Need Help With My Tank


Hello. I'm Brand new to Fishlore and have questions (so many questions lol). Image a 10 gallon tank that was set up awhile ago. I foolishly took advice from a LFS employee who sold me a product to reduce waste (Waste Away). It killed my KhulI loach and Electric Blue Ram. My Beta is still alive. After that, I read that Waste Away raises the tank's ammonia and you don't realize it until it is too late. I then got 3 young Electric Blue Rams and moved the Beta to her own tank so the Rams could have their own space. Two of what I thought were male Rams laid eggs (ate them as I read they often do to their first spawn). I was told that I have been doing too many water changes and I accidently made my tank cycle again. During this cycle, my ammonia was pretty high and I did quite a few water changes, added bacteria (Dr. Tim's-I was told to do this), and added Sea Chem Prime. Finally got ammonia down but Nitrites are still high. Everyone I've asked tells me to add more Dr. Tims bacteria. Should I NOT do that? I have kept my water clean, not over stocked the tank, and added supplements. I have read SO much to try and become a responsible fish owner but it's overwhelming-I don't know how to learn if everyone tells me different things. This forum always seems very consistent . Should I keep using the Prime, and if so then how often? I'm getting a bigger tank this weekend in case new eggs are laid. Do you have any recommendations for what type of filter I should use? I appreciate your help in advance, please help protect my fish from their confused Mommy!


you don't need to add more Dr. TI'm starter. you just need to let the water cycle, this takes time. Normally, you want to wait till nitrites and ammonia are 0 before having fish. You also mentioned adding supplements, could you explain more as to what type? This is because most people do more harm adding supplements to their aquarium unless you are using ro water that you purchased or made. I'm guessing you are using a Ph stabalizer, Don't use this. I'm sure your lfs recommended a soft ph for the rams, but it's more important to have a stable ph than an unstable one. In most cases Ph doesn't matter for freshwater aquariums. I also don't believe in waste away because your just adding chemicals to the aquarium when a water change should be getting rid of ammonia for you. Water changes vary, but I do 15% every 2 weeks. Just monitor your levels to avoid spikes. Second, you need to move your rams to a bigger tank. I recommend at least a 20 gallon long for a pair. I've been a long time ram breeder and I speak from experience. When rams lay eggs, I begin using a sponge filter to avoid sucking up the fry. You will also need a food source for the fry since your tank probably isn't capable of providing one yet. Look into micro worms on aquabid. I have had great success with this as a food source for young fry.


I don't have experience with rams but I would listen to DutchAqurium guides on that. Plus I think they are more sensitive species so not good choice for fish in cycle.

For cycle, you are doing fish in cycle so I would suggest to every or every two day you do water tests your ammonia and nitrite are very poisonous specially on leves of 1ppm together or alone. So depending on water levels I would do 30-50% water change every or every two days with dosing prime. If your nitrite level is 1ppm after 50% wc it will be 0.50ppm and prime will detoxificate that amount for 24-48h max when you do another wc. You do wc until your water parameters are stable 0,0,5-20. You can use stability and I would suggest you don't put any new fish in tank until cycle is done and then put 3-4 fishes per week or you will go in minI cycle again. And don't overstock it.


One other suggestion is to not change your filter cartridge or media. Your beneficial bacteria (bb) that keep your tank cycled live on your filter media. When you do a water change, you can swish your filter media in the bucket of siphoned out tank water, then put the media back in your filter. Also never rinse your filter cartridge or media in untreated tap water. That would kill your bb. Only change your cartridge if it is falling apart, and then put your old media and new media in the filter together for a month. This allows the bb to grow on your new media.

Do you have an API Freshwater Master test kit? The kind with bottles of liquid and test tubes? This is an essential thing to have . It is much more reliable than test strips and lasts a very long time.


Welcome to Fishlore! You are so right in the overload of info - especially bad info. Fishlore tends to be my go to fit questions these days & I have learned a lot here.

Glad to hear you are getting a larger tank. Cycling a tank takes time & many water changes (no idea how you changed the water too much?). When you move to the new tank - move over the filter as well to take the beneficial bacteria with you. You can then run a new filter & the old filter together on the tank until the cycle is complete.


I agree fishlore is a wealth of information.

Sometimes we’ll disagree on what to do in a certain situation but most times both suggestions will work but people recommend what has worked for them.

I’m a huge TetraSafeStart fan, others swear by Stability.

But both have worked for 1,000s of fishkeepers.

Just an example of the disagreements you’ll see on here.


What DutchAquarium says above about chemicals is spot on. Now ... I do not eat organically grown food - no care in the world for that. BUT ...

I do believe you ought to take an "organic" approach to fishkeeping. Your aI'm should be to use ZERO chemicals. I wouldn't even use a de-chlorinator if my tap water didn't have CHLORAMINES. Free chlorine will evaporate by simply "ageing" the water but chloramines hang around so you pretty much have to use a dechlorinator.

pH adjusters often end in miserable failure. Most fish will adapt to pH, if they don't - I'd choose fish that do rather than attempt to "manipulate" pH artificially. If you're a scientists and know every direction the potential "fails" will hit you - then maybe. But if you don't have a very above average KEEN understanding of gH and kH and how that interrelates with pH ... ALONG WITH how your fish are going to react to changing any one of those variables ... don't do it.

Raise your fish with no chemicals ... and have a GOOD filter with loads of biomedia (more than you need ... of the best media you can find even if it is expensive). Even MULTIPLE filters ... they'll give you a "bio-buffer" so that if some of the bacteria colonies take a hit ... the extra ones can "flex" and "surge" to make up for it.

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