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War on Ammonia!!!

Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: Tank health and maintenance: War on Ammonia!!!
  

Chris

Monday, February 04, 2002 - 05:27 pm
I've got a 55 gallon tank with the penguin bio-wheel 330. The tank has been set up for about 2 months now and I'm still having trouble with ammonia. I cycled it with 4 golden barbs for a month, then gave them to a friend, then added 4 midas cichlids. For the past 2 weeks, I've been changing about 20%/week with still no declination in concentration of ammonia (2 ppm). This week I've changed 35% every other day and the ammonia level is finally just above 1 ppm. My question is, does changing so frequently stress the fish or dramatically effect the bacteria in my set up? Also, what's the largest volume that can be safely changed with minimal stress to the fish? I know this tank will not be sufficient for these fish down the road, but for now they're just little guys (3 1/2"). Looking forward to getting 125+ gallon soon! Sorry for the long post and any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Chris

  

joycedonley

Monday, February 04, 2002 - 05:45 pm
Sometimes a tank can tank longer than 5 weeks to cycle, especially if you added a lot of fish (9 inches +) to the new tank. I think water changes every other day are a bit much especially with the volume of water you are changing out. The most I've heard of anyone doing is 10-15% every 3 days and that was in an overfeeding situation where the ammonia levels were critical. Slow down and let the tank cycle a bit. If you are really worried about the levels go to feeding a small bit once per day. Occasionally skipping a day of food may also help. If the fish aren't stressed and gasping at the surface I wouldn't panic on the 2ppm! PS how do you know it cycled in the first place? Did you go with the nitrate reading or just figure it was long enough?

  

chris

Monday, February 04, 2002 - 07:30 pm
I was told that you can tell when your tank is cycled when you see green algae on the filter pad and in the tank. After I saw these indications I just assumed. Well, you know what assuming things makes! The fish are doin fine, I just don't want to get into a situation that could possibly kill my tank. I think that I'll put em on a diet and see if that works. Oh by the way, was I wrong about the whole algae thing? Thanks for the advice and if you can think of anything else, please let me know.

thanks,
Chris

  

Chris

Monday, February 04, 2002 - 07:35 pm
I've also heard that amquel will bond to the amonia in a way that makes it harmless to fish but you will still test positive for ammonia. The question I have with this is will the nitrites be able to break down the ammonia with the amquel in the system or will I just be stuck with ammonia through out the duration? Also, will the amquel deteriate and "break free" from the ammonia? I am a rookie aquarist but really enjoy the hobby (more like an addiction) so any additional info from a few pros will be very helpful.

Thanks for the reply,
Chris

  

joycedonley

Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 07:25 am
Read Genesis and Curt's fishless recycling article. They both are on the main board and give great information on cycling a tank. Even though Curt's method is fishless I believe he recommends not to use amquel as this will inhibit the cycle process that every tank needs to go through. Algae on your filter pad does not mean a tank has cycled. In fact if you add too many fish to your tank and there is not enough good bacteria present you may actually cause it to go through the whole process again! That's why it's better to go slow on adding fish. Most tanks aren't really well broken in until about six months.

 

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