Fish in cycling, what should I add?

hdmstr

Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing well.

Just want to preface this by saying I have read the nitrogen cycling page on this forum.

I started my first 15 gallon tank two weeks ago. It currently has 2 swordtails, 2 guppys, 2 amazon sword plants and 1 microsword plant.

My readings over the past 3 days (Tested with API master kit):
Ammonia: 0.25-0.5ppm
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0
pH: 7.4-7.6
Temperature : 26C / 79F

Long story short, I didnt get great advice form my LFS as they gave me the go ahead to buy fish after 1 week of running my tank and only dosing it with stability. And no I didn't have any ammonia source during this first week. Rookie mistakes from me, I should have done more research on this. Based on my previous post, I now see that I have started a fish-in cycle for my tank.

After adding the fish in 1 week ago (so now the tank is only two weeks old), I am seeing ammonia present in my tank for the first time. Over the past three days I have been getting consistent readings of 0.25-0.5ppm ammonia readings, my Nitrite and Nitrate readings are 0.

Based on advice given, I am doing 30-50% water changes depending on my nitrite and ammonia readings (combined should not exceed 0.5ppm). I dose the new water with Seachem Prime and stability. Given my water changes are barely 6-8 gallons, the required dosage is only about 1ml for prime and 2-3ml for stability.

Right now my aim is really to get my fish to not die. So the questions I want to ask are :
- Should I keep adding stability? I've gone through a 50ml bottle already and from my reading on this forum, if it hasn't helped me so far it isn't really going to help me moving forward.
- With regards to Prime, should I add a larger dose?
- Will API stress zyme/coat help me?

I apprecaite everyone's input.
Cheers
 

Frank the Fish guy

At your pH, ammonia can be up to 1.0 ppm with no harm to the fish.

http://www.blueridgekoi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/pH-and-Ammonia.pdf

Just change the water as needed to keep the ammonia below 1.0. Check it like every day, and get water ready for changing. This takes weeks.

But, here is the thing: The ammonia is food for your bacteria. The more ammonia, the faster they grow! So don't try to change it so fast that you keep ammonia at zero. You need some ammonia to cycle your tank!

The additives don't actually help. What they do is make you think that you don't have to change the water, and then the ammonia cycles the tank because you didn't change it. ;) $$$ Ca-ching!
 

Azedenkae

Based on advice given, I am doing 30-50% water changes depending on my nitrite and ammonia readings (combined should not exceed 0.5ppm). I dose the new water with Seachem Prime and stability. Given my water changes are barely 6-8 gallons, the required dosage is only about 1ml for prime and 2-3ml for stability.
Yeah sounds good so far.
Right now my aim is really to get my fish to not die. So the questions I want to ask are :
- Should I keep adding stability? I've gone through a 50ml bottle already and from my reading on this forum, if it hasn't helped me so far it isn't really going to help me moving forward.
No. Bottled bac products mostly only help seed tanks, not significantly push it along later. The only exception may be something like FritzZyme TurboStart 700 or 900, which is super concentrated.
- With regards to Prime, should I add a larger dose?
1x dosage detoxifies 1ppm ammonia/nitrite, up to 5x dosage. I’d suggest always adding a bit extra to account for additional ammonia/nitrite produced. Again, up to 5x dosage.
- Will API stress zyme/coat help me?
Doubt it. Or rather, I never see fish needing them to go through a fish-in cycle. To clarify, I don’t actually know if they work or not.
I apprecaite everyone's input.
Cheers
 

Flyfisha

Hi all
I suggest you be careful adding extra Prime. The instructions do say any more than x5 is an overdose. As you are adding water every few days the last lot of Prime will still be active when you add the next lot. In summer if your water temperature rises to 30 degrees centigrade/ 86 F x2 is an overdose. The instructions clearly say this on every bottle. As much as I love Prime it is a dangerous poison no matter how much we all like it.
Word of mouth says when no ammonia or nitrites are available Prime molecules attach to oxygen monocles. At high temperature the water is already low in oxygen.

A tank that is cycling will often have a swinging PH . Meaning the PH could change in a few days?
 

hdmstr

Understood, thanks everyone
 

mattgirl

When doing a fish in cycle and you are getting an ammonia reading add enough Prime with each water change to treat the full 15 gallons of water, not just the amount you are replacing. While cycling a tank Prime is used for both removing chlorine/chloramines and detoxing the ammonia. Adding a bit more than needed is not going to hurt your fish. Adding more than needed is a waste of Prime though.

As long as your keep the total amount of ammonia plus nitrites below one with water changes and Prime your fish should never be in any danger.

Once the cycle is complete and you are no longer getting an ammonia or nitrite reading just add enough to treat the amount you are replacing. Once a tank is fully cycled we just need to remove chlorine/chloramines from the fresh water. Any water conditioner will work for this. Personally I use Prime although all my tanks are fully cycled since it takes so little to get the job done.
 

Dunk2

I suggest you be careful adding extra Prime.
Agreed. From Seachem’s website. . .

Use 1 capful (5 mL) for each 200 L (50 US gallons) of new water. For exceptionally high chloramine concentrations, a double dose may be used safely. To detoxify nitrite in an emergency, up to 5 times normal dose may be used. If temperature is > 30 °C (86 °F) and chlorine or ammonia levels are low, use a half dose.
https://seachem.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000125454-Info-Seachem-Prime-dosing-instructions

Seachem, in its own instructions, is telling us that an up to 5 times dosage should be used only in an emergency (Seachem’s words, not mine).

I’m going to assume that Seachem knows what it’s talking about and has a reason for using the words in an emergency. If more than a single dose is necessary, it’s time for a water change.

If the recommendation to use multiple doses of Prime is being made simply to avoid water changes, I doubt that fits into Seachem’s definition of an emergency.
 

mattgirl

I have seen reports of Prime doing nothing to help with nitrites, only ammonia. Ill try and find some.

EDIT:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Aquariums/comments/7ngexz
How does Prime detoxify ammonia and nitrite?
This is why I never recommend using Prime to detox/affect either nitrites or nitrates. From all I read when I first started using and then recommending this product I understood nothing was added to the product to affect those levels. They added it to the instructions when folks started telling them it did. Unfortunately that isn't enough proof for me.

I recommend water changes to keep the levels low (well below 1) and Prime to detox the ammonia left after the water change. I have read where some are recommending 1ml for 1ppm, 2mls for 2ppm and all the way up to 5mls for 5ppm ammonia. There is no way I would ever recommend letting the ammonia get that high when doing a fish in cycle.

Keep the total amount of ammonia+nitrites well below one and add a full tank dose of Prime with each water change. Doing this should keep the fish safe while going through the cycle.
 

Azedenkae

I have seen reports of Prime doing nothing to help with nitrites, only ammonia. Ill try and find some.

EDIT:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Aquariums/comments/7ngexz
How does Prime detoxify ammonia and nitrite?
Thanks a bunch!

I have seen many people trying to prove Prime does not remove ammonia or nitrite. Which are entirely pointless studies because that is not the claim and in fact is what everyone knows, given despite dosing Prime nitrifiers can still utilize ammonia and nitrite in the water.

But proving it does not detoxify (rather than removing) ammonia and nitrite has not been done, at least not properly. This is the closest I have seen to it clearly showing Prime does not detoxify nitrite! Which is great to know. Next up, ammonia. There is suggestions Prime does not detoxify ammonia either. :p
 

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