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Old 10-26-2013, 03:02 AM   #11 
Hallyx
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Agreed with Matt and Russell.

The numbers usually recommended for a cycling tank with fish in it are <0.25ppm ammonia and <0.25ppm nitrite. Nitrite at 5.0ppm can slow or stall the cycle.
Nitrate is not critical, but >80ppm is considered high. It'll get under control as you control the others. Prime with water changes and any time you see high ammonia and/or.nitrite.

The film is probably a common protein film which you can skim off. But it indicates an unequal distribution of water from your filter being on one side. Some tanks have this problem; some don't One way to equalize the flow is to use two mesh dividers with the filter and heater between them. Done right, you can also hide the filter and heater.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:13 PM   #12 
MerlinsBeard
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I don't think I have room to put the filter in it's own area...I only have a 5.5 gallon. I will probably just separate them when we move. I did another water change and levels are now:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 40
Nitrite: 5

I still have a filter media bag in the tank with substrate from my friend's cycled tank. Do I need to take that out now?
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:28 PM   #13 
RussellTheShihTzu
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You could run a filter in each section. That's what I do.

I wouldn't take out the media until the tank is cycled.
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:32 PM   #14 
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Ok, thanks for the tip. I will keep working on it!
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:30 PM   #15 
Hallyx
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Your nitrite is still way out of control. I'd recommend doing 50% water changes daily until it's down to <0.25ppm. Your ammonia has gone to 0.0ppm. Your nitrite will start to reduce any day now. But you shouldn't subject your fish to high nitrite at any time.
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