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Balancing issues (green water, dying crinum, etc.)

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Hi, all!

We inherited a 50 gallon freshwater tropical tank and all his fish (he kept fish for over 60 years!) from an elderly friend who passed away. We've kept outdoor pond fish for years now, but this is a whole new thing we're learning. So please forgive me in advance for anything that sounds ridiculous.

We've had the tank and fish since January. We didn't have the chance to cycle without the fish as they had to be moved or they would surely have died. We kept a bit of substrate and 15 gallons of the original water when moving, but all else was new. He didn't even use a big filter...just a tiny sponge filter. Basically, we cannot get this water to stay clear for more than four or five days. 

Ammonia is always between 0.5 and 1, nitrites are at 0 , and nitrates are at 10. 

We have been adding Seed as we suspect that the good bacteria aren't overtaking the bad. We only keep the light on for 6 hours or so. We also do water changes weekly anywhere between 20-50% and we treat the water with Prime. We did use Flourish a few times, but we are afraid that it creates an algae monster. Ugh, does this ever make any more sense than it does now? 

We have lost a few fish here and there, but it's been ok for the last three weeks or so. Fish look happy, tank looks ugly. Also the crinum plant is dying back. But I think there may be some new growth unfurling from the bottom and, as someone who is an avid gardener, I know that old leaves die. The person that we got the setup from had most of the plants except the frilly one and the pink ones. The other plants, except the pink ones, look good. 

Any info you folks have would be awesome. (Also we know this current aquascaping/hardscaping leaves a lot to be desired. We have a 70 gallon tank that is empty (also inherited that), and we are going to cycle it exactly as Cory says to do. 🙂 That tank will be much prettier!)






Edited by Jenna Mary
adding more info.
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Rest assured what you are experiencing is completely normal.  You lost a great deal of bacteria in the move. You are doing very close to a fish in cycle with a fully stocked tank. It will be “ugly” for awhile. The ugly is all the new bacterial and micro life growing bringing the tank to Life.  
Doing more frequent water changes to keep the ammonia at or below .25 will keep the fish safer and the worst of the green ugly away. 

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