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Hi, first time poster here. Up until now I have just been doing relentless research and watching the YouTube channel but now I don’t know what to do. I have a new tank. 75 gallon tank with 3 small goldfish and 1 plecto that was set up on Saturday and fish added on Sunday. I checked my tank Thursday and had an ammonia reading of 3.0 ppm, oh was 7.8-8.0, and nitrite and nitrates were both at a 0. Due to the high ammonia we did a 50% water change Thursday. Friday we checked levels again, everything was the same but ammonia was still just below 3.0 ppm. Did another 50-75% water change. I noticed that night my smallest goldfish was sitting at the bottom and was until Saturday morning. He is back to normal self. Friday we dosed prime and stability by seachem and have been light feeding once a day to try and keep ammonia levels down. Left tank alone all day Saturday to not stress fish. Today it’s Sunday and I just checked levels which I will upload now. PH is highest it’s ever been and ammonia is not zero but lower. What should I do now is my question. I don’t want to stress my fish but I don’t want to hurt them further. Fish show no signs of distress or burnings, spots, marks ect. Aside from the one sitting at bottom for the night they have not showed any changes aside from hunger due to limited feeding now. I have prime, I have stability, I have another tetra water conditioner. I don’t have anything else and couldn’t get anything else until Tuesday, payday. Please help me I appreciate any advice. I understand now my tank is not cycled and I’m dealing with new tank syndrome. I just need some help to get me through it. I don’t want my fish harmed. Thank you for your time. ♥️

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On 8/1/2021 at 9:22 PM, ShaneFrazier said:

Hi, first time poster here. Up until now I have just been doing relentless research and watching the YouTube channel but now I don’t know what to do. I have a new tank. 75 gallon tank with 3 small goldfish and 1 plecto that was set up on Saturday and fish added on Sunday. I checked my tank Thursday and had an ammonia reading of 3.0 ppm, oh was 7.8-8.0, and nitrite and nitrates were both at a 0. Due to the high ammonia we did a 50% water change Thursday. Friday we checked levels again, everything was the same but ammonia was still just below 3.0 ppm. Did another 50-75% water change. I noticed that night my smallest goldfish was sitting at the bottom and was until Saturday morning. He is back to normal self. Friday we dosed prime and stability by seachem and have been light feeding once a day to try and keep ammonia levels down. Left tank alone all day Saturday to not stress fish. Today it’s Sunday and I just checked levels which I will upload now. PH is highest it’s ever been and ammonia is not zero but lower. What should I do now is my question. I don’t want to stress my fish but I don’t want to hurt them further. Fish show no signs of distress or burnings, spots, marks ect. Aside from the one sitting at bottom for the night they have not showed any changes aside from hunger due to limited feeding now. I have prime, I have stability, I have another tetra water conditioner. I don’t have anything else and couldn’t get anything else until Tuesday, payday. Please help me I appreciate any advice. I understand now my tank is not cycled and I’m dealing with new tank syndrome. I just need some help to get me through it. I don’t want my fish harmed. Thank you for your time. ♥️

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Ok. Welcome aboard! Here’s what’s going on:

Your tank is not cycled yet. Best way I have to explain this that aquarium fish live inside their own toilet. What happens is that one colony of bacteria  needs to grow which _eats_ ammonia, converting it to nitrite. Then another colony of bacteria _eats_ nitrite, converting that to nitrate. Then, in a well-planted tank, your plants consume nitrate. When those steps aren’t developed, fish will suffer… and often do not survive.

In your situation, you need some established sponge filters to put into your 75 gal. If I were you, I’d call every local fish store, and ask to buy an established sponge from inside any of their tanks. What I’d do is offer to buy a new sponge for the store to replace in the place of the established sponge. That sponge from the store will be loaded with beneficial bacteria. Alternatively, ask a friend or fellow local fishkeeper. If I was standing in a store, and overheard your situation, I’d offer to bring two established sponges to the store, and trade you for two new ones you buy from the store.

Also, FRITZ has a large bottle of Beneficial bacteria they sell for freshwater setups. I’d dump that in along with sponges. 

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On 8/1/2021 at 8:35 PM, Fish Folk said:

Ok. Welcome aboard! Here’s what’s going on:

Your tank is not cycled yet. Best way I have to explain this that aquarium fish live inside their own toilet. What happens is that one colony of bacteria  needs to grow which _eats_ ammonia, converting it to nitrite. Then another colony of bacteria _eats_ nitrite, converting that to nitrate. Then, in a well-planted tank, your plants consume nitrate. When those steps aren’t developed, fish will suffer… and often do not survive.

In your situation, you need some established sponge filters to put into your 75 gal. If I were you, I’d call every local fish store, and ask to buy an established sponge from inside any of their tanks. What I’d do is offer to buy a new sponge for the store to replace in the place of the established sponge. That sponge from the store will be loaded with beneficial bacteria. Alternatively, ask a friend or fellow local fishkeeper. If I was standing in a store, and overheard your situation, I’d offer to bring two established sponges to the store, and trade you for two new ones you buy from the store.

Also, FRITZ has a large bottle of Beneficial bacteria they sell for freshwater setups. I’d dump that in along with sponges. 

Is there anything I can do now to lower the ph or is there anything I can add? How high is too high when it comes to PH? I’m assuming a water change wouldn’t help? Thank you for your input on the sponge filters. I will get on that as soon as I can tomorrow. 

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On 8/1/2021 at 9:37 PM, ShaneFrazier said:

Is there anything I can do now to lower the ph or is there anything I can add? How high is too high when it comes to PH? I’m assuming a water change wouldn’t help? Thank you for your input on the sponge filters. I will get on that as soon as I can tomorrow. 

Measure the pH from your tap. It’s possible that Chems you’ve already added to the tank are skewing readings.

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You're going to have to do a fish in cycle at this point. You say you have seachem prime & stability. According to seachem, prime detoxifies (whatever you want to call it, can be controversial topic) up to 1ppm ammmonia & 2ppm nitrite per dose. You can safely dose up to 5x, meaning you can detoxify up to 5ppm ammonia & 10 ppm nitrites. With that said I would start dosing stability at the recommended level every day and do a 5X prime dose. 2 days later I would recheck parameters and as long as you are under 5ppm ammonia & 10 ppm nitrites you don't need to water change & can redose the prime. If you see the fish are lethargic, sluggish, looking cloudy or not eating then I would do a 50% water change. You keep dosing and checking like this until you get 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite & some nitrates.

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Water changes are your best weapon. Keep testing and keep changing water to keep the ammonia level down.  Getting a seasoned sponge filter Is a good idea if you can do that.

 I understand the urge to use products that claim to detoxify ammonia and bacteria-in-a-bottle products in an emergency.  I have done it. Many people believe that those things work. But if bacteria in a bottle really worked, nobody would ever cycle a tank any other way. Everybody would just pour a bottle of bacteria into their filter on the first day and then put the fish in.

 But people don't do that.

 

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Congratulations on getting into the hobby.  Having a 75 gallon is an amazing start if you have some knowledge on fish keeping.  There is a big advantage on having a big tank however there are disadvantages as well.  
 

to make it simple. A large tank you do not have to do as many water changes  for example and you have many stocking options.

 

the bad is it’s more expensive to get started in a large tank.  And there is a lot to learn on how to upkeep a large tank in my opinion.   
 

water parameters is more easy to obtain at start up however maintaining it can be very hard for a beginner.  Using fritz complete or turbo start, API products or seachem products all help with getting your water ready for fish.  My rule of thumb when starting completely fresh is do not add fish till tank is going thru it’s cycle.  If you are more advanced you can add substrate into the new tank from an older established tank and add a sponge filter from another tank add some live plants. And put water treatment of your choice to boost your aquarium cycle. Then wait and test your water than introduce your new fish.

The aquarium hobby is supposed to be fun so remember to make it less stressful especially in the beginning.  Do your research first before buying equipment that you might not be able to manage at first.  Remember the basics of fish keeping prepare your tank and treat the water and test your water before putting fish in the tank.  Waiting a week or two to see if water is cycling is a good way to protect your fish when first introducing them into a brand new tank setup.

 

learn from others and do your research.  It’s taken me 13 years with tiny nano tanks to move up to my first 55 gallon.  I learned all my fish keeping by choosing what fish I enjoy and sticking with those fish until I feel I mastered caring for them.  
 

good luck and I hope this basic info helps.  Please read forums for more detail on cycling a tank and how to maintain good bacteria in an aquarium.  There are excellent videos that Cory has made over the years and I have learned so much about fish keeping thru these videos.  
 

FLNYFish

 

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as said by others, the tank needs to cycle. adding substrate or decor, or plants , or filter media from an established tank can help speed this along, as can bottled bacteria ( it does work, despite the naysayers). the name of the game in cycling an aquarium is getting the bacteria colony established. if you can get bacteria in that tank form another source, you can literally cycle overnight.

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