Hrmm i messed up? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hrmm i messed up?

so my 30 gallon has been cycling for nearly two weeks, one week with fish. on friday i added my electric blue cray. today he molted, and promptly died :-(.

upon testing my tank I can see something is way wrong....

GH= 6
KH= 3
Nitrite= 5ppm
Nitrate= 5ppm
Ammonia= .25ppm
PH=i didn't even bother lol.

i do over feed, but i do 30% weekly water changes.

so my question is which killed the cray, and any idea what i may have done wrong?


(also would i be okay letting the fish in the tank eat the cray, and the remove him tonight when i do a water change?)

Will
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-18-2012, 11:48 PM
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You definitely need to avoid overfeeding. Even with large water changes, the ammonia and nitrite will rise if the uneaten food isn't removed - both are very toxic to fish/invertebrates. This was a mistake I made initially as I always saw the fish seemingly begging for food, even if I just fed them

I would cut down on feeding some and ensure the tank is fully cycled before adding any more fish. Between overfeeding and not being cycled, the bacteria simply aren't able to keep up with breaking the ammonia down to nitrite then nitrite to the much less toxic nitrate

I'd give the tank at least 2 more weeks before considering adding any more animals to it. Ensure ammonia and nitrite are at 0 (and nitrates should be up some then) before adding anything. When you add more fish, add only a few a day to give the bacteria a chance to grow and be able to handle the increased bio load

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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i over feed in all of my tanks. always have, but i've never had it spike this high. i guess it would be a combo of not being fully cycled, and over feeding. when i tested before adding the cray everything was at 0, blast!

Will
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 12:27 AM
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Its seems you didn't give enuff time for the tank to propely cycle. (You can find out great info on cycling here on TPT) also you my have added too many fish way to fast. Also doing heavy water changes can impede on how well your tank cycles.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 12:29 AM
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If you had zero everything including Nitrate your tank probably was not cycled. Further evidence is that you then had nitrites and ammonia after just adding one cray. You should have a small amount of nitrate when cycled.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 12:30 AM
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You shouldn't have had anything in that tank. It's was maaaybe half way through it's cycle. A cycled tank will have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and whatever (0-50) for nitrates. You simply put fish in a toxic environment. It's likely the overfeeding was just the icing on the cake.

My 165 cycled super de duper fast. I had no ammonia, nitrite or nitrates after a week, but have the soil was from a fully mature tank. I've added a small amount of livestock and not even a blip of ammonia. My tank was also heavily planted from day one which gives a little bit of room for error. One to two week cycles are possible if seeded, but a new startup usually takes at least three, but usually four - six weeks to cycle.


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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 12:32 AM
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When you find everything at zero, that is a time to stop and consider what is wrong. Think along this line. You are putting food in each day and the fish are making waste all the time. There will be ammonia. If the filter is working but only part way through a cycle, there will be nitrite. If the filter is fully ready for fish there will be nitrate. When you find none of the above and all read zero, there is a problem with the testing.

Right now your best bet at saving other fish is to stop feeding, definitely get the dead body out and wait a few days. Dead bodies produce lots of ammonia and if the filter is not ready, the tank gets bad in a hurry. Get the testing straightened out and then do water changes to keep things down as far as possible. A bag of Ammo-chips hung in the filter output is my first choice for holding the line when things get off like this.

Best of luck to you. Hang on, there's a few bumps in the road.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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i did seed with water from the tank the cray came from. i've seeded all of my tanks this way (my other ones have been seeded from my 29g). usually i only wait 3 or 4 days, and everything is fine, atleast for my 4 other tanks everything was okay.

i also used filters that had been seeded in the previous cray tank....i used 20g of new water, and 5g of water from the tank the cray had been in

guess i'll have to wait awhile

Will
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
When you find everything at zero, that is a time to stop and consider what is wrong. Think along this line. You are putting food in each day and the fish are making waste all the time. There will be ammonia. If the filter is working but only part way through a cycle, there will be nitrite. If the filter is fully ready for fish there will be nitrate. When you find none of the above and all read zero, there is a problem with the testing.

Right now your best bet at saving other fish is to stop feeding, definitely get the dead body out and wait a few days. Dead bodies produce lots of ammonia and if the filter is not ready, the tank gets bad in a hurry. Get the testing straightened out and then do water changes to keep things down as far as possible. A bag of Ammo-chips hung in the filter output is my first choice for holding the line when things get off like this.

Best of luck to you. Hang on, there's a few bumps in the road.
You will not read ammonia or nitrite on a cycled tank. You most likely will read nitrate, but possibly not if you have lots of plants and are not dosing.

Aquatic Delight, water won't seed the tank. There's pretty much nil for bacteria in the water. You want mulm, filter media or substrate for seeding. When starting a new tank, pitch all the old water and re acclimate the fish to the new setup.


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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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but isnt there bacteria in the dirty water?

Will
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 01:30 AM
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Beneficial nitrifying bacteria live on the surfaces in your tank.

It's always best to let your tank "cycle" before adding anything. Invertebrates are especially sensitive to Nitrites and Ammonia.


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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic Delight View Post
but isnt there bacteria in the dirty water?
not really..

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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 01:50 AM
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next time you cycle a tank, try a fishless cycle. it's better for fish and will be sure that you don't kill anything (fish OR inverts). try searching it on the forum for details on how it works.

two weeks isn't very long for a cycle, unless you have old filter media in the filter, or substrate from an established tank, it probably won't happen that quickly. it's a good idea to test every day or every other day and keep up with water changes when ammonia/nitrite/nitrate gets too high.

i'd dose your tank with prime to neutralize the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate until your tank is cycled. this will keep your fish healthy, and the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate will still show up on test kits. don't add any more livestock until your tank has cycled fully. when it's cycled, the readings will be 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and something nitrate (hopefully under 40 PPM).
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcgd View Post
You will not read ammonia or nitrite on a cycled tank. You most likely will read nitrate, but possibly not if you have lots of plants and are not dosing.

Aquatic Delight, water won't seed the tank. There's pretty much nil for bacteria in the water. You want mulm, filter media or substrate for seeding. When starting a new tank, pitch all the old water and re acclimate the fish to the new setup.

I agree that one will not normally read ammonia or nitrite on a cycled tank. But then does anybody feel this was a cycled tank? Cycled tanks don't usually have dead animals in them! The odds of reading zero on all three with dead stuff in the tank is pretty slim, I think. If it were an ideal, established, fully planted tank, it might happen but nothing I see indicates that to be the case here.

I think the most likely cause of zero readings on those three tests is bad testing. Whether it is an old test kit or some other problems, that would be something to review.
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 02:41 AM
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Oh, yeah, I agree with that. But he said he read zero on everything when he tested it before he had fish. There's was just water in a tank so that's possible. Adding fish would have started the cycle, hence the results he had after.

I don't think I'm arguing on purpose, maybe just misunderstood what you were saying there, plantedrich. Regardless, I believe what I'm saying, about a cycled tank, is correct.


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