60 Gallon Tank Fishless cycle issues? - Page 3

Harraj128

Hi all,

So around 2 weeks ago purchased a 60G aquarium with filter tank etc. The LFS sold us a aqua care bioboost filter bacteria and the water conditioner and said it was all we need. Filled up the tank same day, setup filter/heater, added conditioner and then added the bacteria next day dosing accordingly for 3 days. Since then I've been patient waiting, adding some fish food every couple days. Tested levels a few times recently and I've seen Ammonia is less than 0.5ppm, nitrites are 1-5ppm and nitrates are 10-20ppm. The LFS sold me these aquarium bombs that were supposedly meant to remove nitrites by adding more beneficial bacteria so I did a 25% water change and added this in last week. Here we are today and nitrites are still too high, ammonia is pretty much 0 and nitrates are just above 0.

pH is tested and around 7.2/7.6

This is a plantless tank, so I'm not sure what's going wrong am I just being impatient as its only been 2/3 weeks? Should I be dosing with liquid ammonia? How can I speed up the cycling process?

Thanks all for your assistance apologies for the long post.
 

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Jo7984

Hi Joe, so it's 4 weeks exactly today as I bought the tank on the 7th April! And as mattgirl stated I'm most likely only 2 weeks in due to the LFS not telling me to dose or provide an ammonia source meaning the bacteria probably starved off half way!

I've had the water tested at my LFS who use the API strips and they show similar readings so I know my test kit is sound.

Yes it's a 230L tank which translates to roughly 60 gallons. The filter I am using is an AquaManta EFX 300 canister filter which is rated for 1100 LPH.

Hope that helps!

Spot on. You totally know what you're talking about and doing now :)

Is it test day today??

I feel like I check back all the time to see if those nitrites are gone! Haha.

I did think yesterday test tube looked a little lighter than the pic before.

One day they will just be gone. You're doing fab :D
 
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Harraj128

Spot on. You totally know what you're talking about and doing now :)

Is it test day today??

I feel like I check back all the time to see if those nitrites are gone! Haha.

I did think yesterday test tube looked a little lighter than the pic before.

One day they will just be gone. You're doing fab :D

Haha I feel like I've really learnt alot from you guys and doing research in these last few weeks!

It is test day today! Will be testing this evening, and dose ammonia accordingly. May also test nitrates today aswell to see if we are seeing more. Haha yay I'm glad you think it looks lighter too :D

Stay tuned, nitrites be gone!
 
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alven

Haha I feel like I've really learnt alot from you guys and doing research in these last few weeks!

It is test day today! Will be testing this evening, and dose ammonia accordingly. May also test nitrates today aswell to see if we are seeing more. Haha yay I'm glad you think it looks lighter too :D

Stay tuned, nitrites be gone!
Don't worry, we'll get the nitrites someday and that day is soon.
 
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joe919

Yes, but isn't a tank supposed to read 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites with even further tests to determine the strength of their bacteria to even think about concluding that a cycle is complete?
Yes, it sould, but if you have a batch of bad test kit, it will give you bad readings, it happened to me in my salt tank. And Harraj128 clarified that it is only 2 weeks in cycleing not 4 or 5 (that I thought) based on the post. To can aim for 0 reading, but rearly will be 0, if you can maintain 0-0.5 that is pretty good.
Hi Joe, so it's 4 weeks exactly today as I bought the tank on the 7th April! And as mattgirl stated I'm most likely only 2 weeks in due to the LFS not telling me to dose or provide an ammonia source meaning the bacteria probably starved off half way!

I've had the water tested at my LFS who use the API strips and they show similar readings so I know my test kit is sound.

Yes it's a 230L tank which translates to roughly 60 gallons. The filter I am using is an AquaManta EFX 300 canister filter which is rated for 1100 LPH.

Hope that helps!
OK, that is more realistic, and it would explain why your tank it didn't finish the cycling.
 
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alven

Yes, it sould, but if you have a batch of bad test kit, it will give you bad readings, it happened to me in my salt tank. And Harraj128 clarified that it is only 2 weeks in cycleing not 4 or 5 (that I thought) based on the post. To can aim for 0 reading, but rearly will be 0, if you can maintain 0-0.5 that is pretty good.
I'm 99.9% sure that he has a perfect test kit. Also in my humble opinion (this might depend on harraj), I'd wait until his ammonia reaches that bright bright yellow color which is considered 0ppm. Everything in an aquarium is a process and we are the ones who have to adjust ourselves to it. You can't speed up nature...
 
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mattgirl

Hi Joe, so it's 4 weeks exactly today as I bought the tank on the 7th April! And as mattgirl stated I'm most likely only 2 weeks in due to the LFS not telling me to dose or provide an ammonia source meaning the bacteria probably starved off half way!

I've had the water tested at my LFS who use the API strips and they show similar readings so I know my test kit is sound.

Yes it's a 230L tank which translates to roughly 60 gallons. The filter I am using is an AquaManta EFX 300 canister filter which is rated for 1100 LPH.

Hope that helps!
Thank you for clarifying the timeline. I started to do so but thought better of it.

It is time to run the nitrate test along with the others. If your nitrites are now going down I suspect nitrates are not far behind.

A little hint for making your ammonia and nitrate testing solution go twice as far. You are going to need a fairly accurate syringe for this one. Instead of testing 5mls of water each time, test 2.5. Instead of 8 drops from each ammonia bottle you only need 4 from each. For the nitrate test instead of 5 drops from each bottle you only need 5 from each.

I tested this out and we get the same results whether testing 5mls or 2.5mls. I do wish I had discovered this before I went through the bottles that came with my kit and the replacement nitrate testing kit I bought. I don't test as often now so my third set is lasting much longer.

I've not had to replace ammonia, nitrite or pH, only nitrate. Once cycled we only need to use those once in a blue moon. Once we have determined how much water we are going to change each week to keep the nitrates down we won't be testing them as often either.

I noticed a couple of days ago that my test kit is now past its expiration date. I may or may not buy another one. Instead of testing I just go ahead and do my weekly 50% or more water changes on all tanks.
 
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Harraj128

GUYS OMGGGG..


Look at these results I'm actually about to scream with joy. Should I retest my nitrites maybe this is a false reading?

mattgirl Jo7984 @alvinn joe919
Thank you for clarifying the timeline. I started to do so but thought better of it.

It is time to run the nitrate test along with the others. If your nitrites are now going down I suspect nitrates are not far behind.

A little hint for making your ammonia and nitrate testing solution go twice as far. You are going to need a fairly accurate syringe for this one. Instead of testing 5mls of water each time, test 2.5. Instead of 8 drops from each ammonia bottle you only need 4 from each. For the nitrate test instead of 5 drops from each bottle you only need 5 from each.

I tested this out and we get the same results whether testing 5mls or 2.5mls. I do wish I had discovered this before I went through the bottles that came with my kit and the replacement nitrate testing kit I bought. I don't test as often now so my third set is lasting much longer.

I've not had to replace ammonia, nitrite or pH, only nitrate. Once cycled we only need to use those once in a blue moon. Once we have determined how much water we are going to change each week to keep the nitrates down we won't be testing them as often either.

I noticed a couple of days ago that my test kit is now past its expiration date. I may or may not buy another one. Instead of testing I just go ahead and do my weekly 50% or more water changes on all tanks.

Perfect I will order some syringes so I can be as efficient as possible :D
 

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mattgirl

GUYS OMGGGG..


Look at these results I'm actually about to scream with joy. Should I retest my nitrites maybe this is a false reading?

mattgirl Jo7984 @alvinn joe919


Perfect I will order some syringes so I can be as efficient as possible :D
This is what I was telling you. It is now time to do the happy dance. :D Those nitrites can be real brats. They seem to hang of forever and then almost like magic they drop down to that beautiful sky blue. I have nothing against purple but just don't want to see it in my test tube.

You may want to add 2ppm ammonia one more time just to be totally sure but I have to think this cycle is done. Not yet firmly established so no heavy handed cleaning but a water change to get the nitrates down to 20 or less and you can then add fish. You want to see a true orange in the nitrate test tube. We don't want to go over board but since this tank can handle 2ppm ammonia you can now add several fish.

Let us know your plans and we can kinda guide you.
 
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Harraj128

This is what I was telling you. It is now time to do the happy dance. :D Those nitrites can be real brats. They seem to hang of forever and then almost like magic they drop down to that beautiful sky blue. I have nothing against purple but just don't want to see it in my test tube.

You may want to add 2ppm ammonia one more time just to be totally sure but I have to think this cycle is done. Not yet firmly established so no heavy handed cleaning but a water change to get the nitrates down to 20 or less and you can then add fish. You want to see a true orange in the nitrate test tube. We don't want to go over board but since this tank can handle 2ppm ammonia you can now add several fish.

Let us know your plans and we can kinda guide you.

Yes finally! The happy dance is happening as we speak in my head :D tbh I had a feeling based off yesterdays test we may see something but wasn't expecting such a clear light blue with no trace of purple!

Okay so we're at around probably 40-60ppm nitrates so would you say a 75% water change should be sufficient?

Secondly should I do the water change first, then re dose the ammonia and remove the fish food bag?

Is there a chance if I do this tonight I can get fish tomorrow?! If so what would you recommend I get first and quantities?

Ideally I want a couple of "exotic wow fish" and the rest to be community type schooling fish.

Happy to be guided :)
 
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Jo7984

GUYS OMGGGG..


Look at these results I'm actually about to scream with joy. Should I retest my nitrites maybe this is a false reading?

mattgirl Jo7984 @alvinn joe919


Perfect I will order some syringes so I can be as efficient as possible :D

Yay!!!!!

Told you they would just drop to nothing at some point!

Well done :D
 
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alven

WOW! CONGRATS! I feel happy for you and it's not even my tank lol, but congrats though! You really have to thank mattgirl though because she's the best cycle guru ever. :D
 
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Harraj128

WOW! CONGRATS! I feel happy for you and it's not even my tank lol, but congrats though! You really have to thank mattgirl though because she's the best cycle guru ever. :D


100‰ I couldn't do it without mattgirl who's been amazing putting the time in to respond to me!

She truly is the best cycling guru and there's definitely something about adding fish food which is clearly proven here!
 
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mattgirl

Yes finally! The happy dance is happening as we speak in my head :D tbh I had a feeling based off yesterdays test we may see something but wasn't expecting such a clear light blue with no trace of purple!
Until you actually see it happen it is hard to believe it can happen like this. It happened for me and time after time I see happen for other folks. Each time I am thrilled for them. :)

Okay so we're at around probably 40-60ppm nitrates so would you say a 75% water change should be sufficient?

Secondly should I do the water change first, then re dose the ammonia and remove the fish food bag?
I would wait on the water change. No need to do one now and then have to do another one in a few days. When you do your water change go ahead and siphon out the first food you added if you still see it. Leave the bag of fish food in there until you add fish. It isn't hurting anything and will still be feeding the bacteria.

Is there a chance if I do this tonight I can get fish tomorrow?! If so what would you recommend I get first and quantities?
After being so patient for all this time we don't want to rush it now. Normally I would like to see a tank this size grow more bacteria than a smaller tank. Since we are only up to processing 2ppm ammonia we don't want to overload the bacteria by adding too many fish too quickly. If we had grown enough bacteria to handle about 4ppm ammonia I would be comfortable fully stocking the tank all at once.

Since I know both you and your family are getting very anxious to start stocking this tank we need to go slower than that. Add one school of fish. Watch the numbers. If there are no spikes of ammonia/nitrites with in few days we will know you have enough bacteria to handle their bio-load.

Do this each time you add more fish and eventually the tank will be fully stocked.

Ideally I want a couple of "exotic wow fish" and the rest to be community type schooling fish.

Happy to be guided :)
I really don't know what kind of fish y'all are wanting. Now would be a good time to research the fish you want to keep to make sure they will be comfortable in your water parameters and will get along with each other. Personally I try to keep very peaceful tanks. I stick to various Tetras. With big enough shoals they get along with each other and their tank mates. Tetras tend to do well in my very soft water.

If you are going for some type of schooling fish it is better to get a big school of one or maybe 2 schools instead of just a few of lots of different kinds of fish.
 
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Harraj128

Until you actually see it happen it is hard to believe it can happen like this. It happened for me and time after time I see happen for other folks. Each time I am thrilled for them. :)


I would wait on the water change. No need to do one now and then have to do another one in a few days. When you do your water change go ahead and siphon out the first food you added if you still see it. Leave the bag of fish food in there until you add fish. It isn't hurting anything and will still be feeding the bacteria.


After being so patient for all this time we don't want to rush it now. Normally I would like to see a tank this size grow more bacteria than a smaller tank. Since we are only up to processing 2ppm ammonia we don't want to overload the bacteria by adding too many fish too quickly. If we had grown enough bacteria to handle about 4ppm ammonia I would be comfortable fully stocking the tank all at once.

Since I know both you and your family are getting very anxious to start stocking this tank we need to go slower than that. Add one school of fish. Watch the numbers. If there are no spikes of ammonia/nitrites with in few days we will know you have enough bacteria to handle their bio-load.

Do this each time you add more fish and eventually the tank will be fully stocked.


I really don't know what kind of fish y'all are wanting. Now would be a good time to research the fish you want to keep to make sure they will be comfortable in your water parameters and will get along with each other. Personally I try to keep very peaceful tanks. I stick to various Tetras. With big enough shoals they get along with each other and their tank mates. Tetras tend to do well in my very soft water.

If you are going for some type of schooling fish it is better to get a big school of one or maybe 2 schools instead of just a few of lots of different kinds of fish.

Okay yay no having to lug buckets around :D

Okay so let me get this clear so I know what to do haha, I'm not going to touch the tank now and will leave the food in the bag still. Should I still go ahead and dose 2ppm ammonia?

And am I right in saying tomorrow shall I add in a school of fish (maybe just 6 neon tetras?).

Thanks once again for all your help :)

In terms of what sorts of fish I want, I just want the most colourful vibrant fish tbh so I need to do some research! I however do like neon tetras and apparently they're quite hardy?
 
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mattgirl

Okay yay no having to lug buckets around :D

Okay so let me get this clear so I know what to do haha, I'm not going to touch the tank now and will leave the food in the bag still. Should I still go ahead and dose 2ppm ammonia?

And am I right in saying tomorrow shall I add in a school of fish (maybe just 6 neon tetras?).

Thanks once again for all your help :)

In terms of what sorts of fish I want, I just want the most colourful vibrant fish tbh so I need to do some research! I however do like neon tetras and apparently they're quite hardy?
Yes, go ahead and get the ammonia back up to 2ppm. Run the test 24 hours later. This is the final test to make absolutely sure the cycle is done. May not be necessary but I like to play it safe.

Sorry, the buckets will have to be used before fish are added. We need to get the nitrates down before fish are added.

Neon tetras used to be pretty hardy but it seems they aren't as healthy as they once were. You could actually start with up to a dozen of them. They have a very low bio-load. Be prepared to lose some. Some folks say cardinal tetras are hardier but I've never had them so can't say for sure. I am partial to black skirt tetras but they aren't as colorful as some of the others. Red blue columbian tetras are a much bigger tetra and are very pretty once settled in and comfortable.
 
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Harraj128

Yes, go ahead and get the ammonia back up to 2ppm. Run the test 24 hours later. This is the final test to make absolutely sure the cycle is done. May not be necessary but I like to play it safe.

Sorry, the buckets will have to be used before fish are added. We need to get the nitrates down before fish are added.

Neon tetras used to be pretty hardy but it seems they aren't as healthy as they once were. You could actually start with up to a dozen of them. They have a very low bio-load. Be prepared to lose some. Some folks say cardinal tetras are hardier but I've never had them so can't say for sure. I am partial to black skirt tetras but they aren't as colorful as some of the others. Red blue columbian tetras are a much bigger tetra and are very pretty once settled in and comfortable.

Okay great so I've dosed ammonia back up to 2ppm and will run test tomorrow at this time. If all goes well, should I go ahead and do a 90% water change, and throw in prime on this change? I've been using a different water conditioner but heard prime is the best and protective for fish so have loaded up on that.

Great will take a look at what Tetras my LFS has on Sunday if all goes go plan then
 
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mattgirl

Okay great so I've dosed ammonia back up to 2ppm and will run test tomorrow at this time. If all goes well, should I go ahead and do a 90% water change, and throw in prime on this change? I've been using a different water conditioner but heard prime is the best and protective for fish so have loaded up on that.

Great will take a look at what Tetras my LFS has on Sunday if all goes go plan then
I both use and recommend Prime but if there is no ammonia reading in the tank once fish are added any of the many water conditioners will work just as well.

If the nitrates in the tank are 60 a 50% water change will lower them to 30. I have to think a 75% will be enough to get them down where they need to be. Thankfully the nitrate level isn't a critical as both ammonia and nitrites.

A word of warning :D

If you or your family see and like something like guppies, platys or mollies and decide to get them be sure you get all males. If you get females or a mixture of them before long you will be overrun with lots of little fish. Female are normally already pregnant when you get them so if you don't want fry get all males.
 
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Harraj128

I both use and recommend Prime but if there is no ammonia reading in the tank once fish are added any of the many water conditioners will work just as well.

If the nitrates in the tank are 60 a 50% water change will lower them to 30. I have to think a 75% will be enough to get them down where they need to be. Thankfully the nitrate level isn't a critical as both ammonia and nitrites.

A word of warning :D

If you or your family see and like something like guppies, platys or mollies and decide to get them be sure you get all males. If you get females or a mixture of them before long you will be overrun with lots of little fish. Female are normally already pregnant when you get them so if you don't want fry get all males.

Okay that is great, I'll probably just stick to prime as the concentrated version is very good value for money!

I've just woken up and now to wait 12-15 hours more before retesting. I'm so nervous lol, if I see any purple in the nitrites that'll be a downer but good we are doing this to ensure everything is cycled!

If tests are positive I'll be lowering my tank temperature as it was around 84F as wanted it nice and toasty to speed up bacterial growth, will probably bring it down to 76F when doing the water change as I think that's a happy medium. So I've had a look and zebra danios are apparently also quite Hardy fish, would a a dozen of these also not be too much bioload on the tank or are they more strain than tetras?
 
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Jo7984

Long wait! Keep yourself busy! Haha :)

When my nitrites dropped to zero I just turned off the heater I had in.
I was putting White Cloud Mountain Minnow in my tank though and they don't need a heater.
The temperature just slowly dropped rather than a sudden water change drop. Dont know if this makes much of a difference though but I just didn't want to kill any bacteria i had just grown.

I dont have danio myself so maybe someone will come along and answer your questions on that.
I have always steered away from live bearers so far, I don't want to be dealing with babies all the time!

Though I did see some Endler Guppies in my local fish store the other week and they looked so pretty (and so small) for my empty tank but their rate of breeding just puts me off.
 
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mattgirl

Okay that is great, I'll probably just stick to prime as the concentrated version is very good value for money!
My thought exactly. Once I started using it I just stuck with it. It takes so much less of it than the one I had used for years.

I've just woken up and now to wait 12-15 hours more before retesting. I'm so nervous lol, if I see any purple in the nitrites that'll be a downer but good we are doing this to ensure everything is cycled!
Be sure to wait the full 24 hours. The ammonia will probably go down to zero sooner than that but we want to make sure the nitrites have too. As you have discovered, it normally takes them longer to go down. I would hate for you to see purple and freak out. :D

If tests are positive I'll be lowering my tank temperature as it was around 84F as wanted it nice and toasty to speed up bacterial growth, will probably bring it down to 76F when doing the water change as I think that's a happy medium.
Turn the heater off now and let the water start cooling down. I don't know that it makes a bit of difference but to err on the safe side I wouldn't want to drop the tanks temp instantly from 84 to 76. I consider the bacteria a living thing. I don't know that there is such a thing as temp shock for it but I wouldn't take the chance. I wish I had thought to mention this yesterday but never too late.

So I've had a look and zebra danios are apparently also quite Hardy fish, would a a dozen of these also not be too much bioload on the tank or are they more strain than tetras?
Zerba danios are great little fish. I love their activity level. I probably wouldn't start with a dozen but I'd have no problem starting with 8. Another one I like are pearl danios. They get a bit bigger than the zebras. When you first see them they look fairly plain but as they get comfortable and start growing you will start seeing their colors start to shimmer and the orange stripe on their back becomes more prominent. Again, I would start with 8 in this size tank.
 
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Harraj128

My thought exactly. Once I started using it I just stuck with it. It takes so much less of it than the one I had used for years.


Be sure to wait the full 24 hours. The ammonia will probably go down to zero sooner than that but we want to make sure the nitrites have too. As you have discovered, it normally takes them longer to go down. I would hate for you to see purple and freak out. :D


Turn the heater off now and let the water start cooling down. I don't know that it makes a bit of difference but to err on the safe side I wouldn't want to drop the tanks temp instantly from 84 to 76. I consider the bacteria a living thing. I don't know that there is such a thing as temp shock for it but I wouldn't take the chance. I wish I had thought to mention this yesterday but never too late.


Zerba danios are great little fish. I love their activity level. I probably wouldn't start with a dozen but I'd have no problem starting with 8. Another one I like are pearl danios. They get a bit bigger than the zebras. When you first see them they look fairly plain but as they get comfortable and start growing you will start seeing their colors start to shimmer and the orange stripe on their back becomes more prominent. Again, I would start with 8 in this size tank.

Hey sorry for late update, so tested water and ammonia and nitrites processed down to 0, nitrates still a nice red so went ahead and did an 75% water change and dosed prime this time.

Will do a full test tomorrow morning before going to the LFS to check all levels once again (particularly the nitrates).

Tomorrow may hopefully be fish day, let's see whats in store :)
 
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mattgirl

Hey sorry for late update, so tested water and ammonia and nitrites processed down to 0, nitrates still a nice red so went ahead and did an 75% water change and dosed prime this time.

Will do a full test tomorrow morning before going to the LFS to check all levels once again (particularly the nitrates).

Tomorrow may hopefully be fish day, let's see whats in store :)
I am so happy for you and for your family. Now the fun part comes. Choosing the fish is a lot more fun than watching a tank cycle :D You done good.
 
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Harraj128

I am so happy for you and for your family. Now the fun part comes. Choosing the fish is a lot more fun than watching a tank cycle :D You done good.
We have fish!

Ended up getting 6 neon tetras and 6 zebra danios and they all seem so happy so far as some of the other options were not available due to just coming in and being acclimatised!

So what happens now, daily testing once again or give it a couple days and test levels? I'll try get a photo but the fish are so small and fast :D

Should I daily test now
 
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mattgirl

Since you used both liquid ammonia and fish food I don't expect this tank to experience any ammonia/nitrite spikes now that it has fish in it. Go ahead and run the tests every few days for a week or so just to be sure. As long as you see no ammonia you are fine.

Where are you buying your fish? Chain store? mom and pop type place? Do you know if they quarantine their fish for any length of time before selling? Personally I have never quarantined fish and count myself very lucky to have never brought in a disease by adding new fish. Others are not so lucky and have introduced various illnesses. It seems ich is at the top of the list.

I try to make the transition from store to my tank as peaceful as I can and once in the tank I turn off the light and give them time to calm down and get used to their new home. We are excited when we first get our fish and all we want to do is watch them but it is better for them for us to watch them with the lights(s) off or at least very very dim.

I would love to see a photo of your tank even if I can't see the fish. Give them time to get settled in before flashing a camera at them. Tomorrow or the next day will be soon enough. Neon tetras do well with foliage they can hang out in. Zebra Danios don't really care. They will swim all over the tank but spend the majority of their time up top.
 
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Harraj128

Since you used both liquid ammonia and fish food I don't expect this tank to experience any ammonia/nitrite spikes now that it has fish in it. Go ahead and run the tests every few days for a week or so just to be sure. As long as you see no ammonia you are fine.

Where are you buying your fish? Chain store? mom and pop type place? Do you know if they quarantine their fish for any length of time before selling? Personally I have never quarantined fish and count myself very lucky to have never brought in a disease by adding new fish. Others are not so lucky and have introduced various illnesses. It seems ich is at the top of the list.

I try to make the transition from store to my tank as peaceful as I can and once in the tank I turn off the light and give them time to calm down and get used to their new home. We are excited when we first get our fish and all we want to do is watch them but it is better for them for us to watch them with the lights(s) off or at least very very dim.

I would love to see a photo of your tank even if I can't see the fish. Give them time to get settled in before flashing a camera at them. Tomorrow or the next day will be soon enough. Neon tetras do well with foliage they can hang out in. Zebra Danios don't really care. They will swim all over the tank but spend the majority of their time up top.
So I'm buying it from a Aquatics specialist chain, not a mama and papas type chain. As far as I'm aware they do quarantine them hence why I couldn't buy cardinals as it was under some sort of "acclimatisation".

So here's attached a photo of my tank and a zoom up of one of the zebra danios hiding near my filter outlet! It's a fake planted tank but I'm planning to convert it to real plants eventually as I regret using fake plants now :(
 

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mattgirl

I think you did the right thing starting out with artificial plants. Live plants bring on a whole new set of issues. Once this tank is firmly established you may or may not want to gradually switch over to live plants. I was in the hobby many years before I made the switch. To be perfectly honest if I had known then what I know now I would have stuck with the artificial plants.

Before live plants I had never had to deal with snails or black beard algae. If my artificial plants needed cleaning I could pull them out, bleach them back to looking new and put them back. There are days when I am very tempted to pull all the live ones out of there and go back to a simpler time. Some folks add live plants and never have a minutes trouble with them. That hasn't been my experience with them.

By the way, I have now embraced snails. I have both pet and pest now. Ramshorn and assassins to keep the number of ramshorns down. The pets are mystery and rabbit snails. Sadly nerites didn't fair well for me. Snails really are fascinating creatures. :D
 
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Strider1520

You tank set up is beautiful! Very nice! I have been following this thread from the beginning and thrilled everything has worked out well...Gorgeous aquarium!
 
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Harraj128

I think you did the right thing starting out with artificial plants. Live plants bring on a whole new set of issues. Once this tank is firmly established you may or may not want to gradually switch over to live plants. I was in the hobby many years before I made the switch. To be perfectly honest if I had known then what I know now I would have stuck with the artificial plants.

Before live plants I had never had to deal with snails or black beard algae. If my artificial plants needed cleaning I could pull them out, bleach them back to looking new and put them back. There are days when I am very tempted to pull all the live ones out of there and go back to a simpler time. Some folks add live plants and never have a minutes trouble with them. That hasn't been my experience with them.

By the way, I have now embraced snails. I have both pet and pest now. Ramshorn and assassins to keep the number of ramshorns down. The pets are mystery and rabbit snails. Sadly nerites didn't fair well for me. Snails really are fascinating creatures. :D

Haha yeah tbh as you said it does add its own problems so it'll defo be thinking long and hard about it. I was thinking of very lightly planting more so to help remove nitrates naturally due to the presence of some nitrates in my tap water.

Oh wow snails I'm not sure how I'd handle them and it defo seems like you have your hands full with that battle :D

I think everyone's experiences are different ofc but until you try it you never know right!

The family love the fish but alot of comments on how small the fish are were made. You can't please them can you!

If I want to start a basic thread about just my aquarium in general talking about stocking, and just general stuff Where's the best place to post? Do. You also have a thread as would love to see your tank!
You tank set up is beautiful! Very nice! I have been following this thread from the beginning and thrilled everything has worked out well...Gorgeous aquarium!

Thank you so much Strider, all credit goes to my wife who actually decorated and picked out everything, and then I just arranged it where I thought would look best! I'm glad you enjoyed this thread and appreciate your kind words :)
 
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mattgirl

Haha yeah tbh as you said it does add its own problems so it'll defo be thinking long and hard about it. I was thinking of very lightly planting more so to help remove nitrates naturally due to the presence of some nitrates in my tap water.
If water changes don't keep your nitrates as low as you would like for them to be run some nitra-zorb in your filter. It will pull them out of there.

Oh wow snails I'm not sure how I'd handle them and it defo seems like you have your hands full with that battle :D
It was a battle for a while. Once I got a handle on them in my 55 gallon I realized they do have a place in our hobby. They can be a great clean up crew in manageable numbers.

I think everyone's experiences are different ofc but until you try it you never know right!
Absolutely right. Some folks throw plants in their tanks and they grow beautifully. Most plants didn't appreciate my very soft almost mineral free tap water so I lost a lot to begin with. Once I discovered the problem and kinda fixed it I started having a bit more success and then the black beard algae got a foot hold. Oh well, such is life. :D

The family love the fish but alot of comments on how small the fish are were made. You can't please them can you!
Just like kids the fish will grow :D

If I want to start a basic thread about just my aquarium in general talking about stocking, and just general stuff Where's the best place to post? Do. You also have a thread as would love to see your tank!
Start one over in the Freshwater Aquarium Discussion Forum This area covers a wide range of subjects.

I have a few photos floating around the forum but none of my tanks are anything special. Check out I finally have Shrimp in my Bowl | Cherry Shrimp Forum | 459267 and My Very First Planted Tank | Freshwater Fish and Tank Photos Forum | 420123
Both have filled in quite a bit since I snapped the photos
 
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joe919

Haha yeah tbh as you said it does add its own problems so it'll defo be thinking long and hard about it. I was thinking of very lightly planting more so to help remove nitrates naturally due to the presence of some nitrates in my tap water.

Oh wow snails I'm not sure how I'd handle them and it defo seems like you have your hands full with that battle :D

I think everyone's experiences are different ofc but until you try it you never know right!

The family love the fish but alot of comments on how small the fish are were made. You can't please them can you!

If I want to start a basic thread about just my aquarium in general talking about stocking, and just general stuff Where's the best place to post? Do. You also have a thread as would love to see your tank!


Thank you so much Strider, all credit goes to my wife who actually decorated and picked out everything, and then I just arranged it where I thought would look best! I'm glad you enjoyed this thread and appreciate your kind words :)
I think that he ultimate achievement of an aquarist is to have a , Salt water or Fresh water is to have a nice reef aquarium or a planted tank. At least that is mine. Good Luck. The snails it's just part of the nature of fresh water aquarium. If you go with plants, don't rush to kill of the snails, I been there, done that, regretted. Thx.
 
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Jo7984

Harraj128

I'm Only here to see if your tank processed the ammonia and if you finally got some fish yesterday? :D
 
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Harraj128

Harraj128

I'm Only here to see if your tank processed the ammonia and if you finally got some fish yesterday? :D
Hey Jo! Yes it processed it and we now have 12 little fishes swimming around!!

6 gold zebra danios and 6 neon tetras :)
 
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Jo7984

Ah that's fantastic :)

Would love to see pics if you have any time.
 
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Harraj128

Ah that's fantastic :)

Would love to see pics if you have any time.

I will try and take some today when I switch on the lights, they seem less shy today so should hopefully get some decent ones :D
 
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Harraj128

Ah that's fantastic :)

Would love to see pics if you have any time.

Attached a couple :) hard to photograph as they're so tiny!

Also I tested the water today! No ammonia no nitrites and 20ppm nitrates! Will do a 15% water change this weekend as part of maintenance but I think my tank is coping really well!
 

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Harraj128

Guys something bad has happened :( I just lost one of my danios and I have no idea how! Levels are fine...I couldn't find my 6th danios anywhere I thought it had jumped out the tank but checked behind and saw nothing. Eventually picked up one of the artificial plants and it just popped out of there.

I'm actually so sad this has happened... Attached photos of the fish so look at your discretion.. What concerns me is the large belly on it compared to the rest. Any ideas?

mattgirl
 

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mattgirl

This is the very sad down side of this hobby. It isn't unusual for us to lose some fish shortly after getting them. I have to think it is because of what they have gone through to get to us. Some are just not strong enough and we end up losing them.

Most of them go from breeder to supplier, from supplier to store and then from store to us. All of this usually happens in a very short period of time. I am amazed that any of them survive. Think of all the times they are netted, bagged up and for the most part unceremoniously dumped in new and different water with no acclimation along the way.

You have provided them a great home and acclimated them to fresh clean water. Hopefully all the others will survive.

I had a very hard time getting a shoal of neon tetras. Each time I would add more to up the numbers I would lose some of the new ones and some of the originals. I had finally decided i wasn't going to get any more. One day I noticed some for sale here in the B.S,T,F section. I ended up with 13 from that purchase to go with the 5 I already had. Here it is a couple of years later and I am now back down to 5. I will buy no more. I had the same bad luck with blood fin tetras.

I have had the biggest success with Black Skirt Tetras. I was fortunate to find the long finned variety. The fins aren't so long they impede the fishes ability to swim but really add to how gracefully they swim through the water. I lose most tetras within a couple of years but these little guys just keep on keeping on. They are well over 5 years old now. I started with 6 Dec. 2015. I only have 4 now. I lost one at about 3 years and lost another just a couple of months ago. I want to add more but fear adding more might harm my old guys.

Plecos, corys, cherry shrimp in a bowl and various species of snails also thrive in my tanks. :) As you go along you will find fish that thrive in your tanks and then there will be those that just don't. We have to find what works well with our specific water.
 
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Harraj128

This is the very sad down side of this hobby. It isn't unusual for us to lose some fish shortly after getting them. I have to think it is because of what they have gone through to get to us. Some are just not strong enough and we end up losing them.

Most of them go from breeder to supplier, from supplier to store and then from store to us. All of this usually happens in a very short period of time. I am amazed that any of them survive. Think of all the times they are netted, bagged up and for the most part unceremoniously dumped in new and different water with no acclimation along the way.

You have provided them a great home and acclimated them to fresh clean water. Hopefully all the others will survive.

I had a very hard time getting a shoal of neon tetras. Each time I would add more to up the numbers I would lose some of the new ones and some of the originals. I had finally decided i wasn't going to get any more. One day I noticed some for sale here in the B.S,T,F section. I ended up with 13 from that purchase to go with the 5 I already had. Here it is a couple of years later and I am now back down to 5. I will buy no more. I had the same bad luck with blood fin tetras.

I have had the biggest success with Black Skirt Tetras. I was fortunate to find the long finned variety. The fins aren't so long they impede the fishes ability to swim but really add to how gracefully they swim through the water. I lose most tetras within a couple of years but these little guys just keep on keeping on. They are well over 5 years old now. I started with 6 Dec. 2015. I only have 4 now. I lost one at about 3 years and lost another just a couple of months ago. I want to add more but fear adding more might harm my old guys.

Plecos, corys, cherry shrimp in a bowl and various species of snails also thrive in my tanks. :) As you go along you will find fish that thrive in your tanks and then there will be those that just don't. We have to find what works well with our specific water.
Yeah I think it's just sad as it also makes me fearful for the others. Thankfully the kids were at school and didn't have to see what had happened :(

As there has been a death in the tank should I do a small water change tonight?
I think that's just it, it's trial and error which is unfortunate as I'd hope all little fishes would survive till their lifespan but as you said its unfortunately the fact they've probably experienced alot of trauma being hauled in and out of places! I wonder if also I should look for a less chain store and find a standalone fish keeper, maybe even an online store? Would the quality/life of fish be better?
 
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mattgirl

Yeah I think it's just sad as it also makes me fearful for the others. Thankfully the kids were at school and didn't have to see what had happened :(
Hopefully they will understand that this does happen. I don't like it but have excepted it as just the downside to this hobby.

As there has been a death in the tank should I do a small water change tonight?
I think that's just it, it's trial and error which is unfortunate as I'd hope all little fishes would survive till their lifespan but as you said its unfortunately the fact they've probably experienced alot of trauma being hauled in and out of places! I wonder if also I should look for a less chain store and find a standalone fish keeper, maybe even an online store? Would the quality/life of fish be better?
I don't think a water change is necessary. You have grown enough bacteria in this tank to handle the small spike you might have experienced had you not found the body and removed it.

It sounds to me like the store you got your fish from do take care of the fish they receive and somewhat quarantine or at least don't sell immediately after receiving them so sticking with them might be the best way to get your future fish. I have lost fish both bought locally and also those shipped to me so I can't say for sure which way is best.

If you have local breeders that would be the best but they may not be breeding the kind of fish you want. You will just have to look around and see what's available. Hopefully someone on your other thread will be able to recommend species of fish that aren't as delicate as a lot of the smaller danios and tetras are.
 
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Jo7984

Aww no :(
Sorry you lost a fish. It's never nice when it happens.
Ive lost some in the past too.
I usually just buy from Pets At Home as there are no local smaller fish stores beside me. I sometimes think it's just the luck of the draw.

I've got some fish being posted to me this week and I'm really worried for them!!
 
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