Old Setup Seems to be Cycling? Help

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by meanddoxie, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. meanddoxieValued MemberMember

    I have posted a couple of threads but got no real info about what is going on. My tank has been set up for about 20 months and i followed the changing filter media by adding in a new one and leaving it to establish healthy bacteria and then i waited and did it to the other side (double HOB with biowheels) My water was doing great and was stable and I added several new fish, as the tank only had a pleco, a molly and some endlers. I added four fish at a time over about a week and all seemed well.
    Now my ammonia is up, it went from a stable 0 to a 1 and then after a PWC the other day it is down to 0.5 my nitrites are the darkest color on the test card today and yesterday they were the middle color (api sorry i dont have it handy)

    I am assuming that for whatever reason that my tank is going through a cycle but with the PWC's not seeming to do much I don't know if I should do them, or let new bacteria do its thing? The fish and snails seem fine, they are lively and active and using all three levels of the tank, the plants are also doing well. So should I just leave it for a few more days and keep testing? Will leaving the lid open help with off gassing? I am so frustrated and confused and I am scared that if I do too much the cycle will continue and cause long term issues for the fish and if i do too little I will kill them....

    Advice please?!?
  2. Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    What kind of fish did you add and how many total? This seems kind of a strange thing to happen to a tank that is almost 2 years old. Have you checked your tap water for any ammonia or nitrites? How much water have you been changing?

    Just out of curiosity, is it a Penguin 350 or an Emperor 400 filter?
  3. meanddoxieValued MemberMember

    OKay I have written my reply now a couple of times but it keeps not posting.

    I added over about 10 days 4 albino corydoras (still small) and 8 Serpae Tetras (4 then 4)

    My tank is a 30 gallon and my filter is for up to 110 gallons, or so the inserts say. I have emperor inserts, I am not sure if that is the brand of system though as it doesnt say anything on it and i got it second hand when I set up my tank. I have had my tank WAY overstocked in the past with no issues with ammonia or nitrites but I did have about 20 ppm Nitrates at my most stocked point. All of my live bearers were going insane and i took out nearly 1000 snails and got that under control. My water has been fine since.
    I use well water with no copper pipes. I test the water before every water change and it always reads 0 for bot nitrites and ammonia, but I still test it just in case because you never know after a lot of rain or a lot of heat.

    I read somewhere yesterday that lowering the temperature would help make the ammonia work more slowly when it comes to harming the fish but I never heard that before so I don't know?
    I was also wondering if I leave the lid open would the ammonia off gas?
    The tank is moderately planted and also has 3 medium sized peices of driftwood

    Thank you for your help. Obviously I dont want to torture my wet pets. I am just not sure if I should do water changes and possibly prolong this new cycle or if i should just watch the fish for distress and otherwise let the tank balance itself out.

    I am also wondering if it would be more stressful to have clean water with swings to bad or just steady low... i am thinking that the immune system can likely adapt better to waiting it out then it can to constant fluctuations but I have never breathed in ammonia to know for certain. :( poor fish
  4. meanddoxieValued MemberMember

    I still need HELP!!

    After several days of fighting the insane fluctuations by doing water changes only my largest apple snail started to show signs of stress. She has been using her Siphon all day instead of her gill and is refusing to move from her spot, she is also excreting extra slime which she only does when the ammonia is high.
    This morning my ammonia was 8.0 and my nitrites were higher than the darkest color on the chart, the darkest is a deep magenta and my test was almost red! So i resorted to an emergency dose of Prime. I did a 75% water change and despite the water being perfect it immediately shot up in numbers so I used the Prime at the recommended emergency dose of 5 times what I needed. After about 8 hours my water is now at
    ph 7.6
    Nitrite 0.5
    Ammonia 2.0
    GH 2.24 dh
    KH 7.84 dh

    So, the Prime definitely brought down the dangerous numbers and my one Cory who was gasping for air earlier seems to have settled down and is back on the bottom.

    I am so stressed out about my wet pets.

    I read that you can dose Prime every 48 hours, but the bottle doesn't say, it only says to use with water changes, can I continue to use it without water changed until my tank balances out or what should my next move be?

    I really need help

    My snail is still refusing to re-enter the water and i don't blame her but she is going to need to eat!
  5. LucyModeratorModerator Member


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