Beginner Struggling With A Fish-in Cycle. Slight Ammonia Spike Impacting Fish. Please Help!

Fishprobs93

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Long story short, I am trying to do a fish in cycle. I got a 10 gal tank 1 and a half weeks ago, and a few fish that all died pretty much immediately. I had no idea what I was getting myself into or how any of this worked and was told it was safe to bring them home same day. I exchanged them for more and all but one of those died off too. It wasn't until then that I started doing some research and learned all the basics about the nitrogen cycle and cycling the tank. So I currently have one neon tetra in my tank (poor little lonely fella) and one live moss ball at the bottom. I've been testing the water daily using the API freshwater master testing kit. The water levels have been pretty consistent at 0 for Nitrates, Nitrites and Ammonia. There have been a few nights of a small spike to 0.25 ammonia but it didn't seem to affect the little guy at all. I honestly haven't been changing the water because I read that a little ammonia is necessary to build up the bacteria in the tank so I've been keeping an eye on it. It goes back to 0 by the following day, but there are still no Nitrites or Nitrates found. I am BEATING the Nitrate bottle on a hard surface and following the directions to a T, so I am fairly confident the results are accurate. The main difference I have seen is the PH has drastically dropped. It was 8.2 and now it's at 6.8. I believe that's a good thing though I don't really know much about what contributes to that change. I also have a heater now and the tank is consistently at 77-78 degrees F.


Anyways, it took him a few days originally to come out of his hiding corner and to eat but it’s been almost a week now of him swimming around happily, warming up to us, and eating. Today, he’s been hiding more, swimming around less, and doesn't seem to have much of an appetite(though he is eating a little). It's pretty obvious that we've taken a step back here. Not ALL the way, but it's a noticeable difference. His little fins are twitchy but I'm not sure if that's from him trying to stay in one place or a sign of an issue.

I tested the water this evening and the Ammonia levels are at 0.50 for the first time. Still 0 for Nitrates and Nitrites. I'm guessing that might be why he's acting a little off. Luckily I ordered Seachem Prime the other day and it's arriving tomorrow. My question is... the right thing to do in order to bring the Ammonia down is a water change right? Should I do it tonight or would it be better to wait until tomorrow when I can do the change using the Prime? The other chemicals I have are Tetra AquaSafe and API Quick Start. I'm a little nervous about doing the change while he's acting off because I've read about water changes killing fish, so that's why I'm thinking it might be best to wait for the Prime. I also don't want him to be suffering for another 24 hours if the ammonia is at 0.50 and might rise from here. Any other advice is welcome too!
 
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Fishprobs93

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treadingwater said:
Do a water change. It’s like him being in a poisoned room. A water change is like opening a window and letting in fresh air.
Okay, I will do that! Thanks for the advice. What percentage do you recommend?
 
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Fishprobs93

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Donthemon said:
Do a 50 percent. Get some bottles bacteria also to add .tetra Safestart or Seachem stability. It will help speed things along.
If I do the water change tonight, I will not be able to have either of those products. It's too late, unfortunately. I will have the Prime tomorrow and might be able to stop by the store to get the others. Do you think it's best to do the water change tonight with just the Tetra Aquasafe and API Quick Start? at 50%?
 

Morpheus1967

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You are going to have a heck of a time cycling a 10 gallon tank with a single neon tetra. And even if you are successful, you are only cycling the tank to be able to process the waste from that single fish. It would be best if you could re-home him, even temporarily, and do a fishless cycle.
 

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Remember you can dose up to 5 times with prime. This will take some of the stress off of your fish. Dose for ammonia and Nitrite combined up to 5 times although I would recommend 2 times then do a 50 % water change. Remember it buffers 1ppm. This will help the ammonia build up to push along the cycling. If you aren't precise dosing with the prime the ammonia build up can kill the fish just that quick. Test water frequently dose accordingly. It can be successfully done , but there are risk.
 

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Uh, I would do the refill of your water change (as in, filling the tank back up) VERY slowly as from your first post I gather that your tap water PH is more than a full point higher than the current PH in the tank. Lower PH is not a bad thing because it makes the ammonia less toxic (but removing it with a change is still better), but sudden shifts in PH and other parameters can indeed shock fish and be harmful. Just take your time when filling and it should be fine.

As Morpheus said, a single neon tetra is not enough to keep a 10 gallon cycled, or at least it would take you forever to try. You probably won't even be able to measure the results. The ammonia you are seeing is probably from fish food left uneaten or some other small organic tidbits in your tank. I have to agree that it would be best to remove the fish, either temporarily to a friend or bring it back to the shop, and get the tank properly cycled before putting fish in. If you are bent on keeping the tetra, you can either put in a little organic waste (like a decaying oak leaf) and monitor the ammonia levels to make sure they don't drop to 0 or exceed 2 - 3 ppm, or get 2-3 more to increase you fish bioload, but you would risk exposing them to harm.
 

AlpineTheBetta

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Sorry I disagreed with some of you. When I attempted to fish in cycle 20 gallon with 6cories I dosed prime precisely and ammonia to nitrite never exceeded 0.5 ppm. A couple weeks after ammonia and nitrite started to register my cories started to get sick and died one by one.

Chemicals are not quick fix and I find it does not do what it says it does necessarily and your fish gets to suffer. Prime is one of those chemical I regret buying. It may work ok as a dechlorinator but no good for anything else. My cories paid for my mistake and that stupid bottle of prime. Sorry for being angry.

I am aware that prime claims to detox ammonia but the ammonia will still shpw up on the test kit after adding prime. I don't go by my test result. Rather I go by my fish health. M cories was sick initially then got better and started to thrive when my parameters were 0 ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate, yet when the ammonia and nitrite start to build up despite low concentration, and despite dosing prime religiously the cories started to get sick and die.


Put your neon in a 5 g and water change to keep everything as close to 0 as possible. At that bioload ammonia will remain 0 for at least a week if not more.

Then fishless cycle your 10g, use safestart or seeded media from LFS. Crank temperature to 86 degrees, feed with bottled ammonia like Dr. Tim's ( amazon has it). If you do it this way you can cycled that tank in a week or two depending on how much ammonia you want it to be able to process daily. Or rehome your little guy. If you want to cycle for a school of 3 neons at that temperature you eill be done cycling in one week.

I strongly believe that if you attempt cycling with your neon tetra in it two outcomes are possible

A. Not enough ammonia. The cycle takes forever. The little neon will be exposed to daily low amount of ammonia and nitrite, progressively weaken him. He will get sick and die

B. If you add fish food and let ammonia go up to 2-3ppm he will die. He is a neon. Bettas get sick and Lethargic at 1ppm and yours is a neon, a lot more delicate. Not to mention you may get saprolegnia in the tank.

Whatever I said I feel strongly about it. What you do is up to you. Your pet depends on you for a good life, so I believe it would be best to do what is the safest for them. Which means not exposing them to any situation where there is any possibility of them being exposed to stuff that are highly toxic.

My bottom line for ammonia is 0.25. Back in the olden days when I had no prime, I don't let ammonia exceed 0.25. Any more than that I waterchange to bring it back down.
 

david1978

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I have to disagree. I cycled my 75 gallon tank with a single 2 inch pleco. You don't get a large amount of bacteria but once the cycle is complete the bacteria replicate pretty quick.
 

AlpineTheBetta

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Well I admit I don't have experience with Pleco so I can't tell how tolerant they are. I don't know how long it took you, but in my experience low sustained dose of ammonia or nitrite can do a lot of damage and I have had neons so I know they are really sensitive.

I don't disagree you can cycle with low bioload. You can, but it can take a long time and fish are exposed to the nasties in the meantime. Plus you have to monitor, monitor and monitor for weeks. 6 corydoras in 20 gallons and one and a half month, tank was not cycled and cories started to drop dead. While being exposed to excessive toxic ammonia and nitrite is peobably not the case with 75 gallon since the bioload is low, I don't know how long it took you to cycled that tank. Also I agree with what PascalKrypt mentioned, if the bioload is so low it can be very difficult to track the progress and at worst you can end up with a tank you thought was cycled but is actually not cycled.

Please do let us know how long it took and what temperature and whether there was aquatic plant and other details. If it really works like that it might be a neat tip for me to have if my tanks crash in a hurricane again.

If I can get the fishless cycle going in a week rather than have it dragged on for several weeks, and also keep my fish completely safe , no exposure to any nasties even trace amount, I would go that route any day.
 

david1978

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Temp was 79. It took around a month but I didn't add any bottled bacteria. The nice thing with such a small bio load is that the fish aren't actually exposed to high anything since water quality is so easy to maintain. No plants at that time. Right now I have a single 4 inch jack Dempsey in that tank. It still holds a cycle. Its just like the olden days. I actually have a well so I don't use any dechlorinator let alone prime.
 

AlpineTheBetta

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Thanks david1978. If I ever have to try that due to some particular circumstances then I know how to possibly make it work.

What would you say is the bioload per gallon number to make this happen without getting ammonia and nitrite so high it hurts the fish? 1 fish per 20 gallon? ( I think I heard something from somewhere saying one inch of fish per about 15 gallons to make this work?)

If it holds the cycle then it is really cycled. You are right that once you get the cycle complete despite super low bioload the little colony will not have a hard time cranking out more bacteria as you slowly add fish, provided that you actually have a tiny little colony completely cycled.

But I still do believe that it has a chance to stall as well.I must admit you are probably a better person to consult. I have tried something like this in a 10 gallon tank with a betta at 78F. I get 0.25 ammonia at the most , the tank had been running a month and a half. I never got nitrite reading and nitrate remain steady or barely perceptible increase ( the test tube color looks about the same, so close I can't tell). Who knows that tank may be cycled, but I really feel like I just have no clue so at two months I cycled some filter media fishless in another tank and threw it into that betta tank, added the tank mates and got it done.

Many different ways to skin a cat I suppose, I still stand by what I believe in crank the temp up, dose 1ppm of ammonia, get it done quick and not worry about the fishy who hangs out in another tank waiting
 

Gone

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I've cycled many tanks with fish in. I've never used bottled bacteria. I've never lost a fish while cycling.

One neon tetra is a tiny bioload, but it can still be done. The fish is not the only thing that produces ammonia.

I recommend frequent testing so you'll always know your levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. While cycling, don't do water changes based on wild guesses or a set schedule. Do water changes based on what your test readings say. You can completely monitor and control the cycling process based on water change frequency and volume. Combine the test readings for ammonia and nitrite, and do water changes to keep those combined levels at 1 ppm or below. Don't worry about nitrates to start out with.

For example, say your test readings show 1 ppm ammonia and 1 ppm nitrites. That's 2 ppm combined. Do a 50% water change and those levels will go down to .5 each, for 1. That leaves enough ammonia and nitrites to feed the cycle, but not enough to harm the fish.

When ammonia and nitrites are zero, and there is a nitrate reading, you're cycled. At that point, keep testing but not as often. Keep doing partial water changes to keep nitrates around 20 ppm or lower, and a pattern will develop. That's when you'll have a set schedule and will only have to test every month or so.

Adding live plants will also seed the bacteria colony.

All bets are off if you use bottled bacteria. Bottled bacteria will send your test readings all over the board and you might as well toss your test kit because your readings won't make sense. And you use the bottled bacteria you're instructed not to do water changes, so you're basically just wishing and hoping rather than controlling the environment.
 

david1978

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I still do it like we did 20 years ago. Lol. I'm not real sure how much bio load you actually need to be honest. I used to throw 2 or 3 guppies in a 55 and just let it go for a month with no water changes. It seemed to work every time. As far as exact numbers I never even had a test kit till a few years ago. I just watched the fish. They were always the way I judged things.
 

JDK426

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david1978 said:
I still do it like we did 20 years ago. Lol. I'm not real sure how much bio load you actually need to be honest. I used to grow 2 or 3 guppies in a 55 and just let it go for a month with no water changes. It seemed to work every time. As far as exact numbers I never even had a test kit till a few years ago. I just watched the fish. They were always the way I judged things.
If it aint broke don't fix it ! I agree, and 2-3 guppies in 55 you have a large volume of water to prolong water changes in new tanks
 

AlpineTheBetta

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GuppyDazzle said:
All bets are off if you use bottled bacteria. Bottled bacteria will send your test readings all over the board and you might as well toss your test kit because your readings won't make sense. And you use the bottled bacteria you're instructed not to do water changes, so you're basically just wishing and hoping rather than controlling the environment.
- extremely awesome note on the wate change schedule. Never just not do water change per instructions on the bottle, that is bad advice. Do it per test result when needed and get some control over cycling or fish health. The only time I do minimum to no water change is when I cycle fishless

- My readings did not get screwed over for some reason. They always made sense. And made sense two or three weeks and then months down the line after the tank appeared cycle and I was just monitoring to make sure. I suppose your mileage may very well vary, depending on which brand of bottled bacteria, if that bottle had gone bad, other variables

david1978 said:
I just watched the fish. They were always the way I judged things.
Agreed. I suppose part of the reason I do stuff the way I do is because I want to be able to see numbers and measure results. I am more comfortable that way. Plus losing fish to me is heartbreaking, and some delicate species once they act " off" and start going downhill it is so hard fix them. A huge part of my cory tank problem is too high a stock for 20g, but that was because I thought prime would actually work.

Going old school, I realize, has to work too, otherwise how did our grandparents keep fish. In certain situations old school is even better.


If the bioload is so low then it probably won't get sick because the nasties never get high enough in term of concentration. But that is looking more like 20-25 gallon per fish. Good ratio to have, I am sure it will come in handy some day.

But anyhoo, even going back to super olden day watching my dad at his fish tanks neons were never the first in there. I would go look around and see if anyone has ever successfully cycle with neons. I suppose if the fish per gallon number is right it may work just have to watch the fish like a hawk. I still won't do it that way with neons though.
 
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Fishprobs93

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Sorry for the delay in response here. I didn’t get a notification that I had any replies.

Okay so update: fish starting acting perfectly fine after that water change. I dosed with prime once it came in. Tested water levels today and ammonia is back down to 0. Went to fish store and bought one neon tetra, in hopes to give him a friend and also increase bioload in the tank. Welllllll the new one immediately started acting weird in the bag... like by the time I got home after a 10 min drive (kept bag still between my legs and drove slow and steady). Started acclimation process adding a little tank water to bag every 10-15 min while monitoring temp the entire time. Bag water to start was 79 degrees, tank was at 76. He didn’t seem to be doing well through this but like I said, he wasn’t doing well before it either. I was hoping he would snap out of it. After about 45 minutes, he started to go a little sideways so I decided it was time (he was dying anyway so all or nothing) and I netted him into tank. The temp was within 1 degree at this point. He was floating around and then would twitch as if an attempt to swim but then float again. After about 5 minutes of no movement I removed him. Ugh I feel horrible. I should add that the first batches of fish I got (before I knew about cycling or any of that) almost ALL of them died during acclimation. Most while still in bag during the float. It must be from stress right? How can I make the transport less stressful?! Like I said, I drive slow while keeping the bag as still as possible. Someone suggested trying a different pet store. Maybe I’ll do that next. I just wanted to give my lone fish a friend and I just teased him with a lifeless body for a few minutes. I might have an opportunity to get some media from a coworkers established tank.... I read that really helps with cycling. I don’t want to have to rehome my fish as my daughter and I have admittedly gotten really attached to him already. I never thought I could love a fish but I really do. and he seems to be thriving in there besides that one day of weird behavior. I test the water levels every single day.... sometimes more than once a day. I’m dedicated to making this work but I wish I could get another fish in there to help out.
 

AlpineTheBetta

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Some fish don't take transporting well. Giving them
larger volume of water( like bringing 1 gal tub to the lfs) may work but no guarantee. I have had that happen to delicate fish every once in a while.

I don't think you should increase bio load( don't get more fish now). Makes life more difficult for everyone. Get a 5 gal tank and move your lone fish to the 5 g. water change once ammonia gets to 0.25. And cycle the 10 gallon fishless. You can get the 10 g cycle in a week if you keep the tank at 86F. Use only 1 ppm ammonia maximum and monitor ph ( aI'm for 6.8-8, bacteria perfers pretty much the same parameter as fish, if ph swing beyond these it call stall the cycle) ammonia makes the water very alkaline.

You can use more ammonia, to grow larger colony, but it will take more time ask these bacteria multiply pretty slow compared to some other bacteria

Or if you want to follow david1978 advice you just feed sparingly and see if he can cycle the 10g.

Whatever you do neons do not tolerate much if any poor parameters so don't subject him to ammonia.

You don't have to rehome him. One neon is really not that difficult to manage. Just try what I suggest and your ordeal could be over in a week or two. Whatever you do the worst thing is trying to fish in cycle by adding more fish. That won't work and you may kill all the fish.
 

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Fishprobs93 said:
Long story short, I am trying to do a fish in cycle. I got a 10 gal tank 1 and a half weeks ago, and a few fish that all died pretty much immediately. I had no idea what I was getting myself into or how any of this worked and was told it was safe to bring them home same day. I exchanged them for more and all but one of those died off too. It wasn't until then that I started doing some research and learned all the basics about the nitrogen cycle and cycling the tank. So I currently have one neon tetra in my tank (poor little lonely fella) and one live moss ball at the bottom. I've been testing the water daily using the API freshwater master testing kit. The water levels have been pretty consistent at 0 for Nitrates, Nitrites and Ammonia. There have been a few nights of a small spike to 0.25 ammonia but it didn't seem to affect the little guy at all. I honestly haven't been changing the water because I read that a little ammonia is necessary to build up the bacteria in the tank so I've been keeping an eye on it. It goes back to 0 by the following day, but there are still no Nitrites or Nitrates found. I am BEATING the Nitrate bottle on a hard surface and following the directions to a T, so I am fairly confident the results are accurate. The main difference I have seen is the PH has drastically dropped. It was 8.2 and now it's at 6.8. I believe that's a good thing though I don't really know much about what contributes to that change. I also have a heater now and the tank is consistently at 77-78 degrees F.


Anyways, it took him a few days originally to come out of his hiding corner and to eat but it’s been almost a week now of him swimming around happily, warming up to us, and eating. Today, he’s been hiding more, swimming around less, and doesn't seem to have much of an appetite(though he is eating a little). It's pretty obvious that we've taken a step back here. Not ALL the way, but it's a noticeable difference. His little fins are twitchy but I'm not sure if that's from him trying to stay in one place or a sign of an issue.

I tested the water this evening and the Ammonia levels are at 0.50 for the first time. Still 0 for Nitrates and Nitrites. I'm guessing that might be why he's acting a little off. Luckily I ordered Seachem Prime the other day and it's arriving tomorrow. My question is... the right thing to do in order to bring the Ammonia down is a water change right? Should I do it tonight or would it be better to wait until tomorrow when I can do the change using the Prime? The other chemicals I have are Tetra AquaSafe and API Quick Start. I'm a little nervous about doing the change while he's acting off because I've read about water changes killing fish, so that's why I'm thinking it might be best to wait for the Prime. I also don't want him to be suffering for another 24 hours if the ammonia is at 0.50 and might rise from here. Any other advice is welcome too!
OK here's how I did it. Buy 2-3 feeder goldfish from Petco. Buy prime. Then wait around a month is what mine took. Or, if you want to speed it up buy Dr. Tims one and only. Don't buy from amazon buy from Dr.Tims website. Azon store the bacteria for too long and it dies. That takes about a week. One last option is to add cycled filter media to ur tank. Ask a fired for some. Or you can ask your local fish store. If u have no friends and yr fish store has none lrbaquatics.com sells cycled media for $5 + shipping. That also will take about a week before you take out yr feeder goldfish and add your real fish. Hope this helps! I have cycled a yank using every one of these 3 ways. Good luck! And I know it absolutely sucks looking at an uncycled tank, but its not worth killing ur fish.
 

AlpineTheBetta

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If you are going to buy feeder goldfish be careful there. Those are usually disease ridden due to the poor care they receive. You don't want to bring diseases into your tank. Getting cycled filter media is a good idea too, there is a small risk of disease hitchhiking on that stuff too though..
 

SaltyPhone

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I’m likely to get yelled at for this but...buy two more neons. I acclimate by floating the bag like 20 mins then pour bag into a net above a bucket and dump em in. Like guppy dazzle was saying when ammonia gets ~1ppm 50% wc. Wait 4-5 days before you feed again then water change a couple hours after feeding. Then gradually decrease the number of days you fast till the tank cycles. At that point you can feed daily. During water changes just gravel vac say 1/4 of the tank to give bb a chance to populate the substrate. Best of luck!
 
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Fishprobs93

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Another question here:

I had been wondering why my tank was only detecting ammonia but not nitrates or nitrites. My ammonia is back down to 0 today so I wondered “where is it going”? But then it dawned on me... could my live moss ball be eating up the nitrates? That’s sort of the same as live plants in a tank right? And if so, does that mean I’m nearing the tank being cycled? The ammonia hasn’t spiked above .5 and seems to cycle out by the next test.
 

AlpineTheBetta

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With low bio load it is hard to know for sure if the tank has cycled or not.

Live moss ball grow really slowly. If it eats ammonia or nitrate, it would eatvery little of it. You have very little to start with so it is hard to tell.

The reason I would cycle fishless with bottled ammonia is that I can tell for sure it has cycled. Since I start with large amount of ammonia I would get a sizable amount of nitrite snd nitrate and therefore I would be able to confirm the tank has cycled. Some other forum members have posted in response to your questions previously that it is hard to monitor the cycling process and positively confirm your tank has cycled because of low bio load
PascalKrypt said:
As Morpheus said, a single neon tetra is not enough to keep a 10 gallon cycled, or at least it would take you forever to try. You probably won't even be able to measure the results.
So if you want to be able to measure the results, fishless cycle with at least 1ppm ammonia is the way to go

If you don't want to do fishless , but want to try and cycle the way david1978 suggested, he said that takes about a month. Since he said he has done that a bunch of time I would use his estimate ( one month) as a benchmark and not assume the tank is cycle any sooner than that. All you have to judge how well that is going is your fish behavior, since the low bio load means it is difficult or impossible to meadure result, just as two other members have told you previously

There is really no shortcut to this process. The more methodical you are about it and the more patient you are, the easier things will be for yo u and your fish down the line.

You have a couple options to choose from and all have their caveats. Choose one method you like and deal with the shortcoming ( whether it be hassle, or being unable to measure results)
 

CindyVBPets

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AlpineTheBetta said:
Sorry I disagreed with some of you.

When I attempted to fish in cycle 20 gallon with 6cories I dosed prime precisely and ammonia to nitrite never exceeded 0.5 ppm. A couple weeks after ammonia and nitrite started to register my cories started to get sick and died one by one.

Chemicals are not quick fix and I find it does not do what it says it does necessarily and your fish gets to suffer. Prime is one of those chemical I regret buying. It may work ok as a dechlorinator but no good for anything else. My cories paid for my mistake and that stupid bottle of prime. Sorry for being angry.

I am aware that prime claims to detox ammonia but the ammonia will still shpw up on the test kit after adding prime. I don't go by my test result. Rather I go by my fish health.

My cories was sick initially then got better and started to thrive when my parameters were 0 ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate, yet when the ammonia and nitrite start to build up despite low concentration, and despite dosing prime religiously the cories started to get sick and die.

Put your neon in a 5 g and water change to keep everything as close to 0 as possible. At that bioload ammonia will remain 0 for at least a week if not more.

Then fishless cycle your 10g, use safestart or seeded media from LFS. Crank temperature to 86 degrees, feed with bottled ammonia like Dr. Tim's ( amazon has it). If you do it this way you can cycled that tank in a week or two depending on how much ammonia you want it to be able to process daily. Or rehome your little guy. If you want to cycle for a school of 3 neons at that temperature you eill be done cycling in one week.

I strongly believe that if you attempt cycling with your neon tetra in it two outcomes are possible

A. Not enough ammonia. The cycle takes forever. The little neon will be exposed to daily low amount of ammonia and nitrite, progressively weaken him. He will get sick and die

B. If you add fish food and let ammonia go up to 2-3ppm he will die. He is a neon. Bettas get sick and Lethargic at 1ppm and yours is a neon, a lot more delicate. Not to mention you may get saprolegnia in the tank.

Whatever I said I feel strongly about it. What you do is up to you. Your pet depends on you for a good life, so I believe it would be best to do what is the safest for them. Which means not exposing them to any situation where there is any possibility of them being exposed to stuff that are highly toxic.

My bottom line for ammonia is 0.25. Back in the olden days when I had no prime, I don't let ammonia exceed 0.25. Any more than that I waterchange to bring it back down.
Just so people don't get confused.....Prime works. For 48 hours. The Prime should have been dosed every other day. They don't explain cycling/Prime on the label.

Yes your fish were fine when you tested 0/0/0 because there was no poison in there.

Yes the API test shows ammonia even when using Prime because it's still in there - but it's not harming your fish - Prime stops the toxicity. They also have the Seachem MultI Test Free and Total Ammonia Kit. Free ammonia is the toxic one.





Just dosing initially only covered you for two days so two weeks later your fish had full effects of the ammonia/nitrites/. Especially without water changes. This is why a fish in cycle is different than fishless...you can't just use one product once and let it run wild.

Seachem has a very active forum where they give detailed instructions and analysis to their product users.

Here's a couple threads explaining how to do fish-in cycling using Prime and Stability and water changes. But there are a zillion of them. All asking questions nobody claiming the products don't work. We'd all have dead fish if that were true!



 

AlpineTheBetta

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CindyVBPets

One thing I ask is for you , CindyVBPets, not to assume it did not work for me because I did not know what I am doing, or because I was not following instructions. It does not hurt my ego, the reason I respond to you is because I don't want people to think that chemicals like Prime work as long as you follow instructions. NO IT DOES NOT. Especially not on delicate fish.

Chemicals cannot beat a healthy ecosystem. The problem with fishkeeping these days is believing there are such things as quick fix. No such thing. Chemicals are not the answer. I have found the only real solutions is leaning toward what is the most natural.

My fish was fine and started to heal at 0/0/0 obviously because there was no poison. They were not fine at 0.25/0.5/10 and slowly declined over the two week perioud despite dosing double dose prime to the appropriate gallonage every 48 hours. What does that tell you??

Water is remineralized RO. 20 gallon tank means temperature is pretty stable with heater on top of that.



I dosed prime ACCORDING to instructions. Every 48 hours. I called Seachem rep to verify how many ppm of ammonia and nitrite each dose of Prime can lock up, and fo how long. I AM WELL AWARE it is not a one dose fix all for two weeks.

Water change was done when needed only to make sure ammonia and nitrite each never exceeds 0.5ppm

I have read plenty of articles how to cycle with prime.
I am aware seachem has a support forum and I have perused that.
I am also aware Seachem has 1-800 tech support number and have called several times and spoken with several representatives. SEVERAL

There are many members here who keep Corydoras successfully for years. I decided not to name names because I don't want to get them involved unnecessarily. I will just go ahead and link my post.
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/calling-corydora-keepers.411295/#post-4197538

They all agreed fish in cycling is not for delicate fish. And also agreed that CHEMICALS SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A CRUTCH.

In my experience chemicals like prime, even when used according to instructions, did not work.

If it works for you , great. But I cannot advocate its use because I got better result from doing water change, and even better results by not exposing my fish to any toxic nitrogenous waste. NO MORE fish in cycling for me.



I want whoever that reads this post to be well aware Prime did not work for me despite following instructions. Whatever anyone decides to do with their fish after reading about my experience is up to them, but I want them to have the complete picture,

And note I am also aware API ammonia test will not show any difference when dosed with Prime, while Seachem Ammonia test will only reflect unbound toxic ammonia not neutralized by Prime.

tests give you general idea. No matter what test, even seachem ammonia test. Some delicate fish are very sensitive. Uncycled tank can hurt them, even if the free harmful ammonia does not register on any test because there is such a small amount.

I value my pet and I would always go the safest route to ensure their well being. Maybe it is not like everybody's fish die going through fish in cycling but your mileage varies with your water chemistry because ammonia toxicity depends on your ph and temperature.maybe it was not really prime that protected your fish from nitrogenous waste, rather, your water chemistry.

Also ammonia exposure will cause long term organ damage. This is according to a university affiliated aquatic veterinarian. Maybe your fish do not drop dead immediately, but can you guarantee it did not suffer organ damage that will shorten its lifespan? No you can't.

To everybody reading this :Make mistakes, and your fish get suffer the consequences, not yourself. Do your own research, don't listen to just me or any one poster. Choose wisely

I have made my point, and may not be responding to this thread further to reiterate. Hope my two cents help.
 

Gone

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1,720
AlpineTheBetta said:
Some fish don't take transporting well. Giving them
larger volume of water( like bringing 1 gal tub to the lfs) may work but no guarantee. I have had that happen to delicate fish every once in a while.
If fish don't even make it home from the store in a bag, they're unhealthy. Putting them into a larger container for transport is not going to do anything to help.

Fish-in cycling is a perfectly legitimate method of cycling tanks. Especially if you already have fish in, there's absolutely no reason to scrap that method and start dumping in bottled bacteria.

Don't do water changes based on a schedule. Then you're just hoping to get lucky. Do water changes based on your test readings. Keep ammonia plus nitrites at 1 ppm or below. Your fish will be fine. You might find yourself changing water every day, you might do it every other day, every third day, etc., depending on how much you feed. Keep the levels at 1 ppm or below and there will be enough ammonia to keep the cycle going but not enough to harm your fish.

I would also recommend small additions to the bioload.
 

SaltyPhone

Well Known
Member
Messages
861
Contrary to what a lot of people say; I disagree with dosing Prime(tm) to “detoxify ammonia” it might. However like AlpineTheBetta was saying relying on chemicals to keep fish safe is a hindrance to proper husbandry I feel. Fish in cycling is unquestionably tough on the fish; again with the caveat if you are persistent and dedicated to caring for them I find it preferable to fishless cycling.
 

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