Water Parameters

  1. angel23240 Initiate Member

    I posted another thread earlier today, but need some advise on what to do with the water in my tank.
    We are new owners and have two goldfish that were just upgraded to a 20 gallon tank (yes, I know they will need bigger). The tank could not be cycled prior to the fish going in (previous tank had super high ammonia).

    Current tank had fish in last night around 7 p.m. Prime was used. About 7 a.m. I added Tetra SafeStart, however, Ammonia is now reading between .25 and .75 still (zero nitrate/nitrites; pH 7.6). This afternoon/evening, I have one fish with clamped fins and he either sits up by the filter or down at the bottom (moved up when I turned the tank lights off). From what I have read, I am assuming this may be due to either the high ammonia or just being in a new tank (he was fine last night).

    Given that I have added SafeStart this morning, could I add some more prime to lock the ammonia, or will that stall the whole process of cycling? Do I need to do anything to lower the pH?

    Thanks so much!
  2. Fashooga Well Known Member Member

    Ph you should just leave alone. Since your still running a little ammonia continue daily water changes until your ammonia levels read 0.
  3. angel23240 Initiate Member

    Thanks! How much water should I change out?
  4. Fashooga Well Known Member Member

    50%. It may seem a lot but at least you don't have a 125g tank!
  5. angel23240 Initiate Member

    Yikes! I can't do 50% right now - we change water via buckets and I can't lift the full 5 gallon bucket! I can do about 25% right now.....Will do another 25% tomorrow and Sunday I will do the 50 when my husband is home to help. Not ideal I'm sure, but better than not doing anything, I suppose.
  6. bopsalot Well Known Member Member

    IMO water changes are the best way to keep ammonia/nitrites/nitrates under control in cycling situations. Repeatedly dosing extra Prime everyday may not be the best thing. Just use it as the water conditioner for your water changes. Your cycle will come along in time. Happy cycling!
  7. AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    If you are using Tetra Safe Start, do not do anything for at least 7 days. It will make you crazy to test your parameters. Do not add Prime for at least 24 hours after the TSS, I would probably wait longer. They don't play nice together.

    Tetra Safe Start will make your tank parameters go crazy. It will stress you out, unnecessarily. Just let it ride. If you do water changes too soon with TSS it will disrupt the cycle and make it ineffective.

    The reason I don't use TSS is because I want more control over the situation. It's to hard to watch and wait. But that is exactly what you need to do.
  8. angel23240 Initiate Member

    Ok, so last night I changed about 15% of the tank water. This morning, I saw my guy with the clamped fins with open fins, but not for long. He is still sitting at the bottom of the tank and the water is a bit cloudy.
    pH seemed high (was dark blue - did not run high pH test), Ammonia was .25, zero nitrates/nitrites. Should I change some more water or let it ride and just keep an eye on the ammonia?

    I am still very concerned about the fish that is sitting on the bottom of the tank - his gills are moving pretty fast too.
  9. bopsalot Well Known Member Member

    I wouldn't worry too much about ammonia at 0.25ppm. It may be stressing him out slightly, but if you are cycling with fish in, there's no avoiding exposure to some ammonia and nitrite. If you use Prime water conditioner with your water changes, that adds a little insurance for low levels of ammonia. AllieSten gave you good advice, with TSS you're instructed not to test or change water for a while (I think?) For that reason, I personally would never use it, because if your ammonia or nitrite get to 2ppm, for example, water changes are quite necessary, IMO. It's ok that you are using it, though. Many people do with success. Let's hope the TSS company thought carefully when they developed that product. Just keep a close eye on your fishies. Hope this helps!
  10. angel23240 Initiate Member

    Thanks so much! I have an API test kit, and have been monitoring the ammonia via that. This little guy was moving a bit earlier (and fins are sometimes open), so I'm hoping he will be ok. We are not going to feed today to help keep the ammonia under control. He may be quite stressed as the move from their tiny tank was quite fast because the bigger fish had ammonia burns (levels were off the chart) - I'm hoping that since they both survived a day or two of that, when this bigger tank cycles, they will be ok. I'm not sure of what conditions they were kept in prior to their arrival in our home as they were fair fish. I have spent a ton of time reading different things on this form and I really appreciate everyone's advice. I will avoid a water change unless the ammonia really spikes more.

    While we have already spent a considerable amount of money to transfer them to their new home, I am wondering if maybe their filter isn't adequate. It came with the tank and is a filter for a 10-20 gallon tank - not sure of GPH. Should we consider adding a second filter - if yes, when should we add it since the tank is cycling?
  11. bopsalot Well Known Member Member

    Yeah, I don't keep goldfish myself, but from what I understand, they are messy with a larger bioload than most fish. People that keep them recommend extra filtration. If they're in a 20 now with a filter rated for 10-20, you might want to add another similar filter. Adding it at this point will not affect your cycle. But keep in mind before you invest too much money, common goldies grow to well over a foot long and require huge tanks or a pond, but "fancy" goldfish, (tend to be shorter and squatter) some can be kept in as small as 30 gallons, but for 2 fancies, you'd need at least 40, preferably 55 gallons. Hope this helps! I'm glad they are in better accommodations now.