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Fish/tank not cycling response


Been trying to find my question b/c I couldnít remember which expert I had asked. Thank you for responding. The type of gravel and decoration, if you know walmart brands(2 bags of gravel (teal and black), and have 1 plastic plant that came with the 1 gallon tank my daughter had before , and 1 castle (8Ē tall). I donít know the name of them. Right now we are removing approximately 2-3 gallon. The height of the plastic plant measures about 3/4th the height to the top of the tank and we take the water to it. Iíve done 50 to 75% changes to get the ph back up but a couple of days later it goes back down to 6. So weíve stopped. Since I wrote in august weíve been doing 20-25% changes. When we first got the tank, we were vacuuming the gravel heavily, and my daughter would remove all decorations when doing water changes. Now we leave the decorations alone, and lightly vacuum the gravel( trying not to disturb it too much). I rinsed the filter out 3 weeks ago with the old water. Iíve been stop using the nite out b/c like you said it appeared that the guy was trying to make sell and my readings are still the same. We were testing the water once a week, but Iíve been so frustrated itís been two weeks. Todayís results, ph above 7.6(itís darker blue than 7.6) ammonia 1, nitrite 0, nitrate(itís not the bright yellow it normally reads(it has a tinge)so between 0 and 5. This is the first time that the ph has been this high.She normally changes the water on mondays and today is friday so maybe something is working? I haven't done the 50% change yet, should i still do it. I was wondering, we normally allow the new water to sit for a few days before a water change, do I still need to use a dechlorinator? It says it removes chlorine, chloramines, and detoxifiys other heavy metals. Oh yea, Trooper(the platy) is still happy as can be.
Awaiting your response,  QT

Hello QT, I believe I spoke with you a few weeks ago. Ammonia levels are beginning to go down in your tank which is good. The nitrates going up is a good thing in your situation. As far as Ph, that can be a result of your water quality where you live. I would recommend using a reverse osmosis system if you have on available to you. If you do not then make sure you add a dechlorinator to your water. One thing that you can try doing that might work well for you is to go to your local pet store with a one gallon empty jug and ask for 1 gallon of water from their bays. Make sure that their tanks do not have a large amount of dead fish, but in general the water at pet stores is good quality. The reason for you to do this is because it will give you the benefit of getting some of the beneficial bacteria that your tank is still lacking. As far as water changes, I would recommend doing a 20 percent change every 2 weeks. you don't have to do multiple changes a week unless you have a species like discus. I hope this answer helps you out and if you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask!



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Jordan Gobely


I can answer most questions about fish care and maintenance. I am not an expert on saltwater aquariums but I am researching more about them on a daily basis. I have kept many different tropical freshwater fish as well as cichlids. Brackish water is my weakest category but if you have a question feel free to ask and I will do research on it myself.


I have kept fish for over 10 years. I am also an employee at a pet store and the head of the fish department. I am going to school at Emporia State University and studying biology with a concentration in ecology and biodiversity for undergraduate work. Right now my job is to care for and maintain the fish department at a local pet store. As far as water quality, I am well versed in different practices you can do to help improve conditions and what levels to look out for when testing the water.

I am majoring in Biology at Emporia State University and have researched fish reproductive behavior for the past decade.

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