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Khole new fish

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Okay. Let me make sure I understand what you wrote above. So in the last day or so, you've:

1 - Done a water change twice;

2 - Changed filter media;

3 - Removed all aquarium decorations.

Am I understanding that right? If so, how much of a water change did you make each time? Also, the filter media, did you COMPLETELY remove the old media and replace it with the new?

That's a LOT of change to put a tank through all in one whack, especially if you completely removed the old filter media. Nitrifying bacteria set up residence in the filter media, on tank decorations, in the substrate, and such. Completely removing old filter media and replacing it throws the bacterial balance off. When that's all that's done, the impact can be noticeable but not drastic. Throw in removing aquarium decorations (also a home for nitrifying bacteria) and a water change or two during the same time would throw it off even further.

Do you have any bottled bacteria to add to help the tank rebalance? If not, it'll take time for the bacterial colonies to repopulate. How much time will vary, depending on a host of variables. Once the bacteria cycles back to normal, the nitrite levels will naturally drop. That's easy enough to monitor.

To avoid disrupting bacterial colonies, it's best not to make more than one change at a time, ESPECIALLY if one of the changes is replacing filter media, which is a MAJOR change. I don't even clean my filter sponges and such at the same time I do anything else that would impact bacterial colonies. If I do filter sponges, I leave other tasks until the next week's tank maintenance. Also, I don't clean all the sponges in a tank at the same time - example, HOB filter intake sponge doesn't get squeezed out the same week I do the sponge inside the filter. Removing rocks, driftwood, or tank decorations is something I rarely do, but I avoid doing that sort of thing at the same time I do anything with my filter, especially if there's more than one piece involved. Only exception is if the tank is unoccupied, and I know a nitrogen cycle disruption won't hurt anything.

All of those parts and pieces of our tanks hold bacteria that keep ammonia and nitrite in check. Too much disruption to too many elements at once can throw the bacterial colonies off. It sounds to me that's what you're probably dealing with because you just did what amounts to a major overhaul.

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Yep. That'll definitely help things rebalance.

Bacterial colonies don't care if decorations are natural or plastic. They set up residence on them. So removing plastic decorations removes whatever bacteria are on them. I've even had plants take up residence on plastic decorations. Have an Anubias right now that's well embedded itself in a plastic decoration. One of those from Petsmart made for aquariums but still, definitely not natural. Apparently Anubias doesn't care anymore than the bacteria do.ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Hey, we've all been there, done that. I used to be a total neat freak with my tanks. I was constantly gravel vaccing, cleaning filters THOROUGHLY (with tap water no less), and scrubbing away any bit of algae. BIG water changes, too. Which, of course, meant they NEVER fully cycled and stayed that way. I had no end of issues and couldn't understand why. Finally had someone tell me "STOP CLEANING THEM SO MUCH". Imagine my shock that you can actually clean a tank TOO MUCH.ย ๐Ÿคจ

I just wish I'd had access to groups like this and the abundance of sites like Aquarium Co-op's blog at my disposal back in those early days. Best I had access to, besides books, was internet newsgroups, and I could only access that through a long distance phone number to check my email. Remember those days, gang? Man, I feel old sometimes....ย ๐Ÿ˜ณย ๐Ÿ˜

Edited by Dawn T
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I just decided to do this because I was gifted my first tank with the fish, with are the tetars, in the other tank and i was then gifted the other two, i never realized I didn't know anything wow there is so much to learn and try i did even know you could do the really love plants, i am going to get the salt tomorrow if i can and try and gift Morpheus my best all the others are fine i really think he maybe already had this when o purchased him at Petco.

I got some anubias for this co-op i hope to get them soon.

Thank you for your patience and help

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I've had a lot of issues pop up with fish from the big box stores over the years. Ich being the most frequent visitor. They're the reason I learned the importance of quarantining new fish. When you have to treat ich in a main tank a few times, you learn eventually. LOL

Oh, and you're welcome. We're here to help each other, for sure! I've certainly asked my share of questions, too. Fabulous community we have here.

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