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Discussion Starter #1
I have two five year old Orandas, bought from a pet shop as a replacement for my koi’s that were eaten by raccoons. Noticed this winter that one had trouble remaining upright and water was mid forties in temp so I brought them about a month ago in to a square 15 tank with a 50 Gal HOB filter, sand substrate and heating the water to 72deg. I have been fish-in cycling since then (with Seachem Prime and Stability) and testing daily with API test strips. PH stays around 7, nitrites and nitrates have yet to register and ammonia is a 3, which I lower to a 1 with a 50% water change.

All of my learning was accidental up to a point. Now it is as science based as I can make it. Still would like to know a couple of things:
1. Tank size vs water changes: I am changing water every other day. How big of a tank do I need to reduce water changes to weekly?
2. How much longer until I see nitrite levels rise? Will high ammonia inhibit that? Will the ammonia level ever drop in a tank this size?
3. Would you ever put them back into a pond? I paid much less attention to water quality in the pond and never treated the chlorine tap water I used to top it off. I did use the API Pond-Zyme.

Fish are healthy and happy and eating well. Thanks in advance for any assistance!
Zeeknos
 

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Discussion Starter #2
It has been another week and no change in readings. Still very little nitrite level and zero nitrates. I keep seeing referrals for the API master test kit. Could test strips be my problem?
 

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I would say the strips could definitely be an issue (I also responded to your other post) but the tank size and age also has something to do with it. I know goldfish eat live plants, except I have heard they leave java ferns alone. For now to help combat the toxicity of the ammonia, I’d suggest to try out a small bit while cycling. Don’t plant it just toss it in. As long as you have some lights it’ll thrive and should be too bitter for the Orandas to destroy.
 

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I would say the strips could definitely be an issue (I also responded to your other post) but the tank size and age also has something to do with it. I know goldfish eat live plants, except I have heard they leave java ferns alone. For now to help combat the toxicity of the ammonia, I’d suggest to try out a small bit while cycling. Don’t plant it just toss it in. As long as you have some lights it’ll thrive and should be too bitter for the Orandas to destroy.
Thank you, Majerah1. I have had a Java fern in there for a month and they do not eat it but do uproot it periodically.
 
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