Buy Now Or Wait Until New Tank Is Set Up?

LT Connell

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Hello! Hoping I can get some good advice from fellow Clown Loach owners.

We currently have 1 CL in a 75g tank, along with other community fish. At the time we bought him/her, we were unaware that they needed a much larger tank and buddies.

We are trying to rectify that right now and are working on cycling a 300g tank of which the Clowns will eventually be the Stars of! Here's my question: our guy seems very lonely and only comes out of hiding to eat then scurries right back into his house again. Our plan is to buy him 4 more friends and everybody will live in the large tank - in the meantime, we are wondering if we should go ahead and buy his friends (put them in the 75g) or wait until the 300g is fully established - we're going on a month now and only just getting a slight ammonia reading.

I don't want to stunt his growth by having him live the single life, so any help would be appreciated.
 

TexasDomer

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How are you fishless cycling the tank? You're supposed to be adding ammonia for a fishless cycle, so you can control the ammonia reading.

Since the CLs are so slow growing, and you already have the larger tank you'll be moving them to (and moving them soon), I'd say it's fine to get them some buddies
 
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LT Connell

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TexasDomer said:
How are you fishless cycling the tank? You're supposed to be adding ammonia for a fishless cycle, so you can control the ammonia reading.

Since the CLs are so slow growing, and you already have the larger tank you'll be moving them to (and moving them soon), I'd say it's fine to get them some buddies

We are NOT doing a fishless cycle. We tried that initially and absolutely nothing was happening. Right now we've got 9 White Skirt Tetras and 3 Medium sized Blue Acaras (the largest about 4"). I know the tank must be fully cycled to introduce the loaches. Our ammonia is at 0.25, nitrites 0, nitrates 0 I added some Prime and Bacteria to the 300g tank, and we've placed some media and a decoration from the 75g in the tank too. It's just so big that the readings aren't getting anywhere in a hurry.
 

TexasDomer

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I would worry that the bioload isn't big enough with just those fish.

To save yourself time, stress, and possibly the lives of the fish, I'd move all of those fish back to the 75 gal and fishless cycle the 300 gal. It'll save you from having to do as many water changes, and you can better control the amount of ammonia to get the cycle started more quickly.
 
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LT Connell

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TexasDomer said:
I would worry that the bioload isn't big enough with just those fish.

To save yourself time, stress, and possibly the lives of the fish, I'd move all of those fish back to the 75 gal and fishless cycle the 300 gal. It'll save you from having to do as many water changes, and you can better control the amount of ammonia to get the cycle started more quickly.
Not happening. No way to catch the tetras in a tank that size. We tried the other day. Its 36" deep and 72" wide and they're fast buggers. I'm afraid we're on this course for better or worse.
 

TexasDomer

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Have you tried removing the decor and using two large nets? Just a suggestion

If it can't be done, then it seems you'll have to wait it out - hopefully it won't take more than a few months!
 
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LT Connell

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TexasDomer said:
Have you tried removing the decor and using two large nets? Just a suggestion

If it can't be done, then it seems you'll have to wait it out - hopefully it won't take more than a few months!
You seem knowledgeable. Does Prime help protect the fish from ammonia and nitrites? Do you need to add everyday?
 

TexasDomer

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Yes, it does protect fish from some levels of ammonia and nitrites. Usually, the rule of thumb is that it'll protect fish from them if ammonia + nitrites = 1-2 ppm, and it lasts 24-48 hours. Above that 1-2 ppm and it may not be as effective. So I would dose it daily or every other day whenever you see ammonia or nitrites (you can dose up to 5x the usual dose). If ammonia + nitrites is greater than 2 ppm, I'd do a water change as well.
 
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LT Connell

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TexasDomer said:
Yes, it does protect fish from some levels of ammonia and nitrites. Usually, the rule of thumb is that it'll protect fish from them if ammonia + nitrites = 1-2 ppm, and it lasts 24-48 hours. Above that 1-2 ppm and it may not be as effective. So I would dose it daily or every other day whenever you see ammonia or nitrites (you can dose up to 5x the usual dose). If ammonia + nitrites is greater than 2 ppm, I'd do a water change as well.

Thanks! Now if I can just get the blue acaras to eat....
 

DarkOne

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How big is the clown loach you already have?

Since you already have fish in the 300g, I'd highly recommend TSS+ and do a fish-in cycle. You'll need 3 bottles of 8.45oz TSS+ for a 300g tank.

Wait at least 24hr after you last put in prime.
Shake the bottles of TSS+ like it owes you a lot of money (really hard). Bang it on a table or floor for good measure. Dump 3 bottles into your tank.
Put 4-5 more clown loaches in there with the 1 you already have.
do not touch the tank for 2 weeks.

The BB in TSS+ will work on the ammonia almost immediately and the resulting nitrites will also be converted to nitrates almost immediately. I cycled my 40g in 5 days (first day I tested). I never saw nitrites ever in that tank. I also had some plants so that might've helped too.

EBAs might take a few days to a couple of weeks to get used to you. Maybe a bit longer in such a big tank. Mine come up to the top for feeding.
 
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LT Connell

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DarkOne said:
How big is the clown loach you already have?

Since you already have fish in the 300g, I'd highly recommend TSS+ and do a fish-in cycle. You'll need 3 bottles of 8.45oz TSS+ for a 300g tank.

Wait at least 24hr after you last put in prime.
Shake the bottles of TSS+ like it owes you a lot of money (really hard). Bang it on a table or floor for good measure. Dump 3 bottles into your tank.
Put 4-5 more clown loaches in there with the 1 you already have.
do not touch the tank for 2 weeks.

The BB in TSS+ will work on the ammonia almost immediately and the resulting nitrites will also be converted to nitrates almost immediately. I cycled my 40g in 5 days (first day I tested). I never saw nitrites ever in that tank. I also had some plants so that might've helped too.

EBAs might take a few days to a couple of weeks to get used to you. Maybe a bit longer in such a big tank. Mine come up to the top for feeding.
The loach we have isn't in the 300g yet. Hes currently in the 75g, which is cycled.
 

DarkOne

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LT Connell said:
The loach we have isn't in the 300g yet. Hes currently in the 75g, which is cycled.
I know. I meant move the one you have in the 75g over to the 300g along with 4-5 new ones. You'll need more fish to feed the BB in TSS+ in your 300g.
 
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LT Connell

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DarkOne said:
I know. I meant move the one you have in the 75g over to the 300g along with 4-5 new ones. You'll need more fish to feed the BB in TSS+ in your 300g.
Not sure if I'm comfortable moving him with ammonia readings in the 300g. Hear they're very sensitive.
 

Punkin

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TexasDomer and DarkOne are very knowledgeable. I’d continue to follow their advice. Just a suggestion as well, if you want to try to catch the tetras again, to try large black nets. I think the darker the net, the harder it is for them to see it.
 
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LT Connell

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Punkin said:
TexasDomer and DarkOne are very knowledgeable. I’d continue to follow their advice. Just a suggestion as well, if you want to try to catch the tetras again, to try large black nets. I think the darker the net, the harder it is for them to see it.
Thanks. I do trust their recommendations, but I don't think it's safe to put everybody in the 75g, even if I could catch them. One of the acaras could easily swallow a cherry barb (resident in the 75g). I asked for recommendations but I'm more confused now. Want to do right for the fish is all I want.
 

DarkOne

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Since you have 9 tetras and 3 EBA in the 300g already, use TSS+. You will need more ammonia source (fish) in there so the tank cycles. Tetra recommends 1 fish (1") per 10 gallons for TSS+ fish-in cycling but I found that to still be too little. I used 10 rosy red minnows for my 40g. This is why I recommend you get the 4-5 clown loaches as well as moving the one you currently have. A little known (published) dose for TSS+ is at least 25ml per 10g. That is why you need 3 bottles of the large TSS+ (8.45 oz or 250ml).

Devil's in the details. You can't use any water dechlorinator 24hr prior to use. You need to shake the bottles really, really well. Then shake it again. You could put the clown loaches in right after dosing with TSS+. Ideally, you'd want to put the new loaches (or any fish) in QT for at least 2 weeks (4wks would be better) because treating a 300g tank for a disease could get really, really expensive.

I tried API QuickStart and Seachem Stability and neither worked very well.
 
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LT Connell

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DarkOne said:
Since you have 9 tetras and 3 EBA in the 300g already, use TSS+. You will need more ammonia source (fish) in there so the tank cycles. Tetra recommends 1 fish (1") per 10 gallons for TSS+ fish-in cycling but I found that to still be too little. I used 10 rosy red minnows for my 40g. This is why I recommend you get the 4-5 clown loaches as well as moving the one you currently have. A little known (published) dose for TSS+ is at least 25ml per 10g. That is why you need 3 bottles of the large TSS+ (8.45 oz or 250ml).

Devil's in the details. You can't use any water dechlorinator 24hr prior to use. You need to shake the bottles really, really well. Then shake it again. You could put the clown loaches in right after dosing with TSS+. Ideally, you'd want to put the new loaches (or any fish) in QT for at least 2 weeks (4wks would be better) because treating a 300g tank for a disease could get really, really expensive.

I tried API QuickStart and Seachem Stability and neither worked very well.
Ammonia reading is now up to .5. Maybe it's starting to cycle? LFS sold us some MicroBacter7 on Thursday. Any thoughts on that product?

Also, how high should we let ammonia reading get before doing a water change? Don't want to stunt the cycle or harm the fish.
 

TexasDomer

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Never heard of it, but I'm generally skeptical when LFS try to sell you things. They're trying to make a sale.

An increase in ammonia doesn't mean that it's starting to cycle yet - you're looking for an increase in nitrites and nitrates and a decrease in ammonia to signal that it's starting to cycle.

As long as ammonia + nitrites is less than 1-2 ppm, you can just dose Prime or Safe every 24-48 hours to protect the fish. If it gets higher, then I'd do a water change.
 
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LT Connell

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Good news! We now have Nitrites! It's truly starting to cycle! Unfortunately, we also have a very sick fish, which we have now put into quarantine. The things we do for our fishies!
 
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