Fish In Cycle Question.

TheFishmonger

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I set up the 20 gallons aquarium yesterday. Transferred all the contents from the 5.5 gallons aquarium including the fish. My question is..

1) With a fish in cycle what should I do to keep ammonia and nitrite down besides water changes every 1 or 3 days? How often with the water changes?

2) Should I buy Seachem Prime? Would that help control ammonia spikes for 24-48 hours?

3) I have imagitarium biological booster (beneficial bacteria). Is Seachem Stability the same thing? Or if I use it together with my current biological booster they will cancel each other out??

4) I will set up the 5.5 gallons as well for emergency situations.. Any other tips?
 

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Hi, when you say you transferred all the contents from your 5.5g does that include the filter media from the 5.5g's filter? If you did then you'll pretty much have an instant cycle in the 20g. However if you're starting from scratch with a totally new filter & media then regular water testing for ammonia / nitrite will be needed & water changes to go with that to control any build up of ammonia / nitrite. Prime is good for protecting the fish if you get a spike but only makes the ammonia & nitrite non-toxic for about 24 hours so water changes still needed. Bacteria boosters can be combined & won't cancel each other out but it's an ongoing discussion as to whether they actually do any good, I personally think they do & use JBL Denitrol for my tanks.
 

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If you put your filter media from the cycled 5.5g tank into the new filter, so long as you didn't add any additional fish, you would most likely get an instant cycle.

But to answer your questions, here's what you'll want to do,
Pick up some Prime
Test daily.
If ammonia+nitrites is less than 1ppm, add enough Prime to the tank to treat all 20 gallons
If ammonia+nitrites is 1ppm or greater, do a 50% water change with enough Prime to treat all 20 gallons
Repeat until cycled.

I'm not familiar with Imagitarium biological booster, so I cannot comment on that, but you could use Stability. Just use the Stability per instructions on bottle while following the above procedure.

Best of luck!
 
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TheFishmonger

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Hi, when you say you transferred all the contents from your 5.5g does that include the filter media from the 5.5g's filter? If you did then you'll pretty much have an instant cycle in the 20g. However if you're starting from scratch with a totally new filter & media then regular water testing for ammonia / nitrite will be needed & water changes to go with that to control any build up of ammonia / nitrite. Prime is good for protecting the fish if you get a spike but only makes the ammonia & nitrite non-toxic for about 24 hours so water changes still needed. Bacteria boosters can be combined & won't cancel each other out but it's an ongoing discussion as to whether they actually do any good, I personally think they do & use JBL Denitrol for my tanks.
Yes including the filter, it's media and the ceramic little pots. I have a Marineland penguin biowheel 100 (20 gallons) and I am ordering a Marineland penguin biowheel 350 (70 gallons). The 5.5 gallons was not established. I did try a fishless cycle in it for a week. Ammonia was 0.25 ppm, Nitrites 0.00 ppm, Nitrates 0.00 ppm. I also fed the 5.5 gallons a lot of fish flakes which made a bloody mess.

How often should I do water changes? I will test the water every day or every other day. The aquarium is planted. I have currently have five Black Rubby Tetras but the number of fish is expected to increase.

If you put your filter media from the cycled 5.5g tank into the new filter, so long as you didn't add any additional fish, you would most likely get an instant cycle.

But to answer your questions, here's what you'll want to do,
Pick up some Prime
Test daily.
If ammonia+nitrites is less than 1ppm, add enough Prime to the tank to treat all 20 gallons
If ammonia+nitrites is 1ppm or greater, do a 50% water change with enough Prime to treat all 20 gallons
Repeat until cycled.

I'm not familiar with Imagitarium biological booster, so I cannot comment on that, but you could use Stability. Just use the Stability per instructions on bottle while following the above procedure.

Best of luck!
Thanks. The 5.5 gallons did not complete it's fishless cycle. But I added the same filter (Marineland biowheel 100), and I am ordering a second filter (Marineland biowheel 350). I will follow that advice and keep ontop of the water changes and tests.

Now my reasoning is this. I already ordered fish a month ago. I was expecting to have a cycle completed in the 5.5 gallons already. The 5.5 gallons was leaking so I got a second 5.5 gallons. No fish yet. Two days ago, I got myself five Black Ruby Barbs. They are 1 inch each. I have kept goldfish before in an uncycled and unfiltered 29 gallons tank, water changes every 3 months, and they survived for years. But back then I didn't know any better. Know I know goldfish produce a lot of bioloads. If they survived for years, despite dangerously high ammonia in an unfiltered tank, and me changing the water when ever I felt like it. I think these little fish, and a school of danios will survive in a planted, two filtered tank 20 gallons, with prime, beneficial bacteria and water changes. Eitherway, once you add a new school of fish you risk triggering a new cycle, so I thought why not cycle them together. Then add a school of say tetras when it's all said and done. These tropical fish produce nowhere near the bioload of goldfish. Anyways, that is how I approached this.
 
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Mongo75

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Not advice, but personal method...

Bought a 20g on July 18. Let it run with TopFin (petsmart) water conditioner and RediStart Bacteria Starter. Let it run for about 8 hours. Went back and added 4 Mollies and 2 nerite snails. Bad decision, but what can I say...

On the 20th I bought the API Freshwater Master kit. Ammonia was high. Was doing 25% water changes daily until the 28th. Did a 75% water change and waited until August 3rd to check my water. Another bad move. Ammonia was zero, but nitrites and nitrates were really bad. Did another water change, 75%, and from that day forward, have been testing daily and daily 75% water changes. The whole time, I was using the water treatment and bacteria starter with every water change. I'm still testing zero ammonia, <0.25 nitrites and 5-10 nitrates. My pH has been steady at 7.8 to 8.0. Hopefully, I'm nearing the end of my cycle, and can quit the daily testing, but until then, its test water change and treat daily. I've run out of the TopFin products and switched to Prime and Stability, but still treat every water change. Once I've cycled, I'll test weekly minimum, and do water changes as needed. IMHO, that's any ammonia, any nitrites, and nitrates over 10. Just my way to do it.

To answer your questions, test daily. Treat with Prime or equivalent and Stability or equivalent with every water change. Change the water when you test positive for ammonia or nitrites and when nitrates get too high. Nitrates aren't killers like ammonia and nitrites, and most say over 20 would warrant a water change. I don't have links, but there are a lot of threads on this forum regarding cycling, testing and water changes. Search for them and read all you can.

Experts, correct my bad advice!

Good luck
 
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TheFishmonger

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test every 2 days. do a water change and use Prime if needed. repeat.
Thanks. I just tested the water it's 0.25 ppm Ammonia, 0.0 Nitrites, 0.0 Nitrates. I'll keep ontop of it.

Not advice, but personal method...

Bought a 20g on July 18. Let it run with TopFin (petsmart) water conditioner and RediStart Bacteria Starter. Let it run for about 8 hours. Went back and added 4 Mollies and 2 nerite snails. Bad decision, but what can I say...

On the 20th I bought the API Freshwater Master kit. Ammonia was high. Was doing 25% water changes daily until the 28th. Did a 75% water change and waited until August 3rd to check my water. Another bad move. Ammonia was zero, but nitrites and nitrates were really bad. Did another water change, 75%, and from that day forward, have been testing daily and daily 75% water changes. The whole time, I was using the water treatment and bacteria starter with every water change. I'm still testing zero ammonia, <0.25 nitrites and 5-10 nitrates. My pH has been steady at 7.8 to 8.0. Hopefully, I'm nearing the end of my cycle, and can quit the daily testing, but until then, its test water change and treat daily. I've run out of the TopFin products and switched to Prime and Stability, but still treat every water change. Once I've cycled, I'll test weekly minimum, and do water changes as needed. IMHO, that's any ammonia, any nitrites, and nitrates over 10. Just my way to do it.

To answer your questions, test daily. Treat with Prime or equivalent and Stability or equivalent with every water change. Change the water when you test positive for ammonia or nitrites and when nitrates get too high. Nitrates aren't killers like ammonia and nitrites, and most say over 20 would warrant a water change. I don't have links, but there are a lot of threads on this forum regarding cycling, testing and water changes. Search for them and read all you can.

Experts, correct my bad advice!

Good luck
Thank you. I'll keep ontop of the water changes and API tests.
 
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Mongo75

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Thanks. I just tested the water it's 0.25 ppm Ammonia, 0.0 Nitrites, 0.0 Nitrates. I'll keep ontop of it.
Sounds like you're in the very first stage of the cycle. Testing 0.25 ammonia and zero nitrites means your bacteria haven't developed yet. Once your ammonia eating bacteria start growing, your nitrites will start testing positive. Everything I have read says nitrites are more lethal than the ammonia so keep a close eye on them. Once the nitrite eating bacteria start, you will see nitrates. Keep on top of your testing, treating, and water changes. You'll know your cycle is complete when ammonia and nitrites both test zero, and you're seeing only nitrates.

I re-read, and you said more fish are planned. DON'T add any more fish until your tank is completely cycled!
 
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TheFishmonger

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I re-read, and you said more fish are planned. DON'T add any more fish until your tank is completely cycled!
What am I supposed to do? Delay an already delayed order? I had a previously leaking 5.5 gallons and had to order a second one. So I never completed the cycle I intended to complete. They arrive in a week from now. Which buys me some time. I'm sitting home for two months, I think I can handle the water changes. At most I will add the danios to the 5.5 gallons and wait to slowly transfer them over to the 20 gallons, as soon as I get a nitrate reading.

My biggest concern is the Black Ruby Barbs decimating the hornwort and now they are all over the Rotala plant. Stubborn little s#!&s..
 

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just keep testing every 2 days, do a water change. use an extra dose of Prime to detox, if needed.
 
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TheFishmonger

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just keep testing every 2 days, do a water change. use an extra dose of Prime to detox, if needed.
Thanks I will. I tested earlier. It came out to 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates. It's still early I guess, but it seems the plants are doing their job. I saw a new stem in the rotala that wasn't there before. It's green while the rest of the plant is brown. Perhaps they will help ease the cycle. Got 2 new hornworts on order and 2 more moss balls.
 

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What am I supposed to do? Delay an already delayed order? I had a previously leaking 5.5 gallons and had to order a second one. So I never completed the cycle I intended to complete. They arrive in a week from now. Which buys me some time. I'm sitting home for two months, I think I can handle the water changes. At most I will add the danios to the 5.5 gallons and wait to slowly transfer them over to the 20 gallons, as soon as I get a nitrate reading.

My biggest concern is the Black Ruby Barbs decimating the hornwort and now they are all over the Rotala plant. Stubborn little s#!&s..
You can always cancel or postpone an order that hasn't shipped yet. And I highly doubt that they would take a week to arrive from anywhere. Personally, I'd rather risk a cancellation fee than risk losing all the fish I ordered in an uncycled tank...but that's just me.
 
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TheFishmonger

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You can always cancel or postpone an order that hasn't shipped yet. And I highly doubt that they would take a week to arrive from anywhere. Personally, I'd rather risk a cancellation fee than risk losing all the fish I ordered in an uncycled tank...but that's just me.
I have already asked to push back that order. I'll try for another push back. If not, I will water change and add prime on a daily basis. I accidentally already did a 50% water change just vacuuming the needles of the hornwort from the substrate because I am pretty sure I have OCD and like things organized and tidy.. Even in the fish tank. o_O

f
Personally, I'd rather risk a cancellation fee than risk losing all the fish I ordered in an uncycled tank...but that's just me.
I am quoting you again because I want to reassure you. I realize fish are living beings and I will take care of them. Many things can go wrong even with the order. Fish can arrive dead, fish can even die on the second day even in tanks that are fully cycled. Fish can die for no apparent reason at all in fully cycled tanks that have established for months. Fish can even survive a cycle and move on to live healthy lives. I used to be a person who was totally careless with my goldfish. I overstocked a 29 gallon with 8 goldfish, no filter, no gravel, no water change for months. Because I didn't know any better and didn't bother to look up anything. And they survived for six to nine years under those conditions. Sure they all died when I went on a three-month vacation and left the feeding to someone else who over fed them. I used to overfeed them myself, but I didn't drop a 1/4 of the fish flake bottle in one sitting. So, this time around. I spent a year researching, slowly gathering. I would do a fishless cycle but I just had enough waiting. I mean I tried with the 5.5 gallons but it leaked. So given my past experience of being a horrible fish keeper. I think I can walk the fish through a fish in cycle and not sustain a single loss. Mainly because in the past I had fish that survived atrocious conditions and learned to adapt to an atrocious environment.
 
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TheFishmonger

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@TheFishmonger , welcome to the forum.

You're definitely on the right track with getting the new tank up and running.

Patience is key.
Thanks. I am staying home for some time so I check up on the tank more than once every day. Now that I added the school of Black Ruby Barbs I got all the patience in the world. The previous months were very hard, having two tanks sitting in a corner gathering dust. I will keep asking for advice and perhaps contribute with whatever knowledge I gain. I always listen to advice even when I think I know what I am doing, so I am thankful for everyone that contributes.
 

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Always ask questions!

Tons of members here who are always willing to point someone in the right direction.

This forum is great like that.
 
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TheFishmonger

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Okay, woke up today and found all my fish dead..

I fed the fish, then tested for Ammonia (1 ppm) and Nitrite (0 ppm). I am just kidding about the fish being dead, part. I am somewhat of a troll, what can I say. I didn't bother testing for Nitrate yet. Yesterday night my Ammonia was 0 ppm, which amazed me how fast it can rise. So I did a 50% water change. I am a little concerned about two things. Chlorine in the water. Because I change water fast and get to work. I am hoping the chlorine becomes neutralized when I add the prime, let it stand for 30 seconds and dump it in. I am hoping it will not kill my bacteria. I am wondering how could I increase my pH. I don't want my cycle to stall somewhere. I am running a pH between 6.0 and a high range between 7.0. I hear baking soda rises the pH. But won't that annoy my fish that like a pH between 6.0-6.5? If I leave it as is I run the risk of stalling the cycle? There is no nitrite, but I guess it's early. Any advice?
 

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Seachem Prime basically renders chlorine and chloramines almost instantly, according to Seachem.

For example with your 20g tank, if you're using a 5 gallon bucket for water changes and you remove 2x buckets of water at 4 gallons each, you have 2 options of dechlorinating the water.

1st method is to individually treat each new bucket of tap water before pouring into tank.

2nd method, treat the entire tank with Prime at a dosing level for whole tank (20 gallons), then pour each bucket of tap water in.

Seachem advises that both ways work.

To dose Prime, I recommend keeping at least a 1mL and 3mL plastic syringe on hand. You can accurately dose Prime that way and not waste any. Plastic syringes used to dose oral meds are available at any pharmacy. The pharmacist will either give you a couple or they will be for sale for very cheap.

Prime doses as follows:

0.5mL treats 5 gallons tap water
1mL treats 10 gallons tap water
5mL treats 50 gallons tap water

You mentioned pH...

What is the pH of your tap water?

What is the pH of your tank after a water change?

After a few days of running ?

Just seeing if there is a trend of it rising, lowering or staying constant.

I would suggest to resist going down the rabbit hole of adjusting your pH using baking soda or other fish hobby treatments, such as from API or Tetra.

I'm not knocking those brands, only advising that trying to constantly change pH using additives does not always get you the outcome you want.

If indeed we figure out your tap water has low buffering capabilities and allows for fluctuations in pH, the members here can probably come up with a solution, probably involving something like crushed coral or aragonite on your substrate or a bag of it in your filter. Those types of substrates have buffering abilities for your water.

Here are some videos on pH and water hardness from Jason and his Prime Time Aquatics channel on YouTube, one of the handful of channels I actually subscribe to concerning our hobby.....


 
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TheFishmonger

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You mentioned pH...

What is the pH of your tap water?

What is the pH of your tank after a water change?

After a few days of running ?
Thank you, I will look into the videos. I will have to get back to you in a few days with those numbers.
 

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I have already asked to push back that order. I'll try for another push back. If not, I will water change and add prime on a daily basis. I accidentally already did a 50% water change just vacuuming the needles of the hornwort from the substrate because I am pretty sure I have OCD and like things organized and tidy.. Even in the fish tank. o_O

f

I am quoting you again because I want to reassure you. I realize fish are living beings and I will take care of them. Many things can go wrong even with the order. Fish can arrive dead, fish can even die on the second day even in tanks that are fully cycled. Fish can die for no apparent reason at all in fully cycled tanks that have established for months. Fish can even survive a cycle and move on to live healthy lives. I used to be a person who was totally careless with my goldfish. I overstocked a 29 gallon with 8 goldfish, no filter, no gravel, no water change for months. Because I didn't know any better and didn't bother to look up anything. And they survived for six to nine years under those conditions. Sure they all died when I went on a three-month vacation and left the feeding to someone else who over fed them. I used to overfeed them myself, but I didn't drop a 1/4 of the fish flake bottle in one sitting. So, this time around. I spent a year researching, slowly gathering. I would do a fishless cycle but I just had enough waiting. I mean I tried with the 5.5 gallons but it leaked. So given my past experience of being a horrible fish keeper. I think I can walk the fish through a fish in cycle and not sustain a single loss. Mainly because in the past I had fish that survived atrocious conditions and learned to adapt to an atrocious environment.
Yes! Goldfish are extremely pollution tolerant cold water fish. Comparing goldfish to tropical fish though, is like comparing a pitbull to a newborn kitten! Lol!
 
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