My bacteria are broken :(

choochiegirl
Member
I can think of no other reason for my tank to be doing a minI AGAIN. Started this tank end of May and it does not want to settle down at all. I have been testing pretty much daily and doing water changes to protect the fish I have in there. My readings as of the end of june was 0 ammonia, .25 nitrites and 10 nitrates. I added some seeded gravel with some new fish to see if I could get the nitrate to disappear too and my tank went wonky
July beginning:
Ammonia Nitrites Nitrates
.25 .5 0
1.0 .5 0
.5 .25 0
1.0 .25 0
.5 0 0
1.0 0 0
.25 0 0

It goes on like this for most of the months, nitrite will finally go to .5 then nitrites to 5 but then at that point the ammonia goes to 2.0 and I have to do a water change and the nitrites & nitrates go to 0 again and stay that way for a week. Today ammonia is at 1.0, nitrite & nitrates are both at 0 and that has been the reading for a week.
I have not added any decos, only gravel vacced once cuz it was so nasty I could see it, and only vacced 1/2 the tank. I had 2 fish die mid july and replaced them the next day to the bioload wouldn't change and mess it up more

What am I doing wrong?
 
sirdarksol
Member
I presume you're talking about the 30 gallon you've got in your tagline, and with the fish that are listed there.

What kind of test kit are you using?
By this point, you should have some sort of nitrate reading, and all I can think of is that the test kit is messed up, at least in that aspect.
If you're using a liquid kit, are you shaking the bottles before you use them? (I think one of them has to be really shaken up before use)

One more thing, just to kind of help keep things under control while you figure this out. Then, once you have them figured out, you'll have a useful habit already built. When you're feeding your fish, count out one flake or pellet for each fish in the tank. Feed them. Watch them and make sure they all get a mouthful. If so, they've been fed. If not, don't add any more, next time just vary how you feed them so they all get some. (When Miyamoto was in my community tank, I had to put one flake off to the side so my glass fish could get a bite) If you've got bottom feeders, don't feed them until you're turning the lights out, and only drop one pellet or a portion of a wafer in. I'd only feed the bottom feeders every other day, as they're probably getting other food from the gravel. This will severely reduce the amount of decomposing food in the tank, and is also good for the fish.
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
yup it's the one in my tag line.
I use the apI liquid kits for everything and have read how difficult the nitrate #2 bottle can be, I smack it against the table and make sure I follow all directions. I have has nitrate in the past, but it disappears. I had a reading of 5 for a few days last week, but it disappeared after a water change

I only do the water changes when the levels get high, ammonia over 1 and my fish act strange

I will cut back more on the feeding & see how it goes. The tetras won`t go after anything except flakes, they seem scared of the pellets and wafers, but the guppies really love those!
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
is there a test for Chlorine and Chloramines ? I use Prime to treat my water before it goes in and I'm pretty sure it's similar to Amquel+. The fish tht are in there now seem pretty hardy, the lfs won't take them back as some of them I have had for over a month, only the corys are new
 
Luniyn
Member
MelissaF672 said:
Performing water changes disrupts the cycling process and is causing these abnormal fluctuations, obviously. It takes out your good bacteria that are trying to grow...
This isn't exactly correct. Changing the water in your tank won't remove much (if any) of the good bacteria from your tank. There isn't a lot of good bacteria just floating around in your water at any given time. It is in your substrate, on your decorations, and mostly in your filter. Vacuuming your gravel can remove some of your good bacteria, and changing out your filter while cycling is a major no-no that will certainly remove the good majority of your good bacteria. Doing water changes will only decrease the amount of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your tank. During a cycle, having less ammonia and nitrite means there is less "food" for the good bacteria to eat. So yes that in effect slows down the cycle a bit, but when you have fish in the tank, it is a necessary precaution. During my cycle I changed out the water daily during the ammonia cycle and 2 times a day during the nitrite cycle since I was cycling with fish in the tank.

I know that we've already gone over the above Choochiegirl, but I was just responding to the post I quoted. As to your tank, the Prime will remove all of the chlorine and chloramines so don't worry about those. Have you been using any "cycling" products like Cycle, Stress Zyme, etc. (anything other then Bio-Spira)? What kind of filter do you have on the tank and have you been using the stock parts or home-made filters?
 
sirdarksol
Member
Wow. Just a touch snarky.
Your post has a lot of really good points, but one fallacy.
You say that we're leaving the tank to do as it would in nature, but the way we set up our aquariums is nowhere near the balance that occurs in a natural water system. There is far more fish per gallon of water than there is in a lake, stream, river, or pond, and that fish is dumping a lot of waste into the system. Because of this, unless you are using a fish that can a) handle a higher quantity of ammonia (like the danio) and b) you don't really care about, leaving the tank to sit isn't a good idea. This is why I prefer cycling the tank without any fish. I can't bring myself to not care about any of the fish I buy, and if I bought something like a Danio, I wouldn't want to keep it, anyway. I just add used filter media from one of my other tanks now, then add a bit of food to put some ammonia into the water.

You're definitely correct that most of the nitrifying products out there don't work. Actually, it's not so much that the bacteria starve in the bag/box/bottle. They pick bacteria that build spores for these kinds of products, and spores can live for months or years (sometimes even decades), as they're in a form of stasis. However, the bacteria that produce spores are all terrestrial, so they end up suffocating in water. They reduce the pollutants in a tank for awhile, reducing the amount that the growing colony can eat, then they die off, decaying and releasing even more pollution into the water.
The only one that is believed to truly work (at least, by the more experienced people around here) is Bio-Spira, which does expire after a relatively short amount of time, but contains the right kinds of bacteria.
 
sgould
Member
Wow. Just a touch snarky.
Only a touch?

Honestly, Luniyn's post was in no way disprespectful and was offered in a good faith effort to help another member with a problem. Further, what he was pointing out is correct. It did not warrant a sarcastic flaming in response.
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
Wow no internet for a day and look what happens!! :-\

To Luniyn: I did use Cycle back in May to start my tank, before I realized that it did nothing for me,unfortunately we can't get bio-spira here in Canada. I have a whisper 30-60 HOB filter. I have not changed anything of the original filter materials, just swished it in the discarded tank water. I just had a thought tho, when I do a water change, the filter empties itself of water. Would this exposure to air cause the bacteria to die? I try to re-fill as quick as possible, but the water change takes approx 1/2 hour from start to finish

To MelissaF672: I appreciate your answers but not your tone. Yes, everyone is entitled to share their opinions and experiences, but if you do not agree with them, there is no need for others to be flamed just for sharing their thoughts. I find there is no absolute wrong or right, what works for some may not work for others, and leave it at that.

It is not my intention to cycle with fish. My tank was cycled, then I added fish and things went wonky from there. I am trying to get ideas of the cause so they don't have to suffer. I do my water changes to protect my fish, my investment. I understand that it may prolong the cycling, but I prefer that over killing them. I listen to all that is said, but ultimately I choose what advice to give, if I mess up, it's my fault, & leave it at that
 
sgould
Member
No one is debating whether water changes will slow the cycle down. They will. The question, before you decided to get snide and rude, was whether or not that is because the water change removed the bacteria itself, or just the ammonia/nitrites that the bacteria needs to eat. The answer is that bacteria live on surfaces, not free-floating in the water. Therefore, water changes remove the ammonia/nitrites, NOT the bacteria itself to any significant degree. If you are in disagreement with that statement, please say so in a reasonable, non-insulting manner, and I will be happy to post supporting links.

That aside, the question now is...why do you feel it necessary to conduct a conversation in the disrespectful and insulting way you are? Debate and disagreement are fine. But it can be done without the insulting attitude exhibited here:

wouldn't you imagine there's *GASP!* bacteria in the water that were *DOUBLE GASP!* removed with the water change?

But **** if you think it would be better to screw with the water instead of letting it do it's thing naturally be my guest What a joke.
*applause*
However, nitrifying bacteria cannot live indefinitely without oxygen and food. (DUH)
i'm not talking about a river or stream hun
It's not brain surgery here people.
for god's sake how ignorant can you be?
1 + 1 = .......... come on...... anyone?
Yap Yap Yap
I do not question your knowledge or ability to keep an aquarium, and I am sure you have a lot of information to share to help those with questions. I am just asking, nicely: Please, keep it civil.
 
M
Member
WOW! I am truly shocked at the rudeness of MelissaF672. I have read more posts than I have posted myself and this thread is getting stickier by each every post. I'm infamous for playing Devil's Advocate and being sarcastic, but personal attacks are far different.

MelissaF672, why do you feel the need to rudely challenge everything Lunilyn has said? It was my impression that this is a forum of opinions made by people wanting to help others through experience and knowledge. It is also the choice (and responsibility) of every person to take the information and decide if they want to employ it and/or research it further. What purpose does that amount of sarcasm resolve? In my opinion, MelissaF672, you could be right as rain, but all you did by posting your questions that way was to lose credibility and respect.

Choochiegirl, I hope your cycling ends and that you start to see some nitrates. I can't imagine how frustrating that must be!

Luniyn, keep up the posts. I have read MANY of yours and respect your thoughts.

-M
 
COBettaCouple
Member
MelissaF672 - not only are you being completely rude without any need or cause, but you're wrong. sgould has got it right. The nitrifiers needed to make nitrification happen colonize on surfaces. What little there is in the water is on it's way to finding a surface to live on as quickly as possible, constantly replacing the dying bacteria as the life cycle completes for them. So when you take water out, you're removing an insignificant amount of them compared to the population existing in the tank.
All surfaces in the aquarium offer a potential home to the community of aerobic bacterial that metabolize ammonia finally to nitrate. The uppermost surfaces of the substrate are a prime location for these populations


The reason for not doing water changes during a fishless cycle is NOT because of nitrifiers being removed, but because of toxins (ammonia & nitrites) being removed:
Q: Will changing the water lengthen the time of the cycle?
A: It is true that partial water changes decrease the level of ammonia and nitrites, which in turn triggers less growth of the bacteria that feed on them.

I would suggest that you refresh yourself on the rules of the forum: before offering up a big serving of sarcasm, rudeness and hostility. The other members posting in this thread not only were correct, but weren't deserving of abuse.
 
Luniyn
Member
MelissaF672 said:
Luniyn said:
This isn't exactly correct. Changing the water in your tank won't remove much (if any) of the good bacteria from your tank. There isn't a lot of good bacteria just floating around in your water at any given time.
Ummm yeah. How about you find me something... any kind of link to anything that led you or anyone to believe doing water changes DOESN'T effect bacteria from developing and doesn't effect the cycling process.... I mean anything honestly. Doing a massive water change for example LIKE I SAID BEFORE can send your tank into another cycle, for god's sake how ignorant can you be?
MelissaF672 please read this websites post on the subject. It might clear up a few misconceptions you have on where the bacteria lives in fish tanks. Also, think about the parts of the filter and why there is a sponge in the filter, or why there are bio-balls or some other "media" in the filter at all other then the mechanical filter that is there just to clean the water. That media is there because the good bacteria needs a place to hold on to in order to grow and multiply. You also mentioned about being told not to do a large water change because it will cause a mini-cycle... I'm sorry, but no I've never been told that. In fact as long as you keep the media wet in your tank, you could change out 100% of your water and not see the slightest mini-cycle occur. Again this is because there isn't a large amount of good bacteria in the water and also why fish stores sell substrate from cycled tanks to help you cycle your tank and not just water from their tanks. Now of course I wouldn't recommend doing a 100% water change with fish in the tank, but not because it will cause a mini-cycle. The reason is because this will change the current condition of the water too drastically for the fish and send them into shock. If they die, it's not because a mini-cycle occurred, it's because their environment changed drastically. Small water changes are always recommended over large ones when fish are in the tank. But as I also mentioned, during my cycle (with fish) I did a water change daily during the ammonia part of the cycle and 2 times daily during the nitrite part of the cycle. I still cycled normally and have not ever had a trace of a mini-cycle occur. As to my question about the cycle "helpers", I didn't recommend using them (I have made numerous posts against them, ) I simply asked if they had been used at all. That would have led me to my next comment about not using them and trying things without using them and quite possibly cleaning out the filter media to make room for the correct good bacteria to grow.

Choochiegirl, in regard to the filter, 20 minutes is about what you have before the good bacteria start to die off when not submerged in water. I have a 1/2 Gal bottle that I fill with tap water and treat with Prime and I use this to wet the good bacteria during my water change. I just pour it into the filter till it starts to flow out the outflow. This will submerge them enough until you can get the filter going again, but it's ok for them to get a little air. So about 10 minutes in is when I give them that hit of water, if for some reason I need more time I save some water to pour in again. In your filter, the 30-60, that is the one with the 2 filter cartridge areas right? With 2 cartridges I would think you have enough bio-media in there to support a good colony, but if you would like to increase your surface area you can . I use this in my Whisper 20 and the second sponge it provides (along with that black one you already have) really gives you a lot of surface area for the good bacteria to grow. I can change out the mechanical part of my filter whenever I want and not worry about a mini-cycle occurring. Also if you don't want to use the carbon filled packs it comes with, you can just get something like. Then you just rinse that mechanical filter pad every once and a while to keep it clean and can keep it till it starts to fall about before you replace it. Makes it very cost effective. From what I remember and have discussed with you in other posts about your tank, I think you really are on the right track. See if keeping your filter wet like I mentioned helps keep the good bacteria doing their thing and getting you cycled again. Keep an eye on those ammonia and hopefully nitrite levels soon, and do small water changes as needed to keep the remaining fish you have alive. The other option would be to put them into a temporary tank or bucket with an air stone and feed the main tank to do a fishless cycle. It's not necessary to do that, but it is an option.
 
sgould
Member
Choochiegirl, did you get enough information to keep going? Sorry your thread got so far off track!
 
COBettaCouple
Member
well, doing water changes will still get your tank cycled. That article that Luniyn posted a link to is a good one to read over. Is it possible to get a pic of the tank and/or the filter? have you had any algae issues? how much aeration are you running?
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
here is the filter . 1/2 of the back wall is a bubble wand as well

I have diatoms growing on my silk plants & a small amount growing on my bubble wand. no green algae that I can see

I will definitely try to keep my filter wetter when doing water changes, see if that helps, a good idea Luniyn

Have to say it's been an interesting thread
 
COBettaCouple
Member
good filter, we have that on the 30 gallon tall and a bubble wand in the back. Diatoms are usually part of a cycled tank.. what we do when changing water and cleaning the tank is unplug the filter after filling a bowl with tank water to put the filter (without the intake tube) in. then we do any cleaning/rinsing we need to on the filter & media with clean treated tap water.

as far as water changes go, even when we were cycling with fish, we weekly cleaned the tank and did a partial water change.

how long have you had the testing kit (can you check for expiration dates on the bottles)? do you have carbon in the filter? how old are the filter bags?
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
I will have to figure out how to take the intake tube off. You put the whole thing in there or just the media? I do have carbon in the filter, only been in there a week, I was hoping re-adding it would help my problem, but it didn't. the spinges and the carbon bags are all original, never changed yet, just rinsed in discarded tank water.

The testing kit I have had for 2 months, it's not expired.

I tested this evening
Ammonia 1.0
NitrItes 0
NitrAtes0

*grumbles*
 
COBettaCouple
Member
choochiegirl said:
I will have to figure out how to take the intake tube off. You put the whole thing in there or just the media? I do have carbon in the filter, only been in there a week, I was hoping re-adding it would help my problem, but it didn't. the spinges and the carbon bags are all original, never changed yet, just rinsed in discarded tank water.

The testing kit I have had for 2 months, it's not expired.

I tested this evening
Ammonia 1.0
NitrItes 0
NitrAtes0

*grumbles*
you can put just the media in.. the whole filter box is nice, but the media is the most important part.. usually the intake tube will just lift up after you take the box lid off. really odd reading.. maybe from adding the carbon.. try it tommorrow I guess.
 
  • Moderator
Mike
Moderator
Member
MelissaF672 has been banned.

As mentioned in the rules - debating is fine, but being rude or disrespectful of your fellow members will not be tolerated. That's not the way we "roll" around here.
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
Lost a guppy today she seemed to be ok but was swimming at th etop a lot last night, found er dea this am. can't locate one of the cory's but they are the same colour as the gravel so it could be hiding.

Ammonia went to 2, nitrites & nitrates, still 0 > so did a WC again
 
COBettaCouple
Member
it definitely sounds like the tank is going thru a cycle. If it were our tank, I'd change as much water as I could and treat all water with both prime and novaqua+, and give daily doses of vitachem. You could also consider to replace your A/C in the filter bags.
 
armadillo
Member
Dave, why both Prime and NovAqua? Am curious, perhaps that's something I should/could do too?
 
COBettaCouple
Member
Just like taking out extra insurance.. we get the toxins control with prime and the slime coat help with NovAqua+. Not exactly necessary, but just a habit I've gotten into.
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
still can't find one of the cory's I have looked everywhere, in the plants, under the decos, in the bubble stream, I have no idea where it could be

I'm not sure if I can get NovAqua+ here, but will run to the lfs and see, is there maybe another to look at just in case I can't find it? I will grab the vitamins tho if I can get them
 
Luniyn
Member
FLBettaCouple said:
we get the toxins control with prime and the slime coat help with NovAqua+.
Prime adds slime coat already. The only thing that NovAqua+ says it has that Prime doesn't is "Provides Health Aids, Including Immunizers and Vitamins" which if you are already using Vitachem you probably have those covered and then some. Like you said, not really necessary but certainly doesn't hurt.
 
COBettaCouple
Member
yea, I just put it in all the jugs of treated water so that even water that doesn't get vitachem has something at least.
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
well I found my missing cory I think and my ammonia source, I just did a 25% change since it keeps my filter wet and it's easier than doing a 50% every 2 days. There was what looked like a blob of mucous hanging inside one of the plants in the back. it was fish size but had no real shape except a blob of goo. The siphon sucked it up and it pretty much fell apart. I'm not sure it was my fish, but the colour was right, but no bones, maybe cory's are different. So that's 2 fish in 2 days again. I have 2 guppies, 1 cory and 3 tetras left. Funny thing, I've been told the tetras aren't very hardy, these ones sure are.

Now will the loss of 2 fish really mess with my bioload or leave it as-is till it settles. I tested my water before I did my change, ammonia was still at 1.0 and nitrites was 0 but has a slight purple tinge, so maybe it's now moving along.
 
COBettaCouple
Member
:'( aww.. we're sorry that you lost the little guy. we'd just leave the tank as it is and let things settle. hopefully it will re-cycle quickly.
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
lost another guppy now, down to 1 guppy, 1 cory and my 3 tetras. levels are not changing

It's still ammonia 1.0 and no nitrites or nitrates *growl*
 
armadillo
Member
Oh noooo. And you're using SeaChem Prime as water conditionner and doing 1/2 water changes every day? Your fish should make it through in these conditions.
 
COBettaCouple
Member
what symptoms did this last guppy show? something else might be going on in the tank.
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
Funny thing is, she had no real symptoms. She swam fine ate fine, then did not go after the flakes last night which I have seen them do before so it didn't worry me, then she was dead this am. When I pulled her out, she looked fine, nothing on her so I am clueless

I am still using the prime when I treat. When I change water I don't even bother turning off the filter now, It stays completely wet if I do that and I'm not willing to lose more bacteria. I'm thinking I will remove the seeded gravel packet I have in there, maybe it introduced something .

as well I noticed this morning the back wall had greenish brown spots. I have diatoms on my plants and decos but no algae that I could see. This stuff looks odd, it is in spots on the glass, like a Dalmatian dog and only in a small area
 
COBettaCouple
Member
it's definitely a mystery. ??? those spots sound like the start of algae.
 
sgould
Member
Sounds like diatoms. I had it in spots on the side of my tank, on my plants, on the decor, etc. BN pleco took care of all that for me!
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
I dunno what it is, I did another change tonight, got rid of the seeded gravel, rinsed my AC holder in discarded tank water.

Went to the LFS and no vitamins that I can see anywhere, I will try another one tomorrow and see what they have
 
armadillo
Member
I have that too. I think it's diatoms.
choochiegirl said:
Funny thing is, she had no real symptoms. She swam fine ate fine, then did not go after the flakes last night which I have seen them do before so it didn't worry me, then she was dead this am. When I pulled her out, she looked fine, nothing on her so I am clueless

I am still using the prime when I treat. When I change water I don't even bother turning off the filter now, It stays completely wet if I do that and I'm not willing to lose more bacteria. I'm thinking I will remove the seeded gravel packet I have in there, maybe it introduced something .

as well I noticed this morning the back wall had greenish brown spots. I have diatoms on my plants and decos but no algae that I could see. This stuff looks odd, it is in spots on the glass, like a Dalmatian dog and only in a small area
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
tested today, no change ammonia 1 no others, I am getting so frustrated *pulls hair out*
 
COBettaCouple
Member
the tank may be re-cycling slowly. I think the Prime locking the ammonia does slow things some, but it's better than letting the fish be exposed to the high ammonia. :-\
 
Luniyn
Member
FLBettaCouple said:
I think the Prime locking the ammonia does slow things some...
It shouldn't. Prime is only locking up the toxic ammonia (NH3), but leaving the rest (NH4+ which is the majority of what's in the tank) alone. The only thing about it that can be said as to it "slowing down the cycle" is that the bound up ammonia takes longer to be eaten. So even after you are technically done with the ammonia part of the cycle, you still might show a reading of 0.25 ppm ammonia which is really just the bound up stuff lingering.

The only thing I can offer you Choochiegirl in hope is that while cycling with fish it took me 17 days into the cycle before I finally got nitrites to show their face. Let's just say that you didn't have any live bacteria from when you were letting the filter dry out during water changes. So now that you are keeping them wet, let's call that day one (it was around Aug 1st or 2nd). So using that as a baseline, you are still about a week away from getting nitrite. I know that's not exactly what you wanted to hear, but just going from my own cycling with fish experience it's all I can offer. Keep up with the water changes, and all the good work and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for sooner. Good Luck!
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
I'm hoping sooner than later myself. I have not tested the last few days, my daughter has lice (urgh!!) and when I get home from work, get dinner and do clean up and go thru her hair it's late and I have no energy left and my eyes just want to shut. Hopefully today I will be able to check and change if needed. They all look ok tho
 
Dasha
Member
HI !

Hang in there!!! I'm so sorry your patience is tested like this.

I just got my first 0 ammonia 0 nitrites reading last night - I cycled with 4 red eye tetras. I did not do any water changes the whole time (19 days) and the fish were fine. I hope I didn't torture them too much but they seemed happy all through the process. I didn't get the test kit until Day 8 but here are my results since.

Date Ammonia Nitrites Nitrates Day
8/8/07 0 1.0 - 1.5 40 14
8/9/07 0 1.0 - 1.5 40 15
8/10/07 n/a 0.5 n/a 16
8/11/07 n/a 0.5 n/a 17
8/12/07 0 0.25 20-40 18
8/13/07 0 0 20-40 19


What kind of fish do you have in there and how many? Maybe you just need to let it take its course for a little bit...
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
I have right now 1 Female guppy 3 Cardinal Tetras 1 Albino Cory. I had others but they went to the lil fish tank in the sky
 
Dasha
Member
I see... The cories are very sensitive to changes in water parameters... I am assuming the cardinal tetras are too (neons are). Not sure about guppies but I don't think they are recommended for cycling the tank either.. :'(

Do you have anybody who could take your fish in while you finish cycling? You could just get some other fish and cycle with them. I'd try the hardier tetras (I have red eye tetras and they've done great... serpae tetras might also be hardy enough) or zebra danios. I cycled my tank with 4 red eye tetras and it's cca 33 gallons. You have to have enough fish to spike the ammonia enought for the bacteria to kick in but not too many that they produce too much ammonia and die.

I read that there has to be spike in ammonia and then nitrites to trigger the bacteria growth. I'm guessing by trying to keep the levels low so that it's safe for the fish there was never enough of a spike for a colony of bacteria to establish itself. I know you don't remove bacteria when doing water changes but I would guess that removing too much of their food would also dampen the growth.

I hope you find a solution and your fish make it!
 
Dasha
Member
Oh ... I just noticed your have your tank info in the signature, sorry... :-X
 
Luniyn
Member
Dasha said:
I read that there has to be spike in ammonia and then nitrites to trigger the bacteria growth. I'm guessing by trying to keep the levels low so that it's safe for the fish there was never enough of a spike for a colony of bacteria to establish itself. I know you don't remove bacteria when doing water changes but I would guess that removing too much of their food would also dampen the growth.
There doesn't have to be a spike, it's just the norm that it happens. You can keep the ammonia at 0.5ppm max and still cycle your tank just fine. Removing the ammonia doesn't necessarily dampen their growth, it just keeps the colony at a minimum. If you finish cycling at that low of a level and then add too many fish to the tank, then you will drop into a mini-cycle until the bacteria can catch up with more growth. So it's a balancing game you play when cycling with fish. That's why it's always recommended to cycle without fish. Not just because it's safer for the fish, but because when you are done you will have a tank that is ready to accept it's maximum amount of fish right off the bat.
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
wow a good update, I had to go out of town suddenly last Thursday, was able to put on the auto feeder and cross my fingers. Came back late last night, all my fish are there & alive & look great. Tested the water and.... *drumroll*

Ammonia 0.0
Nitrite 0.0
Nitrate 10

it finished up while I was gone *dances* Have a huge Algae bloom on the walls tho, so I'm thinking an oto or 2 is in order if I an find any, and maybe some platys and more tetras SLOWLY to add some colour. I'm so very happy
 
sirdarksol
Member
"A watched pot never boils"

Congratulations.
 
COBettaCouple
Member
when did we start talking about pots? :;a
 
  • Thread Starter
choochiegirl
Member
rofl!!!
 

Random Great Thread

Latest threads

Aquarium Calculator

Aquarium Photo Contests

Find a Guru

Top Bottom