Question Adding More Fish After Fishless Cycle?

jaynesplotch

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Hello! I'm pretty new to fishkeeping, and I've done a lot of research but I'm still not sure about stocking. Here's the background: I did a fishless cycle and got my 20 gallon high tank to the point of processing about 2ppm ammonia in 24 hours. I spent about a week dosing up to around 4ppm, but it never seemed to process more than that 2ppm in 24 hours, so I gave up and moved my fish over from their uncycled 10 gallon. I've currently got 6 shrimp, 2 snails, 4 guppies, and a betta in the tank. They've been in there for about a week. The tank is planted. It's got some water sprite, amazon sword, anubias, java fern, ludwigia, and java moss. Water tests are always good with 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 0-5 nitrates (plants seem to be keeping that really low).

So here's the actual question: I'm going to be adding corys in the near future, and I'm wondering how many I can safely add at once. I want a school of 6 in total. I read that if your tank can process 4ppm in 24 hours then you can theoretically add your full stock all at once without stressing your bacteria, but since my tank never processed that much at once AND has only been feeding off the bioload of the current inhabitants, do I need to go slow on adding the corys? If I added 3 initially, how soon could I add another 3?
 

Heron

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You could probably add all 6 together if you keep the increase in load down by feeding the fish less for 2-3 days. The filter bacteria can double in 24-48 hours so they will catch up quickly as you already have a good number if they are coping with the current load. Many people suggest you shouldn't feed the tank at all for 24 hours after adding new fish, this should also give the bacteria time to react to the new fish. Don't worry about the fish, they can go a week without food. In fact I always give my fish a starve day once a week
 
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jaynesplotch

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You could probably add all 6 together if you keep the increase in load down by feeding the fish less for 2-3 days. The filter bacteria can double in 24-48 hours so they will catch up quickly as you already have a good number if they are coping with the current load. Many people suggest you shouldn't feed the tank at all for 24 hours after adding new fish, this should also give the bacteria time to react to the new fish. Don't worry about the fish, they can go a week without food. In fact I always give my fish a starve day once a week
I hadn't read not to feed them at first, that makes a lot of sense! And yea, I'm trying to fast mine occasionally, but it's hard when they come up to the top begging, haha. Thank you!
 

Spyder

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I hadn't read not to feed them at first, that makes a lot of sense! And yea, I'm trying to fast mine occasionally, but it's hard when they come up to the top begging, haha. Thank you!
I’m with you on the begging. I can’t bring myself to fast them lol. In fact my Betta dances right in my face for more like a freaking puppy and I give in and drop another pellet lol. Oh well, spoiled fish am I right?! I just double down on water changes and sigh loudly (There’s a dad joke in there that I totally didn’t intend to make)
 
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jaynesplotch

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I’m with you on the begging. I can’t bring myself to fast them lol. In fact my Betta dances right in my face for more like a freaking puppy and I give in and drop another pellet lol. Oh well, spoiled fish am I right?! I just double down on water changes and sigh loudly (There’s a dad joke in there that I totally didn’t intend to make)
My Betta will just swim in melancholy circles at the top of the tank all like, "Woe is me, nobody loves me." And then if I don't give in, he swims to a particular log and drapes himself over it as dramatically as possible, as though he's about to die of hunger. I know I'm anthropomorphizing, but still. Manipulative little buggers. I've fallen in love, LOL!
 
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