Still doesn't make sense, there is something wrong with the tank if your parameters are going crazy even after water changes. And if it wasn't cycled I don't know what you were expecting to find, but bad parameters.
I realise this, I didn't expect my tank to be perfect and knew the entire time I'd be cycling it with fish. However now there is a spike (I believe my tap water has changed which could be why I'd have such a huge one all of a sudden) I have to act quickly and get him out of there. I want him to be in clean water, my parameters are currently .25-.50/.50/40-80. In the plastic tank the water is clean and uncycled, sure, but it will be a lot easier to manage. They have such small bioloads that I can't imagine his water would get foul as quickly as it is in the 12gal.
I've seen worse tank parameters honestly. It really isn't that bad. Nothing that water changes wouldn't have helped with. Definitely get Prime to help make Ammonia and nitrites non-toxic. Then you won't worry so much. If he was in the 12 gallon alone, you could have done daily water changes, using Prime, and kept him in the tank. But now that he is moved, keep on with your plan.
What do you use for filter media? What about water conditioners? Do you have any bottled bacteria?
I'm too short to change my tank water on my own so I get my dad to help me. I did water changes but they'd shoot right back up in a few hours meaning I would've had to do like multiple water changes every day without Prime. I'll order some tomorrow. I really wanna keep him in that separate tank because it's just a lot cleaner. I agree it could be worse but he looked so lethargic and kept going up to the surface to breathe more often than he usually does that after a while I decided it was probably best to take him out of there. He was just sitting around on the floor while usually he's very active. I was honestly worried he was going to die. He's been through a lot recently, I just want him to be safe.
I have a Tetra Easy Crystal 300, I'm not sure what filter media it uses exactly but it's biological and mechanical as standard but I removed the activated carbon. It's exactly the same as a Tetra Whisper, in fact it is a Tetra Whisper. For whatever reason they're under a different name here. Up till now I was using Stress Coat + for conditioner which produced ammonia when it removed chloramine from my water. Now I have a bottle of Tetra Aquasafe. I'm never sure what bottled bacteria to buy, the only one they ever seem to have is stress zyme which I've heard is kinda meh.
Seachem Stability works very well for bottled bacteria. Especially if you are using Prime. I highly recommend it. It is very easy to use.
Onto your filter. So the Tetra easy crystal 300, has a gallons per hour (gph) of about 80 gallons per hour or 300l per hour. It is recommended that you should have 8-10x per gallon of filtration. So you should have 96-120 gph. So your filtering is a bit on the low side. Personally I would just add a sponge filter. This will add surface agitation, filtration, and oxygenation all in one. Plus once you are cycled, you can use the sponge as your cycled media for an emergency hospital tank. Just take from one tank to another, instantly cycled.
The box says it's rated for aquariums from 40l-60l and my tank is 55l, I kinda assumed it'd be the right amount since it's in-between. This is the third time I'm gonna have to change filters If I was to get a sponge filter what should I get? How do I know how high or low the GPH is? I'm assuming I should run the current filter with the sponge one to try and establish it a bit.
Aughhh this is so stressful, everything seems to go wrong with me and fishkeeping and I feel like giving up and waiting another 10 years or something till I start again. I was gonna get a new tank but maybe not since I'm probably gonna have to spend my budget on this one.
Ok so don't stress out. Your filter is fine for now. Just add a sponge filter. There are lots of debates, and I can't ever get a straight answer about how much filtration it adds. So a 10 gallon airpump turned up high with a sponge should be around 15-20gph which would definitely get you where you need to be. Even if you just had the pressure turned up half way. It really is just to add a little bump to what you have. The packaging on the filters aren't always correct.
Sponge filters are very inexpensive. Also get a little flow control valve. So you can turn the air up and down. A 10 gallon airpump, tubing, gang valve, and sponge filter all together should be under $20. So a very cheap option. So leave your current filter on there, just add a sponge filter. Easy fix.
We are here to help you. It can be frustrating, but not impossible. You will feel so accomplished once you get it sorted out. Just hang in there.
Focus on this tank, get it cleaned and fully cycled, then we can talk about another tank
Ah thank you, it's just I've been up all night and haven't slept, I feel exhausted.
So these things right?
Aquarline Single Sponge Filter Complete with Extendable Uplift and Airline Connector: Amazon.co.uk: Pet Supplies
Tetra APS50 Air Pump: Amazon.co.uk: Pet Supplies
sourcingmap Stainless Steel Aquarium Inline Manifold Air Flow Pump Tubing Splitter Lever Control Valve: Amazon.co.uk: Sports & Outdoors
Do I need a non-return valve or is that for something else? Amazon says those are frequently bought with sponge filters.
All of those things are perfect. I would get the non-return valve. It prevents water from backing up into the air-pump causing electrical damage. One less thing to worry about.
Just so you know, we all worry about our tanks. I've just done a 60% water change, then a 75% water change back to back at 1am. Hubby came home from work and said he could smell my tank. That is never good. Usually means Ammonia. Sure enough. I had already done a 60% water change early in the day for my regular tank maintenance. Not sure what caused my spike, but it looks like I've lost my cycle somehow. At least I now know my Ammonia is at zero right now. That was quite the task.. geesh!
Okay so I tested my water and somehow without a water change the parameters look less than they were before?? I have some anubias in there so I have no clue if they're doing anything but View attachment 309392
Maybe it's the lighting in my room cause the photo looks different but irl they look 0/.25/20
It sounds to me like your tank hasn't completely cycled yet. As far as the cloudy water is concerned I know that it is common for water to go cloudy after a water change. It happens to me once in a while and it lasts no more than a day. If this is what is going on with you it's harmless - if your tank is completely cycled and stable. I heard that it can occur because if you disturb the substrate then it can release beneficial bacteria into the water (as well as organic waste). I don't know if this is possible but if your tank is not completely cycled then this might cause a change in your readings.
My guess is that because the nitrates are so high, it isn't reading it correctly. It has happened a couple times in the forum recently and just didn't make sense. If it is super duper high, it kind of goes a brownish yellowish orangish color, kind of what yours looks like. So do a water change, then test your parameters. See where you are at.
You will need to provide an ammonia source of some kind to keep your bacteria fed, so yes I would add ammonia. But test first. If your Ammonia is below 1, I would dose up to 2 ppm.
Edit: so I haven't done any fishless cycling with Ammonia. Here is a link that may help walk you through it a little better.
Ammonia Instructions when Cycling with TSS+ or other Bacterial Starter
Dunno, just tested it when I posted that photo. I didn't add any ammonia before I changed it and after it I feel like I've messed everything up agh. Maybe I should just dose and test again. I'm so messy when it comes to this stuff bc I have issues being able to organise my thoughts. So I end up forgetting a lot of things and then realising when it's kinda been too long.
I guess I could just try a fish-in cycle again and wait till it peaks, take him out again and actually ykno, remember to dose it this time and also not pass out.