20 Gallon Tank Fish-in cycle!

darkcat

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

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.
 
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Dunk2

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.
 
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darkcat

Okay, thank you guys! Can I use the steps 1-3??
 
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Dunk2

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.
 
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darkcat

Ok thank you!
Are there supposed to be black dots in prime?
 
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Mac2113

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.
 
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Dunk2

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.
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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darkcat

Hi,
So I'm doing a fish in cycle right now. And was wondering if I'm doing all right. My fishes are doing really fine!
1. Replaces the decor and everything to the new upgraded tank.
2. Add the same water and make new water.
3. Add Tetra Safe Start (I added about 3/4 of the bottle. I didn't have enough for it. So I'm going to put it if I can.)
4. Add the fishes in
5. Use prime daily 2 ml for my 20 gallon.
6. Continue this until no ammonia, nitrite.
7. Do 50% water change

Here are the questions:
Will this work?
Should I add more tetra safestart?
Do you want the water parameters?
Is it okay to use tetra safestart and prime in the same tank? *
Is 2ml daily okay for my 20 gallon?

Fishes that are in (this will be permanent tank)
2 julii (will add more after this fish in cycle)
5 neon tetras (maybe add more after fish in cycle)
1 baby betta
1 gold zebra loach.

* I added 3/4 of Tetra SafeStart, wait 24 hours then add 2ml of Prime. Did that for about 2 days (not including today and the day I started.)
Any advice is welcome!
 
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Ouse

What are the current parameters?

I want to advise you to change the water by 50% once ammonia or nitrite reaches 1ppm or higher. What some hobbyists do is change the water by 50% once the ammonia and nitrite both add up to 1ppm (such as 0.6ppm ammonia and 0.4ppm nitrite).

Only add Prime to new water before adding it to the tank. When I fish-in cycled I made the mistake of using Prime to substitute water changes.

You seem to have things under control. :happy: I can‘t bring much info to Tetra SafeStart because I’ve never used it before and I don’t know exact doses etc.
 
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darkcat

I use Prime just to lock the ammonia so it won't be toxic for the fishes.
Day 1 water parameters:
Ammonia: 0.5
Nitrites 0
Nitrate 0-5

Day 2:
Ammonia 0.25
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 0-5

Day 3
Ammonia 0.25
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 5

Day 4 (today)
Ammonia 0.25 - 0.5
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 0 or 5

Todays water:

IMG_20210402_135355469.jpg
 
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Ouse

From these results I can safely say that your water source contains 5ppm of nitrate. No problem with this; mine does too and I’m fine.

It’ll take some time for nitrite to appear and hopefully that’ll happen soon!
 
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darkcat

So it's good?
The steps and everything else?
 
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Ouse

So it's good?
The steps and everything else?
As long as you follow my advice so far you’ll be good to go. :happy:
 
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Cherryshrimp420

Unfortunately that's way too many fish for fish-in cycle. Hopefully the Prime and SafeStart will help them survive the process...
 
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darkcat

Oh okay.
 
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Dunk2

Hi,
So I'm doing a fish in cycle right now. And was wondering if I'm doing all right. My fishes are doing really fine!
1. Replaces the decor and everything to the new upgraded tank.
2. Add the same water and make new water.
3. Add Tetra Safe Start (I added about 3/4 of the bottle. I didn't have enough for it. So I'm going to put it if I can.)
4. Add the fishes in
5. Use prime daily 2 ml for my 20 gallon.
6. Continue this until no ammonia, nitrite.
7. Do 50% water change

Here are the questions:
Will this work?
Should I add more tetra safestart?
Do you want the water parameters?
Is it okay to use tetra safestart and prime in the same tank? *
Is 2ml daily okay for my 20 gallon?

Fishes that are in (this will be permanent tank)
2 julii (will add more after this fish in cycle)
5 neon tetras (maybe add more after fish in cycle)
1 baby betta
1 gold zebra loach.

* I added 3/4 of Tetra SafeStart, wait 24 hours then add 2ml of Prime. Did that for about 2 days (not including today and the day I started.)
Any advice is welcome!

Does your step #1 mean that things are being moved from an old tank to a new tank, including a filter or filter media?

If so, was the old tank cycled?
 
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jtjgg

Prime works for about 48hrs. so you should be doing water changes every 48hrs.
 
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Dunk2

Prime works for about 48hrs. so you should be doing water changes every 48hrs.

I’m a fan of Prime, but. . .

Water changes should not be based on the passage of time or the expiration of the effectiveness period of Prime.

They should be based on the results of daily testing while a tank is cycling to keep ammonia and nitrites at safe levels.
 
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jtjgg

unless its 0, 0 there's technically no safe levels of ammonia (unless low pH/low temp and it becomes ammonium) or nitrite.

Prime renders ammonia and nitrite non toxic for up to 48hrs, while still allowing the bacteria to convert them.

Prime can be dosed up to 5x depending on the ammonia/nitrite levels, or do a larger water change, 75% instead of 50%
Info: Seachem Prime® dosing instructions

OP's ammonia/nitrite levels are low enough to only need 1 dose of Prime with a water change every 48hrs.
 
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Dunk2

unless its 0, 0 there's technically no safe levels of ammonia (unless low pH/low temp and it becomes ammonium) or nitrite.

Prime renders ammonia and nitrite non toxic for up to 48hrs, while still allowing the bacteria to convert them.

Prime can be dosed up to 5x depending on the ammonia/nitrite levels, or do a larger water change, 75% instead of 50%
Info: Seachem Prime® dosing instructions

If there’s no safe level, I don’t understand your recommendation for 48 hour water changes.

Thanks for the link, but I’m familiar with the instructions for Prime. And I’m still of the opinion that it shouldn’t be used as a substitute for daily water changes if that’s what test results dictate. I’m also of the opinion that Prime shouldn’t be “over dosed” to avoid water changes.

About the OP’s current water parameters, those can change on a day-to-day basis, can’t they?
 
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darkcat

Does your step #1 mean that things are being moved from an old tank to a new tank, including a filter or filter media?

If so, was the old tank cycled?
Yes I upgraded it so I putted all my decors, filter media and etc. However, the filter media was dried up the time I putted it in. So the bacteria can be dead. I don't know if the old one is cycled because I didn't have the knowledge of cycling and I used SafeStart and putted the fishes immediately. All the fishes are still alive.
I’m a fan of Prime, but. . .

Water changes should not be based on the passage of time or the expiration of the effectiveness period of Prime.

They should be based on the results of daily testing while a tank is cycling to keep ammonia and nitrites at safe levels.
I'll be doing water changes when ammonia and nitrites add up to 1. Is that fine?
 
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Dunk2

Yes I upgraded it so I putted all my decors, filter media and etc. However, the filter media was dried up the time I putted it in. So the bacteria can be dead. I don't know if the old one is cycled because I didn't have the knowledge of cycling and I used SafeStart and putted the fishes immediately. All the fishes are still alive.

I'll be doing water changes when ammonia and nitrites add up to 1. Is that fine?

You’ll probably be fine doing water changes at a combined level of ammonia and nitrites of 1 ppm. When I’ve done fish-in cycles, I always tried to keep the combined level at 0.50 ppm or less.

Unless your tap water has nitrates in it, to me it looks like transferring everything over to your new tank has given your cycle a jump start. Or did the water you transferred have nitrates?

Keep doing what you’re doing and I think your fish will be fine! Keep us updated and come back here with questions.
 
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darkcat

You’ll probably be fine doing water changes at a combined level of ammonia and nitrites of 1 ppm. When I’ve done fish-in cycles, I always tried to keep the combined level at 0.50 ppm or less.

Unless your tap water has nitrates in it, to me it looks like transferring everything over to your new tank has given your cycle a jump start. Or did the water you transferred have nitrates?

Keep doing what you’re doing and I think your fish will be fine! Keep us updated and come back here with questions.
I think the water I transfered had the nitrates.
 
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Dunk2

I think the water I transfered had the nitrates.

Transferring water from the old tank to the new one is fine, but there’s really no benefit to doing it.
 
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