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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just set up a Cichlid tank from new. At the moment i have 8 small Cichlids in there and they all seem fine and are swimming around fine.

The problem is my Ammonia level hasn't moved from around 4ppm all week.

When I started the tank i used tetra safestart as advised by the aquatics i bought my equipment from.

I'm not sure what's causing the Ammonia to be so high I'm only feeding the fish like once every 3 days. My PH is around 8.5 i have a lot of coral in the tank.

I really don't know what to do I've been told by one person do a water change and someone else has said don't as it will kill off the bacteria that's starting to grow. I've also been suggested to put in some more safestart ?

If anyone could give me any advice I'd very much appreciate it .

My equipment is :-

Rio 180 tank
Tetratec ex700
Hydor external heater 200w

Just added a Philips Tropical Aquarium Purifier 120-240 Litres as well but i know this will take a bit of time to kick in.
 

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I really don't know what to do I've been told by one person do a water change and someone else has said don't as it will kill off the bacteria that's starting to grow.
Do the water changes, it won't kill off any bacteria. I never understood this advice. Better to keep ones fish in toxic ammonia?? The bacteria product is obviously not going to work for you. If you add more, then you can't do the water change without potentially making it less effective, but seems it hasn't been effective anyway. If you're going to add more, do a few major water changes first to get ammonia down to 1ppm or below, then add more and monitor for a day to see if it's going to work.

Water changes, light feedings, Ammolock or Prime to detox, and ride it out. That's all you can do short of buying and trying more bacteria in a bottle. Don't mess with the filter right now.

For future, use the bottled product, but fishless cycle, as some of these bottled bacteria products seem to be so hit and miss. Some have success with these products and some don't. Now you're in a situation that's not fun to be in for you or the fish.
 

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Definitely do what Tim says above. You must do water changes to get your ammonia below 1ppm or you are going to end up with dead fish.

But to add to it... if you are using a bottled product to start cycling your tank make sure you shake the bottle a lot. Vigorously shake that bottle so the liquid is a milky white/frothy mixture when you pour it in your tank.
 

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Why....the type of ammonia that bubbles / froths up is weak compared to ammonia that bubbles up but the bubbles quickly dissolve.
 

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60gallon said:
Why....the type of ammonia that bubbles / froths up is weak compared to ammonia that bubbles up but the bubbles quickly dissolve.
I was referring to the use of a "bottled product" that starts the bacteria growth not to a bottle of ammonia.

The OP refers to "Tetra Safestart". That's the bottle product I was referring to :thumb:
 

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Gotcha....sorry :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry for the late reply,Thanks for all the input people

Yes I have lots of coral rock I meant not live coral.

I'll do a part water change and see how things going but won't this just temporary remove the problem?

Thanks.
 

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When the bacteria colonies are properly established this problem shouldn't arise anymore. if it does you killed the colony somehow but that would involve a major scrubdown of everything they colonize or letting their homes dry completely.
 

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matrixsc said:
I'll do a part water change and see how things going but won't this just temporary remove the problem?
It is temporary but it's not a one time intervention. You need to monitor your parameters and keep doing water changes (twice per day if necessary) to keep your ammonia and nitrite levels as low as possible. Eventually the beneficial bacteria will develop to the point where they are taking care of the ammonia and nitrite levels. Your ammonia levels will go down first but your nitrite will spike once that happens. I hate to break it to you but you could have four to five weeks of this regiment ahead of you till the tank is properly cycled.

As Tim (Prov356) has said, in addition to water changes, feeding lightly and using a water conditioner such as Prime or Ammolock are going to be critical to helping your fish survive this stage.

Once you've done enough water changes to bring your ammonia down, it would really help if you could get hold of some filter media from an established tank. Squeezing a sponge from an established tank into one that is uncycled can work wonders.

Keep posting your progress so people here can guide you through this stage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Right I've done a 3rd of a tank water change this morning before I did the changed I checked the Ammonia level and it was still at 4ppm.

Since doing the change it seems to have dropped a little to around 2.5ppm I'll do another test tomorrow.

Everything else on a test strip looked fine so just got to sort this Ammonia issue out.

Added a couple of photos if anyone is interested .









Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the replies once again I really appreciate it as i want to get my tank right so I can more fish.

Right I've just done a 50% change and I'm down to 1ppm / 0.5ppm I'm guessing I'll have to wait till the morning to see what it's gone back up to.

I've got try and find another way to do water changes as I'm putting the water into buckets then throwing them on the garden or down the drain.

Filling up is the harder part!

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
:eek: Thats what I need!

Though it only seems a available in the USA not in England :(
 

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prov356 said:
Do another 50% change. Get the level down to 1ppm or below as soon as you can.
+1 to prov356.

i would say even a 75% water change if your levels are at 4ppm and you do a 50% change that only gets them down to 2ppm and they need to be below 1ppm. 0ppm is the goal. maybe many 50% water changes a day. test your water many times a day and if its over 2ppm change 50% of the water. you might want to get a better test as well those strips doesn't work near as well as the liquid test tube one. API makes a great one.
 
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