I have a slight problem.....

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Oscarfish47170 created the topic: I have a slight problem.....

Background. For mother's day last year, my fiance and my stepsons bought me a 65 gallon tank. I set it up, I got two different kinds of filters for it. One that sit atop the tank and cycles water like a waterfall, it's a bio filter as well. The other goes in the tank, near the bottom to help filtration, its a small under water canister filter. Not long after I set it up, though, we went fishing my fiance got minnows from the local bait store. Well, when I looked down at one of the fish, I realized it was a tiny, baby channel catfish. I took him home and put him in my tank, thought it would save me from having to buy gold fish or some other community fish that my intended oscar would try to kill later. I had the idea that when the cat got big enough, I'd let him loose in our lake.

Well, two weeks ago, I measured the cat at a foot and a half long and decided, he was just getting too big for my tank and realized he was too big for our pond/small lake. I took him to the reservoir and let him go happily on his way. I waited a week, checking the water every day. It stayed nearly perfect.. one day out of that week had a tiny little spike in ammonia and that was it. I continued checking every other day and it remained perfect. So I thought it was time to get my Oscar fish. Tank was cycled, the water was clear and a perfect 75 degrees. So, yesterday, I bought my baby and two baby plecos. I waited the ten to fifteen minutes for them to aclimate and released them into the tank. I turned off the light and left them alone to chill out in their new place.

Three hours later....


I turned on the light to see how they were doing and to sprinkle a little cichlid flake into the tank and my baby had an ammonia burn. I checked the water, having not checked it since Friday, and the ammonia was so high I'm seriously afraid for the lives of my babies. I don't know what happened. No one but me messes with that tank. Friday, the Nitrate was a little high. I do use a liquid test kit, because I don't trust the strips. What... in the world is happening? Why is my tank re-cycling? What could have happened in a tank that was already set up and cycled?????? Please, help before my half an inch long Normal Oscar dies of some horrible death because something failed in the tank.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: I have a slight problem.....

Hello and welcome to OFL. If I understand correctly, your tank ran a week with no fish in. This caused the bacteria in your filters to die off, as they had no ammonia source to feed on. Best thing to do is large daily water changes, do this until you see ammonia and nitrite at 0, nitrate of some low level. Use a quality conditioner like Prime to neutralize ammonia between water changes.


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Oscarfish47170 replied the topic: I have a slight problem.....

What about Ammolock... will Ammolock work? My fish store doesn't sell Prime and the one that does is half hour away, I won't be able to go down there til the weekend.
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OFL replied the topic: I have a slight problem.....

Ammo Lock and prime basically do the same thing, they detoxify ammonia and turn it into a non-toxic form. However, what you got to remember is they don't remove ammonia, so you will still get a reading for when you test the water, that is what confuses a lot of people.

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jmunroe replied the topic: Re:I have a slight problem.....

Great advice so far. I would also add that the tank is really only big enough for the Oscar alone and would get rid of the plecos ASAP. They will only put a huge strain on the system as all the fish grow. It will be unmanageable within months. Hopefully you still have some beneficial bacteria in your tank. As some of it died off it may have fed the remaining bacteria.

Go do a water change - the solution to pollution is dilution.
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Rocksor replied the topic: I have a slight problem.....

Ammonia and nitrite should never be above 0.25 while doing a fish in cycle, which is what you have to do now. This means doing enough water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrite low. Ammo Lock will only lock up to 3ppm of ammonia.
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