is critical.
  11. Aphelion0New MemberMember

    Okay, thanks guys! Appreciate it.
  12. Aphelion0New MemberMember

    So my test kit finally arrived. Here are the current readings:

    Ammonia: 0.5
    Nitrite: 2.0
    Nitrate: 20

    Once the nitrites drop it'll be safe, right?

    I'm quite relieved by these readings actually. I thought it'd be much worse!

    Also, I can now see what everyone means about the accuracy of the testing strips. The readings are shockingly different. .
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  13. Nicole BValued MemberMember

    Our test strips we had said the same thing every time we tested and our tap water was the same as our tank water. That’s how we realized they weren’t accurate! The api master test kit is amazing!
  14. Aphelion0New MemberMember

    Oh wow, that's pretty sketchy. I'm surprised a reputable company would sell them if they're so unreliable, or at least that they don't add a clear disclaimer to say they're not as good as water test kits.

    I'm actually going away for a week on Monday, so I decided to let it keep cycling for that whole week. I'll ask someone to keep topping it up with food while I'm away. Does anyone know how much I should be adding daily for a 125l/30gal tank? I assume it's better to go over than under for the sake of feeding the bacteria.
  15. Hunter1Well Known MemberMember

    You are in a true minority.

    Most people use straight ammonia, or do a fish in.

    Probably why you aren’t getting any responses.

    But it seeems you have been doing well to this point so I wouldn’t change anything.
  16. Aphelion0New MemberMember

    Interesting. I didn't realise using food for a fishlesss cycle was so rare.

    Thank you. :)
  17. Aphelion0New MemberMember

    Update: I managed to get hold of some more used filter media, squeezed it out in the tank, and now I have some guppies in there living in decent water conditions. :)

    Thanks everyone!

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