fish-in cycling

  • Goranothos
  • Goranothos's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • User is blocked
  • User is blocked
  • Posts: 1926
  • Thank you received: 158

Goranothos created the topic: fish-in cycling

Here is my situation. I set up a 150 gallon tank three weeks ago, and decided to do a fish-in cycle (no lectures, please). Bought one juvenile Oscar, one juvenile Convict, and several Silver Dollars. The amount of SDs I have in the tank has varied from five to ten over the past three weeks because of aggression casualties with the O. I currently have ten SDs that seem to be large and/or smart enough to avoid the O. I would estimate I currently have about 18 inches of fish in the tank. I did use Tetra SafeStart (bacteria-in-a-bottle) when I first put fish in the tank.

I've been doing 50% water changes every Saturday. I have done a total of 2 water changes so far. Been checking water parameter with the API master kit every two or three days, though I have slowed down to once a week on those, because the results seem to change very little from day to day.

Today is supposed to be a water change day, but I decided to check ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate before the change. Ammonia read 0.25(ish), Nitrite 0, and Nitrate 5 to 10. I get 5 to 10 Nitrate straight out of my tap. I sometimes have trouble distinguishing the subtle color differences, but the Ammonia is definitely below 0.5, and the Nitrite is definitely 0.

These results seem strange to me. Why am I not getting a Nitrite reading after three weeks? Why is my Nitrate basically the same as my tap water? Why is the Ammonia only increasing by about 0.25 per week? Is it because I have small fish in a big tank? Am I slowing down the cycle by doing the Saturday water changes and never letting the Ammonia level get high enough to feed the bacteria?

Thoughts?

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” -Mike Tyson
#346056

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 5943
  • Karma: 4
  • Thank you received: 583

Suprd71 replied the topic: fish-in cycling

I went thru the same thing when I set up new tanks and cleaned out the others. Had trace ammonia and nitrates, but no nitrites. And I had established filters to begin with. I did 2x weekly w/c and after couple weeks all settled out to 0,0 and 5ish. I would think yours will settle out better when your filter gets more bb going, maybe another 4-5 weeks?


I may not be the Boss, but I'm ALWAYS right!
#346059

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Goranothos
  • Goranothos's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • User is blocked
  • User is blocked
  • Posts: 1926
  • Thank you received: 158

Goranothos replied the topic: fish-in cycling

Ok, thanks. I'll go ahead and do a 50% WC tomorrow, and keep up that schedule. Forgot to mention I'm also using Prime.

Any other thoughts/opinions welcome.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” -Mike Tyson
#346060

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Popss
  • Popss's Avatar
  • Visitor
  • Visitor

Popss replied the topic: fish-in cycling

My 2 cents for what its worth (witch prob aint mutch), I for one am recycling my Oscar tank, I do fin level water changes ever other day, 95g tank that close to 95% WC. i add 2 cap fulls of prime (give or take over spill in tank) and fill the tank back up. resean for every other day? prime is good for 48 hours and i hate poopies in my tank!!!

I do not think once a week is enough for a tank that's only been cycling with fish in for 3 weeks.

as for the 18 inches of fish total does not apply, my wife has around 25 one inch fish in her glow tank, all of them together does not = the the weight or bio out put of my 8" Oscar. Its measured by a single fish, not by a combination of .
#346061

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Goranothos
  • Goranothos's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • User is blocked
  • User is blocked
  • Posts: 1926
  • Thank you received: 158

Goranothos replied the topic: fish-in cycling

Popss wrote: My 2 cents for what its worth (witch prob aint mutch), I for one am recycling my Oscar tank, I do fin level water changes ever other day, 95g tank that close to 95% WC. i add 2 cap fulls of prime (give or take over spill in tank) and fill the tank back up. resean for every other day? prime is good for 48 hours and i hate poopies in my tank!!!

I do not think once a week is enough for a tank that's only been cycling with fish in for 3 weeks.

as for the 18 inches of fish total does not apply, my wife has around 25 one inch fish in her glow tank, all of them together does not = the the weight or bio out put of my 8" Oscar. Its measured by a single fish, not by a combination of .


I appreciate your input.

However, my API test kit results are what I go by. 0.25 Ammonia is what I got today, along with 0 Nitrite and 5 to 10 Nitrate, which is the Nitrate reading I get from my tap water.

Not only do I tend to disagree with you that a once a week 50% water change is too little....I am starting to think it is too often for my tank at this point in the cycle. From what I understand from my studies, Ammonia has to build up in the tank in order to feed the beneficial bacteria that live in the biomedia of the filter. If I deprive the beneficial bacteria of their food source, which is ammonia, I just prolong the cycle by starving the bacteria.

Thoughts?

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” -Mike Tyson
#346091

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 11056
  • Thank you received: 877

Rocksor replied the topic: fish-in cycling

Goranothos wrote: Here is my situation. I set up a 150 gallon tank three weeks ago, and decided to do a fish-in cycle (no lectures, please). Bought one juvenile Oscar, one juvenile Convict, and several Silver Dollars. The amount of SDs I have in the tank has varied from five to ten over the past three weeks because of aggression casualties with the O. I currently have ten SDs that seem to be large and/or smart enough to avoid the O. I would estimate I currently have about 18 inches of fish in the tank. I did use Tetra SafeStart (bacteria-in-a-bottle) when I first put fish in the tank.

I've been doing 50% water changes every Saturday. I have done a total of 2 water changes so far. Been checking water parameter with the API master kit every two or three days, though I have slowed down to once a week on those, because the results seem to change very little from day to day.

Today is supposed to be a water change day, but I decided to check ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate before the change. Ammonia read 0.25(ish), Nitrite 0, and Nitrate 5 to 10. I get 5 to 10 Nitrate straight out of my tap. I sometimes have trouble distinguishing the subtle color differences, but the Ammonia is definitely below 0.5, and the Nitrite is definitely 0. You have to test your ammonia and nitrite levels everyday.

These results seem strange to me. Why am I not getting a Nitrite reading after three weeks? Why is my Nitrate basically the same as my tap water? Why is the Ammonia only increasing by about 0.25 per week? Is it because I have small fish in a big tank? Am I slowing down the cycle by doing the Saturday water changes and never letting the Ammonia level get high enough to feed the bacteria?

Thoughts?


The first bacteria to grow are those that consume ammonia. The second are the ones that consume nitrite. It' not unusual to not get nitrite readings for 3-4 weeks, which is why it takes about 6-8 weeks to do a fish in cycle.

You nitrates will never be below what is in your tap water. Use reverse osmosis water or distilled water to bring it lower if you want. Not worth the trouble in my opinion.

Don't do a 50% water change until either ammonia or nitrite reach 0.5ppm. If you let ammonia or nitrites get any higher, you risk hurting your fish. Test your ammonia and nitrites everyday.

Tetra safe start won't speed up the cycle. All it contains are bacteria that eat organics, and really inefficient at consume ammonia. It does not contain pure nitrifying bacteria.

You can't starve the bacteria that does not exist. The colony will grow based on the amount of food available.

Keep tank temp at 82-84f for the time being. You can lower it later on.
#346092
The following user(s) said Thank You: Goranothos

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Goranothos
  • Goranothos's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • User is blocked
  • User is blocked
  • Posts: 1926
  • Thank you received: 158

Goranothos replied the topic: fish-in cycling

Rocksor wrote: The first bacteria to grow are those that consume ammonia. The second are the ones that consume nitrite. It' not unusual to not get nitrite readings for 3-4 weeks, which is why it takes about 6-8 weeks to do a fish in cycle.

You nitrates will never be below what is in your tap water. Use reverse osmosis water or distilled water to bring it lower if you want. Not worth the trouble in my opinion.

Don't do a 50% water change until either ammonia or nitrite reach 0.5ppm. If you let ammonia or nitrites get any higher, you risk hurting your fish. Test your ammonia and nitrites everyday.

Tetra safe start won't speed up the cycle. All it contains are bacteria that eat organics, and really inefficient at consume ammonia. It does not contain pure nitrifying bacteria.

You can't starve the bacteria that does not exist. The colony will grow based on the amount of food available.

Keep tank temp at 82-84f for the time being. You can lower it later on.


Thank you.

Tetra SafeStart.....waste of money.

What is your opinion of Prime's claims of detoxifying ammonia and nitrite?

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” -Mike Tyson
#346093

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 11056
  • Thank you received: 877

Rocksor replied the topic: fish-in cycling

Prime does detoxify ammonia and nitrites for up to 48 hours. Kordon amquel does the same thing.

It binds the ammonia for up to 48 hours by converting it to ammonium. That bond eventually degrades. As for nitrites, Prime does have chloride in the ingredients, which the fish will take in rather than the nitrite. However, that too is limited.

You can use regular table salt to prevent nitrite poisoning. About 1 pinch per 10 gallons, which would have to be re-dosed every 24 hours.

powder form of Rid-X septic treatment is much cheaper than Safe start and contains the same bacteria, plus more. Not harmful to fish. 1 tablespoon per 50-75g.
#346095
The following user(s) said Thank You: Goranothos

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Goranothos
  • Goranothos's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • User is blocked
  • User is blocked
  • Posts: 1926
  • Thank you received: 158

Goranothos replied the topic: fish-in cycling

Rocksor wrote: Prime does detoxify ammonia and nitrites for up to 48 hours. Kordon amquel does the same thing.

It binds the ammonia for up to 48 hours by converting it to ammonium. That bond eventually degrades. As for nitrites, Prime does have chloride in the ingredients, which the fish will take in rather than the nitrite. However, that too is limited.

You can use regular table salt to prevent nitrite poisoning. About 1 pinch per 10 gallons, which would have to be re-dosed every 24 hours.

powder form of Rid-X septic treatment is much cheaper than Safe start and contains the same bacteria, plus more. Not harmful to fish. 1 tablespoon per 50-75g.



This is the kind of advice I was hoping for. Great forum! Thanks.

Plan:

Do a 50% water change tomorrow. I honestly don't have time for water testing every day....so....capful of Prime every two days......50% (or greater) water change every weekend. Test twice a week. Continue Ad Infinitum.

Throw in a pinch of Rid-X in a couple of weeks, flush the rest.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” -Mike Tyson
#346104

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 11056
  • Thank you received: 877

Rocksor replied the topic: fish-in cycling

prime only detoxifies up to 1ppm of ammonia, so if your ammonia goes over, prime won't be able to do anything over 1ppm.
#346107

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Big-KenDRACO
Time to create page: 0.114 seconds