Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by RudeeRu, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. RudeeRuValued MemberMember

    Aloha! I was recommended by a good friend to use "Cycle" which appears to be bene-bacteria; it says it lowers ammonia and nitrites "naturally" and I just wanted to find out if anyone had used it before? My nitrites and ammonia are high (yea, I'm using the silly little strips, couldn't find a good all around test kit today that tested for everything, it was all separated and I know that 's to get me to buy all of them and spend $$$$$$ still looking; pet store just said the levels were "high" and didn't give me number readings to tell you folks) although my fish are now acting good after a huge change. I was told this will hasten my cycle, kinda like "cheating" as she put it! I also grabbed some spring water with the hopes that that will help (although my tap water seems fine) and yea I know to use water conditioner still! Also, has anyone ever used the live plant bulbs to grow in the tank? I have my tank near the window (not directly in front of it but off to the side), is that enough light or is the light on the tank enough? I just want the darn tank to cycle it's been almost 1 month!
  2. RudeeRuValued MemberMember

    Sad I hadn't even done anything yet and my black molly was deceased just now :mad:
    Funny thing is he looked fine 4 hours ago, and didn't appear ill at all.
    Ok, going to do a work on this tank.... :'(
  3. Maida_gcValued MemberMember

    Hey RudeeRu, sorry to hear about your molly. I wrote this quickly as it was a lot to write, so I hope you can get some knowledge from it and help finish your cycling.

    1 - DO NOT Add more fish. Only add fish when your tank is cycled, thus 0ppm Ammonia and 0ppm Nitrites. This will take a while longer for you. You see the beneficial bacteria takes a while to grow and a) water changes during cycling and b) rushing the process only sets you back. If you've been doing water changes this could explain such high levels after a month still (another reason cycling with fish is inhumane, but that is another topic)

    2 - Cycle is bacteria in a bottle and it is said to help in the creation of the good bacteria - there is big but subtle difference in creating those good bacteria and simply eliminating your ammonia/nitrites. Feel free to follow the instructions on the bottle, but if money is an issue, I highly suggest putting it towards your master test kit.

    3 - Get a test kit

    4 - Continue creating ammonia in your tank - if there are still fish in your tank they will do it ever so slowly, if not, feed the tank fish food as if there was. You must cycle your tank even if it takes you another month - it shouldn't. Test for ammonia daily and nitrites daily. Soon you will see your Ammonia crash to zero and your nitrites will be through the roof. Stick with it (no water change) until your Nitrates spike. Then i recommend a small water change and continued testing. It will not be long then until your readings are something like this Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrites 0ppm, Nitrates 10-30ppm. Continue the process however by feeding the good bacteria ammonia with fish food etc. Once Ammonia and nitrites hit zero you can eliminate nitrates safely with a water change without setting back your cycle.

    5 - Only then can you add more fish - slowly. Mollies were not a good choice for cycling your tank. Do research on which ones are more hearty, but I hear people use Zebra Danios all the time for this purpose.

    Best of luck, keep us up to date.
  4. RudeeRuValued MemberMember

    Hello!  Thanks for the input!  I just did a 40% water change.  I added everything I was supposed to (conditioner, the "cycle", stress coat, aquarium salt, pH/alkalinity stabliizer {with Nitraban}, small amount of pH increaser), vacuumed the mess out of the bottom (and lost a snail in the process, sad), sifted thru the water with the net.  As far as the mollies being used to cycle the tank, that was my bad listening to the people at petco; I was looking at the Danios and Tetras (I did do some research) and was convinced to start with mollies.  Sheesh.  I had never researched them, didn't know about them!  Coulda woulda shoulda right?  I would love to save the last two fish I have!  I really like the mollies.  I know better to add fish.  That's why I really want this tank to hurry up and cycle (I know, patience grasshoppa)!  Especially now since I lost the black molly, would love to get another one!  I did add a couple of plants--the bulbs that will grow over time (Aponogeton) as I was told that plants are helpful (I was afraid to buy full grown live plants because the last one I bought had snails and God only knows what else).  I'm going to look at a couple of other places today (Wed) for that test kit so I can post numbers!  I just don't want to get ripped off buying all these separate kits when there is a "total package" kit!  But thanks again for the advice and I'll keep trying!   :-[
  5. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Good advice Maida!
    As for cycling your tank Bio-Spira is the only product that I'm aware of that does an instant cycle but it's hard to find. Other than that patience is what works. good Luck!! Keep us posted.
  6. Maida_gcValued MemberMember

    - How low exactly is your PH from the tap? - you should avoid using the stabilizers and increasers/decreasers. There are natural ways to lower/raise it if needed, but those ups and downs are difficult to maintain and stressful on the fish. And PH is a pretty stable thing anyway. Besides from what I read most fish prefer a slightly acidic water.

    - Once you get your kit, be sure to test your tap water for everything, so you know what you're dealing with. It shouldn't contain ammonia or nitrites in the first place, but it could.

    - Not sure about plant bulbs, but if you're dealing with low light plants you should be fine with just the bulb. Also, if a lot of sunlight gets into your tank beside the window you may experience algea growth - more so than away from the window.
  7. RudeeRuValued MemberMember

    Aloha!  My water from the tap was slightly acidic 6.8 but the spring water was right at 7.  I had read that mollies prefer a slightly alkaline water--I had been shooting for 7.2-7.5.  I got the pH increaser because for some reason (nitrites? ammonia?  something else?) kept making the water acidic and I noticed my white dalmation "shaking".  He has since stopped since I got the pH under control. 

    I opened the window curtain today and it doesn't appear that the direct light is hitting the tank.  So far the cheapest place I saw the kit is online; I'm going to look at one more place today and if they don't have it I'm going to order one tonite; kinda sucks that they may have to wait a couple of days, but I'd rather wait then pay $35 for one (called around this morning and that was the latest quote!)! 

    Did a quick test strip this afternoon and nitrites were still sky high...fish look happy, though.  I was hoping the water change would've helped, and it doesn't appear that it has  :mad:  Should I still do another one today?  Or wait until tomorrow or this weekend?  I am supposed to be enjoying this experience and I'm not! :'(
  8. brentnNew MemberMember

    It sounds like we are in the same boat i went by my tank pamplet about how to set up my tank and went down to our local store and bought my fish no one said that they were not the right fish to start out with or that it was to many all it said was 1 inch of fish for 1 gallon of water i thought i was well under or under anyways and iam not as iam finding out. i to love my fish and dont want to loose them , but trying to get this to cyle now is very hard. hope it works out for us and more importantly are fish. brent
  9. Maida_gcValued MemberMember

    More and more people in the future will do a fishless cylce, infact cycling with fish will come obsolete soon with new inventions like bio-spria and the fact that it's stressful on the fish. My fishless cylce was done in 3 weeks. And although it sucked not having fish to look at, the results were well worth it. But you started this way, and you can get through it. A lot of people do. More tips:

    1 - Do not do a water change until your Ammonia (which obvisouly was high at one point) falls to zero naturally. Right now there are probably still traces. The fact that your nitrites are through the roof means Amonia is being converted and it will not be long until the Nitrates skyrocket and your Amonia and Nitrites are zero. That is what you're waiting for - keep waiting.

    2 - No longer mess with your PH - your tap water is perfect. No need to buy bottled water. Mollies will adapt and live FINE in a neutral water, or slightly acidic water such as yours. NO MORE PH CHEMICALS. They live this way in the pet store, they will be fine at your home. And safer with stable water.

    3 - Keep fighting through it, it's a tough first couple weeks for everyone, hopefully your fish make it through this time, but if not don't give up. Continue feeding your aquarium ammonia (fish food) and your tank will cylce. Once it's safe and cycled it's so worth it. You can slowly and surely add the fish you want and they will be happy for years. It sounds like you're willing to do the testing (once you get your kit) and do water changes. Your fish are lucky to have someone who is willing to do that. Get through the next week as best as you can. It will not be long until you've successfully cycled your tank, and will be better for having done so. You will once again love the hobby, and because of the hard work and pain, the enjoyments will not go for granted. Best of luck, keep us up to date.

    Brentn the same applies. You did a good thing coming here and asking questions. How big is your tank, what are your results? How long ago did you start?
  10. RudeeRuValued MemberMember

    Aloha!  Thanks for the pep talk, boy I needed it!  I didn't change the water today, fishies are still happy enough, eating, swimming. Did yet another strip today, and now it seems my nitrAtes may be up, and of course the nitrItes are through the roof.  Hopefully we will finally cycle soon?  I ordered my kit online from Petsmart (only $13.99 folks!), just reg. shipping its coming from NY and I'm in MA so hopefully I'll receive it by Monday.  I rarely ever pay for the extra "fast" shipping because if you're only 1 or 2 states away, you get it pretty quick (or so I've learned from all the shipping I've done).  I guess I thought this would be easy; I had fish growing up (stepdad kept Oscars, boy what evil fish!) and it didn't seem like this much work!  But I'm willing to see it through!  Keeping fingers crossed; will post numbers as soon as they are available!  Thanks again, Christine :-\
  11. RudeeRuValued MemberMember

    ??? Ok, I know I was advised to not do water changes, but I HAVE to now my fish won't eat!  I'm just going to do a 20% change for now, please give me feedback if I should do more!  My test kit should be here by Monday!  I'm so sick of this why won't the tank just cycle and be done!?!   :'( :'( :'(
  12. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Go ahead and do the water change. Anytime your fish are showing any distress its best to do a water change.
  13. RudeeRuValued MemberMember

    ok, test kit is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow :)
    So, did the 20% water change, fish ate small amount today! Got some gravel from the fish tank at work (very well established tank) so hopefully SOMETHING will happen soon!!! So, I guess now I wait some more.... :-[
  14. JonWell Known MemberMember

    do frequent water changes and i also recomend ditching petco... they let 100+$ fish just die and there tanks are disgusting... all of there fish are diseased and they dont even care... tell us your test results once you get the kit and dont clean your gravel
  15. newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    Not all petcos are bad. It really varies from store to store, as they all have different employees. The one nearest to me seems to care about their fish. The tanks are clean, all the fish look healthy and happy, and they actually have gravel and plants and decorations in the display tanks.
  16. fish_r_friendWell Known MemberMember

    the petco nearer to me isn't ever getting business from me their tanks are messy with dead fish in every one of them so i just go to my lfs and petsmart
  17. newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    yuck :-X my walmart is like that--its terrible :(
  18. RudeeRuValued MemberMember

    Ok, posted my numbers on a new board so that all can see and comment! Thanks!