New tank setup, losing some tetras!

Striket85

Hey guys, I just recently set back up my 29g tank. It sat for about a year empty. I set it back up using the existing filter media and had it run for about 2 weeks. Tested the water and it was as I expected, nothing really across the board PH 7.6, Amm 0.5, Nitrite .25 and 0 Nitrates. I then replaced half of the filter media and added some wood and 3 plants. Tested again a couple of days later, Amm .25, Nitrites .5 and Nitrates 5. I added 8 black phantom tetras and tested a day later, Amm .25, 0 Nitrites and Nitrates 5. Since then I've lost about 4 of the tetras, almost 1 every other day. My last testing was on the 18th and it tested at Amm .25, 0 Nitrites and 5 Nitrate. I've done 2 water changes since adding the fish of about 10% of the tank volume. I'm treating all new water with Prime. No other chemicals have been used. Finnex 24/7+ light being used. I really thought the tetras would be fine given the water parameters. I'm planning on have 2-3 dwarf gouramis and a school of cory's. Any advice as to keep my other tetras alive and well? Thanks!!
 

Cherryshrimp420

The tank needs to cycle first.... Which takes 4 weeks at least. Do not change or wash the filter during this time, otherwise you just removed the precious bacteria that has grown.

Seems to me like the tank was halfway through the cycle, and there was a soft reset from the filter replacement.

So expect a slightly longer cycling process and more fish struggles.

But there are solutions: buy bottled bacteria and add it right away and hopefully it will work its magic, or just do 50% water changes everyday and feed very little.
 

Noroomforshoe

Ammonia is never safe for fish. A fish in the cycle is never safe. You can try to keep up with the cycle by doing water changes add adding prime. Try the bottled bacteria like Cherryshrimp said. You may have good luck!, Please don't add any more fish until you have zero ammonia, zero nitrite, and 15 or so nitrate, so you can be sure you are not getting a false nitrate reading. A reading of 5ppm could just be the color of the first set of drops.

I do not recomend that you get 3 dwarf gourami, it is likely that they will fight. If you can find female dwarf gourami, you could likely get three females, but they can be hard to come by, as not many people buy the pale drab females, so the pet stores don't stock them. Honey or thick lip gourami are less aggressive options.
 

Striket85

Ammonia is never safe for fish. A fish in the cycle is never safe. You can try to keep up with the cycle by doing water changes add adding prime. Try the bottled bacteria like Cherryshrimp said. You may have good luck!, Please don't add any more fish until you have zero ammonia, zero nitrite, and 15 or so nitrate, so you can be sure you are not getting a false nitrate reading. A reading of 5ppm could just be the color of the first set of drops.

I do not recomend that you get 3 dwarf gourami, it is likely that they will fight. If you can find female dwarf gourami, you could likely get three females, but they can be hard to come by, as not many people buy the pale drab females, so the pet stores don't stock them. Honey or thick lip gourami are less aggressive options.
Makes sense. Will do, thanks!
 

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