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Water Quality and Algae Questions and comments about water quality.

 
 
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  #11  
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GingerKoala GingerKoala is offline
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Default Re: Am I on the right track?

Still so far so good guys! I know now that I should have started with fewer fish Bernie (or maybe none at all...) I know it's not a judgment, just a fact. It does seem like the platies aren't as fragile as the mollies. But it may also be that the LFS they came from had stressful conditions and this is just too much for them. The Creamsicle molly came from a different store and she has been fine this whole time.

Unfortunately I don't know anyone else keeping fish currently and most pet stores in the area have questionable tanks. There is one LFS specializing in tropical fish and aquariums which I haven't visited yet - this might be a possibility. I think things are progressing well with my tank now - this morning's readings are:

pH 7.0
Ammonia <0.02 ppm
Nitrite 5 ppm
Nitrate 80 ppm

Nitrate is increasing now so it looks like the third stage is kicking in. I have been doing p.w.c. of 12% every day (2 gal from a 16 gal tank) and using a bacterial supplement as well as Prime in the new water, and matching the temperature to the tank. I did add a bit more Prime than usual this morning - the male mollies are still stressed but hanging in there. I have read much conflicting information on bacterial supplements. I don't really know if the one I used (from Top Fin) helped at all, but I will probably keep using it until the tank has stabilized. I haven't tested my tap water directly but when I first set up the tank the nitrates were zero for the first two weeks, so I assume the tap water doesn't have additional nitrate. I can check it when I get home tonight though to be sure.

I have been feeding only once daily for a few days but I can skip a day or two if it would help the process. Thanks for all the advice! I will continue to monitor the progress.
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16 gal bowfront: 1 Gold Mickey Mouse Platy, 4 Molly Fry (AKA the Fishlets)
14 gal rectangular: 1 Dalmatian Molly
  #12  
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Bernie Bernie is offline
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Default Re: Am I on the right track?

I wouldn't worry about the last LFS Ginger...particularly if it isn't one you regularly visit and trust implicitly. You are in the final stage now anyway, so hang in there!

While the nitrates are high, I would also leave the tank light off...This may help with the stress and it may also help stop a possible algae bloom, as nitrate is a great nutrient source for algae (as well as light). Also, it can aid the bacteria trying to establish...they like the dark.
  #13  
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Default Re: Am I on the right track?

You were totally right Bernie, when I came home last night there was green algae growing on the top of my decor! I am keeping the light off now. I read that livebearers eat algae so if this is true they can definitely go without extra food for a day or so. Things are the same today as yesterday - as you said this is a waiting game now. I'm less stressed myself though - it looks like at least 4 fish will survive the cycle. I am going to post a question about fish number 5 on the Diseases forum because I don't know what his symptoms mean and if he will get better or not. It has only been 3 weeks but it feels like much longer...
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16 gal bowfront: 1 Gold Mickey Mouse Platy, 4 Molly Fry (AKA the Fishlets)
14 gal rectangular: 1 Dalmatian Molly
  #14  
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Default Re: Am I on the right track?

Update: I think the cycle is coming to the end! My readings today were:

pH 7.0
Ammonia <0.02
Nitrite 3 ppm
Nitrate 40 ppm

I have been doing small daily p.w.c. as noted in prior posts, and yesterday and today I did put the siphon close to the gravel to pick up some of the visible waste but I tried not to disturb it too much, and only siphoned over about 25% of the gravel surface each time. My siphon isn't strong enough to actually pick up the gravel pieces so I think the bacteria are still happy in there.

Thanks everyone for your help! It would have been so much more stressful for me and my fishies without you guys.
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16 gal bowfront: 1 Gold Mickey Mouse Platy, 4 Molly Fry (AKA the Fishlets)
14 gal rectangular: 1 Dalmatian Molly
  #15  
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Bernie Bernie is offline
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Default Re: Am I on the right track?

You're Welcome you and your fish are the ones doing the hard work...well done I'm glad the levels are dropping now!!
  #16  
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Default Re: Am I on the right track?

The cycle is finished! My readings are:

Ammonia <0.02
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20

My dalmatian molly seems to be a little stronger each day, and the other 4 fish are very energetic now. So I guess I only lost one fish in the process. I can't thank everyone enough!
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16 gal bowfront: 1 Gold Mickey Mouse Platy, 4 Molly Fry (AKA the Fishlets)
14 gal rectangular: 1 Dalmatian Molly
  #17  
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Default Re: Am I on the right track?

If you are planning to add more fish now that the readings are low, please go slow. If you add too much or in a short period of time, the ammonia will spike.
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  #18  
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Default Re: Am I on the right track?

Absolutely Dano, I was planning to wait a while before adding any more fish. With 2 male mollies and 1 female I eventually wanted to add two females, one at a time (don't want to overcrowd...), but my dalmatian isn't too aggressive right now while he is recovering and my female doesn't seem stressed so I'm not in a hurry. My platies seem fine as they are also. I am considering actually setting up a quarantine tank without fish now that I have established gravel to start the cycle. This should give my main tank some time to stabilize before increasing the nitrogen load.
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16 gal bowfront: 1 Gold Mickey Mouse Platy, 4 Molly Fry (AKA the Fishlets)
14 gal rectangular: 1 Dalmatian Molly
 


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