Stupid newb just discovered the master kit...

  • dsmalex97
  • dsmalex97's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 16
  • Thank you received: 0

dsmalex97 created the topic: Stupid newb just discovered the master kit...

Well if any of you read my previous post you know I am an uninformed buyer from petsmart. Bought an Oscar told they don't need anything bigger then a 40 gallon when they get big. Didn't know I was supposed to do frequent water changes...the list goes on.

Right now Murphy is in a 20 gallon tank...SOOO small....I know. I got either a 75 gallon, or 150 gallon in store for him. So no worries. It's just a matter of time and money, which should take maybe 4 weeks. I would have been planning before if I knew trust me...

Anyways, I got a master test (api) kit today and discovered my nitrates were really high. Like 80ppm high...So I did 2 50% water changes while the filter was running(back to back). They're still high so I need to figure something out for Mr. Murphy!

I tested tap, and it's fine in all departments. I did all of the other tests on tank water and it all seems good. Just really high nitrates. Ammonia was coming up, but at a low level. When I say low it was basically the color of the lowest on the picture scale most of the time. PH was 7.6. Everything was fine except nitrated before water change fyi.

Filter is a fluval 205, 20 gal tank, sand, Chinese Algae eater (small), and some decorations.

I already know the tank is way too small. And I'm going to address it asap, but I need to get something figured out until then. I was thinking of just removing everything from the tank, no decorations, and just water and Murph. I want to replace all of the water with new water and just keep a close watch on it until I get the big tank. But I hear 100% water changes are bad? I do them all of the time on my little guppy fluval edge tank...Whoops! How come I've gotten away with it this long??
#350511

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Popss
  • Popss's Avatar
  • Visitor
  • Visitor

Popss replied the topic: Stupid newb just discovered the master kit...

Never do WC with filters running, did you add prime to the tank water before adding water. here is the fear, you do not want to kill your bio filter and tap water will do that if city water, if on a well then should be fine. I would do another 75% change, vacuuming the gravel/sand well,, then add prime, dose for tank size not water amount you are putting in, then if HOB filters fill them up with the primed water and turn all back on. give an hour or so and test again. this time for everything, amm, nitrite and nitrate.
#350513

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • dsmalex97
  • dsmalex97's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 16
  • Thank you received: 0

dsmalex97 replied the topic: Stupid newb just discovered the master kit...

i don't have prime so no on that.

Not sure why I would turn the filter off, I just figured to always have old water cycling through so it's not really a full WC. It's not a well, but I added the water conditioner for the chlorine.

HOB filter? Primed water? Whaat?!

I feel like the sand is what's creating all of the nitrates in the water by hiding it. I vac'd up what I could but its hard to really tell with sand. I want no substrate so I can see the build up of whatever waste he creates until I get a big tank. Would it really be a big deal if I just took him out and removed everything from the tank, and changed all of his water? I've heard you can and I head you can't. I can tell you this....When I got my little guy I didn't cycle my tank at all. Maybe 24 hours? I didn't add a single thing to it, and put my fish in the water when I got home. He sulked at the bottom as I heard most of them do because they're babies. But otherwise he was perfectly fine...Is this just something that maybe more important with less hardy fish? Or am I an anomaly?

Also, if PH and everything else check out on the tap water why would it matter if you change all of the water if 90% of the beneficial bacteria is in the filter? That makes no sense to me lol.
#350515

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Firestorm8215
  • Firestorm8215's Avatar
  • Visitor
  • Visitor

Firestorm8215 replied the topic: Stupid newb just discovered the master kit...

As long as the water does not get below your filter intake you actually can keep your filters running during a WC. But you need to make sure to remember to add your water conditioner before adding your tap water.
Just keep doing what you are doing. I would do daily 50% water changes until you get those Nitrates below 20ppm.
If you can get on your hands on either Seachem Prime or Seachem Safe and use it with each water change. Dosing for the whole tank volume. With that you could stretch those water changes out to every other day , as long as the Nitrates stay below 20ppm , until there is no more Ammonia at all.
You can also remove the sand for now and do that 100% water change if you wish. Just remember about the water conditioner before the filters come back on.
When doing that , put a little bit of tank water in a bucket and give the filter a good rinse.
#350516

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Popss
  • Popss's Avatar
  • Visitor
  • Visitor

Popss replied the topic: Stupid newb just discovered the master kit...

you want nitrate, that's a good thing. you want 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and a slow creep up on nitrate. this called a cycled tank, let me post links for the nitrate cycle.

read this article and you will have a much better understanding of what we are talking about. click the link.

www.oscarfishlover.com/helpful-articles/cycling-an-aquarium
#350517

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Firestorm8215
  • Firestorm8215's Avatar
  • Visitor
  • Visitor

Firestorm8215 replied the topic: Stupid newb just discovered the master kit...

You can't cycle a tank in 24 hours unless you have an established filter you transferred from another tank.
You simply got luck and your fish survived. Cycling a tank can take 6 to 8 weeks.
You should look into getting a bottle of Prime since it will neutralize Ammonia and Nitrites for up to 48 hours until your tank completes its cycle.
If you believe your tank is completely cycled then your goal is to get and keep those Nitrates below 20ppm at all times.
#350518

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • dsmalex97
  • dsmalex97's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 16
  • Thank you received: 0

dsmalex97 replied the topic: Stupid newb just discovered the master kit...

Firestorm8215 wrote: As long as the water does not get below your filter intake you actually can keep your filters running during a WC. But you need to make sure to remember to add your water conditioner before adding your tap water.
Just keep doing what you are doing. I would do daily 50% water changes until you get those Nitrates below 20ppm.
If you can get on your hands on either Seachem Prime or Seachem Safe and use it with each water change. Dosing for the whole tank volume. With that you could stretch those water changes out to every other day , as long as the Nitrates stay below 20ppm , until there is no more Ammonia at all.
You can also remove the sand for now and do that 100% water change if you wish. Just remember about the water conditioner before the filters come back on.
When doing that , put a little bit of tank water in a bucket and give the filter a good rinse.


I feel like that nitrate stuff is just hiding the problem temporarily. Now that I know what I need to aim for, and how to monitor everything I won't get out of hand. I think I'm going to do that complete water change. I should be able to get the temp right not worried about that, and I'm going to save some water like you said. I was just worried about changing all of the water because there is so much info saying not to, but I have NEVER had a fish die yet with me doing it...if the PH is ok, and the temp is too what's the harm if the filter is "cycled?" I used test strips when I got my small guppy tank, and tested ph. Figured it was ok to do complete changes if I had a good PH/Temp. If you couldn't tell I don't know much and this Oscar is the first fish that isn't a guppy or goldfish lol. But again, none of those fish have ever reacted bad to me changing all of the water.
#350521

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • dsmalex97
  • dsmalex97's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 16
  • Thank you received: 0

dsmalex97 replied the topic: Stupid newb just discovered the master kit...

Firestorm8215 wrote: You can't cycle a tank in 24 hours unless you have an established filter you transferred from another tank.
You simply got luck and your fish survived. Cycling a tank can take 6 to 8 weeks.
You should look into getting a bottle of Prime since it will neutralize Ammonia and Nitrites for up to 48 hours until your tank completes its cycle.
If you believe your tank is completely cycled then your goal is to get and keep those Nitrates below 20ppm at all times.


I know, that's exactly what I'm saying lol! I just put water in the tank and turned the filter on. Next day, I got the fish and I put him right in. I guess I was lucky...Stupid thing to do. Guy told me to hover the fish over the water, and make sure ph is the within range. This was before the filter had any kind of interaction with fish waste. But he's been in the tank for 4 months about, and all I did was clean the sponge part of the filter not the bio-media. So I'm assuming there is a healthy amount of bacteria in the filter now with it running that long. Or at least I hope so.
#350522

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • dsmalex97
  • dsmalex97's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 16
  • Thank you received: 0

dsmalex97 replied the topic: Stupid newb just discovered the master kit...

Firestorm8215 wrote: You can't cycle a tank in 24 hours unless you have an established filter you transferred from another tank.
You simply got luck and your fish survived. Cycling a tank can take 6 to 8 weeks.
You should look into getting a bottle of Prime since it will neutralize Ammonia and Nitrites for up to 48 hours until your tank completes its cycle.
If you believe your tank is completely cycled then your goal is to get and keep those Nitrates below 20ppm at all times.


I know, that's exactly what I'm saying lol! I just put water in the tank and turned the filter on. Next day, I got the fish and I put him right in. I guess I was lucky...Stupid thing to do. All the guy told me to hover the fish over the water, and make sure ph is the within range. This was before the filter had any kind of interaction with fish waste. But he's been in the tank for 4 months about, and all I did was clean the sponge part of the filter not the bio-media. So I'm assuming there is a healthy amount of bacteria in the filter now with it running that long. Or at least I hope so. In theory 90% of that bacteria should be transferred into the new water as long as I dechlorinate it no?
#350523

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Firestorm8215
  • Firestorm8215's Avatar
  • Visitor
  • Visitor

Firestorm8215 replied the topic: Stupid newb just discovered the master kit...

You are not transferring the bacteria into the water. Your bacteria mostly lives in your filter and substrate. Which is why it's pretty useless to transfer any old tank water to a new tank if upgrading.
Before you go through the trouble of taking out all the substrate I would give the bio media in your filter a rinse in some discarded tank water and see if that helps bringing down the Nitrates a bit.
But you also have to realize that in a tank that size with an Oscar and an additional fish you will always fight an uphill battle.
#350524

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Big-KenDRACO
Time to create page: 0.113 seconds