Keeping track of my readings...feedback welcome :)

mcurtissdsu

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So….I’m trying to get my tank to cycle. I really didn’t know very much about it until I came on here to find help for treating camallanus worms. I set up my tank on 12/13/09. I originally had 2 angelfish, 4 guppies and a pleco in my tank after some very bad guidance from a Petsmart employee Not surprisingly, after 4 weeks on the dot, one of my angels, one guppy and the pleco all died on the same day.

Anyway, about two weeks after that, my remaining angel started showing camallanus worms. My three surviving guppies did not have visible worms but since all the fish had been together for about 6 weeks at this point, I figured I should treat all of them. I ended up buying Levamisole HCl from Charles Harrison and treated my 10 gallon tank three weeks ago. I now have three guppies and a small angelfish in there (I'm now aware that angels need more than a 10 gallon tank but I didn't want to try to give him up when he was infected...and now I just love him so much...). Anyway, after I removed the medication from the first treatment, I started doing daily 50% water changes. I started writing my readings down on 03/01/10 so I’ll start from there.

Monday 03/01/2010:
pH= 8.0
ammonia= 0.5
nitrite= 0
nitrate= 5

I didn’t do a WC on Tuesday 03/02/10.

Wednesday 03/03/2010:
pH=8.0
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 0
Nitrate= 5

Thursday 03/04/2010:
pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 0.25
Nitrate= 5

Friday 03/05/2010:
pH=8.0
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 0.25
Nitrate= 5

Saturday 03/06/2010:
pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 0.25
Nitrate= 5

Sunday 03/07/2010:
pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 0.25
Nitrate= 5

Monday 03/08/2010:
pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrites= 0.25
Nitrates= 5

Tuesday 03/09/2010:
pH=8.0
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrites= 0.25
Nitrates= 5

I forgot to record my Wednesday 03/10/10 readings (got home late from a birthday dinner) but I still did a 50% water change as I did on all the other days. I doubt they were any different.

Thursday 03/11/2010:
pH=8.0
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrites= 0.25
Nitrates= 5

Friday 03/12/2010:
pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.25
Nitrites= 0
Nitrates= 5

Saturday 03/13/2010:
pH=8.0
Ammonia= 0.25
Nitrites= 0
Nitrates= 5

Sunday 03/14/2010: (I did about a 90% water change today…I had to do the 2nd treatment of Levamisole HCl)
pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.25
Nitrites= 0
Nitrates= 5

Monday 03/15/2010: The medication had to sit today…no water change.

Tuesday 03/16/2010:
pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.25
Nitrites= 0
Nitrates= 5
After I tested the water, I did another 90% water change to get rid of the medication.

I will be trying 25% daily WCs this week to see how things change. I feed my fish every other day...two of my guppies would probably just eat until they explode. Floyd (my angel) and Squeegee, the other guppy seem to be able to stop when they're full, LOL. I give them a little bit of each of flakes, pellets, and freeze dried brine shrimp, in the morning, afternoon and evening respectively. My water temp is between 82 and 84, depending on the time of day usually. I use a small gravel vacuum and a bucket to perform my water changes.

If anybody has any feedback or suggestions for me, I would gladly welcome it. I don't really have any questions but I know there are some experts on here that might be able to point out if I'm doing something wrong. By the way, I use Prime as my water conditioner. Anyhoo...I will keep posting my readings daily as I continue to finish this cycle
 

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Thanks for posting the readings. Looks like you're doing all you can do for the time being. After the meds are finished I think the cycle will move a little smoother. Keep us posted.
Carol
 
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mcurtissdsu

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I did a 25% water change today. My readings were:

Wednesday 03/17/2010:
pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.5ppm
Nitrites= 0ppm
Nitrates= 5ppm

Rainbow, one of my guppies has a huge tear in his tail He was starting to look a little better as the day went on but right after I did the water change, I noticed that his tail is torn right down the middle! A similar thing happened after the first treatment but the tear wasn't so severe. I added some Maracyn-Oxy that seemed to help last time and will keep an eye on him for the next few days...

Thursday 03/18/2010:

25% water change today.

pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.5ppm
Nitrites= 0ppm
Nitrates= 5ppm

Rainbow is still not 100%. He's not looking worse though. His tail looks like it's starting to heal. I'm just gonna keep watching him.

Friday 03/19/2010:

pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.5ppm
Nitrites= 0.25ppm
Nitrates= 5ppm

25% Water change.

I think I need to get Rainbow a hospital tank. He's looking really pale and, although he's eating a little bit, he still has that white stringy poo most of the time. Sometimes it's normal but most of the time it's just white and stringy. Sherbert seems to be bullying him. I don't know if he's just trying to bite off the stringy poo or nips his fins but he's really stressing Rainbow out. I'm going to Petsmart today to buy a hospital tank.

Saturday 03/20/2010:

pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.5ppm
Nitrites= 0.25ppm
Nitrates= 5ppm

I did about a 30% water change today. I needed a little extra for the hospital tank I set up. I took about 15% and just scooped it out with a pitcher so I could put it in my hospital tank without a bunch of poo bits in it. The hospital tank is 2.5 gallons. Then I used the gravel vac to change another 10-15% in the main tank. Then I topped both tanks off with water treated with Prime. I also added some Stress Coat and 1 tsp. of aquarium salt to the hospital tank because he's still expelling lots of stringy white poo.

I have never set up a hospital tank before so I wasn't exactly sure what to do. I tried to use as much stuff as I could from the main tank. I took out several handfuls of gravel from the main tank, just enough to cover the bottom. I also used a plant from the main tank along with two little ones I bought for extra hiding spaces. I put a decorative tower kinda thing in there for him to hide in but it is new. I also cut open the hospital tank's filter cartridge, emptied out the carbon and stuffed in some mesh from the filter from my main tank. I didn't want to take too many things out of the main tank so as not to disrupt the amount of beneficial bacteria but hopefully I was able to give the hospital tank enough things with the bacteria.

Now it's just time to wait and see. I just felt so bad for poor Rainbow. Sherbert has turned into quite the little jerk and just would not leave him alone. I could tell Rainbow just wanted to get away from him. I'll keep up with my daily testing and water changes as needed and see how he does through the rest of the weekend.

Sunday 03/21/2010

(Main Tank - 10 gallon)
pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrites= 0.25
Nitrates= 5

(Hospital Tank - 2.5 gallon)
pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.25
Nitrites= 0
Nitrates= 5

I did a 25% water change for each tank.

Rainbow is still the same. He's obviously not being bothered by the other fish now but he's not any more active and he's not really eating. He does swim around sometimes and he will eat a few of the tiniest pieces of food that I put in but nothing like he used to eat before. Could it be that he was eating so much before because he had camallanus worms and they were eating his food? I don't know...he's still kinda pale but not any more so than he was yesterday and his fin is still torn but it has definitely healed some, it's not torn all the way down to the base anymore.

I guess we'll just see what happens...

I'm at work right now...I just got a text message from my boyfriend. Rainbow died last night I'm so sad :'(
 
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mcurtissdsu

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Poor Rainbow He was such a great fish. I wish I could have done more to help him.

I miss little Rainbow I woke up this morning and did my normal head count and was so sad when I remembered he wasn't in there anymore...

Yesterday, Monday 03/22/2010, my readings were:
pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.50
Nitrite= 0.25
Nitrate= 5

Another 25% water change.

Today, Tuesday 03/23/2010, my readings were the same:
pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 0.25
Nitrate= 5

Another 25% water change....when will it ever end??
 

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Hello Mcurtissdsu

So sorry to hear that you lost your Rainbow. RIP little one!

Mc have you thought about having your own blog here on Fish Lore? If you would be interested in having one then you can send a private message (since you have over 50 posts now) to MIKE and request that he set one up for you. He'll be glad to do it

I found having one to come in very handy at times. Moving tanks, getting new tanks, keeping records as you're currently doing. Something to think about This thread can be moved to it or any of your own threads can be moved also.
Ken
 
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mcurtissdsu

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Actually I was looking for a blog option on my profile and didn't see one so I didn't think one was available. I never noticed that they are set up like a forum I will definitely email Mike and see if he can set one up for me. Thanks for the advice!
 

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Glad to help! It might take a day or two for Mike to respond and set it up but I'm sure he will
Ken
 
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mcurtissdsu

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I'll keep using this until my blog is created.

Wednesday 03/24/2010
pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 0.25
Nitrate= 5

25% water change again.

I've also been looking into making arrangements for buying a 29 gallon tank for Floyd, hopefully within a month...once I get my living situation figured out. Living in San Diego is NOT easy as a recent college grad

Thursday 03/25/2010

pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 1.0
Nitrite= 0.5
Nitrate= 5

25% water change

Friday 03/26/2010

pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 1.0
Nitrite= 0.5
Nitrate= 5

25% Water Change

I have a question about my filter. I use an Aqueon Power Filter and it takes replacement cartridges. Yesterday, according to the directions, I was supposed to change out my cartridge. My question is, if I throw out the filter cartridge, doesn't that throw out my good bacteria? Instead of throwing the old one out, I rinsed the debris off it in my bucket o' tank water after the water change. Then, I cut off the mesh part from my old cartridge and stuck it into the filter in some open spaces. It doesn't seem to be obstructing any water flow or the function of the filter. Is it ok to leave those pieces in there? I don't want to start my cycle all over again but that cartridge had been in there for a while and was starting to look pretty funky.
 

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Imo, you did right, keeping the mesh part and rinsing it in tank water. You don't want to toss the bacteria.

Did you have to restart the cycle after treating?
 
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mcurtissdsu

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It seems like the cycle did restart but I've never cycled a tank before so I'm not sure. I've been doing daily water changes since March 1st. I started with 50% daily changes until (I think) the 14th which is when I did the 2nd treatment. After that, I did a 90% change to get rid of as much meds as I could and then I've been 25% daily changes since then. So it's been about 2 weeks. From looking at the readings before and after the treatment, it seems like the cycle started over because I'm only just now having increases in both the ammonia and nitrites. I haven't done my testing today. I'm going out to dinner and will do it this evening. Maybe something will have changed...

Saturday 03/27/2010

pH= 7.8
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrites= 0.5
Nitrates= 5
Temp= 82

25% Water change.

I wonder if changing my filter cartridge helped things any...My pH went down by 0.2 and my ammonia went down by 0.5ppm. Apparently Floyd likes his pH around 6.8 so I'm still way off! But I stopped using "pH Down" because I saw a lot of posts about how it's better to just let the fish get acclimated to a different pH than to constantly change it to get it to a certain number. He seems fine.

Sunday 03/28/2010

pH= 8.0
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrites= 0.25
Nitrates= 5
Temp= 81.5

25% Water Change
 
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mcurtissdsu

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Does it matter that there is charcoal inside the cartridges? I could just keep rinsing and reusing the same cartridge but I wasn't sure if it's bad to leave old charcoal inside there...

Monday 03/29/2010

pH= 7.8
Ammonia= 0.25
Nitrite= 0.25
Nitrate= 5
Temp= 81

25% Water change

Maybe I'm finally getting close!! My readings have been changing quite a bit over the last two weeks. I hope this cycle finishes soon!!

Tuesday 03/30/2010

pH= 7.4
Ammonia= 0.25
Nitrite= 0.5
Nitrate= 5
Temp= 81

25% Water change.

Does pH decrease as the cycle continues? Or could it be the carbon?

Wednesday 03/31/2010

pH= 7.6
Ammonia= 0.25
Nitrite= 0.5
Nitrate= 5
Temp= 81

25% Water change

Thursday 04/01/2010

pH= 7.8
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 0.5
Nitrate= 5
Temp= 81

10% Water change.

**Sigh** This is getting exhausting. I'm going to see if even smaller water changes will help. I mean, the readings have changed over time but it just seems like it's going soooo slowly. 10% WCs from now on unless someone suggests otherwise...

Friday 04/02/2010

pH= 7.2
Ammonia= 0.25
Nitrite= 0.5
Nitrate= 5
Temp= 81

10% Water change.

I hope this tank cycles soon. I have to move in two weeks and I don't know how that is going to affect things. Maybe I should leave the fish at my boyfriend's house until the tank cycles. But then I would have to drive here everyday to do the water changes....I don't know what I'm gonna do yet.
 

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Frustrating isn't it?

Seems like you're kind of stuck in the same spot?
If it were me, I'd do a big ole water change.
50%, wait 24 hours and test.
 
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mcurtissdsu

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It definitely seems like I'm just stuck. My ammonia has never been higher than 1.0 (and that was only for 2 or 3 days), my nitrites have never been higher than 0.5 and my nitrates have never been higher than 5. I thought maybe I was changing too much water when I was doing 50% daily so I started changing 25% but that hasn't done a thing. I've done 10% for the last two days to see if anything changes. I'm going to test again tonight and, if it's still the same, I'll try 50%.

My goodness, this is just getting so tiring. I've been getting faster at doing my water changes but it still takes me 30-45 minutes. I'm trying to study for a certification and I only have about 2 hours per night to do so. These water changes are taking up quite a bit of my study time! I hope this tank cycles soon. I need to move my angel to a 29 gallon tank and I'll be buying that hopefully at the end of this month so I'll be doing this alllll over again. Hopefully it won't take as long if I can get this 10 gallon to cycle before that and use some of the media. Little Floyd needs a bigger home though. He's still so tiny, only 1.5", and I'm afraid his growth has been badly stunted since he hasn't grown at all in over 3 months.

Saturday 04/03/2010

pH= 6.8
Ammonia= 0.25
Nitrites= 0.5
Nitrates= 5
Temp= 80

10% water change.

The only thing that is changing is my pH! It keeps dropping and dropping...I hope this doesn't negatively affect my fish. I brought the temp down to 80 because my room has been getting really hot from the heated tank.
 

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I've read that pH will fluctuate during cycling. Not sure how much is normal though.
The difference between Mon thru Fri's wouldn't concern me, but a drop to Sat's reading would.
I don't know how to advise you on that or tell you what causes it.

Are you moving the guppies too? If so, you can just take the 10 gallon filter and run it along with the new filter in the new tank for a few weeks.

I'm stumped as to why your other readings have remained relatively steady for a month.
 
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mcurtissdsu

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I will be leaving the guppies in my 10 gallon. I only have two now, I might consider getting them more tank mates but I will have to research more first. I want to get another angel for Floyd in the 29 gallon eventually, and maybe some cory catfish. My company is moving to a new facility in July and I will have my own office so I want to get a 5 gallon and a betta as well But first, I need to figure out what the heck I'm doing and get this 10 gallon to cycle!

Sunday 04/04/2010

pH= 6.4
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 0.75(?) It looked like it was somewhere between 0.5 and 1.0 but closer to 1.0.
Nitrate= 5
Temp= 80

10% water change.

I have no idea what the heck is going on with my pH. It's been dropping and dropping. I tested the pH of my tap water and I'm pretty sure it was 7.6. I tested it with the high range pH test kit after the low range just to be sure and it was like a bright red color that didn't look like anything on the chart so I'm assuming it's 7.6. My pH was an 8.0 everyday until I changed my filter cartridge and replaced it with a new one that had carbon in it. Could that have been the cause? That was a little over a week ago and it has been dropping everyday since then. I don't know what I should do about it.
 

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I deleted your other post so we can keep everything together
the ph will go up down and sideways while the tank is cycling.....its normal....keep up with the daily changes (unfortunately to keep the fish safe) ....when you used meds, you started over...and when you changed out the filter, you started all over again.....so go from that date of change.....it can take weeks so patience is something you will learn .....I was 9 weeks with daily bucket changes and its not fun I know .....good luck!
 
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mcurtissdsu

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That's what I was afraid of...So I've really only been cycling it since 03/25 Poor little fishies. I feel so bad for subjecting them to my ignorance. They're troopers though. I hope they make it through this. They all seem just fine so far. Colorful and super active, eating plenty. The guppies love to play in the bubbles from the air stone. It's quite possibly the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Now that I know I restarted with the cartridge change, maybe I should resume the 25% water changes instead of doing 10%. I couldn't figure out why nothing was changing but now I realize it's because it's barely had time to get started.

Monday 04/05/2010

pH= 6.0 !!! I don't understand !!!
Ammonia= 0.25
Nitrite= 0.5
Nitrate= 5
Temp= 80

25% Water change.

Tuesday 04/06/2010

pH= 6.4 ...I'm just not even going to ask anymore...
Ammonia= 0.25
Nitrite= 0.5
Nitrate= 5
Temp= 80

25% Water change.

Wednesday 04/07/2010

pH= 7.4 !!!
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 0.5
Nitrate= 5
Temp= 80

25% Water change.

Thursday 04/08/2010

pH= 7.8
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 0.75
Nitrate= 5
Temp= 80

25% Water change.

Friday 04/09/2010

pH= 7.8
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 0.75
Nitrate= 5
Temp= 81

25% Water change.

Squeegee had a little white speck of something on him that looked like a grain of salt. I wasn't sure if he was starting to come down with ich so I started raising the temp to get it to 82 and I also added a half capful of Maracyn-Oxy. After I did the water change, about an hour or so later I came back in to check on him and the spot was gone. I'm gonna keep it at 82 until Sunday just in case.

I just love them all, they're so great! Floyd looks like he is finally starting to grow. His color patterns are also becoming more vivid. I'm moving into a new apartment on the 20th of this month and I found a store about 20 minutes from my house that sells 29 gallon starter kits for $99! It's this HUGE store called Fountain's Aquarium and it's ALL fish and aquarium supplies! Plus, it's family owned Anyway, next weekend I'm going to go buy the tank and then as soon as I get the keys for the apartment, I will set it up to start cycling. Hopefully Floyd will be in a new home in less than 2 months (as long as I can get the hang of this cycling business!)

Saturday 04/10/2010

pH= 7.8
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 1.0
Nitrate= 5
Temp= 81.5

25% Water change.

Sunday 04/11/2010

pH= 7.8
Ammonia= 0.5
Nitrite= 1.0
Nitrate= 5
Temp= 82

25% Water change.

I think I managed to successfully move this thread from the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle forum to my blog that Mike set up for me. If I didn't, and a moderator can fix that for me, I'd greatly appreciate it
 

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Hello Mcurtissdsu,
Congrats on the Blog. I'll delete the duplicate thread.
Ken
 

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