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Quarantine tank setup


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     About 6 weeks ago, I set up a 5 gallon quarantine/sick tank after listening to a tank talk podcast. I set it up as a bare bottom tank with a sponge filter, a couple plastic plants, and some pennywort left to float. I also dropped in a couple tiger lotus bulbs (potted) that haven't taken off at all. I currently have 4 Serpae Tetras in the tank. I am still getting Nitrites when I do a liquid test, weeks after adding the fish. These were the readings yesterday:

Nitrites: 1.0

Ammonia: 0

Nitrates: 5-10 

PH: 6.0

The PH is very low as well. On the podcast, Jason made a case for doing a bare bottom tank, due to possible cross-reactivity between the meds and organic material in the substrate. I feed the fish every other day, alternating between krill flakes and small pellets. I do a 20% water change two or three times a week, depending on whether I see Nitrites. The only thing I can think of is that I am overfeeding. I added some frogbit yesterday to help the process. 

 

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Was it a brand new sponge filter or one already seeded/cycled from another tank? Is the tank/filter cycled?

You could squeeze some filter media from your other tank(s) into this quarantine tank, which might be a little messy* but should add more beneficial bacteria.

Otherwise, yeah, maybe you're overfeeding?

Can you take the lotus bulbs out of their pots? My LFS sells them that way, as bulbs in a bare bottom tank, so they ought to grow without the pot, at least for a little while.

* Come to think of it, maybe squeeze the filter sponge or whatever into some other cup and then pour that in. That might be less messy.

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You can try some bottled bacteria, I have had luck with API QuickStart and Fritz. The bacteria that processes nitrItes seems to take the longest to develop, but a reading of 1 isn't too bad. 

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On 7/1/2024 at 10:10 AM, Rube_Goldfish said:

Was it a brand new sponge filter or one already seeded/cycled from another tank? Is the tank/filter cycled?

You could squeeze some filter media from your other tank(s) into this quarantine tank, which might be a little messy* but should add more beneficial bacteria.

Otherwise, yeah, maybe you're overfeeding?

Can you take the lotus bulbs out of their pots? My LFS sells them that way, as bulbs in a bare bottom tank, so they ought to grow without the pot, at least for a little while.

* Come to think of it, maybe squeeze the filter sponge or whatever into some other cup and then pour that in. That might be less messy.

The sponge filter was new. I set up the tank with Fritz and ran it for two weeks before adding the fish. The Nitrites were at zero by that point, but have been detected for about two weeks now. I think I'm overfeeding. I have a bad habit of that, especially with new fish. I'll take some used filter media out of one of my seasoned tanks and squeeze that sucker in here. I'll also remove the lotus from their pots. 

Thanks! 

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