30 Gallon Tank Question about biozyme and Nutrafin cycle

mango421

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I bought a 30gal tank a couple months ago and ran a fishless cycle for 3 weeks using java fern and tropical flakes as well as Nutrafin Cycle until my readings were within normal range. My levels at 3 weeks read ammonia .50 ppm, nitrites 1.0 ppm, nitrates 5.0 ppm, PH 7.4, temp consistant at 78 F and I also added aquarium salt per directions on the box.
I began adding fish after having tank running for 3 1/2 weeks 2 or 3 fish each week. I currently have 10 mollies, 2 male 8 female and 6 platys, 2 males and 4 females. I test my water every other day with the API master test kit and my readings had gone down to 0's for ammonia and nitrites and nitrates at 10.0 ppm. My PH has been 7.6 for the last 3 weeks and I haven't lost any fish.
So when I checked my water 4 days ago I noticed a spike in my ammonia now at .25-.50ppm and my nitrites are high at 5.0 ppm. I did a 50% water change using a water conditioner as always but added Biozyme cause I was told it will eat the ammonia and nitrites. Is this true? I really want to fix whatever is wrong asap cause I don't want to hurt my fish but I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Does anyone have any advice? I have continued to use the Nutrafin cycle but not sure it works well and haven't heard it mentioned in any of the FL forums. Does anyone has any personal experience with this product? I should also add that I do twice weekly 20% water changes and haven't had any problems till now. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, I really love my fish and don't want to see them hurt or worse. :-[
 
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mango421

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I also wanted to ask if the problem could be my tank being overstocked? LFS had said I could "safely" put 25-30 mollies and platys in my 30 gal. This seemed to much to me so I stopped at 16. What would be the real "safe" number for a tank this size? I was thinking about adding some ghost shrimp but will wait until I get my tank stabelized and advive on if I have to much already. I'm also setting up a 36 gal bowed front tank this week for cycling so if I am overstocked I can fix that soon. Again input, advice, suggestions are all welcome, I don't want my fish to die. TY
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Those products do not allow for the natural bacteria colonies to get a foothold as they out compete them. It makes for a very unstable cycle, as you found out.

I think you have too many livebearers. I mean, what do you plan to do when they start multiplying? The LFS gave you TERRIBLE advice - 30 mollies in a 30 gallon tank??? It's absurd.

There will be plenty of people to help you with your cycle issues, and if not I'll add some more
 

catsma_97504

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Welcome to Fishlore mango!

I agree, your tank is already overstocked with mollies and they will multiple like rabbits! Mollies grow to 4 inches. With the 16 you currently have, there would be no room for swimming!

Now for the Nutrafin Cycle. As already mentioned, it out competes aquatic bacteria which gives you the false sense of having a cycled tank. Unfortunately, this non-aquatic bacteria drowns and must be dosed with each water change to be maintained. And eventually life gets in the way, you miss a dose or miss a water change and the tank crashes and becomes a nightmare.

I would suggest you take back 8-10 mollies, if not more, and then pick up a bottle of Tetra StartSafe. This bacterial product is the only one that actually works! Follow the directions exactly and your tank will become stable. If you cannot find TSS, then pick up a bottle of Seachem Prime or Kordon AmQuel+ as both these products can help to detox ammonia and nitrite. Using Prime or AmQuel, you will need to do 50% daily water changes for at least 2-3 weeks, if not longer, until your tank stabilizes. At this point, you will have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and some nitrate.

Pet stores like to see products like Nutrafin Cycle as it forces you have to be purchase more and more in order to maintain your tank. And, eventually, there will come a day where your tank completely crashes and most of your fish will die off.....which again sends you back to the store to make more purchases.
 
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mango421

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wow htis makes me upset. I ignored my better judgement when I was going to buy the seachem prime but the "expert" at the LFS said the nutrafin cycle was best. I had planned on maybe haveing a few batches of fry and then using my new as yet cycled 36gal tank to separate males from females and to give some to a friend who wants to do a tropical tank. I will take a few mollies back to LFS so that my fish have room and start my cycle for the 36gal so I can separate the males. my worry for now is that my closest LFS is over 35 miles away and I lent my jeep out for the weekend. will my fish be ok till monday? what can I do for them now. would really hate to lose my lil buddies. please send me advice and thanks for all the help already, this site is amazing and so very informative! for example I knew mollies and platys were livebearers and did do some research and asked LFS oodles n oodles of questions but when asked about their repro they only told me that they were hearty fish and that I might as well get males/females cause they will change sexes to survive in single sex set ups they did NOT tell me they could store sperm and have up to 3 litters with only 1 mating. bad bad LFS!
 
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mango421

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also I have wardleys 3in1 water conditioner with a pH buffer for 7.5, it also has the ammonia neutralizer. does this stuff work effectivly? my ammonia was slightly elevated but if it really works it not "toxic" for my fish right? that still leaves me with high nitrites at 6.0ppm how do I get that down? WC? how often and how much?
 

catsma_97504

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mango421 said:
wow htis makes me upset. I ignored my better judgement when I was going to buy the seachem prime but the "expert" at the LFS said the nutrafin cycle was best.
Your fish will be fine for a couple of days. Just do large daily water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrite levels down.

mango421 said:
also I have wardleys 3in1 water conditioner with a pH buffer for 7.5, it also has the ammonia neutralizer. does this stuff work effectivly? my ammonia was slightly elevated but if it really works it not "toxic" for my fish right? that still leaves me with high nitrites at 6.0ppm how do I get that down? WC? how often and how much?
I've never used this specific product. As it has a pH buffer I would suggest not using this product either. (Sorry) I have yet to find any pH buffering product that will keep the pH stable. Every product I've tried, excluding natural means, will adjust the pH (in this case to 7.5), but over the next 24-hours the pH in your tank will adjust back to its natural pH level. And, this pH bouncing is very hard on fish and a major killer.

So, I would suggest you go back to your original plan and purchase Seachem Prime. Not only does this product remove chlorine/chloramine like your current water conditioner does, but it also removes heavy metals as well as detox ammonia like your current product does, but it also can detox nitrites and nitrates. In comparison, Prime is a much better product IMO.

6.0 nitrites is lethal. As your tank is overstocked, you may need to do 50% water changes morning and again in the evening.

Good luck!
 
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mango421

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thanks everyone for the advice. I have been doing 50% wc daily and just picked up a bottle of prime and returned 4 platys and 2 mollies to the LFS that brings my total to 2 platys and 8 mollies. is this still to many for my 30gal tank? also I noticed last night that one of my female dalmation mollies was acting funny by rubbing her sides on the plants and tank like she was scratching herself and this morning she seems to have white around her mouth. could this be ich? a parasite? maybe both? what's best as a treatment? she still acts swims and eats normal aside from her "scratching". I bumped up the tank temp gradually 2 nights ago to 80 F was this wrong? maybe the reason shes sick now. I will also add that my LFS told me when I returned fish that she loses 2-3 fish per tank daily from overstocking and such but I'm thinking diseases as well. when I purchased the fish I checked the tanks for water clarity, dead fish and appearence of the fish and all was good. I will not be purchasing from this LFS in the future
 

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Sorry to hear that your fish are developing disease.

The scratching could mean a couple of different things. Most likely an irritation from the high nitrites. As you are now using Prime, you should wait 24 hour to test your water, i.e. just before the water change. Also, not sure if you noticed, but you could also dose up to 5 times the standard dose to help protect your fish.

To treat the ich that is developing you should raise the water temp up to 86F. And, leave it there for 14 days. And, do daily water changes with a gravel vac. Each water change should consist of 50% water and 25% gravel cleaning.

Good luck
 
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mango421

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thanks for the tip on prime dosing. I will start gradually increasing the temp. hope my lil fishy friends will be ok. thanks for all the help and yes I alays test water before I do WC
 

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mango421 said:
also I noticed last night that one of my female dalmation mollies was acting funny by rubbing her sides on the plants and tank like she was scratching herself and this morning she seems to have white around her mouth. could this be ich? a parasite? maybe both? what's best as a treatment? she still acts swims and eats normal aside from her "scratching".
That scratching is called "flashing". One of the symptoms of a disease called Velvet is flashing.

Although the white stuff aroud the mouth sounds more like a fungus. Ich would look as if your whole fish was spinkled with salt, so it does not sound like Ich from your discription.

Fungus can be treated with Maracin.
 
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mango421

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thank you jdhef for the info. I had quick cure with malachite green in it, would that help with velvet? should I still raise the tank temp up to 86 F? I have a planted tank with about 8 small plants so if I do treat with meds should I take them out? my nitrites are still dropping with daily WC and are now at 1.0ppm and ammonia is at .25 or less (between yellow and green on API test) nitrates are at 5.0ppm. using the prime tonight with WC. my mollie doesn't look very good right now her mouth has gotten really puffy and white looking and shes swimming around tiredly. all my other fish look and act fine but I have 2 other dalmation mollies so its hard to see and white spots on them. any advice of where I should go from here? recomendations on meds for velvet? thank you so much for all the help and advice already.
 

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I'm not 100% sure it is velvet and not a fungus. You may want to read up on velvet and see if your fish exhibits all the symptoms for velvet.

I don't think raising the tank temp will help with either velvet or a fungus, so if it were me, I would leave the temp at it's normal temperature.

I've never treated with anything containing malachite green, so I have no opinion on it. Also, since all my plants are plastic, I don't know if the meds will harm the plants, so I'm no help there either.

I've successfully treated fungus in the past with Maracin. You have a little bit of a catch 22, when medicating you usually arn't supposed to do water changes, but because you are cycling you need to do water changes. And if you do medicate the tank, be sure to remove the carbon from your filter, since carbon will remove meds from the water.

Good luck and sorry I couldn't be more help.
 
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mango421

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Sadly miz molly past away an hour ago:-( I did research and I'm pretty sure it was mouth rot (columnaris) that she had. I'm still shocked at how quickly it happened. it was only visable on her since last night. ive read that this is highly contagous and want to protect the rest of my lil fishies. is mouth rot a fungus, a bacteria? I'm really not sure what kind of meds to use if any. n to be honest I don't trust my LFS as they have repeatedly been dishonest recently. any advice?
 

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If you have stressed fish in an unstable tank I would not medicate them for now. And yes it does sound like columnaris (mouth rot), which is a bacterial infection. I'd add salt (non iodized) and an air stone til you can get your tank somewhat stable, the bacteria likes neither. Best of luck

jdhef said:
I've never treated with anything containing malachite green, so I have no opinion on it. Also, since all my plants are plastic, I don't know if the meds will harm the plants, so I'm no help there either.
I've treated once with malachite and it did not harm the plants. As with any meds make sure you do NOT run filter with active carbon for the duration of medication, and that you DO run filter with active carbon once medication period is over.

Merged back to back posts. Feel free to respond to more than one member per post. There is a MultI Quote feature that you can use. Link below:

Ken
 

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