Tips For Crashed Cycle

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MissNoodle

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The other day i had a power outage which messed with my filter functions and it seems to have caused a cycle crash in my community tank. I had done my monthly water test hours before the power outage and my levels were good (0amm, 0nitrite, 10 nitrate) but following the outage my fish started showing issues and then we lost our baby molly. Tested again and my ammonia spiked to 0.50 overnight.

Ive been doing 50% water changes daily along with Top Fin ammonia remover every 2 days and API Stresszyme+ half dose every water change to replace the amount lost with changing the water.

Tank is home to 1 molly, 1 betta, and 3 blackskirt tetras. I lost my molly baby due to the crash and my other fish arent doing so well still. Two tetras are constantly fading their colours, one has some fin damage that isnt worsening but also not improving. My betta and molly have clamped fins and the molly has been doing nonstop shimmies.

The pest snails that live in the tank dont seem bothered. The water wisteria is thriving.

Its upsetting seeing them stress so much while i try to get this new cycle finished. Is there anything else I can do to ease up on it? Ive also been keeping the light off for all but 2 hours to help reduce stress on them.
 

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JenC

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Just a thought but if the ammonia remover product pulls it from the water or binds it then there may not be enough to really rebuild the bacteria colonies.

Have you considered dumping a small bottle of TSS+ in the filter to try to expedite progress? It doesn't always work but when it does it's pretty impressive.

I'm sorry about the baby molly.
 
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MissNoodle

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JenC said:
Just a thought but if the ammonia remover product pulls it from the water or binds it then there may not be enough to really rebuild the bacteria colonies.

Have you considered dumping a small bottle of TSS+ in the filter to try to expedite progress? It doesn't always work but when it does it's pretty impressive.

I'm sorry about the baby molly.
Oof thats expensive but ill go look for it on my next day off work to try it out! Checked local stores site where its cheaper lol

So should i not use the ammonia blocker? Also, does using the ammonia blocker affect testing results with the API master kit?

Edit: looking at the recommended product, it seems its live bacteria. I use another product already for this? API® Stress Zyme | fish Water Care & Conditioning | PetSmart

Is this comparable or would it be recommended to use both?
 

JenC

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NoodleKeeper said:
Oof thats expensive but ill go look for it on my next day off work to try it out!
For a 10 gallon you just need the tiny 1.69 oz bottle . Petco has it listed online for $3.99. I don't think they carry that size in stores but you could call to check. Amazon has it for $6.99.

NoodleKeeper said:
So should i not use the ammonia blocker? Also, does using the ammonia blocker affect testing results with the API master kit?
I'm not sure... I'm not familiar with the product and how it affects ammonia. In general though, there needs to be ammonia to rebuild the cycle so removing it with water changes or binding it so it can't be converted can work against you. mattgirl, do you have any idea how using this product might affect OP's cycling progress? I'm guessing you might advise OP to allow ammonia/nitrite up to 1 ppm total and detoxify it with Prime but take a look and see what you think.
 

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Yah, control ammonia with water changes instead of chemicals so you don't starve the BB
 

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how long was the power out? the bacteria shouldn't be affected if it was only a few days.

but with the filters not cycling the water through, the ammonia wasn't being processed. do you have Seachem Prime? it detoxes ammonia for up to 48hr and still allows the bacteria to comsume it.
 

Kathryn Crook

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Prime locks up ammonia for a couple days but doesnt effect the test readings from my understanding. Its meant as an emergency fix (among other uses) until a water change can be done.
 
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Skavatar said:
how long was the power out? the bacteria shouldn't be affected if it was only a few days.

but with the filters not cycling the water through, the ammonia wasn't being processed. do you have Seachem Prime? it detoxes ammonia for up to 48hr and still allows the bacteria to comsume it.
The power was out for only 6 hours, but then the air pump went and stopped powering the cycled sponge filter and it didnt start running again for another 24h. I was just putting my test kit away when the power went out. That day my levels were really good. 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and 20 nitrate. Then the power went out, and that night my month old molly baby started clamped fins and struggling to swim, and by morning he had passed. Did another water test and ammonia spiked to 0.50ppm. I dont get why or how it spiked that fast, but the tank was cycled well before. Its run on 2 filters a HOB one and a sponge. The cartridge from the HOB was the cycled material but it fell apart and couldnt be put back in, so to keep my cycle, i put it into the sponge filter as the fiber part of it. Put a new cartridge in the HOB. This was 2 weeks before the outage. The uncycled HOB started running fine after the outage but the sponge filter failed.

Your response about the seachem prime really helps, that would make a difference, ill be sure to go get some asap! My betta girl isnt doing so well at all today, antisocial and refusing to eat. Which is abnormal, we usually have to contain her to stop her from eating.
 

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ok, that makes sense, 2 weeks wasn't enough time for the new cartridge to build up enough bacteria.

the sponge filter should start lowering the ammonia soon.

most ppl agree that Prime is the way to go with fish in cycles, and ammonia spikes.

and instead of using cartridges you should look into customizing your filter media with some more permanent bio media like biomax ceramic, or matrix, or biohome, etc.
here's a guide: Diy Media Guide For Top Fin Silenstream, Aquaclear And Other Hob Filters
 

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JenC said:
I'm not sure... I'm not familiar with the product and how it affects ammonia. In general though, there needs to be ammonia to rebuild the cycle so removing it with water changes or binding it so it can't be converted can work against you. mattgirl, do you have any idea how using this product might affect OP's cycling progress? I'm guessing you might advise OP to allow ammonia/nitrite up to 1 ppm total and detoxify it with Prime but take a look and see what you think.
You are correct. One doesn't want to use any product that claims to block or lock up ammonia when trying to grow bacteria. Ammonia is food for the bacteria.

Prime doesn't block or lock up the ammonia. It just changes it to a safer form. The ammonia is still there and will show up in the test the same but it is in a safer form. I used to say it changes it to ammonium but I am not sure that is correct so safer form works for me.
 

Kathryn Crook

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mattgirl said:
You are correct. One doesn't want to use any product that claims to block or lock up ammonia when trying to grow bacteria. Ammonia is food for the bacteria.

Prime doesn't block or lock up the ammonia. It just changes it to a safer form. The ammonia is still there and will show up in the test the same but it is in a safer form. I used to say it changes it to ammonium but I am not sure that is correct so safer form works for me.
So, in that sense, if you are building a new tank and its fishless, you should not add prime because its actually interrupting your cycle?
 

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Kathryn Crook said:
So, in that sense, if you are building a new tank and its fishless, you should not add prime because its actually interrupting your cycle?
I didn't say that. What I actually said was Prime doesn't lock up the ammonia. It is still there and the bacteria can still use it.

The thing is. When doing a fishless cycle Prime isn't necessary at all. One needs to use a water conditioner, any of the many water conditioners that remove chlorine and/or chloramines, when first filling the tank and again for water changes when they need to be done as one gets farther into the cycle or for water top offs.

I highly recommend Prime when doing a fish in cycle but it isn't necessary when doing it fishless. No lives are at stake doing it fishless so higher levels of untreated ammonia are not a problem and are actually needed to complete the cycle..
 

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Kathryn Crook said:
Prime locks up ammonia for a couple days but doesnt effect the test readings from my understanding. Its meant as an emergency fix (among other uses) until a water change can be done.
Just to echo mattgirl's response, my understanding is that Prime does not lock ammonia like some other products (e.g. Ammo-Lock). It detoxifies it so it's not harmful to fish but leaves it available for conversion in the nitrogen cycle. As such, cycling progress continues.

You are correct that it will not change the reading from standard ammonia tests (like API's). The tests do not distinguish between two forms of ammonia (toxic NH3 and nontoxic NH4+) but when Prime is dosed correctly the fish are protected.
 
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MissNoodle

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Skavatar said:
ok, that makes sense, 2 weeks wasn't enough time for the new cartridge to build up enough bacteria.

the sponge filter should start lowering the ammonia soon.

most ppl agree that Prime is the way to go with fish in cycles, and ammonia spikes.

and instead of using cartridges you should look into customizing your filter media with some more permanent bio media like biomax ceramic, or matrix, or biohome, etc.
here's a guide: Diy Media Guide For Top Fin Silenstream, Aquaclear And Other Hob Filters
I have this sorta set up. I tried a sponge over the intake tube and it just slowed the water flow down to nearly stagnant flow :/ same kind of filter they used in the example too. But ill work on rigging something up.

Thank you for this. I work tonight but off tomorrow so i plan on making a trip to get the Prime and ill grab some more bio media as well. I have some already, but cant hurt to get more right
 
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Today came home from work and Blue the betta is worse off. All of her fins are growing fungus and are starting to come off at the fuzzy tips. Is this just fin rot, or am i dealing with another case of columnaris? I had a male betta develop it as "cotton mouth" and he had to be let go peacefully from it, but he was never in contact with Blue or her tank. Noel had been in his own tank when it happened with him. But now...

I moved Blue to isolation just to be on the safe side, even if the others in the tank have been exposed.

Treating with Primafix and Aquarium Salt.

Porker is having even more trouble staying level swimming, but shes had ongoing swim bladder issues that have not been resolving with peas or fasting.
 

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probably fin rot.

be careful with Pimafix, there's been a lot of reports that it kills betta's, bettafix is like a 10% solution of Pimafix.
 
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MissNoodle

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Skavatar said:
probably fin rot.

be careful with Pimafix, there's been a lot of reports that it kills betta's, bettafix is like a 10% solution of Pimafix.
Im heading out to the LFS today for some of the Prime and Ill grab some of that too then. I am also meaning to add Melafix to my store of medicines but not sure itll be needed for this.

Ive used primafix in this tank before with this same betta. When my cories shared the community tank one ended up with fin rot and i was advised to use primafix because loaches and cories are sensitive to many medications. But perhaps for use strictly on bettas i will half the dose what it says if i continue with it
 

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Melafix also has a spotty record with labyrinth fish. If I recall correctly, it's the oil ingredient that's the issue with the products. I'd use caution if dosing it.

Prime will help keep fluctuating parameters safe. How are the current ammonia/nitrite/nitrate readings and how quickly have toxins been rising?

Just to cover your bases, you might check your town's water and sewer website to see if any chemical maintenance was done on the water lines after the outage. Chemical flushes can be devastating to tanks until they flush out. It's probably not that but it would be good just to eliminate it as a contributing factor.
 
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JenC said:
Melafix also has a spotty record with labyrinth fish. If I recall correctly, it's the oil ingredient that's the issue with the products. I'd use caution if dosing it.

Prime will help keep fluctuating parameters safe. How are the current ammonia/nitrite/nitrate readings and how quickly have toxins been rising?

Just to cover your bases, you might check your town's water and sewer website to see if any chemical maintenance was done on the water lines after the outage. Chemical flushes can be devastating to tanks until they flush out. It's probably not that but it would be good just to eliminate it as a contributing factor.
Going to test again today since im off work!

I cant find exactly where to find info on current water treatments for my city (checked all their sites all i get is FAQ stuff) but they normally treat the water with chlorine and ozone apparently in my area, but if its the norm, it shouldnt suddenly be an issue... No current water advisories either
 
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MissNoodle

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JenC said:
Melafix also has a spotty record with labyrinth fish. If I recall correctly, it's the oil ingredient that's the issue with the products. I'd use caution if dosing it.

Prime will help keep fluctuating parameters safe. How are the current ammonia/nitrite/nitrate readings and how quickly have toxins been rising?

Just to cover your bases, you might check your town's water and sewer website to see if any chemical maintenance was done on the water lines after the outage. Chemical flushes can be devastating to tanks until they flush out. It's probably not that but it would be good just to eliminate it as a contributing factor.

I tested the water today, tested ammonia levels on water before a water change and water after a water change. Rest of the readings were only on the *old* water (which has been going 1-2 days water changes. I missed yesterday due to long work hours.

I also got the Prime, i am shocked at how tiny of an amount is needed, so this will last a long while.

My molly isnt shimmying as much, though she still does it. Aquarium salt removed the fungus like growth on my betta's fins, but shes looking like her eyes are growing so i dont really know why all of these things are showing up with her all at once. Ive let her out of isolation, since it was guessed to be more of a fin rot issue rather than fungal.

Is this popeye?

Okay and my readings. Normal to get ammonia and nitrate but no nitrite?
 

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