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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i started working 10 hours shifts 6 days a week and have neglected my tank maintenance. my filter is a month and a half old or older and i lost a tiger barb last night and this morning and a rainbow shark tonight. i have moved the other 4 barbs, 4 danios, and 2 clown loaches to a 10 gallon tank i had for water changes. i did a 25% water change and changed the filter this morning before work but it didnt faze my extreme levels. i had nitrate levels beyond 200ppm and nitrite beyond 10ppm! when i got home tonight i had a mega bacterial bloom so i transfered the fish to the other tank. i did a water change of about 75% of my 38 gallon tank...now im hoping it can get habitable for my fish...i really learned the hard way the importance of maintaining your tank!

how long will it take to cycle the tank? i have 10 fish in a 10 gallon tank so i dont wanna leave them there for an extended amount of time. im guessing i will just keep doing water changes untill my levels get back to normal...im feeling pretty bad about this
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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Cram the tank with lots of fast growing plants. Cheap ones like hornwort is the best for this. And when I say cram, I mean a minimum of 50% of the tank. There will be bacteria on the plants to helpf filter our the nitrites and nitrates. Don't need to replace the filter material, all you need to do is clean it out in old tank water. Don't clean the gravel to much. Just vac the nasties out of it.

Check your tap water. It may be coming out of the tap that way. Also use prime or amquel + as it will help nuturalize the nitrites and nitrates to help it be easier on the fish.

If you do this you should be able to put the fish back in right away. but give it a couple of days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i will look into all that thanks! as for the tap water....it comes out of the tap perfect according to my test strips. i have ben using the 6 in 1 test strips and i check my tank regularly and it always been good..i have not checked it in a week or so though. the water out of the tap reads damn near perfect...just a tad of chlorine but i treat the water to remove that anyways...

i have not lost anymore fish so far. they are in that 10 gallon and all look good. im going to tryto find those chems you talked about dont know if i can find the plants or not...any other ways?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
well i just checked and my nitrate levels are down to 40ppm or so but my nitrite levels are still 10.0 or more....i hit it with prime so we will see what its like tomorrow. i also looked into the hornwort and its possible that i may be getting some of this if i can find more time to go back to the store. how do i go about planting them? live plants is a new thing for me in the aquarium! i may be able to get to the store tomorrow to pick some up if i can get an understanding of how to plant them. thanks for the help!
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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Hornwort I would just let float, as it don't root. Your just using it till you get the tank straightened out. If you want to plant it later look into different swords and stem plants. but with the hornwort put in as much as you can. It will help the tank immensely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
oh ok....learned something new! so if i buy the hornwort and put it in can i just leave it in all the time after my problem clears up? will it help to maintain safer nitrate and nitrite levels?
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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If you have enough hornwort in the tank, it should keep your levels down. You should still do water changes at least once a week. Nitrite level has gone up so much because there apparently was an ammonia buildup at some time. Either from a dead fish or too much food, and/or not enough water changes.

Keep up your water changes. Feed just enough for the fish to eat all in 2 minutes not more. I wouldn't feed more than once a day and one day a week don't feed at all. Fish in nature don't feed regularly as they are in a tank, it makes for healthier fish.

In the past 25 years I have lost very few fish due to not feeding enough. The only time I have suffered any major losses with fish was a couple of years ago. In the middle of winter we lost all power (all electric house) for 10 days. I lost over $5000.00 in fish due to freezing temps and not able to do water changes. I had enough plants in the tanks to filter them, but no way to warm them up or fresh water. I was only feeding every other day then sometimes every 2 days to keep the ammonia and such down. Ammonia after 10 days was only .50 and nitrites was close to the same, nitrates was at zero because of all the plants.

Wow! a newspaper!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
its getting pretty bad here.....the tank still has high nitrate and nitrite levels. i have done numerous water changes, treated with prime, and introduced hornwort..still have high levels. now the small tank i moved my fish to is getting high levels. i put some hornwort in the smaller tank as well as treated with some prime and even did a small water change. what do i do?????? should i empty out the 38gal and start over? im gonna lose all my fish!

also i have read on other forums about cycleing and its alot to take in...i am seeing that i have messed up in so many ways and now my fish are suffering for it...the 38gal is fishless right now...my 10 gallon has toom ay fish in it. if i move some fish to the 38gal will it help it cycle? i have 4 barbs, 4 danios, and 2 loaches. im just hoping for anything i can do to get my fish happy again. my nitrates are around 40ppm but nitrites are still above 10.0ppm....water is soft, 0 chlorine, alkalinity is pretty low ph stays between 6.8 & 7.2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i did that once already but perhaps i need to do it again....thre are no fish in the tank just some hornwort. so should i just do another 90% water change and treat with prime?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
right now i only have 3 larg hornworts that was all petsmart had...i was there today getting more test strips and noticed more. the plants i have are both about 15 inches tall and rather fat. i may go buy more tomorow....we just noticed today that we got 2 free snails with our plants one the size of a tiger barbs eye the other is about the twice that size...weird
 
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