LoginRegister



Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Questions Questions Questions on aquarium cycling
01-13-2015, 11:29 AM,
#1
Dave Offline
New Member



Posts: 7
Threads: 2
Joined: 01-13-2015
Reputation: 0
Questions Questions Questions on aquarium cycling
Hello Fellow Fish Friends,

This is my first post. I am very new to fish keeping and I believe I have 'jumped the gun' so to speak on this new endeavor and am trying to figure out the right thing to do from this point on.

I purchased a Fluval V (5.6 gallon) tank. I figure with gravel/decorations that this tank is holding about 5 gallons of actual water. Where I really messed up was I set the tank up and let it run for a few days and THEN added four male fan tale guppy's AND a male betta.

OK...so everything is in place and running fine...the fish are happy. I then start reading online fish forums and NOW I understand this entire fish tank cycle thing that needs to happen. I did purchase the ATP Master Test Kit for freshwater.

Here's what's happening... I am doing 1 to 2 gallon water changes daily. This tank has now been set up/running for 3 weeks. I am getting ammonia readings of up to .50PPM (these fall rapidly after water changes, but are up again within 24 hours). I am continuing to do these water changes for the sake of the fish. The fish are ALL most happy, swimming nicely, eating very well.

I am using water straight from the tap. I have well water and the pH is between 6.8 and 7...I have no other chemicals in my water, nor does it go through any other filtration systems, so the water is pretty good quality.

There are 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates showing as of now. Is my constantly doing partial water changes prohibiting the bacteria from being able to colonize? I hate to stop doing the water changes as I do not want the fish to die.

Do I have an option here? Should I continue to do these 2 gallon a day water changes and wait this out? Will the cycling still happen with my doing these changes? Should I find homes for these fish (or take them back to the pet store) and then allow the tank to just sit and cycle? Really not sure the right thing to do.

Many thanks...I know this is a lot of questions and I'm really aggravated at myself for not first researching this before I dove into it. This is all very different from the 'goldfish day's' of my childhood Smile

Thank's for any and all help,
Dave
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-13-2015, 02:30 PM,
#2
Thor Offline
Administrator

**********


Posts: 817
Threads: 110
Joined: 02-14-2012
Reputation: 0
RE: Questions Questions Questions :)
Hi Dave, welcome to the forum.

You are only 3 weeks into having the tank set up, it is normal not to see any trace of nitrite.

Any trace of ammonia in the aquarium is no good for the fish, even though they might not show signs of it at first. Prolonged exposure to the ammonia or nitrite can cause permanent damage to the fish, it is why we do fishless cycling before getting any fish at all.

There are something you can do to minimize the damage to your fish.
1. Cut back on feeding.
Instead of feeding once a day, you can feed your fish only once every two days. The amount of food you toss in there should also be reduced. All food should be eaten within 30 seconds with no leftover at all.
Reduced feeding will reduce the ammonia produced in the system.

2. Keep up the water change daily, but do no more than 30~50% each time.
Yes, it will slow down the cycling but you don't have much of a choice since the build up of ammonia will damage and even kill the fish.
You can also use SeaChem Prime as your water conditioner to help detoxify the ammonia. By the way, what water conditioner are you using now?


3. Getting a bottle of Tetra SafeStart.
Tetra Safestart contains both types of good bacteria needed for fishless cycling. It works as a seeder and can jump start the cycling in your aquarium.

There is one more problem I have noticed. A rather big one. It is not recommended to have guppies and betta in the same tank. Guppies do resemble betta, and betta fish are territorial. They might look peaceful now, all it takes is one incident for it suddenly to become not ok. If I were you, I wouldn't have them in the same tank.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-13-2015, 11:21 PM,
#3
Dave Offline
New Member



Posts: 7
Threads: 2
Joined: 01-13-2015
Reputation: 0
RE: Questions Questions Questions :)
Thank You, Thor, for your recommendations Smile

I'm continuing the water changes. I am using a water conditioner (Top Fin) I believe it came with this tank along with food. I will also cut
back feeding to every-other day and continue to monitor the water parameters twice a day. SO far...these fish are extremely active and seem to
be happy. The betta and the guppy's are getting along fine. I did not know that about not mixing guppy's and betta, the fish store person
told me they would be fine!!! The betta basically hangs out around one corner of this small tank while the guppy's swim everywhere together
in a school. They are ALWAYS hungry, when I feed they consume everything within 30 seconds (or less), they have incredible appetites! They
then graze along the bottom picking through gravel for anything they can find.

I will go out today and purchase the Tetra SafeStart. I live in the middle of nowhere and have to travel close to 30 miles to get to a fish store,
but I'll do that today...I really do not want to lose these little guy's as they have been troopers through all my errors so far.

It is easy to continue the water changes over a long period of time. This is a very small tank and it only takes me 5 minutes in the morning to do this (but I can see if this were a large tank it would be a headache)! Lesson learned! No more fish in my next tank until it cycles (and yes, there will be another tank), I can see this is an addictive hobby. I'm already wanting at least a 40 gallon for my living room...but I'm going to wait until I get through this tank cycling and know that I have a grip on what I'm doing first.

Many Thanks,
Dave
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-24-2015, 09:52 PM,
#4
Dave Offline
New Member



Posts: 7
Threads: 2
Joined: 01-13-2015
Reputation: 0
RE: Questions Questions Questions :)
Update on cycling...

Thank you, Thor...I think my tank has cycled using the Tetra SafeStart. Not quite sure what is going on.

I added a generous amount of this product to my small 5.5 gallon fluval tank. There were 4 guppies and 1 betta in the tank and the highest the ammonia ever went was .50 ppm. Within 24 hours it zoomed down to 0. Nitrites 0, Nitrates 0, pH 7. It has now been 10 days (and I only did 1 water change in that 10 days) and the readings have all stayed at 0. They have been fed every day.

I was expecting there to be some sort of rise in the nitrite/nitrates at some point, but this never happened. Did the Tetra SafeStart supply all the bacteria that automatically took care of this?

The fish are all VERY happy, and VERY VERY active and eat well. No problems at all with the betta in the tank...I must have gotten a docile one as he swims with the guppies and has never once flared up at them. Whenever I've seen bettas they have always been lazily hanging around the top of tanks...not this one, he's extremely active and swims constantly only taking short breaks from time to time. He particularly loves swimming hard into the current of the filter output.

I'll continue to do two complete water tests every day to make sure things are staying stable. If things stay stable like they are I guess I should now just do 1 one gallon water change a week?

I'll have to say....if this indeed worked, that was certainly a 'quick fix' for cycling a tank!!! The SafeStart did in 24 hours what I've been waiting for a month to happen on it's own.

Thank's for any and all help Smile
Dave
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-25-2015, 08:13 PM,
#5
Thor Offline
Administrator

**********


Posts: 817
Threads: 110
Joined: 02-14-2012
Reputation: 0
RE: Questions Questions Questions :)
Tetra SafeStart is intended for a fish-in cycle by the manufacturer. Although I used it as heavy seeder for my fishless cycling, since I believe it is more humane. Smile


If you are using API Freshwater Master kit, then it is possible that you have messed up the nitrate test. The 0ppm you got is a false reading.

The API kit's nitrate test is a little tricky. It requires extensively shaking before using, and then it requires more shaking after mixed it up before you can get an accurate reading. Fail to do so will result in 0ppm nitrate reading.

It is actually been a while since I used my API kits. For more detailed information you need to read the instructions on the bottle.

Hope it helps.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-31-2015, 07:19 AM,
#6
Dave Offline
New Member



Posts: 7
Threads: 2
Joined: 01-13-2015
Reputation: 0
RE: Questions Questions Questions on aquarium cycling
Hi Thor,

You are absolutely, positively, 100% correct... I was doing the test wrong.

OK...if all else fails, read the directions, right Smile I was using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit....and I was not doing the vigorous shaking required for the nitrate formula. My correct reading is .05 to .10 ppm on the nitrates, which is good.

I'll be more thorough in my direction reading now...I promise Smile

Dave
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
01-31-2015, 02:53 PM,
#7
Thor Offline
Administrator

**********


Posts: 817
Threads: 110
Joined: 02-14-2012
Reputation: 0
RE: Questions Questions Questions on aquarium cycling
0.05ppm to 0.1ppm still sounds extremely low for nitrate.
Usually we aim for below 20ppm although it is said to be completely harmless at 40ppm.
In most well maintained aquariums, the nitrate reading would be anywhere from 5 to 40ppm. To be at less than 1ppm, it is unlikely unless you have been doing large partial water change every day for a long time while the tank is lightly stocked.

The shaking is needed on two occasions during the test. Once before the test, to shake the bottle of nitrate formula for 30 seconds or more if I remember correctly. The second time was after you have mixed everything up, and it says you need to shake it for a minute. Lets see if you get a more accurate reading. ☺
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Help me plan my 125gal aquarium GreenAmy 11 1,346 07-08-2017, 06:08 AM
Last Post: JenSTL
  "Blackwater" planted aquarium Fishbone 42 4,222 05-05-2017, 02:58 PM
Last Post: Fishbone
  Do you fast your aquarium fish? Ram 12 9,842 08-06-2016, 05:17 AM
Last Post: remnant
  new aquarium Mark Roberts-Stevens 1 716 07-31-2016, 07:08 PM
Last Post: Thor
  What fish would you recommend for a beginner who wants an aquarium? maxen57 10 1,399 07-01-2016, 12:16 AM
Last Post: Thor
Heart Video of how to set up a planted aquarium Thor 2 2,626 06-26-2016, 03:03 PM
Last Post: GreenAmy
  Question about planted aquarium and fishless cycling GreenAmy 32 3,404 06-23-2016, 11:29 PM
Last Post: GreenAmy
  Common Aquarium Fish Diseases and Treatment Thor 0 767 06-13-2016, 03:28 AM
Last Post: Thor
  inherited a tank, fishless cycling now Ngmcmil 28 3,831 03-21-2016, 07:08 PM
Last Post: Thor
  Fishless Cycling Guidance ShonJohn74 5 1,324 11-08-2015, 02:16 AM
Last Post: Thor
  Cycling Issue sproutyrouty 13 2,130 06-13-2015, 05:42 PM
Last Post: sproutyrouty
  Fishless cycling using Dr Tim's One & Only live bacterial product svbriggs 9 3,480 04-09-2015, 06:48 PM
Last Post: Thor
  fishless cycling using fish food rya73 6 1,862 03-21-2015, 03:55 PM
Last Post: Ram
  Cycling 20gal freshwater tank justintime 2 1,310 01-01-2015, 11:21 PM
Last Post: Thor
  Fishless Cycling KShuk 19 3,349 11-05-2014, 10:40 PM
Last Post: Thor

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)


Contact Us | Pets Keepers Guide | Return to Top | | Lite (Archive) Mode | RSS Syndication| Rules & Privacy | Advertise Here