New Cycling tank - water change advice please!!

  1. Tankgirl Initiate Member

    Hi All :;hi1

    I have a 10 Gallon / 44L tank which has been set up for two weeks - I currently have one platy, the other sadly one died,I think from the stress of the move, she was pregnant , I didn't realise until she gave birth a couple of days after we got her, the other platy also picked on her a bit and I think the stress was all too much for the poor little thing :(

    Anyway my question is regarding water changes in my tank which is still cycling. As advised I have been changing 20% of the water every other/3rd day and testing the level with my API Master kit everyday the levels are currently:

    Ammonia between 0.25 -0.05 (sorry for the inaccuracy but I find it very difficult to tell on the test cards!)
    Nitrites 2.0

    When I change the water I use a hose/syphon and always add 'tap safe' dechlorinater and try to match the temperature, I haven't been cleaning the gravel as I don't want to take out too much of the bacteria. Anyway I have noticed that my platy hides most of the time, particularly after the water changes he just hides in the bottom of the barrel, on the last change a couple of days ago he also seemed to be shaking, but his has stopped now. He is eating okay and doesn't have clamped fins, and is not gasping for air - but I am worried the water changes are stressing him out? Am I changing too much water/ changing too often? As he hides quite a lot and I am also wondering if he is stressed from being on his own? although of course I have no intention of adding any more fish until my tank has cycled.

    Sorry for the long post - any advice would be greatly appreciated :confused:
     
  2. Squirrelmanajh Member Member

    Your platy is stressed from the cycling not water changes. At 2.0 nitrites, that's pretty much lethal. You need to be doing water changes every day at least 35+%. As long as the temperatures are the same when you change the water that shouldn't be a problem. Also if you don't have a bottle called Prime you need to get that for when you do water changes. It detoxifies the ammonia and nitrites making it safer for your fish.
     

  3. Dlondon95 Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to Fishlore!

    Sorry to hear that your platy died. :(

    You should increase your water changes to 20-30% every day. This won't hurt the fish, in fact they will appreciate it a lot! You can also go ahead and start vacuuming the gravel. Not much bacteria is housed there so it won't hurt anything.

    The fish hiding after a water change is normal. Mine always do. As long as he isn't showing signs of stress, which you said he isn't, he will be fine.

    Hope you enjoy the site!
     
  4. Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    Personally I think everyone is right, but you should be doing 50% water changes everyday and adding Prime or Amquel to the water to detoxify it. Also, until your tank is cycled you need to get/borrow an API test kit to test the water. You need to test for ammonia and nitrites now.... when your test gets cycled, you will have no ammonia and no nitrites and your nitrates will go up. The good new is, that the nitrates are tolerable for the fish up to a certain point, so you are only going to have to do a water change as indicated by your nitrate readings. I take mine everyday and when it hits 20 I do a 50% water change.
     

  5. Dlondon95 Well Known Member Member

    I agree, 50% water changes with some kind of detoxifying conditioner is best.

    The OP said she has an API master test kit and she posted test readings.
     
  6. Tankgirl Initiate Member

    wow! thanks all for the speedy responses - I will keep up the water changes and increase the %- I have just remembered the decholrinator I use is an API one that called 'stress coat plus' (I switched from tap safe after a couple of days as I trust the API brand) I will have a look out from Prime or Amquel
     
  7. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    I think both Prime and Amquel+ are hard to find in the UK. I believe you'll need to mail order it, but hopefully one of your countrymen will add a little insight. (Also note that if you chose to use Amquel+ you need to use NovAqua+ along with it, since Amquel+ is not a stand alone product)

    You definitly want to be doing at least 50% water changes daily. Since at the moment you do not have a water conditioner the detoxes ammonia and nitrite your fish are being exposed to those toxins, so keeping them low is the key to their health.

    The Stress Coat is definitly a step up since it contains aloe vera which will help sooth the fish's gills (ammonia burns their gills). But don't get fooled by the label where it says it detoxes ammonia. Some water contains chloramine instead of chlorine. Chloramine is a compound made of chlorine and ammonia. It is more persistant in the water, that is whay many water companies add it instead of chlorine. Anyway, in the process of dechlorinating water that contains chlorine, the process involes breaking up the chlorimine into chlorine and ammonia. This small amount of ammonia is what Stress Coat+ has the ability to detox.
     

  8. Tankgirl Initiate Member

    Thanks for the advice on the water conditioner - I see what I can find on the wonderful world wide web!!