Slightly more positive news :) + an anomaly

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by LindaMS, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. LindaMS

    LindaMS Valued Member Member

    What a week it has been, my hands are positively wrecked from scrubbing, sterilising and water changes.

    So far QT tank 1, fish all still good since my first day loss of two (poss. stress?), but ammonia levels rose 36 hours ago and have stayed at around 0.5 yesterday and this morning in spite of 25% water changes twice yesterday.

    I have done one this morning also but yet to test to see if it helped. My fish are not showing any signs of poisoning such as red gills or gasping at top. I am still wondering if my ACE tablets are giving me this false reading having maybe converted it into some kind of safe ammonia?

    Fish do look hungry though...someone advised to stop feeding them to prevent toxic build up.

    This is a bare tank and I vacuum every day to remove uneaten food, should I still not feed for a few days?

    QT tank 2 - My pregnant no longer guppy girls. Yes they both gave birth last night to yellow eggs with eyes...
    I assumed these were an abortion through their immense journey to Petbarn on Thursday and then home with me. Their water tested safe and still does. Then I spotted one little fry in their tank, I do not know if he burst from his egg or was born live but I knew I had to get him out of there as Mums were gobbling down lots of the eggs.

    I scooped him/her out and got h/h into the breeding tank that was hanging on the side sharing the same water as main.

    Then I went to bed.

    This morning I came out and couldn't find h/h in breeder and then I spotted him in main tank with the girls! So I realised the outlet was too big and had let him through. So I fished him out again and put him back into breeder, but not until I had cut up a pair of new tights and stretched it over one of the breeder dividers to let water through but not fry :)

    Then I was checking my girls and there was another little fry!! One of the 'dead' eggs had hatched! I scooped him/her out too and both are together in the breeder.

    I am leaving the eggs for now as only a couple have gone totally white - the others are still yellow with eyes.

    Has anyone else had a livebearer drop eggs that later hatched? My babies need to be fed and I gave them a little fancy guppy micrograin type food that is supposed to be ok for newborns and juveniles but have not noticed them eating it. Anyone else know what I should feed - I am in Australia with only petbarn available, so not sure if they do the shrimp thing? Also Alpha (no. 1 fry) has a greyish coloured body but Omega (no 2) looks like a very light silvery coloured body. I know their colours do not develop yet but do fry come in colours that might indicate whether they are dark/light types?

    Any input would be great. Photos later.
     
  2. KarenLM

    KarenLM Well Known Member Member

    I believe if you stop feeding the fish you may stall your cycle.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    LindaMS

    LindaMS Valued Member Member

    Thanks Karen, I was not feeling comfortable not feeding as there are too many in that tank anyway and all food was demolished quickly. I will go do my test and feed them.
     




    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
  4. mommy1

    mommy1 New Member Member

    You will not stall the cycle if you stop feeding the fish. The fish will continue to release ammonia and that will feed the cycle. You should continue to feed your fish even through cycling. Often it is advised to feed less, but not stop feeding all together.
    If you are cycling the tank with fish, you should be doing larger daily water changes. 25% isn't usually enough to reduce ammonia/nitrite levels. I usually advise at least 50% daily. Sometimes you need to do water changes more often than daily, test the water for ammonia and nitrite and anytime they are over .25ppm do a water change.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    LindaMS

    LindaMS Valued Member Member

    Hi Mommy1

    I have been doing 25% twice daily so that is probably equal to about 37.5% of the old water from the day before being changed. The tank was new through necessity as the one I had going for a while had two fish die from unknown causes so I had to tear it down and disinfect.
    I am doing twice daily tests with API Master Kit and the ammonia stays the same even after a water change???

    The fish look happy, so I really do not know what else to do for the best, I add Stress Zyme to the water too.

    Can anyone tell me how long it takes to cycle a 35 litre tank with 2 Bristlenose catfish, 2 guppies, 2 pacific blueeyes, 5 platys and 2 longfin whiteclouds?

    Far too many I know but they were not supposed to be going into this tank...

    I think I have the reason, if anyone else can confirm. I am using Aqua Master A.C.E Ammonia and Chloramine eliminator blocks in the tank. I believe I am getting a false reading.

    Quote: Prime will both 'detoxify' the chlorine, and convert the ammonia into ammonium removing the immediate threat to your fish.

    Here's another twist. Ammonium is not toxic to your fish, but your test kit will most likely read it as ammonia. Most liquid test kits use a Nessler reagent to measure the amount of ammonia in a sample of water. However, Nessler reagents pick up both Ammonia and Ammonium (NH3 and NH4) essentially giving you a false positive ammonia reading. If you have Chloramine in your tap water it would be prudent to purchase a Salicylate test kit. These tests will only pick up Ammonia and allow you to determine if you are having a mini-cycle instead of always getting a false positive ammonia reading after a water change.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2015
  6. mommy1

    mommy1 New Member Member

    Have you tested your tap water for ammonia? The bacteria you are trying to grow to cycle your tank will use both ammonia and ammonium.
    I don't use Stress Zyme because the usefulness of the bacteria it claims to contain is still questionable, I know some people swear by it and other products like it, but until I have concrete scientific proof my opinion is it isn't necessary and won't do anything a good water change and a bit of time will do without spending the money. Same with the ammonia/chloramine eliminator blocks. If you eliminate the ammonia the tank will never fully cycle. You must have some ammonia in the tank but keep it low enough to keep stress levels down to liveable for your fish. As you already know, water changes is the best way to achieve this. And this is why I like Prime. It temporarily detoxifies ammonia/nitrite for up to 48 hours, and neutralizes chlorine, but it still leaves the ammonia, ammonium, and nitrite as useful nutrients for the bacteria to grow.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    LindaMS

    LindaMS Valued Member Member

    Hi
    Mommy1, I have five tanks up and cycling now, only this one with the fish has an ammonia reading so I would say my tap water is fine.

    Ammonium is safe for fish and A.C.E. converts the toxic ammonia to ammonium and the good bacteria can also use that as you and other sources have said. I am just trying to keep my new fish alive long enough to determine if they carry any obvious disease, and until the 90 Litre cycles.

    There are some great people on here assisting, but there is also a lot of conflicting stuff. I have picked out what I can to keep ie water changes, regular but not large, 10-25% daily seems to be the norm. If it was dangerous ammonia then I would do a 75% change but as it has been two days and nothing changes the reading, and the fish are still looking happy enough I am being guided by them.

    If anything they are coming out of their shells a bit, the bristlenoses are out and about now, when they hid for the first couple of days, the guppy girl looks pregnant now after 4 days with her new boyfriend, and the shy female pacific blue eye is now happy and swimming around the tank when she used to sit in the filter stream for the first two days unless pestered by another fish. I had one platy girl who hid up in the filter/heater integrated area of the tank for a day too and she is all good now.

    I am testing rigorously, I am watching very regularly (half my day is spent peering into tanks at the moment) so hope it resolves itself soon if and when my tank cycles.

    Thanks
    Linda
     
  8. Bijou88

    Bijou88 Well Known Member Member

    Ok, there seems to be some confusion over this "false positive" thing. When something detoxifies your ammonia it converts it to ammonium which isn't harmful. In order to get a .25, .5 (etc) reading you would have needed that amount of ammonia to be present in the first place.

    So, if you're getting an ammonia reading it's not technically a false positive as there was in fact that amount of ammonia present in the tank, it's just converted into harmless ammonium now because of the chemicals "detoxifying" it. Make sense?

    So even if you get a reading as long as whatever you're using to detoxify the ammonia is working, and you're within it's time limits (for example, with prime it's 24 hours) then your fish should be safe.

    Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong everyone, but this is my understanding :)

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     
  9. OP
    OP
    LindaMS

    LindaMS Valued Member Member

    Hi Bijou88
    Yes that makes sense and would (I think) be expected given the number of fish.

    The A.C.E. tablets dissolve over a period of time so not just 24-48 hours.

    I will check how long, and hopefully the good bacteria will kick in soon. Stress Zyme also works on ammonia too.

    What doesn't make sense is that the levels do not change after water changes when you would expect some drop even if it returned to high later.

    I am also vacuuming with my battery operated Eheim every day so there is no build up of waste on floor of tank, The tanks are bare of gravel etc.

    Thanks for your input, it is hopefully going to be a good sign and my filter will get it's bacteria happening very soon.

    Cheers

    Linda
     
  10. Bijou88

    Bijou88 Well Known Member Member

    That is strange that it doesn't seem to change at all with water changes. ..as long as it stays below 1ppm I wouldn't worry about it, especially since it should be detoxed.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     
  11. OP
    OP
    LindaMS

    LindaMS Valued Member Member

    It is between .25 and .5 that is why I am perplexed given all fish seem ok at the moment and it is detoxed.
     
  12. Bijou88

    Bijou88 Well Known Member Member

    That's why the fish all seem fine, because it's detoxed. If it stays low like that you shouldn't have any trouble with toxicity as long as you continue to use what you're using.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     
  13. aliray

    aliray Fishlore VIP Member

    I would also feed your fish. IMO their body's need a steady supply of fuel the same way as people do. The only reason I would fast a fish was if I was going to ship them. Which I don't . That is just my personal belief . Alison
     
  14. E

    Et tu Valued Member Member

    It was me how suggested to stop feeding for a few days. I strongly feel that your tank QT # 1 is beyond very overstocked, it's a 10 gallon. You listed the fish in that tank as
    2 bristle nosed plecs.
    2 guppys
    2 pacific blue eys
    5 platty
    2 white cloud
    the filter is not cycled. In my honest opinion, your fish going hungry for a few days is a no brainer.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    LindaMS

    LindaMS Valued Member Member

    Et tu

    Yes I agree it is beyond overstocked and that is why I am working hard to keep up with it. I had no choice, in my ignorance I had ordered them thinking I could add water and 'quickstart' and all would be great...

    I will start the other 10gall (40 litre in Aus language) up again soon, I am just leaving it all to dry for a few days after the big clean.

    My plan will be to move one Bristlenose into the 90 litre and have the other one in the 40 litre.

    The Platys will go into the 90 litre and the 2 guppys will go into the 40 litre. I am assuming it would be best to split the blue eyes and the white clouds between the two tanks?

    The two replacement girls for the two that died will stay in the other 38 litre for now and I will keep the current QT tank for emergency care/isolation alone plus I am bringing a 15 litre tank up for my guppy fry.

    I am holding my breath, and doing the best I can. What I can't understand is that no one tells you when you buy a tank that you need 6 weeks with nothing in it until you can add fish. In fact quite the opposite. I guess all the people who buy fish for their kids would just not bother so pet stores have a vested interest in giving you false info and a bunch of chemicals.
     
  16. Sarcasm Included

    Sarcasm Included Well Known Member Member

    Actually, it is less mallicious than that. Store generally give little to no training to the people working there and that training comes from someone who had almost no training. To the clerk it is just a job to pay the bills and to the company it is just some low dollar body to sell the fish. So most times the clerk has very little knowledge on the needs of the fish or the requirements of doing a cycle. Most still cling to the old myth that running the tank a week prior to putting in fish is cycling.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    LindaMS

    LindaMS Valued Member Member

    Well maybe the staff, but the owners would have figured it out long ago. They will be choosing to not advise the public through not training their staff.

    Their own tanks will have been cycled - you don't see them emptying out tanks when there is no stock in them, they keep them going. Trust no one over 5...

    On a brighter note, all still here (thank God) day 7 and Alpha (who appears to have eaten his smaller 24 hours behind him little mate) is still with me. See cute pic below :) The mums who seemed a bit off colour after the loss of their babies are now bright and sparky too and looking for food this morning. I am hopeful I can keep this going, how long should the 90 litre take to cycle with fishfood? All readings still zero. Meanwhile all ammonia readings still 'appear' to be .5 on both tanks in spite of twice daily water changes.

     
     




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