QT tank going through cycle with established media

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by Tana, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. TanaValued MemberMember

    Howdy! It's been a good while since I last posted.

    I'm finally in the process of getting the 38 gallon tank stocked and unfortunately I have a small issue with my QT tank going through a cycle with established media and I just had a few questions.

    Series of events:

    Overly long quarantine of a GBR & Bolivian Ram I bought at petsmart finished and transferred over to the 38 on 12.30.12. Tank cleaned out the same day with the established media put back into the 38 for use later. I use the ceramic biomax.

    QT tank filled again on 1.1.13 with filter going but no media put in due to nothing in the tank.

    On Saturday 1.5.13 I purchased nine oto's, each about an inch long or less, acclimated them to the QT tank and put the media from the 38 back into the QT tank where the oto's are. I put in around 10-15 of the little biomax chunks. I knew that they wouldn't have any algae to munch on so I bought wafers and dropped one in later on that day. I have been feeding them a wafer once the previous one is gone. Usually about a day and a half.

    The cute little things are doing great, but on Wednesday I decided to check the params and found out that I had ammonia of .25 so I did a 50% WC. The ammonia went down, but when I got home yesterday it was back up to .25 with a trace of nitrites so I know the conversion is going on. I did another 50% WC and added Ammo-lock because I have it on hand for the pond. So far no losses, but with what I've read on here about Oto's it's only a matter of time due to putting them through a cycle. As of this morning they are still active.

    I know waiting to check ammonia was kind of foolish of me, but my thinking was with established media it would be converted right away without going through a mini-cycle. Did I not add enough media? Was their bio-load more than the 10g QT tank to handle even with established media?

    I did the exact same procedure when I QT'd the Rams and had no issues, however there were only two fish as opposed to nine, but the Rams were much larger than this little fellas and I had a tendency to overfeed the Rams so I would hazard a guess that their bio-load was greater or is that wrong? I've never had oto's before so I just don't have a clue.
  2. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    It sounds like there wasn't enough Seeded filter media added to the tank for the amount of fish that you've added. I would consider adding more Seeded media if you have it to spare, do a water change, add the Ammo Lock, or Prime or Amquel + to detox your levels for 24 hours. I would keep testing daily until the tank is cycled and water changes also.

    Although you did not get an instant cycle, adding the Seeded media will surely help to cut down the amount of time that it takes to cycle.

    It may take a few days of water changes and water conditioners for your beneficial bacteria to catch up. The water changes and water conditioners should help to keep your fish safe.

    Be careful not to over feed. Best wishes for your fish and keep us posted.

  3. TanaValued MemberMember

    Thank you for replying Ken. I think you're right in that I didn't add enough media so I added 10 more chunks and am crossing my fingers it will help speed up things.

    I did another 50% WC this morning because the ammonia was at .50. I vacuumed as much junk out as I could as well. I'll recheck params in a little bit, just wanted the new water to circulate for while before I did.

    So far so good with the oto's. They are hanging in there and I'm still keeping my fingers crossed they make it through this.
  4. TanaValued MemberMember

    Checked params and the ammonia is .25, nitrites are below .25 and nitrates at 5. It's converting, just not fast enough.

    Question for you or anyone who has oto's, I've attached a picture with one sucking the glass. Is that red area normal or is it due to irritation from the bad water quality?

  5. TanaValued MemberMember

    Well I made the decision yesterday to transfer three of the oto's from the QT tank and put them into their designated home of the 10g corie tank. I'm hoping the move will put less stress on the ammonia output and I'm praying that there are no issues since they've only been in quarantine for a week. I really don't want my cories to fall ill, but I also don't want to lose any oto's due to cycling. With the addition of the oto's, the corie tank went a little wild and I found eggs on the front of the glass this morning. Apparently they're not minding the additions. :D
  6. TanaValued MemberMember

    Final update on this. Last WC was Thursday and my readings are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites. All six still in QT made it through the unfortunate cycle, are eating and getting bigger. I'll be leaving them in there until next week-end probably. That'll be three weeks in QT before moving them into the 38.

    The three oto's I moved to the cory tank are loving the plants, rocks and walls that are algae covered. The cories are eating their pellets though, so I have some zuchinni that I'll try to see if they'll eat. They appear to be growing as well.

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