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So here goes. Set up a 3 foot tank ~3 months ago.

Bare bottom two large sponge filters. Cycled using feeders & searchem stability.

All went well. tank cycled for 3 weeks, had nitrate and no ammonia.

Added 4 German blue rams then a week or two later took the feeders out.

A week later added some juvi bristlenose from another tank

Addd some easy stem plants and animals wisteria from another tank.

Light wasn't good enough n plants started to Melt after a week.

Ammonia sitting at 1-2 on api test chart. No nitrate.

Lost a ram and a sub adult bristlenose

Took bristlenose out, but don't have a spare tank for rams...

Took plants out fair few water changes adding stability for past 2 weeks with no change.

Added a small canister with some media from my discus tank that had been running 6 months .. about a week and a half ago

Still no change .

Adding prime every second day to detox ammonia and adding stability daily.

At a loss for what to do. Thinking of taking fish out, draining tank & starting again.

Have only ever used ro water in the tank as was going to be a bb discus breeding setup but went with rams instead

Any advise is appreciated.

Edited by mtwalkert28
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Has nitrite begun appearing? What were the readings when you removed the feeders? 1-2 weeks is not enough time to fully cycle a tank, so should have continued to use ya feeders as the ammonia source.

Is ammonia still rising with the rams and the cycled filter in the aquarium

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Tank was cycled when I removed the feeders, had been 3 weeks... Then Added the rams while I had the feeders in there.

Ammonia was 0 and had nitrates when removing feeders

Two weeks later removed feeders .

Last two weeks Nitrate is 0 and Ammonia has been constant with canister on there and have had the two sponges in there the whole time

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Beneficial bacteria can't cope with sudden bioload demands such as die off in plants or introducing large fish or many new fish. Removing feeders will decrease the food for beneficial bacteria as well. While bare bottom tanks are easier to clean, there isn't as much surface area for bio-film and beneficial bacteria and you would be relying almost soley on your two sponge filters. Three months isn't considered a long time to get a mature bio filtration running reliably. You will almost always get a small spike in ammonia/nitrite when adding new fish but more stable systems can reduce this faster than new systems.

Are your two sponges in the canister? If water can bypass them within the canister then you don't really have two sponge filters.

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No... you need ammonia for bacteria to grow. However you can chemically bind the ammonia to reduce toxicity to fish with something like Prime neutraliser or keep pH below 7.0 (I mention this because you have discus and probably comfortable playing with pH). Ammonia below pH7 becomes ammonium which is much safer for fish.

You can also add more aged media (if available), clean out dirty filters into your new tank and stop feeding fish for several weeks. There is nothing wrong with a "dirty tank" when starting up.

Starting again will just delay the process.

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the ph will definetly be befow 7, the RO from my filter comes out at 6-6.5.

ive been adding prime every few days to help bind the ammonia, not that i know for sure it will but the 3 fish ive got in there are still alive.. so

ive added media from my discus tank into the canister when i added that on the tank, but no change, was over a week ago. Also added squeezing from the white filter pad from the discus tank at the same time

Edited by mtwalkert28
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I used seachem stability on a small tank as per instructions and cycling still took over 5 weeks unlike the 7 they advertised, I was also getting results that I couldn't work out. Gave up and let it finish doing its thing which it eventually did. I am still unsure what the stability does

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