Cycling Tank + Ich

tuffcookie

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I’m a newer fish owner getting into the hobby. Ive had a 3.5gallon Betta tank and recently upgraded to a 16gallon 3 weeks ago. At the same time I got 3 Albino Corys.

I know this is really dumb of me. The LFS near me said that if I just dump a bottle of fritz turbostart in, the tank would be cycled instantly. 1.5 weeks into cycling the tank, my Betta got ich.

I tried to remedy that by combining metroplex+focus+garlic guard with his and the corys food. I did that for a week but then read something about taking out the media during this time period. I called seachem and they advised that I remove the carbon from my filter so the treatment won’t be removed. I did that. I’ve been testing this entire time using Tetra Easystrips.

The white dots have all fallen off now but I’m sure ich is all over my substrate so I’m continuing the treatment.

I randomly panicked today since it’s been a week since I took my aquarium water to the lfs to get ammonia tested. I went and picked up an API test kit and received conflicting results compared to the easy strips.
View attachment 629934View attachment 629935

I’ve triple checked the API testing. The nitrates don’t make any sense to me. Can someone plz help.

Also should I put the media back in? I have an aqua clear, there is only a sponge in there at the moment
 
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tuffcookie

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I can't seem to access those attachments but I'd be inclined to rely more on the liquid test than the test strips.
I’ll try to repost. The liquid test is indicating there are no nitrates but easy strips says there are some in there. I’m wondering if not having the media in there is affecting nitrate levels
 

GlennO

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It is likely that the filter is not cycled. Bottled bacteria will not provide an 'instant cycle'. I'm afraid you received poor advice there. Taking out the carbon will not effect cycling, it was necessary to ensure that the medication was not removed from the water.
 
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tuffcookie

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It is likely that the filter is not cycled. Bottled bacteria will not provide an 'instant cycle'. I'm afraid you received poor advice there. Taking out the carbon will not effect cycling, it was necessary to ensure that the medication was not removed from the water.
Should I get more stuff like turbostart for the tank to help? I reposted the pics
 

GlennO

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Should I get more stuff like turbostart for the tank to help? I reposted the pics
Just to confirm, you didn't take all of the media out did you? Just the carbon? I would just use the liquid test. What is the ammonia reading, it is difficult to see the colour. No nitrates suggest that the tank isn't cycled. You can add more bottled bacteria if you wish, it may help to speed up the cycle but it cannot be relied upon and may or may not work. It is far more effective to add mature media from an established filter if available. For now it is more important to monitor your water parameters and read up on fish-in cycling so that you know how to manage your water until the tank is cycled. Btw you made the right decision to continue with the white spot treatment, continue with it as per the directions.
 
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tuffcookie

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Just to confirm, you didn't take all of the media out did you? Just the carbon? I would just use the liquid test. What is the ammonia reading, it is difficult to see the colour. No nitrates suggest that the tank isn't cycled. You can add more bottled bacteria if you wish, it may help to speed up the cycle but it cannot be relied upon and may or may not work. It is far more effective to add mature media from an established filter if available. For now it is more important to monitor your water parameters and read up on fish-in cycling so that you know how to manage your water until the tank is cycled. Btw you made the right decision to continue with the white spot treatment, continue with it as per the directions.
I took out all the media and carbon because that’s what seachem rep told me to do. I asked 3 times lol. Is there someplace I can get cycled tanks media from like would LFS give it? My friend has a cichlid tank and is willing to give me media, would that work. I’m not sure if cichlids require something entirely different.

I’m going to try the test again tonight, read up something about shaking the nitrate bottom really hard and hitting it against the table. Looking at the test strips, the nitrates which varied between pre and post water changes. Pre water change is a lot more red than if I use the test strip 24hrs after water change. Hoping that’s accurate
 

GlennO

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Yes try shaking the nitrate bottle, I think it's bottle 2 in particular but I'm not sure I don't use API for nitrate. Put your non-carbon media back in your filter ASAP. When you cycle a tank you're actually cycling the filter and you can't do that without media. I'm certain the rep would have been referring only to carbon media. Yes if your friend can give you media to add to your filter that will help immensely. Doesn't matter what species of fish he keeps.
 
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tuffcookie

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Yes try shaking the nitrate bottle, I think it's bottle 2 in particular but I'm not sure I don't use API for nitrate. Put your non-carbon media back in your filter ASAP. When you cycle a tank you're actually cycling the filter and you can't do that without media. I'm certain the rep would have been referring only to carbon media. Yes if your friend can give you media to add to your filter that will help immensely. Doesn't matter what species of fish he keeps.
Ok I’ll put the non carbon in my media as soon as I can and see what happens when I try the nitrates again tonight. Thanks for the help
 

bristlenoseplonk

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It looks like your tank is right in the middle of cycling. Also about the ich, are you vacuuming the substrate? I haven't read up on the ich life cycle in a while (luckily i haven't had to), but i specifically remember a part where the eggs(?) or something will sit dormant in the gravel and pretty much resistant to medications, so the only way to get rid of them is to physically removing them with a vac. Also also, keep the media in to help continue the cycle. The reason you remove the carbon is because it strips the medications and makes them useless, but with a carbonless filter this won't be an issue.
 

GlennO

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Partial water change is definitely necessary. You said that you took out all of the media but in your first post I notice you said you left the sponge in. Can you clarify what media was removed and when. It does appear that ammonia is being processed into nitrite and nitrates but that could have been prior to the removal of media.
 
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tuffcookie

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I’ve been python vacuuming and doing water changes every 3 days when I see nitrite spikes, using the tetra strips. Upped the heat to 83 degrees. Hesitant going higher because of the corys. I have a 16gallon with 1 Betta and 3 albino corys. Really hope the egg isn’t just laying around on the substrate dormant and I have to vacuum to get rid of it. Because I don’t think it’s visible

Partial water change is definitely necessary. You said that you took out all of the media but in your first post I notice you said you left the sponge in. Can you clarify what media was removed and when. It does appear that ammonia is being processed into nitrite and nitrates but that could have been prior to the removal of media.
I removed the white pellets and black pellets but left the sponge in exactly 1 week ago. And I just tossed in new white pellets. Been treating for the ich 2.5 weeks ago. Metro+focus+garlic guard
 

GlennO

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I removed the white pellets and black pellets but left the sponge in exactly 1 week ago. And I just tossed in new white pellets. Been treating for the ich 2.5 weeks ago. Metro+focus+garlic guard
Ok got it. You didn't need to remove the white pellets (I assume it's the Aquaclear Biomax and not the Ammonia Remover?) but leaving the sponge would have ensured that some bacteria remained. With daily monitoring and water changes when necessary you will soon know where your cycle is at.
 
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tuffcookie

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Ok got it. You didn't need to remove the white pellets (I assume it's the Aquaclear Biomax and not the Ammonia Remover?) but leaving the sponge would have ensured that some bacteria remained. With daily monitoring and water changes when necessary you will soon know where your cycle is at.
Biomax yup, ammonia remover didn’t come with the aqua clear box. Maybe it’ll be ok

Could the ammonia be high because some of the plants are dying from the medication? Seachem rep mentioned it will probably happen. Should I just remove all of them?
 

GlennO

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Could the ammonia be high because some of the plants are dying from the medication? Seachem rep mentioned it will probably happen. Should I just remove all of them?
Decomposing plants can contribute but it’s more likely due to an incomplete cycle. I would just remove dead plant parts. Living plants can actually help with the cycling.
 

bristlenoseplonk

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I’ve been python vacuuming and doing water changes every 3 days when I see nitrite spikes, using the tetra strips. Upped the heat to 83 degrees. Hesitant going higher because of the corys. I have a 16gallon with 1 Betta and 3 albino corys. Really hope the egg isn’t just laying around on the substrate dormant and I have to vacuum to get rid of it. Because I don’t think it’s visible
Yea the eggs aren't visible and you have to vacuum to get rid of them. The only stage that the medicine is effective against ich is when their casing bursts and the parasites are swimming freely, otherwise the ich is untouchable, so thouroughly vacuuming daily will be more beneficial as opposed to every 3 days. Right now I think fixing the ich problem is a little more important than worrying about getting the tank cycled.
 
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tuffcookie

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Yea the eggs aren't visible and you have to vacuum to get rid of them. The only stage that the medicine is effective against ich is when their casing bursts and the parasites are swimming freely, otherwise the ich is untouchable, so thouroughly vacuuming daily will be more beneficial as opposed to every 3 days. Right now I think fixing the ich problem is a little more important than worrying about getting the tank cycled.
Should I just remove and wash all my stuff that’s in the tank then? Like the rocks. So only the sand is left? Because can’t get every single spot with those in the way
 

bristlenoseplonk

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Should I just remove and wash all my stuff that’s in the tank then? Like the rocks. So only the sand is left? Because can’t get every single spot with those in the way
I don't think you should if they're providing hiding places or cover for the cories so you don't stress them out more by making them feel exposed, but if they're in the tank purely for decoration then you may as well take them out to make it easier
 

JettsPapa

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I’ve been python vacuuming and doing water changes every 3 days when I see nitrite spikes, using the tetra strips. Upped the heat to 83 degrees. Hesitant going higher because of the corys. I have a 16gallon with 1 Betta and 3 albino corys. Really hope the egg isn’t just laying around on the substrate dormant and I have to vacuum to get rid of it. Because I don’t think it’s visible
I've been battling ich myself, and have had my heat turned up to 87° for over a week. I have 4 corys, and they seem to be fine.
 
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