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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, this is my first post here hope i can get some help from people who actually know what they are doing. Seems like Petco and my local petshop keep telling me 2 different things and im tired of it.
Ok so, i set up a new 40gal tank 9 weeks ago. when i bought everything i picked up a bottle of Stress zyme,stress coat,and a 7.0 ph stablizer. Filter is AquaClear 50 Aquarium Power Filter.

i was told to let it run for 2-3 days i waited a full week before adding fish. 5 Harlquin Rasbora (was told they were a good cycle fish) were added, 2 weeks later one died.Then 2 more weeks another 3 died. I was left with one fish up till monday this week. ok so onto my problem, one fish store told me i have a "ammonia problem" as i told him before he sold me the fish, the ammonia jumped to about 3ppm the first week. he told me change the water 15% 2 times a week for 2 weeks. that didnt do anything. then i went looking for more info at Petco. they sold me Amquel Plus Water Conditioner and said that will bring down the ammonia and dont change the water for 3 weeks. So i did that lost my last fish and ammonia is STILL at 1ppm.

As of right now there are no fish in the tank and the ammonia is 1ppm, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, ph 6.5.( have driftwood in the tank lowers it alot lucky if i get it to 6.8 even with the 7.0 buffer. while testing the first 3 weeks using a master test kit i myself never noticed the nitrite or nirate lvls move past 0... is it possible to be stuck in the ammonia stage for 8weeks ??? from what i read no.
Should i do like a 50% water change and add ammonia chips and then see what happens. Or empty it all start over and use a different Filter starting product ( would hate to do this, 9 weeks is insane just want my fish already).
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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First ph is fine where its at. You don't want to add chemicals to change ph it will just cause to much fluctuations.

The ammonia in the tank is part of the cycle process which can take 4 to 6 weeks to finish. Its easier on the fish to do this without. Your best bet would be to get some liquid ammonia without any additives and put drops in it until it reaches up to 5.0, check it every day and keep adding drops everyday to keep it at that level to feed bacteria that is building up in you filter. Soon you will start seeing the ammonia drop and nitrites rising. Keep doing the same with the ammonia. Then after you start seeing it drop and nitrates go higher the tank is almost finished. Once ammonia and nitrites read 0 after 24 hours the tank is ready. Do a 50% water change and slowly start adding fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i understand how the cycle works but as you say 4-6 weeks.This is week 9 pushing week 10(sunday). is it possible that i do have an "ammonia problem" and the tank is already cycled.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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The ammonia you have came from the fish. Now it still has to be fed to keep the cycle going. If the tank was cycled you would be seeing nitrates. When you added the fish the cycle started, but they died before the cycle could get completed.

I would go ahead and still add the ammonia or you can add a cooked shrimp and let it decompose in the tank to raise the ammonia back up, You will soon see the nitrite spike and do as I stated earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update: last night i removed the plants and driftwood and cleaned the tank good with a 50% water change. going to let it Cycle again -_-. also susankat had me look into live plants instead of fake ones. does anyone have a good website to buy from. none of the pet shops by me have a good selection.
 

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You're using a 50 gallon filter on a 40 gallon tank?

I always go at least double on the filter (110 filter on a 55 tank, etc).

If you get a second filter you can clean/change them at different times and it won't kill all your bacteria.

Also, I'm guessing you're using the biological bag that came with the filter?

You can get the AquaClear Ammonia Remover bag instead (marked alternate chemical stage on the box) - I find that they work better but you have to remember to change it once a month.

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If it was me I would clean out the tank and start over with fresh water - you have added too many chemicals already.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
yeah thanks. i was talking back n forth in pm's with susan and fishman Dan they helped alot. the tank has been completly re started. also i did switch to an ammonia bag over the bio bag. i let the tank run for 24 hours then got 4 fish to cycle with and a few live plants also. so far so good but its only 2 days in O_O. thank you all for the help.
 
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