20 Gallon Tank Fish-in cycle!

darkcat

Member
So we have a 20 gallon tank (high) that we need to do a fish in cycle. I'm just making sure if this works.

1. Put 1 dose of Seachem Prime (doing this everyday)
2. After 24 hours check water parameters
3. Repeat.
*if fishes are not acting normal, or has more than 5 ppm nitrites or nitrates, will perform a 50% water change.*

Some bonus information to know if I'm correct:
If ammonia is over 1, definitely kills fish
If nitrates over 40, high percentage of killing fish
If nitrites over 0.5 high percentage of dead fish.

Bonus question!!

Since I wanted the cycling process to be faster, I added the water, decor, Substrate and filter from my old tank. The filter cartridge got dry while I was setting up and warming the tank. Is there bacteria still in the filter cartridge? Or is it dead by now?
 

Heron

Member
Definitely keep ammonia below 1, I would try to keep it a lot lower, about 0.25. But adding prime every day should detoxify it's effect. nitrites should be as low as possible too, a hint is too add a little salt, the chloride will reduce the harm nitrites cause to the bloods ability to carry oxygen. But don't add salt if you have fish that can't tolerate it. Increasing aeration will also help with this.
Nitrates should be kept below 10-20 in the long term although for a short time they probably won't do too much harm but I wouldn't let them get any higher than 40 at all.
If your media dried out completely there is a good chance the bacteria will be dead.
 

Dunk2

Member
In my opinion, the combined level of ammonia and nitrites should be maintained around 0.50 ppm when doing a fish-in cycle. The only way to pull that off is with consistent testing and water changes. 5.0 ppm of nitrites is way too high.

The only way you’ll know if your bacteria colony is intact is by testing your water parameters.
 
  • Thread Starter

darkcat

Member
Okay, thank you guys! Can I use the steps 1-3??
 

Dunk2

Member
darkcat said:
Okay, thank you guys! Can I use the steps 1-3??
Steps 1 - 3 are fine, but Prime is effective for up to 48 hours according to Seachem.
 
  • Thread Starter

darkcat

Member
Ok thank you!
Are there supposed to be black dots in prime?
 

Mac2113

Member
I’ve heard that doubling up on your dose of prime daily can be beneficial too when trying to do a fish in cycle. I’m not sure if there is any truth to that but it is something I have heard.
 

Dunk2

Member
Mac2113 said:
I’ve heard that doubling up on your dose of prime daily can be beneficial too when trying to do a fish in cycle. I’m not sure if there is any truth to that but it is something I have heard.
Doubling up the dose shouldn’t be necessary. And Prime shouldn’t be used as a substitute for water changes.
darkcat said:
Ok thank you!
Are there supposed to be black dots in prime?
Blacks dots aren’t unusual in Prime. And don’t use it as a cologne.
 

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