Cycling A 125g (need Some Help)

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by TheGameAce, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. TheGameAceValued MemberMember

    So I know this is a "beginners" section, but I figured perhaps I could get some info from here, and it's been 10+ years since I last fully cycled a tank anyways. So with that out of the way, I'm just looking for a bit of clarification...

    I got and set up a 125g (previous owner used it for saltwater, but already cleaned it out with a vinegar/water solution just to be safe), but it's been absolutely forever since I last cycled a tank from the start, and at least from what I've seen with videos and the such, things have merely confused me. I understand cycling from the start, but that's not quite what I'm doing.

    What I did to try and kickstart the cycling, was I started out with putting some water from my 55g into the 125g. I'd assume at least that's far too diluted to do anything, considering it was only a small portion of water, going into a massive tank of it, so I haven't gotten any noticeable readings yet. Then, I just the other day transferred one of my Emperors from my 55 to the 125, figuring that a filter from an established tank would do the trick. I'm also planning on adding some rocks and perhaps a small scoop of gravel if needed from the 55 to the 125 to further help the process along. I was also planning on changing over a lot more water to the 125 from the 55, hoping to at least see if after a day I can get some nitrate readings from the 125.

    So now the major question is, will any of those things I've done help with the cycling, and based on that how can I tell if that cycled the tank, or if I need to take further action (such as the rocks, bottled bacteria, etc)? Any extra cycling information is appreciated as well!

    Appreciate any and all help! Adding some quick pics of my beautiful rams just for the heck of it, too! Tank 5.JPGTank 3.JPG

  2. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    is "emperors" a filter brand? if so that's the key - your cycled filter media full of beneficial bacteria is what will kick start your cycle :)

  3. TheGameAceValued MemberMember

    Ah, yes, sorry if that wasn't made clear enough :p I believe it's the Emperor or Penguin 350 (the one in the 125 is one of two that normally keep my 55 filtered), so it's a bit on the small side for such a massive tank, but I was figuring that should do the trick.

    If that does indeed help though, that's great! I think I may take some of my rocks from the 55 to the 125 still (need to ditch them to reorganize decorations a bit more anyways), so hopefully that gives it an extra boost. Now my question is, what should I do now or look for? I have absolutely no idea how long it will take before the water is safely cycled, and there's enough bacteria in the tank and my canister filter. I'd transfer one of my current fish to test, but I'd rather not risk it until I'm positive.
    I also assume keeping lights off and at a minimum in the room is also something I should be doing, correct?

  4. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    do you have an API freshwater master test kit?

    you want to see 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite & 5-40ppm nitrate.

    are you adding an ammonia source?

    also the lights don't matter too much unless you want to avoid algae or keep fish unstressed :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2018
  5. TheGameAceValued MemberMember

    I've seen the test kit used a ton in FB groups for that kind of stuff, but I never got one myself. I have some decently new test strips though which I believe show everything outside of Ammonia, although I wish the readings could be even more specific. Just checked, and they're the API 5 in 1 strips. I believe I can get a liquid test like the one in the master kit for Ammonia though to do checks.

    No ammonia source currently. It's just the tank, light, canister filter, and seed filter right now. Only thing I'm relatively sure of as an ammonia source is a hardy fish.
  6. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    the best way to check your tank is to get the liquid test kit. way more accurate than the strips & includes ammonia which is essential ime.

    ammonia sources are things like pure ammonia, dead shrimp (eg dried or frozen) or fish food. if you can get pure ammonia that's the easiest to work with

    you'll really want to add a source soon so your bacteria in your filter media have food or they will die back ...
  7. TheGameAceValued MemberMember

    Ah, alright, good to know! I'll put in some spare fish flakes for now. Looking online for what I can use as a pure ammonia source. So far I see Dr Tim's Aquatics, Ammonium Chloride on Chewy, but I think I'll keep looking. Hopefully I can find something at my local Petsmart that I can run out and grab really quickly. May order the master test kit from amazon, especially if ammonia tests on their own are about half the price of the entire kit.

    Really appreciate the help by the way! :)
  8. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    no worries mate! Dr Tim's may be a good idea but I'm in New Zealand so i have no experience with it. I do know that it must be pure ammonia or ammonium chloride & I know Dr Tim's has a great reputation ... but I think places like big al's (sorry if that name is wrong) sells some?

    EDIT: OMG. "name" NOT "babe"...

    stupid phone :oops:
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  9. TheGameAceValued MemberMember

    Hmm, never heard of Big Al's. I'll call around with some local stores though and see if there's any. Doesn't seem at least from online that Petsmart has it, but I've noticed it seems Amazon has it, and I could have it by Thursday from them, although if I can find it locally I'll do that first for the sake of it being much faster. 2 oz seems to be the size of the bottle though, and I feel like for a 125g I'd need a good deal more than that.
  10. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    omg...see edit in my post above so sorry

    hmmm... @mattgirl do you know the store in thinking of? big jim's? big something? lolz ...
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2018
  11. TheGameAceValued MemberMember

    No worries, it happens :p
  12. TexasGuppyWell Known MemberMember

    Ace Hardware Janitor strength 10% ammonia is the only pure ammonia I think you can buy in stores.. that I was able to find anywhere in Dallas. $3

    When you shake it, there shouldn't be any lingering bubbles...

    8 drops per 10g = 1ppm ammonia
  13. TheGameAceValued MemberMember

    Hmm, makes me a bit nervous, although I'm assuming that's 10% pure ammonia, and 90% water as a mixture. Local Ace does have it in stock, which is helpful, and much cheaper in comparison to $7 for 2 oz of Tim's from Amazon.
  14. TexasGuppyWell Known MemberMember

    Yes, it's 10% ammonia, 90% water, no sufficants.. (Pure, i.e... no other bad stuff) which is why the other ones all make bubbles when you shake them.
    I've used it.. and so have lots of other people.
  15. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    as long as you don't have fish in there, the ammonia is fine. once you have live critters, you can be nervous about ammonia :)

    edit: you. not yippy. you. I literally never type the word yippy... sigh
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  16. TexasGuppyWell Known MemberMember

    Hmm... I need to bottle up Ace's and call it "Mike's Fish Cycle Ammonia" That's quite the markup. Oh Wait! "Dr. Mike's Fish Cycle Ammonia"
  17. TheGameAceValued MemberMember

    Alright, I have the flakes in tonight to try and provide a temporary quick source of ammonia, and I guess I'll head out tomorrow to pick up the ammonia from my local Ace Hardware to get things going! Think I may also still put the rocks in after I add in the ammonia, just in case some of the bacteria in my filter had issues, and to help with spreading the stuff faster.
    Likely will also get the master kit ordered tonight through Amazon alongside some Biohome Plus (apparently the standard bio-balls and ceramic rings that come with the SunSun aren't that amazing), extra filter pads, and a nice digital thermometer. Hoping that everything will be going really solid by next week. Quite eager to order the stock I've selected, and switch over my current rainbows to their new home :p

    Not a bad idea... :p

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