At 8 Weeks Should I Just Try Fish-in If Still Not Cycled?

ASHLEY R COOK
  • #1
As many of you know I've been cycling for a bit now (almost 7 weeks now) and my cycle has stalled I guess.
For those that don't know:
Started around February 12
30x12.4x22in
Ph 8.2
Hard water
Temp is around 84.5F
I was dosing to 2ppm but last week tried 4ppm after a water change to see if it helped.
I've never seen any nitrites but I have nitrates. (I did use tss+)
I started using stability last week also when I upped the ammonia.
My question is should try fish in at 8 weeks or would it be a bad choice since I can't get it going fishless?
I'm so ready for fish. But I don't want to let that cloud my judgment.
For those who don't know my stocking plan:
6 Cory sterbi
3 mollies
1 angel
Possible one gourami or if I don't have luck maybe an apisto
 
mattgirl
  • #2
Never seeing nitrites doesn't mean that your tank isn't cycled. Having nitrates leads me to believe that you are but are you saying that the ammonia isn't going down either?

I really think using bottled bacteria (BB) can cause nothing but headaches for some folks. I have been following your trials and tribulations while trying to cycle this tank and it seems to me like you are one of those folks.

I wonder if it is possible something in the chemistry of your tap water is conflicting with your BB and is giving you false readings.

Bottom line .... 8 weeks is just too long a time to get a cycle completed.

If it were me I would do a 90% water change using prime and nothing else. I would go ahead and get the mollies and put them in there (of course be sure to acclimate them) and then stay on top of the testing and water changes as needed.

as always, just my humble opinion and what I personally would do if I were in your shoes.
 
ASHLEY R COOK
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Never seeing nitrites doesn't mean that your tank isn't cycled. Having nitrates leads me to believe that you are but are you saying that the ammonia isn't going down either?

I really think using bottled bacteria (BB) can cause nothing but headaches for some folks. I have been following your trials and tribulations while trying to cycle this tank and it seems to me like you are one of those folks.

I wonder if it is possible something in the chemistry of your tap water is conflicting with your BB and is giving you false readings.

Bottom line .... 8 weeks is just too long a time to get a cycle completed.

If it were me I would do a 90% water change using prime and nothing else. I would go ahead and get the mollies and put them in there (of course be sure to acclimate them) and then stay on top of the testing and water changes as needed.

as always, just my humble opinion and what I personally would do if I were in your shoes.
Right! I'm being very patient as I am new to all this. I'm waiting for the two weeks trying stability to be up. That should be Thursday I think and then if no changes I will do I huge water change and get fish. I'm just nervous bc I wanna do the right thing for the fish. Is it ok the get the cories first? I don't want the mollies to go breed happy until I get the angel (I'm getting a large one to help even out the population, hopefully)
I could do 3 and then 3 more in two weeks if needed. Or they are quite small idk if I could do all 6. I'm such a novice lol
Unless I could do; 3 mollies, then gourami, then angel, then cories. I don't want to over load and I don't want territory issues with the angel. Maybe mollies and then angel and move decor around before adding gourami. Haha I think too much!!
 
mattgirl
  • #4
Right! I'm being very patient as I am new to all this. I'm waiting for the two weeks trying stability to be up. That should be Thursday I think and then if no changes I will do I huge water change and get fish. I'm just nervous bc I wanna do the right thing for the fish. Is it ok the get the cories first? I don't want the mollies to go breed happy until I get the angel (I'm getting a large one to help even out the population, hopefully)
I could do 3 and then 3 more in two weeks if needed. Or they are quite small idk if I could do all 6. I'm such a novice lol
Unless I could do; 3 mollies, then gourami, then angel, then cories. I don't want to over load and I don't want territory issues with the angel. Maybe mollies and then angel and move decor around before adding gourami. Haha I think too much!!
Your choice of course but yes, I would do the mollies first. I think they would be the hardiest fish you have on your list. I would add the Angelfish or Gourami (one or the other but not both) after your cycle is finished and after all of the rest of the fish have been added.
 
oldsalt777
  • #5
Hello Ashley...

To me, running a fish tank without fish in it is like having having dog food, a dog house and leash, but no dog. Your tank has been running all this time, so it's ready for some fish. There are several species of fish that are hardy enough to survive the nitrogen cycle. Guppies, Rasboras, Platys, Danios, White cloud minnows, Swordtails and probably the hardiest are Goldfish. If you're interested in a many decade proved way of cycling your tank, let me know. There's no reason you can't have some color fish in your aquarium from the start.

Old
 
ASHLEY R COOK
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Hello Ashley...

To me, running a fish tank without fish in it is like having having dog food, a dog house and leash, but no dog. Your tank has been running all this time, so it's ready for some fish. There are several species of fish that are hardy enough to survive the nitrogen cycle. Guppies, Rasboras, Platys, Danios, White cloud minnows, Swordtails and probably the hardiest are Goldfish. If you're interested in a many decade proved way of cycling your tank, let me know. There's no reason you can't have some color fish in your aquarium from the start.

Old
Yea I know. I went with fishless bc I was scared of killing or hurting a fish.
I don't mind trying. Just makes me nervous bc I don't have anyone to talk to some ask question or help me but you guys on fishlore! My LFS is a joke. All I have is Petsmart and I don't ask them anything bc they don't know. I'll just be buying fish from there and I bought my tank from there.

Your choice of course but yes, I would do the mollies first. I think they would be the hardiest fish you have on your list. I would add the Angelfish or Gourami (one or the other but not both) after your cycle is finished and after all of the rest of the fish have been added.
Why won't an angel and dear gourami be ok? I've heard they get along. Should I go for the apisto cacatuoides instead of gourami and just the angel? I kinda wanted two fry eater keeping them in check lol
 
mattgirl
  • #7
Why won't an angel and dear gourami be ok? I've heard they get along. Should I go for the apisto cacatuoides instead of gourami and just the angel? I kinda wanted two fry eater keeping them in check lol
Sometimes and with some fish it can work but both tend to be territorial so you would have to watch out for that. They may become best friends but they could also become the worst of enemy's. It just depends on their personalities.

If you meant dwarf Gourami I do think they are more docile.
 
ASHLEY R COOK
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Sometimes and with some fish it can work but both tend to be territorial so you would have to watch out for that. They may become best friends but they could also become the worst of enemy's. It just depends on their personalities.
Yea. That's true from what I've read. Just an excuse to get another tank!
"Oh honey, the angel and gourami aren't getting along. Let's start another!" Lol
I also have my 10 gal QT if I do need to separate asap. Until I get another tank.
Is that a stupid plan?
 
mattgirl
  • #9
Yea. That's true from what I've read. Just an excuse to get another tank!
"Oh honey, the angel and gourami aren't getting along. Let's start another!" Lol
I also have my 10 gal QT if I do need to separate asap. Until I get another tank.
Is that a stupid plan?
Nope, that sounds like a very good idea to me. Who wouldn't want another tank and it looks like you are planning a built in reason to get one

It is always a good idea to have an extra tank up and running just in case.
 
Mom2some
  • #10
Also - what is telling you that you are not cycled? How often are you having to dose ammonia? Do you have nitrates in your source water that might be given you a false reading?

I would also vote for a switch to a fish-in cycle, If you are processing 2ppm ammonia, then you should be able to add the mollys. Add your first couple of fish, wait about a week after water parameters stabilize, then add the next fish. Good luck!
 
jdhef
  • #11
Everyone has their preferences, so I'll give mine. If it were me, I would do a large water change and get some fish and a bottle of Tetra SafeStart+.
 
ASHLEY R COOK
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Everyone has their preferences, so I'll give mine. If it were me, I would do a large water change and get some fish and a bottle of Tetra SafeStart+.
With TSS how would I know if ammonia is high if it messes with the test? I know u can't put it in with prime but when could I start using prime if needed?
Idk why I'm so nervous. I just wish I had someone I could be fish friends with in person! Lol
 
Mom2some
  • #13
With TSS+ you need to follow the directions carefully & then it works great. 1 inch of fish per 10 gallons, or a little more. Then do Nothing for 14 days (can top up tank after 7 days if needed. Do not test during this time & feed very lightly.
If that is too hands off for you, Stability is a different Bacterial supplement.
Or you could just add a few fish & see how your bacteria responds before worrying about a bacterial supplement.
 
jdhef
  • #14
I don't know that TSS messes with the test. When using TSS there will be slightly elevated ammonia levels initially, but will only last a few days and should do no harm to your fish. But the best way to tell if something is going wrong when using TSS is to observe your fish. If they don't seem to be in distress, no need to worry.

Note, you cannot use any water conditioner when using TSS. There is something about what water conditioners do to remove chloramine, that will cause TSS to fail. So you need to wait at least 24 hours after your large water change to add the fish and TSS.

You may find this link helpful:
Q & A With Tetra about Tetra SafeStart
 
ASHLEY R COOK
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
So r u guys saying I could get fish today?! Lol
 
mattgirl
  • #16
ASHLEY R COOK
  • Thread Starter
  • #17

Do u guys think o should used tss+ right off the bat or wait to see how my tank goes without it?
 
JoeCamaro
  • #18
Everyone has their preferences, so I'll give mine. If it were me, I would do a large water change and get some fish and a bottle of Tetra SafeStart+.
That's what I did. I got Tetra Safestart, put it in the tank. 2 hours later (as per instructions) added a few fish and all went good. Worked for me.
 
Hunter1
  • #19
But at least 24 hours after you use a declorinator. So if you are going to do a big water change, wait 24 hours before adding the TetraSafeStart.

Sorry if I spoiled your “fish today.”

But I have been following you as well and wish you the best.

OBTW. I wouldn’t worry about the fry. Depending on how much cover you have, the parents are very efficient at eating them. And 2 week old fry will be sushI for an angel when you add it. I would not worry about fry.
 
ASHLEY R COOK
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
But at least 24 hours after you use a declorinator. So if you are going to do a big water change, wait 24 hours before adding the TetraSafeStart.

Sorry if I spoiled your “fish today.”

But I have been following you as well and wish you the best.

OBTW. I wouldn’t worry about the fry. Depending on how much cover you have, the parents are very efficient at eating them. And 2 week old fry will be sushI for an angel when you add it. I would not worry about fry.
I have lots of cover! I added a big sword like one also.
20180405_174249.jpg

Can tss be added after fish? Petsmart is put of tss until their truck on Monday. Or do I need to wait to get fish after tss
 
Hunter1
  • #21
I used to add TetraSafeStart to every addition of fish or filter, probably overkill but it doesn’t hurt.

And pretty tank. I guess a fry or 2 could survive in that.

The only fry i’ve had survive in a community tank hung behind a sponge filter where nobody could get to them and they could eat off of the sponge.
 
ASHLEY R COOK
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
I used to add TetraSafeStart to every addition of fish or filter, probably overkill but it doesn’t hurt.

And pretty tank. I guess a fry or 2 could survive in that.

The only fry i’ve had survive in a community tank hung behind a sponge filter where nobody could get to them and they could eat off of the sponge.
Yea probably over but sometimes better safe then sorry.

I just tested my tap water and it has 1ppm ammonia. It used to be zero!
So I'm going to have to use prime. So can I still use tss? I have stability so I might be better to just use that since I'll need to use prime.
 
Hunter1
  • #23
Use Prime 24 hours before TetraSafeStart.
 
ASHLEY R COOK
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
Use Prime 24 hours before TetraSafeStart.
What about after that? Doesn't the prime only detoxify for 24hrs. Will that hurt the fish after 24hrs?
Sorry if I ask dumb questions. I have researched all this before but I've researched so much in the span of 6 weeks I think I overloaded my brain. Lol!
 
Hunter1
  • #25
Prime adversely affects TetraSafeStart.
 
ASHLEY R COOK
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
Prime adversely affects TetraSafeStart.
Yea I know. But would it be ok to add tss after 24hrs even with the ammonia being at 1ppm? I don't want to stress or hurt the fish.
I mean my tank is mostly cycle if not cycled.
 
Hunter1
  • #27
Curious what your ammonia level is a day after a water change?

Your nitrite numbers may be from your 1ppm ammonia from your tap.

You could be fully cycled with your cycling fighting the ammonia from your tap.

Maybe the reason for your struggles.
 
ASHLEY R COOK
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
Curious what your ammonia level is a day after a water change?

Your nitrite numbers may be from your 1ppm ammonia from your tap.

You could be fully cycled with your cycling fighting the ammonia from your tap.

Maybe the reason for your struggles.
I'm wondering the same thing now.
 
Mom2some
  • #29
If you have Stability already just use that instead of TSS, since you can use it with Prime & water changes.
But yes, you could use TSS after adding fish. Just remember to lightly stock & lightly feed!
 
jdhef
  • #30
Prime will detox for 24 hours, which means it will detox the ammonia in your tank plus any additional ammonia that occurs (up to a total of 1ppm) for 24 hours. After 24 hours the detoxed ammonia does not turn back into toxic ammonia. Once detoxed, that ammonia remains detoxed.

So if you have 1ppm of ammonia in your tank and dose with Prime, the entire 1ppm of ammonia will be, and will stay detoxed. 24 hours after using Prime, you can add some fish and a bottle of TSS+ at the same time. Then do nothing but lightly feed your fish for the next 14 days. Don't even bother testing your water unless your fish look distressed. Especially because the test kits cannot differentiate between toxic ammonia and detoxed ammonia, so you'll be reading high levels of ammonia even though up to 1ppm of that ammonia will be detoxed. Additionally, TSS+ is bacteria in a "stabilized ammonia". I'm not sure what "stabilized ammonia" is, but I assume it is not toxic and I'm not sure if it shows up in the ammonia test.

So using TSS is a bit of a leap of faith, but I've used it several times and have been successful each and every time.
 
ASHLEY R COOK
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
Prime will detox for 24 hours, which means it will detox the ammonia in your tank plus any additional ammonia that occurs (up to a total of 1ppm) for 24 hours. After 24 hours the detoxed ammonia does not turn back into toxic ammonia. Once detoxed, that ammonia remains detoxed.

So if you have 1ppm of ammonia in your tank and dose with Prime, the entire 1ppm of ammonia will be, and will stay detoxed. 24 hours after using Prime, you can add some fish and a bottle of TSS+ at the same time. Then do nothing but lightly feed your fish for the next 14 days. Don't even bother testing your water unless your fish look distressed. Especially because the test kits cannot differentiate between toxic ammonia and detoxed ammonia, so you'll be reading high levels of ammonia even though up to 1ppm of that ammonia will be detoxed. Additionally, TSS+ is bacteria in a "stabilized ammonia". I'm not sure what "stabilized ammonia" is, but I assume it is not toxic and I'm not sure if it shows up in the ammonia test.

So using TSS is a bit of a leap of faith, but I've used it several times and have been successful each and every time.
Thx for clarifying that detoxified ammonia stays that way! I thought it only made if safe for 24 hrs. Cool!
 
Tigginjenn
  • #32
I, too, was a bit impatient when o started mine. I added 5 black phantom tetra, and happy to report, have my list a single one. Stayed on top of water changes, lost a couple others, that never should have been added, but.... those little phantoms Tom's are tough and fun to watch. Mine is now stacked with those, some rummynose and cardinal tetras, 2 German blue rams, an angel, and 3 boesmanI rainbow fish. All are doing great. Long story short.... add the miles, or even so.e of the phantom tetras. Both are hearty and should withstand whatever. Good luck.
 

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