ammonia and nitrite levels won't drop in my freshwater tank

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Forum' started by 2TanksOakland, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. 2TanksOakland

    2TanksOakland

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    I've been reading up and asking my LFS about how to get my fishtank to finish cycling but it won't hurry up and finish... smh lol...

    So I have to make another FAQ post smh

    My setup
    55gal gas tank
    Marineland C-360 canister filter
    Regular fluorescent light
    Sand
    Couple of decor
    Started with 30 goldfish now at a stable 18 goldfish
    ...

    So I've had this tank running for over a month now. And decided to start checking my water levels so I can buy some african chiclids.

    Well I use api chemical testers for the ammonia and its reading around 4.0 so I did a 20% water change then a week later a 10% water change, and lastly another 25% water change 4 days after that because I was still getting a 4.0 reading.

    i tested my tap water and im getting .50 reading...

    At first i was over feeding the fish in the first few weeks by feeding them everyday, but after i did some reading and got these test results ive been feeding them every other day.

    I also put about 25ml of stressZyme and stressCoat each time I do a water change.

    I haven't cleaned my canister filter because they say it will mess up my biofilter so its been running since day one.

    i am on my cell phone but when i get to my computer i will upload pictures of my tank and test results so you can see what I see...

    If its this hard to control the water smh for when I start my 75gal saltwater tank
     
    2TanksOakland, Mar 19, 2013
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  2. 2TanksOakland

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Hi 2tanks....welcome to the site!

    This is more for saltwater. Why don't you check out our sister site:

    Freshwater Aquarium Forums

    I'm sure you can get your questions answered there.

    But FYI, some standards in fishkeeping stay the same -- sounds like you cycled your tank w/ live fish, which is really unnecessary. Plus goldfish are coldwater, and chiclids are tropical. Definitely do more research because they have different needs ;)
     
    wontonflip, Mar 19, 2013
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  3. 2TanksOakland

    Smitty

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    Hello and welcome...like Wonton mentioned, goldfish and cichlids have totally different husbandry needs, and the cichlids will eventually kill off the goldfish. Now you said you had 30 fish at one point, and once they started dying, the water became more polluted which each death. You mentioned that you used to over feed, so that means all that extra food is in the substrate and filter just rotting away, causing high nitrates and phosphates, and lastly, you have a canister filter that you've never cleaned...that's bad advise from the fish store. All filters must be regularly cleaned, which is also a cause of your high levels. My suggestion is to do weekly 20% water changes, and vacuum the substrate when you do a water change, and clean your filter when you do the water changes. Good luck.
     
    Smitty, Mar 19, 2013
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  4. 2TanksOakland

    2TanksOakland

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    thanks on the welcomes :D

    but I was thinking of going to the freshwater site but cycling a tank I thought would be for all tanks and I will be on here a lot more once I get my 75gal saltwater tank going. no need in being on both forums...

    as to goldfish and chiclids yes i know they will need different specs but I have to get my tank cycled first. I have my heater and I know I will need a different ph not to stress my new fish once I get them.

    but ok I'll keep doing weelkly 20% water changes. but wont the large amount of water changes effect my bio-filter?
     
    2TanksOakland, Mar 20, 2013
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  5. 2TanksOakland

    2TanksOakland

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    these are my reaings and what my tank looks like...

    of course once I get my chiclids I'll be getting some rocks and a few plastic pipes that can hide and swim in
     

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    2TanksOakland, Mar 20, 2013
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  6. 2TanksOakland

    Smitty

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    Nope, the water changes don't effect the biofilter, because most of the beneficial bacteria is on the surfaces of the substrate, rocks, plants, filter pads, etc... not in the actual water column. The only way to rid the toxins and contaminates out the water is to remove the bad water and replace it with new/ clean water. And by the way, nice looking tank.
     
    Smitty, Mar 20, 2013
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  7. 2TanksOakland

    charlieB

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    +1 Smitty

    My advice to you would be to perform daily water changes until your ammonia levels are down to 1.0 ppm and then continue to perform water changes as needed to prevent it from going back up while your tank finishes cycling. As Smitty stated, the majority of the bacteria is not living in the water column so you aren't removing it when you change the water, but an ammonia level of 4.0ppm is lethal to the fish you have in there right now. If possible I would also remove most of the goldfish while your cycle finishes. Personally I don't cycle my FW or SW tanks with live fish, but assuming that's the method you have chosen, only 1 or 2 goldfish would produce sufficient amounts of ammonia to fuel your cycle, and it seems unnecessarily cruel to have 18 goldfish living under such conditions, especially if you are planning to swap them out for cichlids anyway.
     
    charlieB, Mar 20, 2013
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  8. 2TanksOakland

    2TanksOakland

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    Question... you say biofilter is in the substrate, but when you do water changes arent you suppose to siphen the water by putting the tube in the sand to get all the fish waste and excessive food that hasn't been eaten??? and if so how does that not effect the biofilter?

    :frustrat::frustrat::frustrat:

    trying to understand this aquarium stuff lol

    thanks, Its a temporary set up. I need to get those plate looking rocks for the chiclids...

    but on my saltwater note, I'm a step closer. All I need to do is get my live/dry rock, live sand, and water and I'll be ready to start cycling. Oh and power heads

    :bounce::bounce::bounce:
     
    2TanksOakland, Mar 29, 2013
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  9. 2TanksOakland

    2TanksOakland

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    Once I did that one 50% water change and cleaned my filter, my water cleared up and went down to .50 ppm...

    Now I'm just wating on my nitrites to go down. they stay between 1 and 3 ppm on my Mardel test strips and my nitrates are at 5ppm with my api test kit

    I didnt know about cycling like how I do know and the crazy thing is I'm starting to ge a bond with my feeder goldfish, i wanna keep them but the chiclids gonna eat em lol and I cant use them to for my saltwater tank.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
    2TanksOakland, Mar 29, 2013
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  10. 2TanksOakland

    Greenman

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    Major difference between a saltwater tank and freshwater is you pretty much have to have some sort of filter under your sub. Alot of people put down plastic egg crates and put the sub ontop. than you have two pipes on each back cornor pulling the water from underneat there into a filter. Filtration on a fresh water is much different from saltwater.
     
    Greenman, Mar 29, 2013
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  11. 2TanksOakland

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    When you vacuum the substrate in a freshwater tank, you are removing the waste the settles into the gravel or on top of the sand. The bacteria stays in place because it is attached to the surfaces of the substrate. Your removing waste not bacteria.

    You are referring to an under gravel filter, which is old technology, and rarely used now.
    they just aren't effective filters.
     
    yote, Mar 29, 2013
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  12. 2TanksOakland

    Greenman

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    I loved my under gravel, I had my ehiem attached to the intake
     
    Greenman, Mar 29, 2013
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  13. 2TanksOakland

    ErinCahir Sausage Wrangler

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    You do not have to have some sort of filter under your substrate for freshwater.

    Get a python and siphon the crap out of the gravel. It's a lot less hassle and way more effective.

    E: Bah. There was a whole other page of responses. +1 yote
     
    ErinCahir, Mar 29, 2013
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