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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I figured it was time to quit stalking the page and join. I’ve read a lot of good information on here and wanted to thank you guys for all your help. Every question asked was a question I had at one point.

I was gifted a (used, but less than a year old) 55 gallon tank. I wanted a cichlid tank; 35 years ago, I had an Oscar tank. Information has surely changed since then. I set up the tank with the gravel, filter, and decorations I was given; telling my wife that “It’s free. It won’t cost us a thing except the fish”. (Laugh break.)
Fast forward many failures (mixing African and South American cichlids, rushing the cycle, NUMEROUS amounts of chemicals, etc) and I finally have the set up I want. I had one surviving fish (female venustus juvenile) and decided to let her cycle it. I removed all the resin/fake decor and replaced it with Texas Holey Rock (I LOVE living in Texas, lol). I removed the gravel and replaced it with African Cichlid sand from my local “big box pet store”, while keeping the water in the tank. (Five hours of scooping; never again. That included washing the sand.)
It was sitting on an old tv stand and I knew that a disaster was in the making. I drained the tank and put it on a stand that could hold the weight. I then refilled it and let it sit. (The poor venustus was in a bucket with a sponge filter while I did this.)
Over the past week+, I have added a few more venustus (3) and assorted peacocks. Here’s my question (precursor statement first):
Water change a week ago (water parameters great)
Add fish every few days (water parameters great)
Last night: nitrites shoot up to 1ppm
30% water change, Seachem Prime, Stability, Prisitne added
This morning, the nitrites were 0ppm. Is it possible the nitrites disappeared overnight? All other water parameters are perfect.
Side note:

“Free” equates to me buying: Fluval 407 with spray bar, 2 heaters, aquarium stand, 3 sponge filters, 60lbs of sand, Texas Holey Rock, numerous fish that paid the price for my ignorance, and everything Seachem makes (just kidding, maybe).
 

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I would have said it was impossible, but it happened apparently. Glad you are moving along a better track.

One fact that may help as you add fish: when you cycle with one fish, the bacteria can only support one fish. If you chose that path forward, you should never more than double the bioload and waited a month (or more if test results so indicate) between additions.

Now that you are at 0ppm I would wait several days and ensure your results are stable. And I would start rehoming the venustus, who need a 72" tank. I don't use any chemicals, recommend you add only Prime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’m going to have you call my wife and explain I need a bigger tank, lol. Just kidding. The one thing I did right in my life is marrying a woman that just rolls her eyes when I tell her stuff like this. :LOL:
I am going to chalk it up to a bad test and go back to testing it every 12 hours. It may be overkill, but I enjoy it. I did test my tap water and it had very low amounts of ammonia in it, but nothing else.
I should’ve added that I have 2 other tanks (35 gallon gourami and 36 gallon fancy goldfish) that I took media from to assist with the newest cycle. Maybe it helped, maybe it didn’t.

Funny that you mentioned needing a bigger tank for venustus. I have my eye on a 125 gallon tank. Now I don’t NEED an excuse to get it.
Per my wife, “I don’t care what you get as long as it isn’t a snake and everything stays in your office”.
 

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OK next concern. You have both genders of venustus, and hopefully all male peacocks that look nothing alike. Usually you go either all male or mixed genders with a few males and lots of females for every male. Only one species of peacock/tank if you go mixed gender.

You can try the mixed gender venustus and all-male peacocks. Or lose all but one peacock male and add females of the same species.
 
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