What Do I Do?

Anna94

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So I have a 20 gallon long with an AquaClear 50 and 40 gallon sponge filter filtering it. The inhabitants are:
5 cardinal tetras (I plan on adding one more)
2 Celebes rainbows (I might add one more, but not sure yet)
1 horseface loach (I was told one would do fine in my tank)
1 kribensis
3 lemon tetras (I plan on adding two more)
1 oto (I might add a few more, but not sure yet)

In my AquaClear is the sponge, poly-fil, and half Matrix and half of my old biomax. I will be taking out the rest of the biomax and adding more biomax in 2 weeks.

I do 40-50% weekly water changes and dose with Prime and Stability. My tank has been established for 2 years and I've had these fish for 4-5 months. Ph is 8.0, nitrites are 0, nitrates are consistent at 10-20, and ammonia is consistent at 0.25-0.50.

I understand I'm overstocked, but my lfs won't take some of my fish and none of my friends or family have fish so at this point I either kill them just to get rid of them (which is inhumane and I'm not a killer of any kind) or I keep them (which is my only option at this point). So since I have to keep them is there anyway I can get ammonia to 0 and keep it at 0? I tested my tap water and ammonia is 0.
 

Bizarro252

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I am very surpirsed to hear you are having those issues with the filtration you have I have a AC50 and a 40 gal sponge, your exact same setup, in the same tank (a 20G long)) and I have had 30-40 1.5" cichlid fry in there as I was growing and selling them - which I am sure it WAY overstocked, and now an adult angel pair. Never see ammonia.

The only things I can think of that give me an advantage would be the tank is bare bottom and I do weekly 90% water changes - ok well I did with the fry, the angels are to tall so its more like 75% lol. But I didnt see ammonia prior to the weekly change either.

I run biohome ultimate in my AC50, I love the stuff but its not like you are using something crappy so that shouldnt be the problem.

What substrate are you using? I assume you are gravel vacing, are you getting all the way down to the bottom? Decaying food down there will contribute to ammonia, maybe there is enough to overload your filter.
 

el337

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How long have you had the media in your Aquaclear? Have you rinsed any of it in tap water or replaced it? I suggest not touching your bio max until your ammonia levels out. Keep adding Prime every 24-48 hours to detox that trace until your bacteria colony catches up.
 

zcpetty

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Anna94 said:
So I have a 20 gallon long with an AquaClear 50 and 40 gallon sponge filter filtering it. The inhabitants are:
5 cardinal tetras (I plan on adding one more)
2 Celebes rainbows (I might add one more, but not sure yet)
1 horseface loach (I was told one would do fine in my tank)
1 kribensis
3 lemon tetras (I plan on adding two more)
1 oto (I might add a few more, but not sure yet)

In my AquaClear is the sponge, poly-fil, and half Matrix and half of my old biomax. I will be taking out the rest of the biomax and adding more biomax in 2 weeks.

I do 40-50% weekly water changes and dose with Prime and Stability. My tank has been established for 2 years and I've had these fish for 4-5 months. Ph is 8.0, nitrites are 0, nitrates are consistent at 10-20, and ammonia is consistent at 0.25-0.50.

I understand I'm overstocked, but my lfs won't take some of my fish and none of my friends or family have fish so at this point I either kill them just to get rid of them (which is inhumane and I'm not a killer of any kind) or I keep them (which is my only option at this point). So since I have to keep them is there anyway I can get ammonia to 0 and keep it at 0? I tested my tap water and ammonia is 0.
I know for an absolute fact petco takes any fish back as long as it doesn't have ich.. try there. Otherwise craigslist them. Keeping an overstocked tank os stressful on the fish and requires a lot of upkeep. I pass a lot of fish through my tanks and I have been stuck with some silver dollars. I have to clean it 2+ times a week to keep the cycle stable. Working on a 75+ for them. So try rehoming some or get a bigger tank $1 per gallon sale is this week!
 
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Anna94

Anna94

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zcpetty said:
I know for an absolute fact petco takes any fish back as long as it doesn't have ich.. try there. Otherwise craigslist them. Keeping an overstocked tank os stressful on the fish and requires a lot of upkeep. I pass a lot of fish through my tanks and I have been stuck with some silver dollars. I have to clean it 2+ times a week to keep the cycle stable. Working on a 75+ for them. So try rehoming some or get a bigger tank $1 per gallon sale is this week!
A bigger tank isn't an option as I don't have the money or the space in my house for one. Also, I didn't buy any of my fish from Petco so taking them beck won't be an option either.

el337 said:
How long have you had the media in your Aquaclear? Have you rinsed any of it in tap water or replaced it? I suggest not touching your bio max until your ammonia levels out. Keep adding Prime every 24-48 hours to detox that trace until your bacteria colony catches up.
I never rinse my media in tap water and the biomax has been in the filter for a year (part of it is from my old AquaClear 30) and I just added the Matrix 2 weeks ago.
 

aquatickeeper

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Anna94 said:
A bigger tank isn't an option as I don't have the money or the space in my house for one. Also, I didn't buy any of my fish from Petco so taking them beck won't be an option either.
You can go on aquabid, ebay, craigslist, or fishlore and sell it there. Your tank is overstocked, some fish in your tank needs a tank bigger than a 20 gallon, and their life will be shortened due to the stress
 

zcpetty

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Petco takes all fish. When I had cichlids that wouldnt pair I took them there. You get no money for them but they get a chance to go to a better home
 
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Anna94

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Bizarro252 said:
I am very surpirsed to hear you are having those issues with the filtration you have I have a AC50 and a 40 gal sponge, your exact same setup, in the same tank (a 20G long)) and I have had 30-40 1.5" cichlid fry in there as I was growing and selling them - which I am sure it WAY overstocked, and now an adult angel pair. Never see ammonia.

The only things I can think of that give me an advantage would be the tank is bare bottom and I do weekly 90% water changes - ok well I did with the fry, the angels are to tall so its more like 75% lol. But I didnt see ammonia prior to the weekly change either.

I run biohome ultimate in my AC50, I love the stuff but its not like you are using something crappy so that shouldnt be the problem.

What substrate are you using? I assume you are gravel vacing, are you getting all the way down to the bottom? Decaying food down there will contribute to ammonia, maybe there is enough to overload your filter.
I have black multi-colored gravel and yes, I gravel vac during every water change and I always push the gravel tube down to the bottom as far as it will go.
 

el337

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Ok, I'd still hold off on touching any of the media until your ammonia zeroes out.

When you go to the LFS to buy more fish to fill out your schools, can't you take the fish you're planning to rehome there to donate? Most LFS take fish and some even give you store credit.
 
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Anna94

Anna94

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el337 said:
Ok, I'd still hold off on touching any of the media until your ammonia zeroes out.

When you go to the LFS to buy more fish to fill out your schools, can't you take the fish you're planning to rehome there to donate? Most LFS take fish and some even give you store credit.
They will take them on donation, but they can't guarantee that they will have the space for them
 
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Anna94

Anna94

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zcpetty said:
If its petco it is sale week. Lots of empty tanks lol
I don't have the space or money for bigger tank
 

zcpetty

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Anna94 said:
I don't have the space or money for bigger tank
I mean they have empty space for your fish. They will take them as donation. You just need to call them prior to showing up.
 

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