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Old 12-27-2011, 09:46 PM   #1 
jman828
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Dumb me, Crashed my cycle

I should've know better, but without thinking i added an aqautic frog, and 2 mystery snails to my 10g all at once, and well like i should've expected crashed my cycle. I had the ammonia go up which is now gone again back to 0, but now i've got the nitrites. What should I do, i can't change a lot of water because it's cycled (well was) what should i do? It's got the 2 snails,frog, and 2 bettas.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:03 PM   #2 
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No, I don't think your tank is crashed per se, it's just catching up to the sudden ammonia boost. What you'll want to do is change just enough water to bring the nitrites back into safe levels, so maybe 25%. Keep testing every few days and changing the water as needed to keep the nitrites at safe levels. After a while, you should find that the nitrites are going down all by themselves, without you needing to do water changes. Then test for nitrates every week or so and make sure those stay under 40ppm.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:51 PM   #3 
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ok yes it's just trying to keep up i suppose.....i thiught the safe level for nitrites was 0 though? They are pretty low but they're there so like you said the cycle is probably catching up, not crashed. My nitrites are at about 0.3ppm. So all in all it's pretty much like doing the cycle again but alot shorter? just wait until everything's back at 0?
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:42 AM   #4 
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Jman, yeah, I think you're right, the safe level for nitrites is 0 so you'd have to do a water change big enough to get it down to that. Since you still have nitrates too, the cycle definitely isn't completely lost, just a little . . . off-balance. So you're right, it's just like doing a mini cycle.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:12 PM   #5 
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ok so would a 50% hurt it? Because I do 25% w/ vacuum every Sunday. So say I did a 50% with no vacuum today (Wednesday) and then the routine 25% with vacuum on Sunday is that too much water out too soon? So pretty much what i'm asking is how much water can you change and how often in a crashed cycled tank.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:17 PM   #6 
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Anytime you add more stock you need to watch the levels and make needed water only changes until the biological filter catches up...usually doesn't take but a few days...all depending on what you added and how mature the system itself...its also a good idea to back off on feeding for the first 24h too...

Sometimes you have to make daily 25-50% "water only" changes until the biological filter catches up with the bioload....

The beneficial bacteria are sticky and adhere to all the surface areas inside the tank-like the walls, decorations, plants both fake and real, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media-very little are in the water column itself and so water only changes will not hurt the cycle-but over cleaning can-you want to limit vacuum to 1 weekly-but at least weekly in all areas that can be reached without moving anything- otherwise the BB can suffocate-wipe down all the viewing walls weekly and best to leave non-viewing walls especially if they have algae since the algae can be helpful for the system

Filter media needs a good swish/rinse in the bucket of old tank water a couple of times a month to get all the big pieces of gunk off-they should look dirty but still have good water flow to keep the BB healthy, thriving and colonizing.....
You don't need to change the filter media unless its falling apart and then you want to cut a piece of the old filter media off and attach it to the new filter media for a week or so to help seed the new media faster.....however, you still want to monitor the prams since you may still get small spikes that need a water only change to correct....

Ammonia and nitrite you want to keep 0.25ppm or less-Ideally 0ppm
Nitrate 5-10ppm ideally and less than 20ppm-

High nitrate is generally tolerated by most species of fish since it is gradual-but a sudden change (large water change) in that nitrate can shock them and even kill some species of fish-then if you add new fish that came from low nitrate to high nitrate this can cause health issues for them and then the old fish can get sick due to their compromised immune response secondary to living in a high nitrate tank.....

Long term high nitrate (over 50+ppm) can compromise immune response of the livestock and stunt growth of young fish and sometimes cause the death of shrimp

With high nitrate in the tank-this usually means the tank was neglected- has not been taken care of or poor vacuuming or filter care-with high nitrate usually you will also have low pH-this naturally happens in closed systems due to decomp and neglected tanks-this can cause other issue and where several myths come from "Water change killed my fish" "Fish shop sold me sick fish"....

Anyway...I am sure more info than you wanted.......but its good info to know why some things happen, what you can do and how to prevent...

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 12-28-2011 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:13 PM   #7 
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Ok, I'll do that then OFL, I do all that with the media already and what you told me to do was actually what I was thinking and going to do.We had the same thought :P. Thanks for the detailed answer, it really helps! :)
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:09 PM   #8 
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Ok, so I did a 50% water only change and added a double dose of Prime. Will check Paramater again tomorrow. how long until it catches up?
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