Cycling New Tank With Fish Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by TheBettaSushi, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    hey all! So I have completely forgotten to how cycle my tank with fish as it’s been 3 years since my last tank. My previous tank was cycled with a betta (horrible I know) but it was an impulsive rescue on a betta I saw at petsmart when I was there to get food for my dog. Anyway, I obviously didn’t know about the nitrogen cycle back then because as I mentioned, it was an impulse buy with the betta. He lasted 3 years with all the ups and (mostly) downs with the cycling and adding live plants and decor etc., but since my Bettas death, I was hesitant to do this all over again until I saw a dwarf puffer fish. This made me want to start the hobby again.

    Now I have a tank set up, bought Anubias nanas, java fern, manzanita and spider wood (boiled and soaked the wood for a week) and bought some Christmas moss. While getting the moss, I told the owner of the LFS that I was doing a fishless cycle (since my experience with fish cycling on my first go around) and told him that my tank has been set up for a week with no traces of ammonia (I only had two Anubias nanas in there for a few days beforehand). He suggested i get two zebra danios and to bring the fish back when my tank is cycled. So here I am with plants and two fish and I can’t remember what to do next. Google searches don’t give precise info on when to change the water, when to feed, when to test and so forth. If anyone can re-educate me on how to go about cycling my tank with fish would be much appreciated. (Feeding, testing, water changes, when to dose with ferts, etc,.).

    Tank: 6 gal Fluval Edge
    Plants: Anubias nanas, java fern, Christmas moss
    Water Parameters: n/a as of now
     
  2. grump299

    grump299Well Known MemberMember

    i can't help with the plants but for the cycle you can test your water everyday then do a 50% water change and use prime to condition the water untill your readings are 0.0.10-20ppm
     
  3. OP
    OP
    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    When would I do the water change? Do I do it as soon as my ammonia is at .25ppm, .50ppm, 1ppm? I have moss that has already started to turn brown since it’s getting acclimated to submersion so I know that’s going to raise my ammonia. I just don’t want to have an uncontrollable ammonia spike!
     
  4. grump299

    grump299Well Known MemberMember

    you should do a water change everyday because you have fish in there while cycling no vacuum just water change and use prime as it detoxifies anything that will hurt the fish.. Don't forget to test before you do water change.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    Ok great. I’ve also been using microbacter7 every day (I dosed it the same day I got the fish and every day for 8 days prior to that). Should I keep dosing or should I stop?
     
  6. grump299

    grump299Well Known MemberMember

    i have never used it so I don't know about it but i would not use anything but the prime.. you have fish to supply the waste for the cycle.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    Wonderful. Thanks so much for your help!
     
  8. grump299

    grump299Well Known MemberMember

    Glad to help
     
  9. OP
    OP
    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    If anyone else has any suggestions, please share! I’d like my tank to be cycled as quickly as possible with healthy thriving plants and fish. Thanks so much!
     
  10. Skavatar

    SkavatarWell Known MemberMember

    keep using the bottled bacteria everyday. use Prime to detox ammonia.
     
  11. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    If you click the blue words "Nitrogen Cycle" in your first post in the thread, it will take you to an article explaining it. I highly recommend reading up on it, since it is the most important thing to understand when keeping fish.

    If it were me, I would cycle the tank using Tetra StartStart+ (TSS+). It is basically a bottle of the bacteria that cycles your tank. Using TSS+ will cycle your tank in 14 days (if used properly). To use TSS+ properly in your situation here's what you should do:
    1) Perform a large water change to get ammonia as close to 0ppm as possible
    2) Wait 24 hours (very important to wait 24 hours)
    3) Add entire, well shaken, appropriate size bottle of TSS+ (don't worry if the bottle will treat more than 6 gallons, you can't overdose
    4) Do nothing but lightly feed your fish for 14 days
    5) On day 14 test your water and if all worked correctly...you've cycled
    6) Return your danio's for the puffer. The guy at the fish store will be angry, because he was counting on the danio's being killed by elevated ammonia/nitrite levels during the cycle and will now have to actually return you your money.

    Best of luck!
     
  12. OP
    OP
    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    Use bacteria even with fish and plants in the tank? I don’t want to cause an algae bloom.

    I know all about the nitrogen cycle. I just can’t remember when to do water changes during the process. Some say not to do any changes but I prefer to do a water change... wasn’t sure if I should do it at the first sign of ammonia, or let my ammonia get to 1ppm then change the water and continue to dose with prime every day until the water change. Also, isn’t safestart the same as microbacter7? Since microbacter7 is basically bacteria in a bottle? Also, I have live plants and don’t want to cause an algae outbreak since my plants are getting acclimated to submersion. Even with the plants, I can use safestart? So do absolutely nothing (not even dose prime) while using safestart for 14 days?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2019
  13. TetraKing101

    TetraKing101Valued MemberMember

    I throw some food in there every day they do a 50 percent water change per week

    And don’t use any of that “bacteria” in a bottle it’s doesn’t work at least the nutrafin kind not sure about the others
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2019
  14. Brian Knowles

    Brian KnowlesValued MemberMember

    Yes, someone may come along and disagree, but algae and bacteria are two different things. The bacteria will give you a hand starting the cycle.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    Ok so do I have this correct??...

    1. use microbacter7 for the remaining days I have left (microbacter7 is to be used daily for two weeks... i have 4 days remaining including today).

    2. Don’t use prime during a water change since I’m using RO water (per seachem, I have to use seachem equilibrium and not use prime) and only use it to dexotify ammonia during cycling.

    3. Feed the fish minimal amount of food every day

    Now for the confusing part:
    4. Do 10% water change every other day, every day or none at all during cycling? And should I dose seachem equilibrium once I get it with a partial water change?

    And...
    5. Should I start using tetra safestart like someone on this thread mentioned?

    I used microbacter7 in my previous tank with a betta in there and it seemed to work. I just can’t remember how I got there to cycle my tank since it’s been while. The betta was my first ever tank and I obviously knew nothing but learned very quickly how wrong I was to get a fish before my tank cycled so the fish had to bare with me (he lasted two years and I got him when he was already over a year old). I can’t remember, for the life of me what I did to that tank to get it stabilized because I was getting different answers to the same questions. This time around, I tried fishless cycling and that didn’t work. It just made my sand and water disgusting. Maybe I didn’t give it enough time. Maybe it needed more than a week to get ammonia going. Now I have two danios and need to make sure they survive throughout this process.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2019
  16. GuppyDazzle

    GuppyDazzleWell Known MemberMember

    I've cycled all my tanks with fish in, no bottled bacteria. As long as the combined ammonia and nitrites do not exceed 1 ppm, I never had any problems with the fish. I don't do water changes based on a schedule, I do water changes based on my test readings. For example, if your ammonia is above 1 ppm, do a water change. If your ammonia is .5, and your nitrites are .5, do a water change. Test every day or at least every other day while you're cycling. Once your ammonia and nitrites are at zero, you can test less often. Test once a week for a while, and you'll be able to see how much volume of a water change you need to do to keep the nitrate levels where you want them.

    Since you added plants, it should take about a month to cycle.

    If you add bottled bacteria, ignore everything I said. Your test readings won't make sense, and you have to go for periods of time without any water changes. I don't use it because I prefer being able to see exactly what's going on with my water parameters and being able to completely control the toxin levels with water changes.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    That is the answer I was looking for. Thank you because I want to know what’s going on with the tank and where it has reached within the cycle. If I stop using the bacteria, do I have to do a partial water change and would I be able to use the method you provided after the water change? I’ve been dosing bacteria for 10 days (11th day today but haven’t dosed yet). I also dosed prime early this morning because I used fert (seachem flourish) in my tank for my plants but someone said not to do that while cycling the tank. They suggested I use a dose of prime to counteract it so I did. Just did a test and everything came back at zero.
     

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  18. GuppyDazzle

    GuppyDazzleWell Known MemberMember

    I've never used bottled bacteria so unfortunately I don't know the answer to that question. My comment about the bottled bacteria comes from reading many posts from people with questions about what's going on with their cycles, and from the manufacturer instructions.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    TheBettaSushi

    TheBettaSushiWell Known MemberMember

    Makes sense. I think I’ll go ahead and continue to use the bottled bacteria until the two week mark is over since I already started it (I only have 3 days left of it anyway) then stop dosing and let the tank do it’s thing while testing every day to make sure I don’t kill my fish or my plants. I’m hoping to see an ammonia spike sometime tomorrow since I dosed with prime early this morning so I should wait until the 48 hour mark at least. I have an ammonia alert hooked in the tank and those readings haven’t changed... no traces of ammonia at all. I’m hoping that the seachem equilibrium will help with the process once it arrives and I start dosing with it.