Cycle Help Needed. Pom Pom Crab, 2 Pearl Ramshorn Snails, 12 Golden Neocaradina on way in mail

pebbles491

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I am just researching cycling and I am so behind! I thought that all I needed in my tank was water conditioner and the fish would be fine. It is not the case.

The crab will be here as soon as Wednesday and the shrimp and snail on Thursday. I have 4 very new tanks.
- (2) 1 gallon
- (1) 3.5 gallon
- (1) 10 gallon

I don't want to kill my aquatic friends. Can someone help me understand if there is a short term solution until my tanks are cycled?
- I have a heater that I am rolling up to 82 degrees putting in live plants and dropping in some fish flakes to create waste.
- I am using white aquatic substrate.
- Filters, air bubblers and heaters.

Can I get a bowl and use bottled water or fridge filtered water to house these guys until my tanks are up and running? I have the master test kit arriving on Friday.

I really appreciate all the help you can offer.
 

Megaanemp

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Can you cancel the order:( I’m not sure about the crab but shrimp are likely to die if added to a tank that is not cycled, they are extremely sensitive. Shrimp are also better in a tank that has been cycled and matured for many months.
 

AquaticQueen

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Wow, you are in a tough situation.....
Well, all you really can do is put them in some temperary set up. No guarantee they will all survive. All I can say is if you do put them in some sort of bowl or container, do LOTS of water changes to keep ammonia down since the nitrogen cycle fights ammonia and this set up won't be cycled.
 
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pebbles491

pebbles491

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Megaanemp said:
Can you cancel the order:( I’m not sure about the crab but shrimp are likely to die if added to a tank that is not cycled, they are extremely sensitive. Shrimp are also better in a tank that has been cycled and matured for many months.
I can't since they are already shipped. I cancelled an order on ember tetras before they shipped. Oh no. So even a bottled water tank won't work for them?

AquaticQueen said:
Wow, you are in a tough situation.....
Well, all you really can do is put them in some temperary set up. No guarantee they will all survive. All I can say is if you do put them in some sort of bowl or container, do LOTS of water changes to keep ammonia down since the nitrogen cycle fights ammonia and this set up won't be cycled.
ok so there will be ammonia results from the waste?
 

Megaanemp

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pebbles491 said:
I can't since they are already shipped. I cancelled an order on ember tetras before they shipped. Oh no. So even a bottled water tank won't work for them?
You could try keeping them in a bowl while the tank cycles. Is it possible for you to go to a fish store and ask for some used filter media? Adding this to your tanks filter should instantly cycle the tank. If you do this you do risk introducing disease from the fish store into your tank, but it is still an option. If you can‘t get donor media to seed your new tanks then you will have to keep the shrimp and crab in a separate container. You’ll have to do a lot of water changes! Make sure you treat the water with water conditioner before you put the shrimp and crab into the water. Even bottled water has chlorine. Test the water a few times a day once you get your ki!
 
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pebbles491

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Megaanemp said:
You could try keeping them in a bowl while the tank cycles. Is it possible for you to go to a fish store and ask for some used filter media? Adding this to your tanks filter should instantly cycle the tank. If you do this you do risk introducing disease from the fish store into your tank, but it is still an option. If you can‘t get donor media to seed your new tanks then you will have to keep the shrimp and crab in a separate container. You’ll have to do a lot of water changes! Make sure you treat the water with water conditioner before you put the shrimp and crab into the water. Even bottled water has chlorine. Test the water a few times a day once you get your ki!
Let's say I keep them in separate bowls, I change the water daily and add the appropriate amount of water conditioner. That should work until I cycle the tank correct?

Would the water from the bag also work to bring in the necessary bacteria?
 

Megaanemp

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pebbles491 said:
ok so there will be ammonia results from the waste?
Yes fish waste created ammonia which is highly dangerous to aquatic pets cycling the tank allows bacteria to grow that will eat the ammonia. This bacteria will then produce nitrite which is also really dangerous, so you will have to wait for a second bacteria to grow that will eat the nitrite and produce nitrate. Once you have no ammonia no nitrite and some nitrate your tanks are cycled. At the top of the screen when you go to freshwater beginner on this forum there is an article that explains this better than I did. I hope this helps:)

The water doesn’t actually have any bacteria in it so it won’t help. I’m not sure but you may have to change the water more than once a day, but your test kit will help you know when it’s time for a water change. Also be very careful to not over feed as extra food will rot and create more ammonia As will the animals poop. Also look into ways to acclimate shrimp and crabs . I don’t know a lot about this but they can be shocked by a change in water, if you dump them straight Into the new bowl. :)
pebbles491 said:
Let's say I keep them in separate bowls, I change the water daily and add the appropriate amount of water conditioner. That should work until I cycle the tank correct?

Would the water from the bag also work to bring in the necessary bacteria?
Here’s a link to a really good resource on successfully cycling a tank
Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle
 

YellowGuppy

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At this point, your best bet is likely to find something from an established tank to help kickstart things. Find a local aquarist club, get on Craigslist or Kijiji, and find someone who can give you a dirty old tank sponge.

The good news is that A) if you have plants, they'll help eat up some of the nitrogen compounds, and B) shrimp bioload is TEENY tiny. If the shrimp are on their own (no fish in the tank to "help" cycle the tank by providing extra ammonia), their small bioload should mean that your levels will rise very slowly.

Best of luck!
 
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pebbles491

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YellowGuppy said:
At this point, your best bet is likely to find something from an established tank to help kickstart things. Find a local aquarist club, get on Craigslist or Kijiji, and find someone who can give you a dirty old tank sponge.

The good news is that A) if you have plants, they'll help eat up some of the nitrogen compounds, and B) shrimp bioload is TEENY tiny. If the shrimp are on their own (no fish in the tank to "help" cycle the tank by providing extra ammonia), their small bioload should mean that your levels will rise very slowly.

Best of luck!
That is reassuring! I do have the safe start tetra stuff that I can add in now, but I am not sure if that speeds the cycle up or just does it immediately.
 

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Safe start speeds up cycles

I'm not sure if you can due to the current state of the world but if you can go out to a local pet store and buy some seachem prime- it detoxifies combined 1ppm of ammonia/nitrite for 48 hours. Thats your key to success :)
 

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Megaanemp said:
You could try keeping them in a bowl while the tank cycles.
I would not keep anything in a bowl. A bowl isn't any more cycled than a tank. It is best to introduce the new inhabitants into their new tank(s) because the waste is diluted to a greater degree in a larger body of water than a smaller one.

I would not use bottled water. The source of the water (usually) does not matter to the cycle, so long as it is dechlorinated. Often times, bottled/filtered water will not have the necessary minerals for fish and inverts to thrive. Especially inverts, because they need those minerals to constantly build and re-build shells and exoskeletons. If you are worried about your tap water, test it for ammonia and nitrite to make sure it is 0, and then there is nothing to worry about. It is most often better to use tap water.

I would put all of your ordered inhabitants into the 10 gallon (or, if the ramshorns are still small, put them in the 3.5 and the rest in the 10). The larger the tank, the smaller the fluctuations, and the more waste dilution there is. Pom pom crabs and shrimp can live together, same with the snails. I would not put anything in the 1 gallon tanks.

Luckily for you, the stock you chose have relatively small bioloads. Make sure you do a huge water change to remove as much ammonia and nitrites as possible before you acclimate them to your tank(s). Follow drip acclimation measures - there are many tutorials online and here on this forum. Perform large (50-75%) water changes at least once a day, ideally twice a day. Feed the stock as minimally as possible, so as to slow down the fouling of water.

I agree with FinalFins - Safe start will speed up a cycle, but it will not make it instantaneous. Seachem Prime is also a wonderful product to make sure your new friends aren't exposed to toxic ammonia while the tanks are still cycling.

This will give them a fighting chance! Good luck!
 

YellowGuppy

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pebbles491 said:
That is reassuring! I do have the safe start tetra stuff that I can add in now, but I am not sure if that speeds the cycle up or just does it immediately.
The jury is out on that one. Some people swear by it, others claim it's a useless waste of money. If you've got it and you're in a tight spot, might as well use it!
 
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pebbles491

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FinalFins said:
Safe start speeds up cycles

I'm not sure if you can due to the current state of the world but if you can go out to a local pet store and buy some seachem prime- it detoxifies combined 1ppm of ammonia/nitrite for 48 hours. Thats your key to success :)
I've purchased online and it should arrive on Friday.

I am wondering if I can keep the aquatic friends in their bags until then.
 

YellowGuppy

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pebbles491 said:
I've purchased online and it should arrive on Friday.

I am wondering if I can keep the aquatic friends in their bags until then.
Nope. Give them as much room as you can. A tiny bit of ammonia is a tiny space is a lot harder on their systems than that same tiny bit spread out over more water. Get them into the biggest, most cycled body of water you can!
 
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pebbles491

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SM1199 said:
I would not keep anything in a bowl. A bowl isn't any more cycled than a tank. It is best to introduce the new inhabitants into their new tank(s) because the waste is diluted to a greater degree in a larger body of water than a smaller one.

I would not use bottled water. The source of the water (usually) does not matter to the cycle, so long as it is dechlorinated. Often times, bottled/filtered water will not have the necessary minerals for fish and inverts to thrive. Especially inverts, because they need those minerals to constantly build and re-build shells and exoskeletons. If you are worried about your tap water, test it for ammonia and nitrite to make sure it is 0, and then there is nothing to worry about. It is most often better to use tap water.

I would put all of your ordered inhabitants into the 10 gallon (or, if the ramshorns are still small, put them in the 3.5 and the rest in the 10). The larger the tank, the smaller the fluctuations, and the more waste dilution there is. Pom pom crabs and shrimp can live together, same with the snails. I would not put anything in the 1 gallon tanks.

Luckily for you, the stock you chose have relatively small bioloads. Make sure you do a huge water change to remove as much ammonia and nitrites as possible before you acclimate them to your tank(s). Follow drip acclimation measures - there are many tutorials online and here on this forum. Perform large (50-75%) water changes at least once a day, ideally twice a day. Feed the stock as minimally as possible, so as to slow down the fouling of water.

I agree with FinalFins - Safe start will speed up a cycle, but it will not make it instantaneous. Seachem Prime is also a wonderful product to make sure your new friends aren't exposed to toxic ammonia while the tanks are still cycling.

This will give them a fighting chance! Good luck!
Thank you for your detailed advice and information. I like your advice to putting the ramshorn's in the 3.5 and the rest in the 10g.

I don't have the test strips yet. They will arrive on Friday. I am thinking about doing multiple water changes throughout the day as long as it doesn't stress the fish. I will also add the water conditioner during those changes as well.
 

AquaticQueen

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pebbles491 said:
I've purchased online and it should arrive on Friday.

I am wondering if I can keep the aquatic friends in their bags until then.
No. They won't survive terribly long in bags and need to be put in something bigger ASAP.
 

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