Cycling with Fish

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by yankeegirl718, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. yankeegirl718Valued MemberMember


    First & foremost, i already know thay i may be bombarded with replies from people who are against cycling with fish. I know why you feel that way and am not posting asking whether or not i should cycle with fish. I already am!

    I am currently cycling a 20 gallon tank with a lot of fish in it, (more than what should be, but unfortunately learned that fact after stocking it.)

    I have in it, 3 Glofish Danios, 6 Neon Tetras & 2 Julii Cory Catfish.

    I am currentl on Day 10 and have had cloudy water for the past 3 days or so. I do a 25% water change daily using conditioner and feeding every other day.

    I have the API ammonia test kit, which I'm pretty sure is either at zero ammonia or jusy between 0 & 0.25 but I'm pretty sure it's 0. I also use the Tetra 5 in 1 test strips to test everything else. I've read mixed reviews about the strips, and so far it seems like the readings never change on the strips. Aside from today, almost looking like a presence of nitrates but I highly doubt so since I've never had a reading with a spike of ammonia or nitrite. I do really wish all these tests were easier to read!

    Anyway, basically I'm wondering how long it would take for the spike in ammonia to happen with such a stocked tank during cycling and if the cloudy water is a result of the cycling kicking in? I know it can take less time with more fish and bio-load.

    The time and dedication needed to have all these fish survive is available. I'm just curious on a time frame.


  2. happygoluckyWell Known MemberMember

    One thing I believe, you are certainly not overstocked! I'd say fill in the danio school AND the cory school(I believe juliis school). However, only do this once you finish cycling.

    As for fish-in cycling, I honestly would never(and have never) try it without a bacteria supplement because otherwise there is SO much water changing and it takes forever. Grab some Tetra SafeStart, or some Seachem Stability, and use it as directed. Usually they work! Make sure to also get Seachem Prime as a water conditioner, and dose it every other day while cycling. This is a VERY important product, as it turns ammonia and nitrite into weaker, less toxic forms that will only harm the fish in large quantities(it also acts as a conditioner/dechlorinator).

    I'm sorry I'm not very skilled in the art of cycling tanks, so I'm unsure as to what stage of cycling your tank is in. I would say get the rest of the test kit, just ammonia won't get you anywhere lol. Good luck :)

  3. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hi yankeegirl718 welcome to FishLore!!
    I think a time frame is hard to pin down.
    There are a lot of variables. Waste produced, amount of feeding that sort of thing.

    It's usually said that cycling with fish can take 6 to 8 weeks.
    Doing water changes and feeding every other day helps keep the ammonia level down but the beneficial bacteria also needs to ammonia to develop.
    So while protecting the fish the way you are could also hinder the cycle a bit.

    What water conditioner you using?
    If you use one that detoxifies ammonia (not remove it) you could let the ammonia get a little higher without harm to the fish.

    Let's see what other have to say.

    Good luck!

  4. yankeegirl718Valued MemberMember

    Thank you both for your replies!

    Although I've been doing constant research since stocking the tank, i did not know that SafeStart was ok to use while cycling with fish. I thought it was for initial setup without fish.

    At first, i was using leftover Betta conditioner for a few days. Then, i purchased the Glofish conditioner and it was much thicker and required much less, but that was when i first experienced cloudy water, which did clear on it's own in a couple of days. I since then went back to the betta conditioner until tomorrow, which is when i get paid and will be making a trip to my LFS.

    I guess SafeStart is now on my "grocery list".

    As of now, the water isn't terribly cloudy, but there is that white slime/film on the aquarium glass.

    I'm doing another ammonia test right now although I'm sure I'll be getting the same results. Even using 2 different conditioners, i have never once in 10 days had a change in my water test readings aside from today's nitrate test seeming to be between 0 and 20 but I really don't trust these strips.

    Also, to note, i only purchased an ammonia kit yesterday because i truly belive the cloudiness and film are a bacterial bloom and I expect to finally see a spike in the ammonia. I was originally waiting for tomorrow to buy that kit as well.
  5. ToniaWell Known MemberMember

    Hi Yankeegirl!! Welcome to Fishlore!!!

    You have come to one of the best places I've ever found for anything to do with fish, aquariums and their care.

    I second the suggestion for using Tetra Safe Start or Seachem Stability, plus definitely get Prime. It's a great water conditioner and it will use a very minimal amount to detoxify your tank. Also, I would go for the API Master Test kit. This will be able to more accurately test your water.

    Do you keep any plants in the tank with your fish?

    ps... you mentioned that the cloudy water didn't occur until the 2nd water conditioner. I'm not familiar with glofish water conditioner, so I"m wondering if this is causing your cloudy water and white film.
  6. yankeegirl718Valued MemberMember

    Hello, and thank you!

    I definitely plan on getting the SafeStart & Prime first thing tomorrow. I do not have any live plants in the tank, just glofish plants, some ornaments and an air stone.

    I also suspect that the glofish conditioner caused the cloudiness. Also, it requiring such small dosages, i feel leaves room for incorrect/accidental bigger dosages.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2015
  7. crystalm04Valued MemberMember

    Hello. Just got done cycling my tank with fish in it as well. I recommend using Seachem Stability along with Prime. Reason being is that if your fish start acting funny or your ammonia or nitrites spike too high you can do a water change and then double dose the stability. If you use safe start I've heard you are not supposed to do a water change for two weeks, If you do it may mess up your cycle. Stability and prime worked wonderfully for me along with daily water changes when my ammonia and nitrites spiked. I had no casualties. Best of luck to you. Also if you use stability and do a water change wait at least 30 minutes after using prime to dose the stability.
  8. LucyModeratorModerator Member

  9. happygoluckyWell Known MemberMember

    I have always heard all Seachem products can be used together, is there a reason for waiting 30 min?
  10. yankeegirl718Valued MemberMember

    Thanks so much! I can't wait to start using the right products for the tank!
  11. crystalm04Valued MemberMember

    Its just what someone on here advised me to do. I did just read the back of both prime and stability bottles I have on hand and it does not say anything about having to wait. Dom90 is the one that advised me to do so. Perhaps he will see this post and be able to answer as to why one should wait. Good question though I didn't think to ask why.
  12. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I usually wait 30 minutes to give Prime some time for the dechlorinating effects to work. Otherwise, if there is still chlorine left in the tank, if it comes in contact with the bacteria from Stability, that bacteria may die off. Make sense?
  13. happygoluckyWell Known MemberMember

    Ah I see, make sure the Prime gets to all of the water :)

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