Checking In Re: Cycle W/ Tss

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by cappuccino91, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. cappuccino91New MemberMember

    Hi everyone,

    I decided to use tetra safestart (used the big bottle of tetra safestart plus) for my tank because I've read about it getting good results. I ended up getting a 29 gallon aquarium, it has tons of live plants, and I decided on some ember tetras because they're probably my favorite and the lady at my LFS told me they're pretty hardy, etc. I've read mixed things about their hardiness since then, though. Anywho, I have 6 of them in the tank and my cycling process seems to be well underway. I'm just concerned because my nitrates seem to be creeping up to the 10-20ppm range. I know the instructions for safestart say not to do any water change for 2 weeks, but should I be worried about the nitrates getting any higher? They seem to be increasing by 5-10 per day so soon it'll be in the red I think. Also, would it be ok to add 6 more ember tetras, or not yet? They seem to be doing well, but 3 or 4 keep schooling while the others are hiding under leaves or behind a rock, so I wonder if a bigger school might make them all feel better/less stressed.

    Here's a picture of my most recent test (interestingly, pH has increased a bit from where it has been...) -- sorry if I did this wrong, first time trying to upload a picture

    Here are all of my parameters since the beginning:

    Day 0: water before safestart (forget if this was before or after adding prime... I'll have to test my untreated tap water again), no fish yet: pH 8.0, ammonia 0.25ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 0ppm.
    Day 1, before adding TSS and fish: pH 7.8, ammonia 0.25ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 0ppm.
    Day 2, 24 hours after TSS + fish: pH 8.0, ammonia 0.25ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 5ppm
    Day 3: pH 7.8, ammonia 0.25-0.5ppm?, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 10ppm
    Day 4 (today): pH 8.2?, ammonia 0.25-0.5ppm?, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 10-20ppm? (hard to tell exactly)

    I know the cycle probably isn't complete yet because the ammonia reading is greater than 0ppm, but I don't want to leave my fish in water that has too many nitrates. Should I do a water change? Add more plants? I'm getting a bucket of water ready (treating it with prime) to use tomorrow if need be so it will have been sitting around for 24 hours before use.

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. BuganjimoWell Known MemberMember

    I’ve never used tts, but maybe do a water change(?). Don’t add more tetras yet, maybe once the cycle is done. Also, if you treat the water with prime, you don’t have to leave it out for hours, just dose prime in the bucket of tap water along with any plant stuff/supplements and pour it in the tank.
  3. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Isn't the TSS+ the one that tells you to pour it in and do nothing for 14 days? If that is the case it will interrupt it if you do a water change now and it will no longer work as it is supposed to.

    Hopefully someone that has actually used it will come in and help you out.
  4. Leonardo626New MemberMember

    Just a beginner here too, I recently went and got two of the 8.45 oz bottles of TSS+, the instruction for me where not to add anything that binds up NH3 as it will reduce the amount of food the BB are getting. If the nitrates are getting too high then the only way to remove them is by doing a water change, and since the bacteria isn't living in the water, then it wont stall the process, as well you could try aged water, as chlorine evaporates within 24 hours and it wont bind up the ammonia. But I would probably wait and consult one of the members that have been fish-keeping for longer.
  5. cappuccino91New MemberMember

    I think that's true with prime usually, but with TSS I think it says not to use any water that's been treated in the last 24 hours 'cause it'll hold the ammonia hostage from the bacteria.

    Yeah that's my worry -- I don't want to mess up the cycle by doing a water change early, but I don't know if the nitrates will go away without one.

    That's what I was thinking -- or water that's been treated with prime but let to sit for 24 hours. That way the water is safe and the prime shouldn't be binding up anything anymore so the bacteria will still have food?
  6. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    You are right. The only way to lower the nitrates is either lots of plants or water changes.

    Since the bacteria doesn't live in the water I would think you could go ahead and draw up enough water to do your water change. Go ahead and treat that water and then wait 24 hours to do the water change. I wouldn't do a substrate vacuum during this water change though.

    I just went back and re-read your original post. I really don't think your nitrates have reached critical yet and with the tank being heavily planted I don't think the nitrates are something to be worried about at this point.
  7. cappuccino91New MemberMember

    Thanks! I appreciate it. Yeah I've read that those levels should be ok for now, I just don't know what's going to happen over the next 10 days if they increase lots more. So I'll get some water ready and just not use it unless I need it!
  8. krohner5New MemberMember

    Keep us posted, I just finished by cycle and am about to add my Cory's and RCS's. Interested how your compares to mine as I just wrapped up my fish-less cycle.
  9. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    You are very welcome. I know we try to keep them at 20 or less but even 40 isn't going to be a huge problem while the TSS+ is completing its job. Once your cycle is complete it will be much easier to keep them low but your planted tank may never even see 20.
  10. cappuccino91New MemberMember

    Thanks again everyone for the input. I'm on day 7 now and things are going really well. I haven't had to use the extra water I prepared yet. I topped off a little bit that had evaporated away but otherwise it's doing really well! The nitrates are slowly creeping up, I think they've just now hit 20 as best i can tell. As my plants fill in more I suspect they'll stay lower in the future. So just monitoring my water parameters for another week before I do my first water change is the current plan. Things are looking good! Ammonia looks like it's a 0 now, or baaaaarely tinged green if I'm being really picky. Nitrites still 0. Fish are doing great as far as I can tell. Pleased so far!
  11. jaymethyValued MemberMember

    You could also buy a water conditioner that doesn't bind up ammonia/nitrates/nitrites to use while you are cycling!