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Discussion Starter #1
I just got a 20 gallon tank 2 weeks ago. When I was setting it up I took the fake plants from my old tank and placed them into the new one. I started putting fish into the new tank 2 days after setting it up, and have been putting them in two at a time about every 3 days. Its now been 2 weeks and I have 8 small fish in it. Since I set up the tank I have had the water tested about every 2-3 days and every time It has been perfect except for it has been a little alkaline.
My question: Shouldn't the ammonia levels be very elevated because I have been putting too many fish in it too fast. Has putting the plants from my old tank into the new tank speed up the cycle.
 

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You will eventually get a spike of ammonia in your tank. the plants might help a little with whatever bacteria they might have on them. but it will not be enough to cycle your tank in that time since they are fake. I woul suggest not putting more fish since you migh loose most of them when the soike hits. I have always use the hekp of Cycle concentrated bacteria bottle. it seems to help in the process time. I hav never had a fish loss when in cycle. but I dont put too many at the beginning.
 

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I agree with Tate, just be patient now and dont add any more fish till you are sure its established and you have a good colony of beneficial bacteria in place.
btw, the more alkaline the water is, the more toxic the same amount of ammonia becomes, keep that in mind as well, because your tank is alkaline ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I did forget to mention that I am using Cycle, so that should help a bit. So you really think I will loose some fish when the spike hits?
 

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Do you have a friend with an established tank.... If so see if you can get the dirty white floss from his filter and cut it into strip and put it in you filter box. This will seed the tank better than CYCLE. Also you will need to do daily WC's you have alot of bio-load on the the tank and if it doesn't kill the fish outright you run a good chance of gill damage, which wioll lead to more problems down the road for your fish and you.
 

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the white materal that filters the water is called floss.... get some from a friend who filter is running have him change the floss and that it home and put it in your tank filter, it will seed the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just had my water tested and the guy said that the ammonia levels are very high. He also told me that I should not do a water change seeing how my tank is still so new and hasn't gone through the cycle yet. Is this what I should do or is there something else I should do.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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If the tank didn't have any fish, I would leave it alone and let it cycle, but since you have put fish in it, I would do a water change at least every couple of days. The tank will cycle but your fish won't hurt as bad going through the spikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well Im getting a lot of conflicting info here so Im not sure what to do. It seems to me that doing a water change would help but the guy at the store told me not to.

Also, if I should do a water change should I just do the water or should I vacuum out the rocks as well.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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You can vac the gravel to get out any wastes and food that goes to the bottom.

Most people in fish stores will tell you wrong. You can let the fish go through the cycle without water changes but would end up hurting your fish.

Picture it this way. You have to live in a closet with no toilet, fresh air or water. Live that way for 6 weeks. You are having to leave your personal wastes anywhere that you can. What kind of condition do you think that you would be in, in 6 weeks. Not very healthy if you are still alive.

Sorry to be so blunt, but that is the easiest way to show you what the fish will go through not doing any water changes.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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Your welcome, wish I could have given a better example but that is the best way to look at it.

I would change out at least 25 to 30% every other day. Keep check on your ammonia and nitrite levels if they stay up go to every day. If you can add lots of fast growing plants like hornwort, duckweed, elodea, frogbit and such it would help it a lot in cycling, If you put in enough to cover at least 75% of the tank, you should be able to cut back water changes to a couple of times a week.
 

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Just change the water you don't want to gravel vac... that were the major portion of the Bac is growing.... just siphon out the water.... also cut back the amount of food. Like I seid see if you can seed the tank with bac from another tank.....

Also the guy at the store must not have know you have fish in the tank already or he want to sell you new fish when they all die from have the gills burnt from the ammonia or he just a complete idoit. You need to get your own water testing kit.. and test your water readings dailly and when you reach 20ppm in ammonia than do a 20% water change. just the water no vacuming. Add some low light fast growing plants water sprite will do the trick. Your tank needs to cycle, but you don't want to kill your fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I really want to get real plants but the plants at the store are not very healthy looking and they have mold growing on them. So I decided against it.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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shouldn't that ammonia reading be .20. Other wise if you get it up to 20 your fish will be dead no matter what. Doing a vac of the gravel won't remove the bacteria it will just clean the waste from around it. If it would remove bacteria you would never want to rinse out your filter material in old tank water either as it would kill the bacteria, but that isn't the case.
 
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