2 Gallon Tank Cycling Tank

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I'm realizing I did a lot of things wrong, very wrong. Now I'm trying to fix things, and I need your help.

First off, I have 2 balloon mollies living in a 2 gallon tank. I know it's not big enough, I plan on upgrading soon.

I didn't realize cycling the tank was of utmost importance. I was recommended to use tetra safestart to help cycle the tank. Can I leave my fish in their tank while I run the cycle? How long does the cycle take?

I don't have a quarantine tank for them to live in while I cycle the tank. Is it imperative that I use one? Or can mollies withstand the change in water quality during the cycle?
 
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Thanks, Meenu.

how much water should I take out if I do the water changes daily? Should I add tap water conditioner each time, or would bottled spring water be best?
 

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Welcome to FishLore!

If you are going to use SafeStart, you need to leave the fish in the tank since the bacteria contained in the SafeStart needs an ammonia source (which your fish provide.)

If you don't have a test kit, I highly recommend the API Master Test Kit for Freshwater. It is a bit pricey initially, but it will perform 100's of test's, plus it is way more accurate than the test strips.

If you choose to use SafeStart, you want to do enough of a water change to get your ammonia under 1ppm. If not, the bacteria in the SafeStart can become overwhelmed.

Of course if you choose not to use SafeStart, you will need to do daily 1 gallon (50%) water changes using Prime as your water conditioner until the tank cycles.

But...I highly recommend that you get a larger tank (probably a 20 gallon minimum for those Mollies) as soon as you possible can. It may be difficult keeping the water perameters in check in that 2 gallon tank.

Feel free to ask any additional questions you may have. Everyone here is more that happy to help out.

Good luck!
 

jdhef

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_ said:
Thanks, Meenu.

Should I add tap water conditioner each time, or would bottled spring water be best?
Tap water should be fine unless it contains ammonia.

Of course if you choose to use SafeStart, no water changes for at least a couple of weeks.
 

Meenu

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I also personally wouldn't use the TSS until I got the new tank. It's expensive in my area. I think 25% daily water changes with Prime water conditioner, and get the upgrade ASAP.
 
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jdhef said:
Welcome to FishLore!

If you don't have a test kit, I highly recommend the API Master Test Kit for Freshwater. It is a bit pricey initially, but it will perform 100's of test's, plus it is way more accurate than the test strips.
Thanks! I was wondering if this would be worth buying. I will def. buy this.

At the moment I am using API tap water conditioner. Is there a difference between this & Prime when it comes to cycling?
 

jdhef

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_ said:
At the moment I am using API tap water conditioner. Is there a difference between this & Prime when it comes to cycling?
Yes there is a difference. While the API water conditioner will remove chlorine, chloramaines, heavy metals etc., it doesn't do anything to detox ammonia and nitrites.

Prime on the otherhand does all that the API does, plus it detoxes ammonia and nitrites so they aren't harmful to your fish, but still leave them in a state where the ammonia and nitrites can feed the bacteria.

But...(there is always a but) this detoxing only lasts for 24 hours. That is why you need to do daily water changes with Prime while cycling.
 
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Ohh! Ok. Once I have the cycle all sorted out, do I still need to use prime on a daily basis? I should be able to find prime at any pet store - petco, petsmart, etc.?
 

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Once your tank is fully cycled then any water conditioner that removes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals would work. Personally I continued to use Prime after cycling as the high concentration makes it a great value for me. A bottle of Prime may cost a bit more up front than some other conditioners, but since so little goes so far it tends to last much longer so in the long run I save money. Plus, if I run into a minI cycle for any reason, I already have the Prime here to get my fish through it. As for finding it locally, I honestly can't recall whether or not Petco carries it in store, but I know Petsmart does, it's where I bought mine. If you get the smaller bottle the lid doubles as a dropper which will make dosing much easier for your small tank. The larger bottles have caps that have dosing lines, but I believe that the dosing lines start at a level for a 10 gallon.
 

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HI , I tried to buy Prime in my local Petco and they have very little variety of fish products. Granted is a smallish town and the city 20 miles away has an awesome one. I recommend calling first. They didn't even know what Prime was!!!!!! I ended up ordering on line. Now I have to figure out how to use it in my fully cycled tank that still has a little ammonia. Would it help I wonder?
 
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Thank you everyone for all your helpful replies!! I'm feeling much better about caring for these fish! I didn't realize what I was getting myself into.
 

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It's not really hard to care for fish, but it is different than what you think after leaving the LFS. It's really sad that pet/fish stores do not give out the proper information.
 

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