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Lil2606 Lil2606
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  • Posted on: 24/1 16:09
Very high Nitrite (2-5ppm) and Nitrate (Above 80-160ppm), 0.5 Ammonia - Fish in the tank #1
Hi,

I recently upgraded from a little 15l tank to a 60l+ one, and I have a new filter with new media in the big tank but I moved over the filter media from the little tank as well, and put the sponge right beside the new filter's intake.. hoping the bacteria will colonise the new filter, but in any case the water passes through the mature filter as well..

I have been monitoring water quality and it had quickly started to get worse in the last couple of days. A day before yesterday I could see the ammonia climbing a little but from yesterday to today it doubled, and the nitrite and nitrate levels had jumped right up too. 0.5 Ammonia, Nitrite 2-5ppm and Nitrate 80-160ppm from todays reading.
I have 2 Rosy Barbs, and they don't show any signs of discomfort, in fact they seem more active and playful in the last couple of days than before (They moved into the tank on Tuesday) I will start doing some water changes.. should I do a 50% today and then do 25% everyday / every other day depending on water quality?

At the moment I only have the 2 Rosy-s but I wanted to get a couple more of them and some different barbs this week, as they are schooling fish and my boy is known to nip fins not having enough friends to play with... should I hold off with increasing the bio-load until the tank stabilises?
I live alone and have to ask a friend to come to the LFS with me to get some more fish.. so whenever I end up buying more fish it will be 'in the bulk'... currently planning 2 more Rosys, 5-6 Cherry Barbs, and 4 Checker or Ruby Barbs whichever I like more when I see them in real life..

I could move my Rosys back in the 15L tank but that will also not be cycled so I'm not sure how that would help... and if I hold off with getting more fish then 1 I will keep them in solitude for longer which is not fair on them, 2 I will potentially have to put them through 2 cycles, which again I don't think is fair..

Any advice?

I am quite upset about this situation I have been entrusted to look after 1 Rosy while the owners are away (I'm house sitting/renting for 6 months) and wanting to do it properly I have now spent 100£ + getting a new tank and more fish and, been learning A LOT about how to care for fish but I sort of started with a handicap. Once upon a time when I'll have my own place and my own tank I will do it right, and get the tank and fishless cycle it and make sure its all properly set up before I get the fish, but I don't know anyone nearby who I trust, to look after these 2 while the tank cycles, so unfair and sad as it is, I'm not sure what could I do besides monitoring them and doing water changes to reduce the harmful substances in their tank...

I will contact my LFS, see if they could put them up for a little while... but to be completely honest I am a little untrusting towards them... When I bought my boy from them they told me its impossible to tell Female and Male Rosy Barbs apart and that the ones in the tank are fully grown, both of which I now know to be false.. so I'm not sure I'd be comfortable leaving them with those people.

Sorry for the long post... Lots of thoughts and I'm just a beginner trying to do the right thing.
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 24/1 22:22
Re: Very high Nitrite (2-5ppm) and Nitrate (Above 80-160ppm), 0.5 Ammonia - Fish in the tank #2
I would follow this guide to cycling fish-in and hopefully, it will resolve quickly: https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... ammonia-nitrite-spike.htm
Lil2606 Lil2606
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  • Posted on: 25/1 6:18
Re: Very high Nitrite (2-5ppm) and Nitrate (Above 80-160ppm), 0.5 Ammonia - Fish in the tank #3
This is super useful! Thank you very much!

I decided to delay getting more fish. I have found some little white spots on the fins of the new fish I bought a couple of days ago from Pets at Home. She also has some large white patches on her body, so I am not quite sure if its fungus or itch or perhaps both.

Again, not sure what to do...

I'm thinking to move them in the little tank to treat for itch and in the mean time leave my big tank to cycle, since it has ammonia already I imagine I shouldn't need to introduce any more... and I can do 50% changes in the little tank easier and more cost-effectively, to keep ammonia at bay there.. and it wouldn't matter that its not cycled because it will be medicated so the bacteria would die anyway...

More importantly, I read that itch can spread to the tank itself, so if its already in my big tank, shouldn't I treat them in the big tank, in which case I shouldn't do it while cycling but then if I medicate after cycling the meds will kill the bacteria and I'll have to cycle again?

This is not very clear...
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 25/1 18:47
Re: Very high Nitrite (2-5ppm) and Nitrate (Above 80-160ppm), 0.5 Ammonia - Fish in the tank #4
The meds you'd need for ich and the white patches won't harm filter bacteria. You need Esha Exit and Esha 2000 used in combination, but they are both 3-day treatments so as you need to be doing water changes to deal with nitrite and ammonia you will have to calculate the daily doses taking account of the dilution of the previous day's dose. It's going to be quite complicated. The other option is to also buy a bottle of Seachem Prime and add a double dose each day during treatment to neutralise the ammonia and nitrite temporarily and recommence water changes after treatment finishes.
N-HoneyGourami N-HoneyGourami
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  • Posted on: 26/1 10:23
Re: Very high Nitrite (2-5ppm) and Nitrate (Above 80-160ppm), 0.5 Ammonia - Fish in the tank #5
Please please please STOP BUYING FISH. You are going to kill them. Do a 80-90% water change and then treat with Esha Exit and 2000 at the same time as you’ve been told. Do not feed for 2-3 days then feed a TINY amount every 2 days. Maximum one flake per fish.

24/30 hours after last dose do another large water change. You cannot do water changes during treatment so you must remove as much ammonia and nitrite as possible first. Do NOT feed for at least 12 hours before water change.

You need to treat the whole tank and all fish, do not move them as ich / whitespot will stay in the tank.

Until your tank is fully cycled ie ammonia and nitrite are consistently zero for a week continue to feed a small amount every 2 days.

Do NOT get more fish until you have had zero ammonia and nitrite for a month.

When you do get more fish maximum 2/3 at a time. The bacteria in the filter take time to catch up with the bioload from more fish, you cannot just suddenly add loads at once, your cycle will crash again. In a tank that size you can’t have many fish anyway, so don’t just keep buying them when your cycle is complete.

Please take the time to learn about fishkeeping while you are fixing the issues you’ve created. Aquarium Coop is a good Youtube channel for understanding the basics. Put into google or youtube aquarium nitrogen cycle and keep watching or reading until you understand fully what you are aiming for. Then do the same with the words emergency fish in cycle.

You are keeping water and not fish. You cannot have healthy happy fish in toxic water!

Also please DO NOT take any further advice from shops, and do not get fish from Pets at Home. Find another shop, read reviews etc.

Once you’ve cycled this tank you need to fishless cycle a second tank to create a quarantine for new fish for a month so they don’t infect your whole tank. If you put infected fish in and keep repeatedly treating the same fish they’ll die eventually, the medicine is not good for them. The second time I used it I lost fish.
fcmf fcmf
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  • Posted on: 26/1 14:11
Re: Very high Nitrite (2-5ppm) and Nitrate (Above 80-160ppm), 0.5 Ammonia - Fish in the tank #6
Lil2606 - hope you're not too disheartened with the problems you've found yourself with. It's a brave undertaking, moving into rented accommodation and simultaneously taking on a tank that the owners have left you with, but you're doing your best to improve the situation by upgrading to a larger tank, attempting to save the female that was experiencing problems, and planning to add to their shoal in future, etc.

I can understand why you bought a new female to replace the one who died and give the male some company, to ensure that you didn't lose the filter bacteria that was building up, and your rationale to add to the shoal in the future. However, as you've concluded yourself, best to delay getting any more fish until well after the fish-in cycle is safely completed, and concentrate on that over the next couple of months and keeping the two fish you do have healthy.

Hopefully the link that Fishlady provided to help with the fish-in cycling, and on treating them in the main tank to ensure it rids the tank of any whitespot. As N-HoneyGourami says, you could start doing a fishless cycle on the quarantine/small tank, to prepare it for future fish which you could quarantine in there for a month before moving into the main tank - the link for it is here https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... hless-cycling-article.htm . [When you do move them into the main tank, move across the filter as well, so that there will be sufficient beneficial bacteria to cope with the new and additional fish. However, we can guide you through that when you eventually get to that stage of buying new fish. Personally, I've found Pets At Home fish fine - like any chain, some stores are better than others.]

Hope that helps.
Lil2606 Lil2606
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  • Posted on: 26/1 15:17
Re: Very high Nitrite (2-5ppm) and Nitrate (Above 80-160ppm), 0.5 Ammonia - Fish in the tank #7
Okay, so I DID NOT get more fish. Prime is on its way, but I did move them to the small tank, it seemed like the best thing to do as I didn't know about the bacteria being harmed or not by the medication. I have bought King British white spot control which I have read good reviews about. Some have used it twice and it can be used preventatively apparently, and I'd like to think so, because I don't think my other fish has it (yet).

I have read the article that fishlady linked in, which says if I have high nitrates (which I do) I shouldn't shock my fish with a massive water change, so I have put them in the small tank with about 40% of the water in it from the big tank, and I added 10% fresh (dechlorinated with Aquasafe) every hour, hour and a half, until the tank was full.

The fish in question with the 3 tiniest spots on 1 fin, had only been in the big tank for 3 days, and I can't see anything on my other fish (only have the 2 of them) but they are both in the medicated water. Any chance it didn't spread to the tank yet?

I'm monitoring the water in both tanks doing water changes and medicating my small tank and leaving the big one to cycle. In my big one, Ammonia had now climbed to 1ppm and Nitrites are still maxed out based on my kit. (I have an API freshwater master test kit.) Nitrates had slightly decreased, probably because I have performed a 20(ish) percent water change when I took some water out for the medicated tank.

So this is a bit of a strange one for me.. ammonia climbs, and in the mean time I have high nitrites. I have just tested my tap water, which came back with 0 so its not from there.
I thought I'm supposed to be having Ammonia and no Nitrites, then Ammonia declining and Nitrites climbing then Nitrites declining and Nitrates climbing..
Could this be because I have some bacteria already, there is just not enough of them?
Do I just wait? Or should I increase the Ammonia?
https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... hless-cycling-article.htm
This says push it up to 3ppm, but my tank seems to be in a different cycle (stage...)

I have put off buying fish until I have a more suitable home for them, but I feel quite bad for my 2 Rosys they are schooling fish, they need more friends and my boy had been nipping the fins of my rosy girl before all things went south and I put them in the big tank thinking it will be fine if I put the old filters in it (clearly it wasn't) in about 24hrs I lost the girl to a swim bladder infection which I couldn't identify and thought was just lethargy from not having space, see: - see: https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/modules/ ... c_id=41739&post_id=351689 - then bought the new girl from Pets at home and now I'm worried he will start nipping this girl too if the itch doesn't take them both.

I just wish I could do more for them, but it seems the more I try to do and help the worse I'm making things. :( The family who owns the house and the fish had already killed some but keeps buying them for the children, so I was hoping I can set things up for them properly before they get back, and end the fish killings, but it seems I'm part of the problem, not the solution :(
Lil2606 Lil2606
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Re: Very high Nitrite (2-5ppm) and Nitrate (Above 80-160ppm), 0.5 Ammonia - Fish in the tank #8
Okay this article: https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles_88/white-spot.htm says if I just leave the tank without fish in it for min. 2 weeks (It has a heater now, and I cranked up the temp when I thought I was getting ready for Cherry Barbs) the parasites will die off as there will be no host... which makes sense really, so my big tank should be okay to cycle in peace and I can hopefully do better managing the water in the little one...
N-HoneyGourami N-HoneyGourami
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Re: Very high Nitrite (2-5ppm) and Nitrate (Above 80-160ppm), 0.5 Ammonia - Fish in the tank #9
Ich/whitespot lives in the tank, as well as on the fish so by moving the fish you’ll need to treat both tanks, and unfortunately the treatment you got isn’t likely to work. So your bigger tank is still infected with or without fish. If not treated the infection will come back when you put the fish back, changing water, cleaning etc won’t help.

A friend and I recently bought fish from the same shop in the same week, and both introduced whitespot into our tanks. I used Esha Exit and Esha 2000, gone in 3 days, no losses. She ran a 5 day treatment that didn’t work, then a 7 day treatment that didn't work. She only listened to me after she started losing fish. The ammonia and nitrite will be pretty toxic after 3 days so this is another reason to use Esha Exit and Esha 2000 as it’s shorter. If the spots are not gone on day 3 you can extend the day 2/3 dose of Exit for up to an additional 2 days. No need to extend 2000 unless they have the symptoms on the leaflet.

You’ll still need to treat both tanks as the disease lives in the tank, removing the fish or cleaning the tank does not remove the disease.

The treatment does not affect filter bacteria providing you do not overdose.

In the smaller tank the ammonia will build up much more quickly so it’s best to treat in the bigger tank as you cannot do any water changes during treatment.

Unfortunately if your filter has been without fish for a few hours the bacteria will be dying so you’ll be back to the very start of cycling. The fish waste breaks down to ammonia which is needed by the filter for the bacteria to develop. Without an ammonia source, be it fish or Dr Tim’s ammonia, the filter will not cycle. You cannot add ammonia with fish in the tank.

I’d honestly take the advice you’ve been given here, I come here for my advice as it’s always spot on. Do not take advice from shops. Try and find a better shop.
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 26/1 20:44
Re: Very high Nitrite (2-5ppm) and Nitrate (Above 80-160ppm), 0.5 Ammonia - Fish in the tank #10
Quote:

N-HoneyGourami wrote:
Ich/whitespot lives in the tank, as well as on the fish so by moving the fish you’ll need to treat both tanks, and unfortunately the treatment you got isn’t likely to work. So your bigger tank is still infected with or without fish. If not treated the infection will come back when you put the fish back, changing water, cleaning etc won’t help.

......You’ll still need to treat both tanks as the disease lives in the tank, removing the fish or cleaning the tank does not remove the disease.

This is incorrect. The ich parasite has no dormant form and if left in a fallow tank with no host will die out in about 14 days, especially if the temperature is raised.

Quote:
Unfortunately if your filter has been without fish for a few hours the bacteria will be dying so you’ll be back to the very start of cycling. The fish waste breaks down to ammonia which is needed by the filter for the bacteria to develop. Without an ammonia source, be it fish or Dr Tim’s ammonia, the filter will not cycle. You cannot add ammonia with fish in the tank.

It takes considerably longer than that for bacteria to die off .... a couple of days or so will be OK if the filter is running and has water circulating through it to provide them with oxygen..