Panic stations!!

Steve113
  • #1
I'll keep this brief...

I went to do a water change today cs it was looking a little murky, went to disconnect the external filter and to my horror, I found that it wasn't switched on! Someone must have unplugged it or possibly forgot to plug it back in when I was last cleaning the tank - which is a scary thought as I can't remember when I last went near it...

What can I expect?
Any advice or similar stories?

My fish all seem fine - no casualties all look healthy and have a good appetite etc...

After 50% water change - as much as I could do without a siphon - (and believe me I wanted to change more as the water was smelling really bad - like a bad fart if you will forgive my expression, but it best describes it.)

Tank readings are as follows:

200l tank
ammonia - 0.50
Nitrite - 0.00
Nitrate - 0.00
pH - 6.60

I think I should be ok, but care to give any advice anyone?
 
FL CommunityFans
  • #2
No nitrates? has the tank cycled? You should have SOME nitrates at least.
 
susitna-flower
  • #3
Your tank is not cycled, you need to do another 25-50% change today, and try to get some filter media from an established tank, or gravel.....anything that has the bacteria in it. Place this in a mesh bag and hang it in your tank for a couple of weeks.....

You will need to test your water every day, and any time the ammonia or nitrite are above 0 do a 25-50% water change daily.

Most here recommend cycling your tank fishless, but with fish care must be taken, or you will lose them, as both ammonia and nitrite are highly toxic to fish. Have you read the link on the nitrogen cycle?

https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm

and'

https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...-cycling-your-fishless-tank.19630/#post348801

You can also use prime in addition to the water changes to help keep your fish safe. Good Luck.
 
Fish Addict
  • #4
Yeah! Definitely use prime! I have used that for my tank and it has worked great! Also, Stability (by the same maker I think) works very well...

Hope you have good luck!
 
Steve113
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
My tank has been set up for 3 months now.

And I swear, If one more person gives me a canned responce consisting of Read this nitrogen cycle guide I'll jump off a bridge!

3 months and I haven't had any, or atleave very minute traces of ammonia for about the past month and a half.

The only reason I have any ammonia reading now, is that the filter was switched off.

Pardon me if this appears rude - But how about you address my question - and my issue regarding the filter instead of pushing the same nitrogen cycle guide in every posted question here.

I have read the guide, and many others - and I thought I understood the cycle - What's the matter with my readings? and could someone explin how my tank would not be cycled after 3 months with fish and pleny of them too...
 
Steve113
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Water Test

1 simple question.
1 simple answer.

Please do not link me to any other pages or info re the nitrogen cycle, I just want a straight forward answer:

Once a tank has been set up for some time and assuming all is well, What would the API test readings be.

Ammonia -?
Nitrite - ?
Nitrate -?

(I understand that the ph can vary and different pH is better for different species which is why I don't include this reading from the API test kit.)

Please respond as thus far, I've not been able to get a straight answer from anyone on this seemingly simple question.

Thanks.


Thanks.
 
angelfish22
  • #7
When your filter turned off did it drain itself, as mine do? Then bacteria died from being dried out then giveing your tank a minI cycle. I would say to get some seeded gravel or Bio Spira.
 
Shawnie
  • #8
they are pushing the cycle question because if it was fully cycled, and you had your filter off for so long, your nitrates would go through the roof as well..with all the waste and non filtered water....other than prime, and daily water changes of at least 50%, and of course with the filter running, you should be good to go and continue taking readings....could your test kit be wrong about nitrates?? goodluck
 
Steve113
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Nope, filter didn't drain - it's external so nowhere to drain to.

But good thinking. Any other suggestions?
 
Shawnie
  • #10
ammonia 0
nitrites 0
nitrates under 20
 
Steve113
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
right, thanks - My nitrates haven't really gone over 1-5...

no nitrites and only the occasional slight ammonia reading.

Any thoughts...?
 
angelfish22
  • #12
Nitrates are better the lower they are... (as long as their not 0 then you have a problem)
 
Steve113
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
so If I were to have a slight ammonia reading and no (or barely any) nitrates and no nitrites

(which is my current situation)

What would that suggest, if anything...
 
Shawnie
  • #14
sorry to say, I know you don't want to hear it, but I think your tank has started a minI cycle again! otherwise there would be NO ammonia not even a lil bit...so now wait with water changes for the ammonia to turn to nitrites, and back to nitrates again ...either that or you have a bad test kit
 
angelfish22
  • #15
well the ammonia was in the tank and the bacteria was in the filter, maybe some starved?
 
Steve113
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
minI cycle I can handle, I've been fiddling a lot with things lately which could easily explain it - I just (as you may have guessed) get frustrated when the only answer I get is "YOU KNOW NOTHING - READ THIS!!!!!" and then have the nitrogen cycle thrown at my face

Thanks for your help.

as I mentioned in another post, I accidentally left my filter off for about 5 days - which probably didnt do me any favours either...

this, I immagine might account for some of the ammonia readings?
 
Steve113
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Oh, and it's jusrt a standard API test kit...

Can't see what could be wrong with it, and I've followed all the instructions to the letter...
 
Shawnie
  • #18
yes ...the bacteria live in there and they probably starved and died off ...if you don't continue with the regular routine as if you were full blown into a cycle, you will get a full cycle again..so change water daily, and shouldnt take as long as it did orriginally...if many bacteria didnt die...
 
Steve113
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
hmm...

I don't think I'm wrong about my readings - I've been careful to follow the instructions.

I could always take a sample to the fish shop - they'll test it for me and tell me what's up. (if anything)

But I'm certain I've done it right...
 
Steve113
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
cool, - I'll keep checking the readings.
Anyway - tired and up for work in 5 hours so I'd better sleep.

Thanks
 
Butterfly
  • #21
What product are you using to test your water?
And I swear, If one more person gives me a canned responce consisting of Read this nitrogen cycle guide I'll jump off a bridge!
I'm sorry if our response to your problem is not the response you were looking for. Usually with readings that contain any ammonia and no Nitrates indicates that a tank is not cycled. The problem with your filter can be causing it to go through a mini-cycle. until you have 0 ammonia and some Nitrates I suggest you do extra 25% water changes and keep testing until you have ammonia 0, Nitrites 0 and some Nitrates.
Pardon me if this appears rude - But how about you address my question - and my issue regarding the filter instead of pushing the same nitrogen cycle guide in every posted question here.
Sorry to say yes it was. All here at this site try to give of their time and experience. It appeared that you had resolved the problem with your filter and the advice given was trying to help with the ammonia problem. Even When we disagree we try to do it respectfully.
I have read the guide, and many others - and I thought I understood the cycle - What's the matter with my readings? and could someone explin how my tank would not be cycled after 3 months with fish and pleny of them too...
I'm glad you've done all that research, it shows you care about your fish and we love to hear that. I don't think it's that the tank was never cycled but that the filter being turned off caused a problem.
I could always take a sample to the fish shop - they'll test it for me and tell me what's up. (if anything)
Check and see what kind of test they are using. If their using dip strips ask if they can use the liquid tests because the strips are notoriously unreliable.
Oh and by the way I don't think I've had the opportunity to welcome you to FishLore WELCOME TO FISHLORE!!
Carol
 
Butterfly
  • #22
If you have live plants in your tank the Nitrates can go as high as 40 and not hurt your fish because the plants are using it for growth. Any ammonia usually indicates a problem or overstocking so ammonia 0 is good. Nitrite should also be 0 since this is what ammonia turns into.
the API test kit is the best one around and one we recommend quite frequently around here We have had members have a problem if the little bottles weren't shaken/mixed well before use. sometimes they expire and cause a problem. but baring any of that its a good test kit.
carol
 
Drea
  • #23
Thank you...Carol. That took a bit of time.Alot of us here appreciate you (and the patient ,experienced, fish mentors) very much
 
COBettaCouple
  • #24
Ammonia and nitrites should be 0, nitrates 5 or 10. I'd agree on a small minicycle caused by the loss of the bacteria from the filter shutdown time. The substrate bacteria should have mostly survived though and just some extra water changes until the cycle is re-established soon is probably all you'd need to do.
 
Steve113
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Hey guys, please accept my apologies if I came accross as a bit stroppy in lastnight's posts, I was just a little panicky at the time as I initially thought my fish were screwwed!

I've done another water change and things seem to be getting better - It may be due to a secondary cycle as some (hopefully not all) of my filter bacteria may have err... gone to the filter media in the sky.

Hopefully with some careful attention it should be back to normal in no time!
 
Butterfly
  • #26
hey guys, please accept my apologies if I came accross as a bit stroppy in lastnight's posts, I was just a little panicky at the time as I initially thought my fish were screwwed!

I've done another water change and things seem to be getting better - It may be due to a secondary cycle as some (hopefully not all) of my filter bacteria may have gone to the filter media in the sky.

Hopefully with some careful attention it should be back to normal in no time!
No problem. We have members of all ages and experience levels from all over the world, some of who are very young so we want to keep the site very family friendly.
If your fish are still doing ok then with the extra water changes they should continue. There should have been enough bacteria in the substrate and on the tank decor to keep from having to do a complete cycle. Good Luck! Keep us posted on how things are going- we really do care
carol
 
Steve113
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Yeah thanks guys, and I too appreciate the advice.
I'd have been lost without this site!

 
Steve113
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
w00t!!

Problem solved!

Have managed to get my ammonia readings down (only minute traces now) and as for my 0 nitrates reading - I discovered why that was: See my thread on the API Nitrate test.



Thanks you all for your help.
 
Butterfly
  • #29
Glad you got it figured out Steve
Carol
 

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