Fish IN cycle...should I add more fish?

yellowskin

Active Member
Member
Messages
129
Hey all,

I set up a 29 gallon or 30 gallon tank 3 weeks ago (23 days to be exact). My initial plan was to do a fish-less cycle with API Quick Start (wasn't that familiar with cycling at that point) thinking that it would BB would colonize by itself. However, with no ammonia source and my fish (3 guppies and betta) in a separate tank with high ammonia I thought it'd be better to move them to my 30 gallon after 2-3 days (water parameters were .25ppm ammonia and nitrites, 5 - 10ppm nitrates in the 30g)

Last week, my 30 gallon (planted) was giving .5ppm ammonia and nitrites with 5 - 10ppm nitrates so I did a 50% water change. After the change, all 3 of my guppies died within 2 days (shock from the big change?) and now only the betta is alive and is doing well. Today, the parameters were 0 or .25ppm ammonia (color is hard to tell with API master liquid), .25ppm nitrites, 5-10 ppm nitrates. Pretty much, it's not completely cycled. This brings me to my question...

1. Is my tank 'stuck' at this phase?
2. Anything I can do to speed up the process?
3. Should I stock my tank with more fish for more ammonia? OR
4. Will my betta be enough to produce sufficient ammonia to get the tank cycled?

I am currently doing a fishless cycle (been 2 days) on a new 10 gallon I got my hands on and was thinking of moving my betta into the 10 gallon once it's been cycled and then do another fishless cycle on my 30g...but would that be a waste of time?

As always, thank you!
 

octavio

Active Member
Member
Messages
284
I've had similar problems. Sorry you've lost fish. I hope the guppies weren't expensive fancy varieties. However, to be safe I suggest you find a nice big bowl, fill it with bottled spring water and make sure it's the same temperature as the water in your tank. Then fish out your Betta and put him that bowl to keep him safe.

It can easily take another week or more to get your tank to cycle completely to the point the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are at 0,0, however, it's not impossible. Check the three and do a water change of five or ten gallons, especially if there is the slightest amount of ammonia. I'm usually against using chemicals to neutralize ammonia or otherwise adjust water quality, but there is one product worth investigating. The bacteria that thrives on ammonia is available in a liquid suspension and sold in most fish stores. Buy a bottle. Add the suggested amount for your 29 gallon aquarium. This will speed up the nitrogen cycle, but you also need living organisms (fish, plants, shrimp, friendly invertebrates) to generate enough waste for the cycle to continue. After two days add a few more capfuls of the liquid bacteria solution and introduce a three or four test fish (feeder guppies are an excellent test fish). If the feeder guppies adjust well, good. Continue to check for ammonia and nitrate/nitrites until the test results are 0.0. Then you're ready to go. Return the Betta to his tank home. He should be fine. And so should any new fish you add to the tank. It's just a matter of patience and waiting for a tank to fully cycle. Hope this hasn't bored you. Good luck with your aquarium.
 

CindiL

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
14,905
octavio said:
I've had similar problems. Sorry you've lost fish. I hope the guppies weren't expensive fancy varieties. However, to be safe I suggest you find a nice big bowl, fill it with bottled spring water and make sure it's the same temperature as the water in your tank. Then fish out your Betta and put him that bowl to keep him safe.
I think the best thing for the betta at this point is to leave him in the 30 gallon or better yet, move him to the 10 gallon (with ammonia removed). A small bowl will not keep him safe and you'd end up having to do almost 100% daily water changes.

My guess is that your high nitrites killed your guppies, probably not your water change. You were probably just too late getting the parameters down.

Are you using a bottled bacteria?

What is your water conditioner?

1. Is my tank 'stuck' at this phase?

No, a cycle can take two-twelve weeks depending on many variables.


2. Anything I can do to speed up the process?

Yes, you can make sure you're still at less then 0- ammonia and 0-nitrites then put in a whole bottle for your tank size of Tetra Safe Start and do nothing for two weeks.


3. Should I stock my tank with more fish for more ammonia? OR
4. Will my betta be enough to produce sufficient ammonia to get the tank cycled?

I think I would actually move the betta and the filter on the 29 gallon to the 10 gallon as he won't put out that much of a bio-load without additional fish and its risky to put bettas in with other fish.
Put in the TSS+ and do nothing for two weeks. At that time your 10 gallon tank should be cycled.

I am currently doing a fishless cycle (been 2 days) on a new 10 gallon I got my hands on and was thinking of moving my betta into the 10 gallon once it's been cycled and then do another fishless cycle on my 30g...but would that be a waste of time?

I would reverse this like mentioned above. Do the fishless cycle with ammonia on the 29g. Move the betta and current filter (or filter materials) to the 10g.

Its never a waste of time...not sure what you were asking there

[/B]
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
OP
Y

yellowskin

Active Member
Member
Messages
129
Thanks for your replies! Learning is never boring!!

First to answer some questions. I'm using API Quick Start which is not like TSS apparently and I use it with Top Fin water conditioner...Only if I knew what I know now 3 weeks ago...I would've gotten Seachem products and TSS...oh well, you live and you learn!

Currently, my 10 gallon tank has been dosed with ammonia and would take about a week to go down to 0 (at 3-4ppm). With that I think I'd still have high nitrites by then. Would that still be okay for my betta to be in?

I DID think about moving my betta into the bowl I received it in (christmas gift), but it's the size of my fist and after looking at it for 3 days I felt bad and searched for a bigger home haha and starting getting into fish keeping. I mean...I know he'd live looking at how hardy he is, but in the back of my mind I feel like moving from a mansion to a tool shed would stress him out too.

[edit]
I totally forgot to mention that I have a 1.5g cube (thought it was 3 gallon until I did a 70% w.c. with a gallon bottle...:;madsmiley3) that i'm also cycling, which should be nearing its end (ammonia drops from 4 to 1 ppm in about 24 hours). I'll wait until that is completely cycled and move the betta there for the time being and finish the cycle on the 10 and 29g!

bittersweet fact. my twin friends got the same xmas gift from the same person and those two are in their respective fist size bowls and still living. They do a w.c. every week and I bet they're doing full w.c.... trying to convince them to get a 10 gallon with a divider...
 

CindiL

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
14,905
HI again, answers below

yellowskin said:
Thanks for your replies! Learning is never boring!!

First to answer some questions. I'm using API Quick Start which is not like TSS apparently and I use it with Top Fin water conditioner...Only if I knew what I know now 3 weeks ago...I would've gotten Seachem products and TSS...oh well, you live and you learn!

Actually API Quick Start is the same as TSS, there are a variety of them on the market, Seachem Stability, Dr. Tim's One and Only etc.
I looked at Top Fin Water Conditioner and it is basically the same as prime containing the active ingredient of Sodium Thiosulfate and takes care of chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals, and ammonia. Primes nitrite detoxifying abilities are due to anecdotal evidence (if you've ever looked at their website and is probably also due to the main ingredient.



Currently, my 10 gallon tank has been dosed with ammonia and would take about a week to go down to 0 (at 3-4ppm). With that I think I'd still have high nitrites by then. Would that still be okay for my betta to be in?

You have a couple of different options, see below but regarding the 10g, I would actually do 100% water change, let it heat and run for a few hours and then move him and the filter or filter materials over to the 10g

[edit]
I totally forgot to mention that I have a 1.5g cube (thought it was 3 gallon until I did a 70% w.c. with a gallon bottle...:;madsmiley3) that i'm also cycling, which should be nearing its end (ammonia drops from 4 to 1 ppm in about 24 hours). I'll wait until that is completely cycled and move the betta there for the time being and finish the cycle on the 10 and 29g!

Ahh, so what are the nitrites in this tank? I would do a large water change, only dose it a total of 2.0 and see where the ammonia and nitrites are in 24 hours. If they are 0, go ahead and move the betta in. Dosing to 4.0 ammonia is for when you're going to fully stock a much larger tank. One betta will never put out that much ammonia

So you basically have two good options. Move him to the cube if its fully cycled. Make sure to change out up to 90% water a week, matching temperature and comparing your tap ph and tank ph he is currently in. Make sure they are within about .5 of each other. He'll live a good long time. OR move him to the 10 gallon which is an awesome sized home. What I would do here is move the cube filter or filter media into the 10g. Sounds like you are almost cycled with that filter.
Lastly, Betta's thrive well in temperatures from the high 70's to the low to mid 80's.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
OP
Y

yellowskin

Active Member
Member
Messages
129
CindiL said:
HI again, answers below



Lastly, Betta's thrive well in temperatures from the high 70's to the low to mid 80's.
Hello! Sorry for the late response. I made myself 'busy' so I can forget about trying to rush into fully stocking my tanks. The nitrites were at 0 and I did dose it again and within 24 hours it was 0 ammo/nitrites and 40-80 nitrates and then did a WC.

I then checked my 10 gallon and the ammonia was not going down after a week...took a look at my betta, then back at my 10g, another look at my betta then back at my 1.5g...

Here are my plans for my tanks that I came up with!

29g - community fish tank (guppies, SAE, amano shrimp)
10g - betta, when guppies get preggers divide the 10 gallon for the f
1.5g - breeding amano tank (brackish water) or until that happens a hospital or QT

Wanting to change the substrate (1.5g) from hot pink gravel (thought it was a great idea at first...) to sand, I took the seeded gravel and put it in my 10 gallon along with the whole filter from the 1.5g cube..was this a good idea? I feel like I just helped my 1.5g filter gain more BB instead of trying to build BB in my 10 gallon filter. Thinking it may do more harm than good, I only left the seeded gravel in the 10 gallon and put the filter back in its cube after a day.

Betta is still in the 29g.

Hope I didn't bore you with this long reply...
 

CindiL

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
14,905
It is your cube you mention at the beginning that is cycled now right?

If so, this is definitely a good idea to move the filter over to the 10g, it will help finish up that cycle. Remember your cycle is for the most part contained in the filter media, A little on the surface of the substrate on decorations etc. So I would actually put the cycled filter back over there to the 10g. I think then you can move the betta over after a large water change to get amm and nit to 0, as the filter from the cube should have enough nitrifying bacteria on it to take care of any bio-load the betta might put out. I would just leave both filters on there until you're ready to stock the cube with your amano shrimp and the 10 gallon is reading 0,0, some nitrates
 

New Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
96
Guests online
2,046
Total visitors
2,142

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom