I'm new.

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by lcorona, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. lcoronaNew MemberMember

    Hi people I have a lot of questions to ask about my fish.

    I have a 55 gallon tank with 6 albino corys, 9 zebra danios, 4 cherry barbs, and 3 small Java ferns.The tank is still cycling, but its close to ending I can detect nitrate but I can still find lots of nitrite. Will it be okay to add 6 bloodfin tetras later on?

    My corys are always at the top of the tank, but not exactly at the surface. How come they are doing this? I'm starting to worry. They were added a couple days ago. (don't worry I acclimated them properly)

    My danios are losing color I don't know if thats because they keep eating the cherry's shrimp pellets right after they ate bloodworms, (to much protein?) but it's starting to worry me.


  2. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Hi, welcome to FL!
    Your problems are likely due to ammonia/nitrite poisoning due to a cycling tank. I would very much recommend NOT adding more fish until the tank is done cycling, and then wait a few weeks for the bacteria to colonize strongly.

    Are you doing daily water changes to keep the nitrites and ammonia levels down? Also, I notice you are using test strips. The API master test kit is liquid, provides hundreds of tests, and is accurate and reliable, and highly recommended. You'll be much more satisfied with your results with it.

    I suggest partial water changes every day with a conditioner called Prime. Prime removes chlorine, etc., but also detoxifies (doesn't remove) ammonia and nitrites. The ammonia and nitrites remain in the tank for the bacteria to feed on, but are made non-toxic for the fish for 24 hours at a time. You should try this out. You'd keep this up daily until your readings are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 20 nitrates or less, which would indicate that your tank is cycled.

  3. lcoronaNew MemberMember

    Okay thanks! I'll do the water changes then.

    EDIT: Things are better now, but still not very good. Nitrite went down to 5.0, and the corys are staying on the bottom now. I will still do the water changes.

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  4. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    welcome to fishlore!!!

    great advice from meenu ..but keep up with the daily water changes even if the fish look better.....its very important to do this so they dont die from the nitrites....i think also, you are gettin false results as meenu suggested, because 5.0 in nitrites would certainly kill the cories IMO....getting a better test kit and the prime will save your fish babies and make them feel much better..but it must be changed daily with the prime or ammo lock if you can find them :)
    good luck!
  5. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hi Welcome to FishLore :)
    Great advice from Meenu. Cycling is rough on fish.
    With the nitries being so high, you might want to consider another water change in a few hours.

    Best of luck!
  6. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    I see in your aquarium info that you're using test strips. Is there any way you could purchase a liquid test kit? API makes a good FW master kit that includes tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. Test strips are very unreliable and I suspect that's what is going on here... a nitrite reading of 5.0 would be a death sentence for your fish and the fact that they are still alive suggests that you're getting wacky readings.

    However, that's not to say that the tank isn't still cycling. I totally agree with the others that a series of water changes is necessary, at least until you can test with a more accurate kit and figure out exactly what's happening.
  7. lcoronaNew MemberMember

  8. AmandaFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!
    Good advice from everyone. :)
  9. DigglyWell Known MemberMember

    If you tank ever shows ammonia or nitrite at higher than 0 its good to do water changes daily. Good luck with your fishies and keep us updated!
  10. bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore! Excellent advice above.
  11. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    GREAT idea...if you get one, post your readings and we will gladly help more...good luck !
  12. lcoronaNew MemberMember

    Hey guys I have good news and bad news. Bad news is that my LFS was sold out of the master test kits, and that I was missing a piece of the gravel-vac so I couldn't use it. Good news is that I checked both different kinds of my test strips, and they both say nitrite: 0
    I'll try to get both the test kit and the missing piece next time I go to my LFS.
  13. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Sounds like a plan. I had good luck getting the API kit on Amazon cheaper than at the stores in my area, by the way. It reached me in 5 days.
  14. David CWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to FishLore and sorry about your difficulties. It really gets easier after the first hump.

  15. flyin-loweWell Known MemberMember

    Others might chime in but I don't think it is recommended to vacuum the gravel until the tank has cycled. Right now I would just change the water unless the tank is overfed and there are large amounts of food in the bottom adding to your ammonia problems.
  16. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Agreed. Suck out any leftover yuckies with a new, never-been-washed-in-soap turkey baster. Leave the gravel alone other than that for the cycling, and then 1-2 weeks after, to let the beneficial bacteria colonize strongly.
  17. lcoronaNew MemberMember

    Like I said, the tank is done cycling, and I'll do the gravel vacuuming in a week or so. The question now is: should I get female cherry barbs, Bloodfin tetras or should I keep it the same. I'm leaning towards the barbs because my 4 male cherries are being a bit shy.
  18. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    I am not too familiar with these fish, so I wouldn't be able to suggest any. I just wanted to mention that since your cycle is so new, you might want to wait a week or two to let it establish more strongly before adding more fish. Since you tested with strips, it'll be insteresting to see if your API kit will match that reading.

    Congrats on the cycle, I know that's a good feeling.
  19. freak78Well Known MemberMember

    Well they say you should have 1 male cherry to 1 female cherry. I myself have 3 male's and they are fine with each other. The biggest one is the dominant male and the other 2 know their place. I've had mine for 3 day's and there coming out of hiding and exploing now. They really have deep red coloring, I think I have a good community going now. Lot's of color going on.

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