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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was a dumb-dumb and added cories + dwarf rainbows to an uncycled heavily planted tank.

The cories appeared to be tanks for the first two weeks, no losses, so I really pushed my luck with adding 7 Pseudomugilinae Luminatus. Lost all of them, sad, but OK since it's to be expected.

Now I am losing the cories, who were fine before.

Ammonia has spiked to 0.25-.5 ppm even with daily 50% water changes. Does this product work well enough to kick start the cycle? With the cories only, ammonia was 0 ppm. I think the tank hadn't cycled at all with just them in there, and now it has begun. No nitrates, only ammonia.

Any experience with this product and does it help/work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did have good experience with it in cycling my tank faster.
Are your fish still alive?
I have one rainbow left (just said I lost all because, well, 6 out of 7 is pretty bad) and a few cories. I received the Quick Start via mail today and dosed it. Hoping it helps. I have resolved to accept I may lose all of these fish though, and I'm never doing a fish-in cycle again.

I knew better. It's just my first tank in so many years (I was a young hobbyist then college/work/life happened) that I jumped the gun in impulsive excitement. Thought I got lucky with the cories but I don't think they nor their food were producing enough ammonia to even start the cycle. I thought I had possibly cycled the tank in 2.5 weeks because of the heavy plants! Added the rainbows and it all went to hell, with the ammonia spiking to Heaven. Silly me, and my poor fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, don't know why you decided to put the fish in so soon but I guess you already learned your lesson.
I did learn my lesson, so sad I killed my fish in the process.

After dosing Quick Start about 6 hours ago, here are my water parameters:

Ammonia 0.25ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate 5 ppm

What does this mean? The Quick Start is working? Should I do another 50% water change?

I'm down to one cory and one rainbow. Once they all die, should I just leave the tank be and dose quick start regularly until it cycles? Are the 50% water changes pointless if there's no fish to save?

I am so sorry and feel very foolish.
 

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I think a lot of cycling products do work if they are fresh. I use the one from seachem but I heard tetra safe start plus is good too. Either way I will cycle until two weeks even with the bacteria products and can cycle aquasoil from 5ppm ammonia to 0 in that time. During the cycle I keep the temperature raised though to speed it up.
 

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4 aquariums, all planted.
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If you haven't already I would add plants. Once the plants start to grow you will be fine to add fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your replies, my friends! The water looks even worse today lol. Jeff, I did a 50% water change after these readings. What do the water changes even do, if all the fish are gone? Shouldn't I just let the bacteria and ammonia do their thing?

Ammonia appears to be approaching 2 ppm :(
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Nitrite, this is my first reading outside of zero, appears to be .5-1ppm.
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Nitrate is the same, 5 ppm
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This is so awful! Do you guys think in a couple weeks these will stabilize? Now that I've lost my fish, do I need to dose some type of ammonia or put fish food in there to keep it going?

Thanks so much in advance.
 

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Check your tapwater. Some areas of the country have ammonia or chloramines in the tap watter that will show up in the test. Also, if you are in areas stricken by the recent storms your tapwater quality might be worsened. If you are on facebook, joining your local aquarist page can help keep you alerted to issues with tap water quality. When I lived in Houston this was especially useful. Now that I live in the SF bay though our tap water tends to vary from good to excellent during the year.
 

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maybe the fish can be placed in another small tank temporarily while the planted tank cycles itself? Is it also possible in parallel you are overfeeding your fish? You have too too many variables at play here. In a cycled tank, I have NEVER seen Nitrites for starters which is very dangerous to fish. Basically your API test kit is telling you your tank needs to go through the Nitrogen cycle which takes time. STOP, STOP doing daily 50% partial water changes to a tank that is trying to cycle itself and establish a biosphere. You are disrupting what the ecosystem is trying to do. Ask around if you can borrow someone's small unused tank for a bit for your fish. If you have a local pet supply shop (maybe the one you got your fish from) can take the fish back under your current circumstance while you let your newly planted tank establish itself and go through the Nitrogen cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Check your tapwater. Some areas of the country have ammonia or chloramines in the tap watter that will show up in the test. Also, if you are in areas stricken by the recent storms your tapwater quality might be worsened. If you are on facebook, joining your local aquarist page can help keep you alerted to issues with tap water quality. When I lived in Houston this was especially useful. Now that I live in the SF bay though our tap water tends to vary from good to excellent during the year.
Here is a link to our comprehensive water quality test: https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/city/depts/water/WaterQltyResultsNRpts/ccReports/CCA-2020-14.pdf

It's a bit long, but I didn't see anything too striking.

maybe the fish can be placed in another small tank temporarily while the planted tank cycles itself? Is it also possible in parallel you are overfeeding your fish? You have too too many variables at play here. In a cycled tank, I have NEVER seen Nitrites for starters which is very dangerous to fish. Basically your API test kit is telling you your tank needs to go through the Nitrogen cycle which takes time. STOP, STOP doing daily 50% partial water changes to a tank that is trying to cycle itself and establish a biosphere. You are disrupting what the ecosystem is trying to do. Ask around if you can borrow someone's small unused tank for a bit for your fish. If you have a local pet supply shop (maybe the one you got your fish from) can take the fish back under your current circumstance while you let your newly planted tank establish itself and go through the Nitrogen cycle.
Sadly I have lost them all except one cory, who seems to be a tank. I figured I needed to stop the water changes and I have just left it alone. My water parameters are vastly different today, should I continue to does the Quick Start?

Ammonia down to 0.25 ppm
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Nitrite seems to be almost 0 again?! WTF, this makes me feel I need to continue dosing nitrifying bacteria with no water changes.
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Nitrate - gone up to 10-20ppm
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