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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi , my tank keeps mini cycleing/having a spike.
I fully cycled it fishlessly 3-4 months back and every few days the ammonia and nitrites just randomly rise causing much disrett in my fish.
Why is this happening?I never overfeed , never clean the filter etc.
Ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Information we'll need:

Size of your tank - volume
I think its around 8 gallons - but im picking them up a 18 gallon on sunday ! Then i need to cycle it etc. to make sure its safe.

What kind of fish?
dwarf puffers & ottos

How many fish?
2 dwarf puffers & 3 ottos

Substrate?
Sand

Plant mass?
What do you mean?Its densley planted

The following water parameters: ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, temperature
ammonia - 0ppm
nitrites - 0.15ppm
nitrates -10ppm
PH- Around 7.5

What sort of filter? Size?
http://www.wearepets.co.uk/fish/products_pictures/fluval-u1-filter.jpg
http://www.andrewsaquatics.co.uk/ek.../images/fluval-mini-internal-filter-322-p.jpg
^^ Both - for double filteration

What rae you feeding and how often/how much?
frozen bloodworms , live daphnie , live bloodworms , live brine shrimp , snails

Are you adding anything to to he tank?
No , but i was told to add tetra cycle thing? I added some of that. I do 50% water changes weekly as reccomended and add dechlorinator etc.

The readings got very bad on sunday and 2 fish died. The other 2 are fine tough and eating etc. tough now. I may get another otto to make up 4 to make them feel more secure as i think a 18 gallon would hold this but want to make sure its stable first
 

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If you're having repeated cycles, it could be your tiny filters. Puffers are small but they could be producing more waste than the filters can handle. Though, it sounds like your tank has never properly cycled.

Re: plant mass - Specific plants you have, how many you've got, size of plants.

Why are you adding Tetra Cycle?

Since you have Nitrite in the tank, you need to remove all livestock as soon as possible. Get your tank properly cycled before putting fish back in the tank.
 

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How do you properly cycle "fishlessly" I've always been under the impression that your tank needs to cycle for its intended bio load.

It seems you have your hand in your tank frequently, i have seen more water problems from people who over test and counter then from people who just let the tank sort itself out. I would not recommend 50% water changes, you are making huge changes to the water chemistry, which doesn't necessarily help your situation. If your levels are high then try doing 10% daily. That way you will get your levels in check with out the drastic change to the water.

I would also recommend waiting untill this tank is running smoothly before you buy that 18gal. The only thing worse then one frustrating tank is two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I took a test today -
ammonia - 0ppm
nitrites - 0ppm

YES !! its been holding for nearly 2 days !

Should i get my 18 gallon and set it up etc.
 

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I took a test today -
ammonia - 0ppm
nitrites - 0ppm

YES !! its been holding for nearly 2 days !

Should i get my 18 gallon and set it up etc.
those mini filter don't seem to hold much sponge media..as it look more of a coarse sponge...maybe add more fine sponge in there
 

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Here is how to handle the new tank:
Make sure you have a big enough filter (or two) to hold plenty of media. I like the Aquaclear product line. Large box for media. I run the Aquaclear 50 on a 10 gallon tank, and the 70 on a 45 gallon tank with another filter. For a tank with 18 gallons I would use the 50, at least, and maybe the 70 if the fish liked that much water movement. I don't think Puffers like that, though. 2 of the Aquaclear 30s would be a good compromise.

Get it fully set up and planted, and run it to be sure the filters, heater and so on work, and the tank does not leak.

Add Tetra Safe Start, or Dr. Tim's One and Only, or Microbe Lift's Nite Out II. These products contain Nitrospira, the actual species of bacteria you need.

Do the fishless cycle, but it will go REALLY FAST when you have added a good starter colony of the bacteria. A few days, certainly less than a week.

Once conditions are stable, move the fish over.

I also think the varying conditions are due to the small volume of water and small filter.
When a minor blip happens there is so little water to dilute it the ammonia or nitrite test really high.
When there is nitrite showing on the test add salt (sodium chloride) to the tank. Use 1 teaspoon per 20 gallons. This is a very low dose, fine for salt sensitive fish and plants. It is plenty to keep the nitrite from entering the fishes' blood.
If you can match the water in the tank, GH, KH and TDS, then do as large and as many water changes as you need to keep ammonia under .25ppm and nitrite under 1 ppm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Will it be fine if i take half the media out the other tank then?
My current tank cycled quickly even without beneficial bacteria. I have tetra safe or what ever its called.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay i will follow those insturctions !
Also
I just read the bottle of dechlorinator i brought a about 1-2 weeks back and it says add half of what i have been adding , im overdosing with dechlorinator! I ordered the same one as my old but it came as a super strength one for coppers etc. Could this be whats upsetting my fish? Its 1 ml for 20 gallons i have been adding 4-5 mills for a 14 gallon And 4 mills for my 5 gallon is this bad ... i feel so awful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thats okay then. Just wanted to be sure
Im hopefully getting the tank tommorow so i will set it up and cycle it with my filter media etc. At the moment the levels are all perfect so the fish are happy.
Thanks so much!:)
 
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