10 Gallon Tank Help-recreating my cycle with fish

cathrinetta
Member
I had to treat for fin rott and ich using Jungle's Lifeguard but now my cycle was killed. When I finished treatment a few days ago this is what I did.

I decided to filter my tank and do a water change. I filtered my tank for 24 hours and then did a 50% water change. I also added one live plant commonly found in fish ponds. Not sure what it is called, and also one large plastic plant which my betta is in love with.

I tested for nitrate and nitrite and found them to be high before the water change. I then did a 50% water change yesterday and tested again tonight for the nitrate and nitrite and both were kind of high.

My nitrite was 5.0ppm and my nitrate was 20ppm but my ammonia was only less than .02. This confuses me. I don't understand why my ammonia is so low and the others that high in 24hours. I did get the two readings from an API kit and the ammonia from my Seachem in-tank reader that is good for up to a year. Maybe it is defective?

I also added to my tank Fritz-zyme turbo start #700 per the instructions last night after I did the water change. Could this be why my nitrite is so high? I have not been over feeding. Only once a day and no excess food in the tank.

I need advice on how to get my tank cycled and balanced. I understand the cycle but not the details of it. I just understand the basics. I have been reading articles about cycling although some of the specifics are over my head.

I didn't realize that the medicine treatment would kill my cycle until it was too late. Also is it possible that there are still bacteria in my filter since I took them out during the treatment. Or would using them to filter after treatment have killed everything. I have a carbon and bio filter.

Also, the live plant I put in my tank. How is that going to effect my bio load and the cycle?

Thank you for all of your help!
 
Dozey
Member
It would appear to me that the medicine has killed off some but not all of your beneficial bacteria. As different bacteria are involved in the processing of ammonia and nitrates this could explain why your levels are so different.

I can only suggest that you continue to do 50% daily water changes until your tank sorts itself out again. I would think this shouldn’t take all that long as you obviously have bacteria which is processing the toxins. They just have to stabilize again.

Add carbon to your filter to remove the meds from the water.
 
  • Thread Starter
cathrinetta
Member
Could someone please be more specific and touch place on the live plant question?
 
Nate McFin
Member
The live plant won't do anything but help the bioload by removing some nitrates as long as it is a true aquatic plant and not one of the ones that are sometimes sold as aquatic but aren't. These can rot in your tank causing problems with ammonia levels. Plants can affect CO2 and oxygen levels. I would go over to and see if you can narrow down exactly what plant you have in there.
 
  • Thread Starter
cathrinetta
Member
The plant I was sold is Anacharis (Egeria densa)

I have goldfish so planting something that they wouldn't eat was why they sold me this. My goldfish haven't been eating it at all. My guppies seem to like it and my betta thinks he owns it!

Should I consider getting more than one clump? The current clump has 5 stalks.

Also, should I have not used the Fritz-zyme? Is this why my nitrate is high?
 
  • Moderator
jdhef
Moderator
Member
cathrinetta, is you aquarium info correct? If so you are mixing tropical fish and cold water fish, which isn't good. Also you are very overstocked, as goldfish are huge waste producers and really should have 20 gallons for the first goldfish and 10 gallons for each additional. Additionally, Betta's are not good in a community and do far better in a tank by themselves.
 
Shawnie
Member
I would do as dozey said and put in some carbon for 2-3 weeks to take out all the meds and waste..then remove just the carbon out..get some prime and daily water changes until the cycle finishes up....your tank is overstocked and the bio loads are going to be hard to keep low unless daily at least every other day water changes are done..as jd said, goldies love the temps you have the tank at but the betta's and neons need it to be around 78-80F ....the plants aren't very beneficial for the cycle process so concentrating on getting more won't hurt or help....
 
pepetj
Member
Egeria densa, also called Anacharis, Elodea or Brazilian Waterweed, is an excellent plant for the aquarium. The leaves of this plant are built with only two cells, which makes them somewhat translucent. This plant, when proper conditions are met in terms of temp, lighting and nutrients, produces so much oxygen that the tiny O2 bubbles can be seen by the naked eye. Since Anacharis has so much surface area due to the high number of leaves per stem, it also provides additional surface for beneficial bacteria to settle in. This plant grows fast and requires frequent trimming, so it also helps by out-competing algae as it deprives them from nutrients in the water column (another reason to use fertilizers at least once a month). A good choice for planted tank.

The only problem I have had with Anacharis were in a then low lighted, lower than usual end temp tank (in-line chiller cooled), in which at the time I used no fertilizers. They got rotten almost from one day to another. Since I upgraded that tank, that problem (for which I unfairly blamed my Ghost Shrimps) has been solved.

Pepe
Santo Domingo
 
  • Thread Starter
cathrinetta
Member
I understand my tank is overstocked but what's done is done. I do not have the money to buy another 10 or 20 gallon(which I would've prefered) just to separate the goldfish out. Not to mention my husband will have a fit. Our apartment is a one bedroom and we have no room for more tanks. I just got this tank as a gift for Christmas and although I'm sure I could find something cheap on craig's list, upgrading would insult him as it was a gift etc. I also can not get rid of the goldfish as he really likes these. I offered to return my two guppies and 4 neons to the store an trade them or just return but he insisted that they stay, because they're part of our family now.

Also I'm working on the temperature and plan to keep it around 72-74 as this is a happy medium for all. Its difinately better than the 60degrees my tank was at for a week when my heater was broken. I'm not sure if I could raise the temperature more then the 72 because I do not want to cook my goldfish. I've read lots of places that goldfish range is 50-72 so I chose the highest possible and lowest possible for both.

I've also been reading about adding salt to fresh water aquariums as I've had problems with fin rott and possible ich. Also I read it helps block the absorption of Nitrite through the gills. The guide I read said 1-3 teaspoons per gallon. Is this correct? My concern is how much the tetras can stand as I read somewhere that they prefer no salt. Also, if I can't get aquarium salt could I use Kosher salt? It is not iodized...

I don't know anything about fertilization but thank you so much for the info pepetj. My tank is currently cooler temps with no dirrect sunlight so algae has not really been a problem that I can tell.

How do I actually plant it as there are no roots? I just have the stalks shoved down in my gavel. I just bought it like 3 days ago and some looked a little brown, not sure if its algae or rott. It has 2 or 3 new shoots coming in though.

Also, one more thing. How do I add more carbon to my filter. Do I just buy a new one. If I do that it will get rid of any bacteria that has built on the filter. The filter is a whisper 10-15 and just has to filters that slide inside. I'm not sure how two add carbon?
 
Shawnie
Member
I wouldnt use salt with tetras and a betta..the ich is probably from stress and requires the temps to be about 83 for two weeks to kill it off..with some extra airation as warmer temps have less oxygen...the fin rot curable from prestine water conditions and some stress coat to heal... most of these diseases are from lack of space and stress ...I know how it is to not want to give back fish because we love them so much...I had to give away two oscars I had for 8 years a month ago as I knew I wouldnt be able to upgrade my tank....it was very hard but very necessary to keep them alive..so those decisions are yours and only yours but deffinately think of the fish...no ones attacking you just trying to help make things better...as far as the carbon, its only the carbon you replace not your filter media...and if you have it all built in one kinda media, just add a new one to the existing media and cut a slit in the old one to dump out the older carbon...goodluck!
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
Personally, I don't use carbon unless I'm filtering out meds. You really don't want to toss out the pouch (Is that what's holding the carbon?)
What I did with my whispers is dumped out the carbon and put extra filter floss in the pouch. It gives more surface area to hold bacteria and comes in handy if I want to quick cycle a new or QT tank.
 
  • Thread Starter
cathrinetta
Member
I have what ever came with the Tetra 10 gallon tank kit
It included the filter which happens to be a Tetra Whisper 5-10 (not10-15 my mistake).
When we instaled it it came with 2 filter media, a carbon and a bio. The bio sits closer to the inside of the tank so that the water filters through the carbon and then through the bio. I read somwhere that it was bad to replace those because they hold bacteria so only to replace on at a time if needed. Since I just started my tank a month ago should I replace it because I used it to filter out medicine? I don't understand how I can cut it open and fit more carbon inside it. I think it is just a mesh thing. I got kind of puffy now that I've been using it and it turned gray. I don't know anything about filters -___-

Two questions, what is filter floss and if I remove my filter and let it dry will that kill the bacteria on it or will they go dormant.
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
Yeah, if you take the filter out and let it dry, it'll kill the bacteria.
This is
Or you can try this: https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/diy-filter-floss.37089/

I have a bunch of filter sponges that my daughter picked up on clearance. Either would work. Then all you have to do is rinse them in used tank water if they get clogged up.

Oh, it would be a good idea to have a cartridge or two with carbon on hand in case you have to filter something (meds, contaminates) out of the water.
 
  • Thread Starter
cathrinetta
Member
I wish I had known that before I filtered my meds Is it okay to keep the same carbon filter in that I used to filter my meds with or do I need to get a new one? Will the bacteria start growing on it again? Will it still filter stuff? And I still don't get how to replace the carbon in my filter?

Why is the salt bad for the betta and neons?
 
Shawnie
Member
I would put a cut into the bottom of your filter cartridge and just shake it until all the carbon is out..they sell small carbon bags with just the carbon in it at most fish stores...you can just insert it in with the other cartridge..its a tight fit but it works well..if all the meds are out tho, you probably don't need it for that..but I do use it on an overstocked tank as it helps keep ammonia down with water changes..if you don't plan on changing it out every 3 weeks, because it is expensive, just don't use the carbon at all but get out the old carbon .....my overstocked tank got new carbon bags every 3 weeks and 20-40% water changes every other day..that's what it took to keep the water prestine with big fish and a small tank...

cathrinetta said:
Why is the salt bad for the betta and neons?
its not good for their labyrinth organ (betta) and is more of an irritant..but you have many debates on that ....the stress coat has aloe in it which heals very well
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
Salt can be an irritant to a lot of fish.

If you've used the carbon to filter meds, I'd replace it. But like I said, I'd replace it with an extra sponge or floss.
Carbon expires and when it does, it can release all the nasties back into your tank.

If you can't replace the carbon and you're determined to use it, you'll have to keep buying the catridges.

My little whisper (1-3) has catridges and the carbon can't be removed from it.
The whisper in my 5 gallon minI bow has a pouch you can open at the top and dump the carbon out.
 
  • Thread Starter
cathrinetta
Member
I've been having issues with my nitrate. My ammonia always says its below .02
 
Shawnie
Member
ammonia should always be 0 ...nitrates are expected when overstocked...totally normal..that's where every other day partial water changes come in if you can't rehome any of them
 
  • Thread Starter
cathrinetta
Member
Thank you for all the info on the Carbon filters. One last question and I'll try to stop posting so much.

Should I have not used the Fritz-zyme? Is this why my nitrate is high?

Shouldn't my nitrites be 0 also because they're turnning to nitrate?

Also, I've been doing 50% daily for the H2O is this too much considering my cycle isn't complete.
 
Dozey
Member
Yes ammonia and nitrites should be zero. Nitrates are safe up to 20ppm.
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
Don't worry about asking too many questions

I don't know what Fritz zyme is. If it's supposed to be a bacterial booster it can actually starve the beneficial bacteria you're trying to establish by using up the ammonia.

Keep up the water changes until you get your cycle back.
 
  • Thread Starter
cathrinetta
Member
I asked for Tetra Safe start and they sold me this...

Fritz-zyme Turbo Start #700.

The bottle said it was good for 3 months as long as it was refrigerated and that 1 oz treated 40 gallons, so I used 1/4 the bottle. There wasn't really that much information on the bottle. Also, stated that it took up to 5 days to cycle.
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
Hmmmm, I dunno. I can't comment because I don't have experience with it.
I shied away from any bacterial boosters. I tried Stress Zyme when I first started but didn't see any results and cycled with out it.
I still have the bottle......what a waste of money IMO.
 
Shawnie
Member
dont worry about questions..that's what this site is fore..as well as making some great friends that are addicted as yourself LOL...fritz zyme is a lot like stress zyme...its not strong enough to sustain the bacteria and do a proper cycle as the safestart is...I don't think it played a part in the nitrates tho...the daily water changes with prime will finish up the cycle but the overstocked will have to continue with changes just not as much water as you would with an incomplete cycle...
 
  • Thread Starter
cathrinetta
Member
Once my cycle is complete how muchs hould I be changing out? 25%??
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
That would depend on your readings. Overstocked tanks require more maintenance.
 
Shawnie
Member
I had to do 50% with a 75 gal ...I miss my oscars but not the maintenance ...but as lucy said , its whatever the readings say after the cycle is completed
 
Dozey
Member
If your tank can not process the ammonia and nitrite load of your current stock then daily 50% water changes will be in your future until you thin out the stock. If ammonia and nitrites are being processed then you will judge water changes based on how quickly your nitrates reach 20ppm. For example, if it takes four days for your nitrates to go from 10ppm to 20ppm then a 50% water change every four days or a 25% water change every 2 days would be required.
 
  • Thread Starter
cathrinetta
Member
Thanks everyone. The information about filter media, aquatic plants, water changes, etc have been very helpful. Hopefully I'm all set with what I need to do. Buy a new filter medium and keep changing my water until my cycle is complete. Also who makes Prime? Everyone recommends it but what is it, who makes it?
 
Shawnie
Member
seachem and its a water conditioner that makes the ammonia and nitrites available for the cycle process but detox's it for 24 hours to keep the fish safe..as well as removes chlorine and chlorimides(sp) from city water .. its a water conditioner with bene's
 
  • Thread Starter
cathrinetta
Member
Thanks!
 
Shawnie
Member
your welcome!! just remember not a lot of places carries the prime but stress coat+ works the same way...but it has to be the plus version as the regular doesn't neutralize the ammonia and nitrites...
 

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