Fishless Cycling 10gal Nitrate at 10-20ppm in tap water

Coffeexmama15

Hi Everyone,

I'm a total newbie to fish keeping, I'm currently on day 3 of cycling my 10 gallon tank for my daughters 2 goldfish that they won at the Fair. I understand that a 10 gallon is small for 2 goldfish but ill upgrade them to a bigger tank once I get this fish keeping down. We will probably upgrade to a 55 gallon tank in the future but in the meantime I would love all the advice on getting through this fishless cycle.
Ive been doing a lot of research on how to get my tank cycled. Im currently using Dr. Tim Aquatics Ammonium Chloride and Seachem Stabilty.

10 gallon tank setup
1 sponge filter
1 hob fruval 30 filter
sand substrate with a few artificial decorations
Cycling with no fish

I dosed Dr. Tim Ammonium drops, my tank registered 4ppm and added Stability according to the instruction ( one capful )
Reading after Dr. Tim ammonium dose as follows...

Day1
PH 8.2
Ammonium 4ppm
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

Day 2
PH 8.2
Ammonium 4ppm
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10ppm

Day 3
PH 8.0
Ammonium 2ppm
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10 ppm - 20 ppm ( see attached 1st photo of nitrate reading )
2nd photo is my water parameter for day 3
3rd photo is my testing for tap water for ammonium, nitrite and nitrates

I found it strange that my test was picking up nitrates so I tested my tap water for nitrate. It came back positive for nitrates between 10 ppm-20 ppm. Tap Water was negative on ammonium and nitrite.

My question is... where do I go from here on nitrate readings... do I use 10ppm-20ppm as my baseline for nitrate readings? So when I see my nitrate rising to above 40ppm then its accurate to say I actually have a nitrate reading since my tap water has nitrates in it? Should I be worried about having nitrates in my tap water?
 

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BigManAquatics

10-20 isn't near harmful. Granted, the lower the better. But as for cycling, yeah, i would use an adjusted baseline at least to see what is going on with the cycle.
 

mattgirl

Welcome to Fishlore :)

I agree with BigManAquatics The reading you are getting from your tap will be your baseline. I wouldn't be overly concerned about it at this point.

I do have to ask though. Where are the fish now? If they are in small bowls and you are having to do daily water changes to keep them safe have you considered putting them in this tank and doing a fish in cycle? As long as you keep both ammonia and nitrites down to very low levels by doing water changes the fish will never be in any danger. They will be your ammonia source so no need to add liquid ammonia. I recommend you try to keep both down to no more than .25 each.
 

Coffeexmama15

Welcome to Fishlore :)

I agree with BigManAquatics The reading you are getting from your tap will be your baseline. I wouldn't be overly concerned about it at this point.

I do have to ask though. Where are the fish now? If they are in small bowls and you are having to do daily water changes to keep them safe have you considered putting them in this tank and doing a fish in cycle? As long as you keep both ammonia and nitrites down to very low levels by doing water changes the fish will never be in any danger. They will be your ammonia source so no need to add liquid ammonia. I recommend you try to keep both down to no more than .25 each.
Thank you so much for your response! Both goldfish are still in the containers from the Fair for over a month now. My husband has been doing water changes every 2 days and priming the water with water conditioner. We were thinking of trying to cycle this tank asap then putting them in so they will not be harmed by the spike of ammonium. So if we decide to do fish in cycle, will my tank cycle faster with the fish? Im just worried and didn't want to harm them.
 

WendiWoo

I recently got two goldfish from fair. Started in a 5 gal fish in cycle. Got a 20 gal they cycled. Then a 30 gal they cycled. I used API Safe Start for a month (each tank) and weaned off it. Never had ammonia, or nitrites but my tap has 20-40 nitrates. By the time I quit using API Safe Start, other bacteria had grown. Now their water always reads 0 Ammonia 0 nitrites and 20-40 nitrites. They are so beautiful and healthy and lively. I just love them. I also used API stress coat +.
 

mattgirl

Thank you so much for your response! Both goldfish are still in the containers from the Fair for over a month now. My husband has been doing water changes every 2 days and priming the water with water conditioner. We were thinking of trying to cycle this tank asap then putting them in so they will not be harmed by the spike of ammonium. So if we decide to do fish in cycle, will my tank cycle faster with the fish? Im just worried and didn't want to harm them.
It is good that the water in the bowl is changed so often but if you move them to the tank, let your numbers be your guide and do a water change when you see ammonia and/or nitrites the fish should never be in any danger. I know some folks do fear fish in cycling and I do understand their feelings but having them in 10 gallons of water should be better than living in a small bowl even with every other day water changes.

This thread may give you some pointers and may put your mind to rest about doing a fish in cycle. Fish In Nitrogen Cycle Simplified | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 414083 To be totally honest I think we get a stronger more natural cycle when doing a fish in cycle. should you decide to go ahead and put the fish in this tank change out as much water as you can to remove any ammonia you have added up to this point before putting the fish in there.
 

Coffeexmama15

I recently got two goldfish from fair. Started in a 5 gal fish in cycle. Got a 20 gal they cycled. Then a 30 gal they cycled. I used API Safe Start for a month (each tank) and weaned off it. Never had ammonia, or nitrites but my tap has 20-40 nitrates. By the time I quit using API Safe Start, other bacteria had grown. Now their water always reads 0 Ammonia 0 nitrites and 20-40 nitrites. They are so beautiful and healthy and lively. I just love them. I also used API stress coat +.
Wow! Thank you for your response. I like how you kept on upgrading your fish tank. I actually almost bought a 55 gallon tank at PetSmart but quickly had to return it because I felt so overwhelmed and didn't know if I can handle fish keeping. Ive spent numerous hours researching how to successfully do a fish in cycle but I'm also worried that the fish will not survive being kept in those small containers with no filter or oxygen. I think I will probably move them into the new tank as soon as my ammonia levels drops a bit and continue to do a fish in cycle instead. Do you know how much % water should I change? Should do water changes daily and test water parameter daily?
10-20 isn't near harmful. Granted, the lower the better. But as for cycling, yeah, i would use an adjusted baseline at least to see what is going on with the cycle.
Thank you so much for your response. Good to know that my nitrate levels aren't too high.
 

WendiWoo

Wow! Thank you for your response. I like how you kept on upgrading your fish tank. I actually almost bought a 55 gallon tank at PetSmart but quickly had to return it because I felt so overwhelmed and didn't know if I can handle fish keeping. Ive spent numerous hours researching how to successfully do a fish in cycle but I'm also worried that the fish will not survive being kept in those small containers with no filter or oxygen. I think I will probably move them into the new tank as soon as my ammonia levels drops a bit and continue to do a fish in cycle instead. Do you know how much % water should I change? Should do water changes daily and test water parameter daily?

Thank you so much for your response. Good to know that my nitrate levels aren't too high.
My water changes I started out once every three days. I too lacked a bit of confidence. No one wants to injure or cause suffering. I always added the safe API Safe start. I literally tested 2x a day with API master test kit. Always came out the same so I started testing once a day lol. Then twice a week with about a 30% water change once a week... and of course add Safe Start and water conditioner. Your confidence will grow. I just got a 50 gallon lol and im a bit intimidated my self lol. But I really do swear by API Safe Start. It's a continual process as opposed to dumping a bottle of tetra quick start. Tetra bacteria is marine so the bottled bacteria lasts longer but not through a cycle. API is freshwater bacteria but doesn't last as long and that's why you add it every change. Big bottle listed me one month each tank lol. I swear by it!
 

Coffeexmama15

It is good that the water in the bowl is changed so often but if you move them to the tank, let your numbers be your guide and do a water change when you see ammonia and/or nitrites the fish should never be in any danger. I know some folks do fear fish in cycling and I do understand their feelings but having them in 10 gallons of water should be better than living in a small bowl even with every other day water changes.

This thread may give you some pointers and may put your mind to rest about doing a fish in cycle. Fish In Nitrogen Cycle Simplified | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 414083 To be totally honest I think we get a stronger more natural cycle when doing a fish in cycle. should you decide to go ahead and put the fish in this tank change out as much water as you can to remove any ammonia you have added up to this point before putting the fish in there.
Sounds good! I will definitely try giving the fish in cycle a chance! How much % of water change do you recommend? So keep ammonia and nitrite below 0.25? What about the nitrates? Thank you for all your help, I really do appreciate it.
 

WendiWoo

My water changes I started out once every three days. I too lacked a bit of confidence. No one wants to injure or cause suffering. I always added the safe API Safe start. I literally tested 2x a day with API master test kit. Always came out the same so I started testing once a day lol. Then twice a week with about a 30% water change once a week... and of course add Safe Start and water conditioner. Your confidence will grow. I just got a 50 gallon lol and im a bit intimidated my self lol. But I really do swear by API Safe Start. It's a continual process as opposed to dumping a bottle of tetra quick start. Tetra bacteria is marine so the bottled bacteria lasts longer but not through a cycle. API is freshwater bacteria but doesn't last as long and that's why you add it every change. Big bottle listed me one month each tank lol. I swear by it!
My babies in their 30 gal
 

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Coffeexmama15

My water changes I started out once every three days. I too lacked a bit of confidence. No one wants to injure or cause suffering. I always added the safe API Safe start. I literally tested 2x a day with API master test kit. Always came out the same so I started testing once a day lol. Then twice a week with about a 30% water change once a week... and of course add Safe Start and water conditioner. Your confidence will grow. I just got a 50 gallon lol and im a bit intimidated my self lol. But I really do swear by API Safe Start. It's a continual process as opposed to dumping a bottle of tetra quick start. Tetra bacteria is marine so the bottled bacteria lasts longer but not through a cycle. API is freshwater bacteria but doesn't last as long and that's why you add it every change. Big bottle listed me one month each tank lol. I swear by it!
Wow that's amazing. Your fishy must be loving that 50 gallon tank! I'll definitely should look into that API Safe Start, sounds like an amazing product. Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope one day I'll gain more knowledge and experience in fishkeeping as well. As a newbie, there's so much to learn and digest. So thankful to find this forum.
My babies in their 30 gal
Awwww they are so precious!
 

WendiWoo

Sorry ☆ API QUICK START
 

FishDin

10-20 ppm is not a problem for the fish, but 10ppm is the legal limit for tap water because it can be dangerous to children, especially infants.
 

mattgirl

Sounds good! I will definitely try giving the fish in cycle a chance! How much % of water change do you recommend? So keep ammonia and nitrite below 0.25? What about the nitrates? Thank you for all your help, I really do appreciate it.
If you read the thread I linked to you know I recommend the API Master test kit and Seachem Prime when doing a fish in cycle. You let your test numbers be your guide as to how much water to change each time. If your test kit tells you the ammonia is up to .50 change out half the water and it will be down to .25 It is the same for nitrites.

We are not overly concerned about the nitrates at this point. Nitrates can go fairly high without affecting your fish. When doing a fish in cycle the ammonia and nitrite numbers are the ones we have to be concerned about. Both are toxic to our fish. We also need to keep an eye on the pH. We want to keep it up to 7 Higher isn't a problem but lower than 7 can slow the cycling process.

Please don't be overly upset if you start using any of the many brands of bottled bacteria and you don't see the same results as others. Some folks do have some success with it. Others not so much. When using most of them it still takes a month or more for a tank to cycle so don't expect an instant cycle. It simply isn't going to happen.

One more thing I want to mention. At one point you considered getting a much bigger tank. I know it seems like taking care of a bigger tank would be more difficult than the small one but actually the bigger one would be easier to keep the ammonia/nitrites down to safer levels than the small tank. The more water there is the more dilution there will be of the waste the fish produce. This is one of the reason I recommended you get the fish out of the bowls and into this tank. More water=more dilution and the tank has a filter. The filter part is very important.

I know the fish are very small now but should grow quickly. Once we get this 10 gallon cycled, meaning we have grown enough ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria to keep both at a constant zero this cycle can be moved over to a bigger tank by simply moving everything in the small tank over to the bigger one. The good news is you will never have to go through this long drawn out cycling process again. :)
 

Coffeexmama15

If you read the thread I linked to you know I recommend the API Master test kit and Seachem Prime when doing a fish in cycle. You let your test numbers be your guide as to how much water to change each time. If your test kit tells you the ammonia is up to .50 change out half the water and it will be down to .25 It is the same for nitrites.

We are not overly concerned about the nitrates at this point. Nitrates can go fairly high without affecting your fish. When doing a fish in cycle the ammonia and nitrite numbers are the ones we have to be concerned about. Both are toxic to our fish. We also need to keep an eye on the pH. We want to keep it up to 7 Higher isn't a problem but lower than 7 can slow the cycling process.

Please don't be overly upset if you start using any of the many brands of bottled bacteria and you don't see the same results as others. Some folks do have some success with it. Others not so much. When using most of them it still takes a month or more for a tank to cycle so don't expect an instant cycle. It simply isn't going to happen.

One more thing I want to mention. At one point you considered getting a much bigger tank. I know it seems like taking care of a bigger tank would be more difficult than the small one but actually the bigger one would be easier to keep the ammonia/nitrites down to safer levels than the small tank. The more water there is the more dilution there will be of the waste the fish produce. This is one of the reason I recommended you get the fish out of the bowls and into this tank. More water=more dilution and the tank has a filter. The filter part is very important.

I know the fish are very small now but should grow quickly. Once we get this 10 gallon cycled, meaning we have grown enough ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria to keep both at a constant zero this cycle can be moved over to a bigger tank by simply moving everything in the small tank over to the bigger one. The good news is you will never have to go through this long drawn out cycling process again. :)
Thank you so much for making this process easier to understand. Being new to this fish keeping hobby is already so overwhelming but I appreciate you taking the time out to explain everything out to me.
My husband agrees we should do the fish in cycle as well. I tested the water today, ammonia is 0.50 right now so I guess after I do a water change it should come down to 0.25 like you mentioned. Do I need to acclimate the fish before putting them in the fish tank? Or just make sure the water temp is as close as possible so I don't shock them? Do you think I should continue to dosed Seachem Stability?
 

mattgirl

I am very glad to help. Since the water in the fish bowl is being changed so often the water in the bowl and in the tank should be very close to the same so no acclimation should need to be done. The only difference might be the temp so yes, try to match it pretty close.

It won't hurt to add the Stability. It might help and since you've already bought it you may as well use it. Just be sure you get all the ammonia out of the tank before moving the fish over.
 

Coffeexmama15

I am very glad to help. Since the water in the fish bowl is being changed so often the water in the bowl and in the tank should be very close to the same so no acclimation should need to be done. The only difference might be the temp so yes, try to match it pretty close.

It won't hurt to add the Stability. It might help and since you've already bought it you may as well use it. Just be sure you get all the ammonia out of the tank before moving the fish over.
Just added both of them to the fish tank. Now I’m not sure if it was a great idea. I can see the little one chasing the the bigger one at the moment. Can you tell me of this behavior is normal or do I need to separate them? How do you know if they are just playing or really fighting?
 

mattgirl

Just added both of them to the fish tank. Now I’m not sure if it was a great idea. I can see the little one chasing the the bigger one at the moment. Can you tell me of this behavior is normal or do I need to separate them? How do you know if they are just playing or really fighting?
I would keep an eye on them. If it is just chasing they may settle down. If it is fin nipping one may have to be removed. As long as no damage is being done I would give them time to get used to the new home. Do you have anything in there to kinda break their line of sight like some kind of plants? If not adding a few things may help if they don't settle in fairly soon.

I do fear this 10 gallon tank may not last long but hopefully we can keep both of them in there at least for a couple of months although 3 or 4 would be even better. By then the tank should be cycled and well established. At that point you will be able to move a good strong cycle and the fish to a bigger tank.
 

Coffeexmama15

Just added both of them to the fish tank. Now I’m not sure if it was a great idea. I can see the little one chasing the the bigger one at the moment. Can you tell me of this behavior is normal or do I need to separate them? How do you know if they are just playing or really fighting?
I would keep an eye on them. If it is just chasing they may settle down. If it is fin nipping one may have to be removed. As long as no damage is being done I would give them time to get used to the new home. Do you have anything in there to kinda break their line of sight like some kind of plants? If not adding a few things may help if they don't settle in fairly soon.

I do fear this 10 gallon tank may not last long but hopefully we can keep both of them in there at least for a couple of months although 3 or 4 would be even better. By then the tank should be cycled and well established. At that point you will be able to move a good strong cycle and the fish to a bigger tank.
Looks like both are settling down slowly but the chasing is from both parts. They were literally going around in circles. Just tested my water today…
PH 8.2
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0.25
Nitrate 10-20

You think my cycle has started based on these numbers? When I tested yesterday my ammonia was 0.25 and nitrite was 0 before placing them in the tank. Do you think I should do a water change or they should be ok until tomorrow?
 

mattgirl

Looks like both are settling down slowly but the chasing is from both parts. They were literally going around in circles. Just tested my water today…
PH 8.2
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0.25
Nitrate 10-20

You think my cycle has started based on these numbers? When I tested yesterday my ammonia was 0.25 and nitrite was 0 before placing them in the tank. Do you think I should do a water change or they should be ok until tomorrow?
I am happy to hear they are settling in. It isn't unusual for our fish to take a little while to get used to tank mates. A bit of chasing is to be expected. As long as it isn't constant and there is no fin nipping they should be alright.

When fish in cycling we want to let our numbers be our guide. Right now the total amount of ammonia plus nitrites is well below one so a water change doesn't need to be done today.
 

Coffeexmama15


image.jpg
hi there! My fish-in cycle is going well so far. I’ve been doing 50% water changes every 2 days as you can see. There’s still no nitrates yet. I already have 10-20 ppm nitrates in my tap as my baseline. Do you think I should be ok to do a water change tomorrow? My water parameter is…
Ammonia 0.50
Nitrite 0.50
Nitrate 10-20ppm ( nitrates in tap water )

do you think I’m fairly close to getting my tank cycle? Also do you think it’ll take longer to cycle since I’ve been doing such frequent water changes?
Actually to clarify I’ve been doing every other day water changes not every 2 days.
 

Coffeexmama15

I am happy to hear they are settling in. It isn't unusual for our fish to take a little while to get used to tank mates. A bit of chasing is to be expected. As long as it isn't constant and there is no fin nipping they should be alright.

When fish in cycling we want to let our numbers be our guide. Right now the total amount of ammonia plus nitrites is well below one so a water change doesn't need to be done today.
Just checking in with an update and have a few questions…
I’m currently on Day 16 of my fish in cycle
Water parameter as follows:
Ammonia 0.25
Nitrite between us 0.50 1.0
Nitrate 10-20 ( nitrates in tap )

For the last 4 days my ammonia has been dropping… staying at 0.25 after water changes to riding nitrites. See attached photo
Do you think my tank is close to getting cycle since nitrites are rising? I was doing water changes every other day… according to the nitrites do you think I should do daily water changes? Do you think doing daily water changes will stall the cycle?
Also I’m going to be out of town from Thursday evening to Sunday… do you think the fish will be ok if I do a 50% water change Thursday before I leave and water change once I get back Sunday?

image.jpg
 

Revan

Just checking in with an update and have a few questions…
I’m currently on Day 16 of my fish in cycle
Water parameter as follows:
Ammonia 0.25
Nitrite between us 0.50 1.0
Nitrate 10-20 ( nitrates in tap )

For the last 4 days my ammonia has been dropping… staying at 0.25 after water changes to riding nitrites. See attached photo
Do you think my tank is close to getting cycle since nitrites are rising? I was doing water changes every other day… according to the nitrites do you think I should do daily water changes? Do you think doing daily water changes will stall the cycle?
Also I’m going to be out of town from Thursday evening to Sunday… do you think the fish will be ok if I do a 50% water change Thursday before I leave and water change once I get back Sunday?

image.jpg
If your ammonia levels are dropping, it either means any plants you have in the tank are taking them in, or bacteria are converting them into nitrites. Either one is great, but the latter shows an increase in ammonia-consuming bacteria.

As for the water changes, I'm not great at analyzing their effects, but if you do a 50% water change today, your ammonia levels would drop to 0.125, nitrites to 0.25-1, and nitrates would stay the same. Depending on how much ammonia your fish produce, it may or may not work. If you're doing a fish-in cycle, however, I'd assume you'd be fine after a 50% water change.
 

Coffeexmama15

If your ammonia levels are dropping, it either means any plants you have in the tank are taking them in, or bacteria are converting them into nitrites. Either one is great, but the latter shows an increase in ammonia-consuming bacteria.

As for the water changes, I'm not great at analyzing their effects, but if you do a 50% water change today, your ammonia levels would drop to 0.125, nitrites to 0.25-1, and nitrates would stay the same. Depending on how much ammonia your fish produce, it may or may not work. If you're doing a fish-in cycle, however, I'd assume you'd be fine after a 50% water change.
Thank you so much for your quick response! I appreciate all your help!
I’m going out of town from Thursday to Sunday… Do you think they will be OK if I do a water change Thursday before I leave and do one right when I come back?
 

mattgirl

Thank you so much for your quick response! I appreciate all your help!
I’m going out of town from Thursday to Sunday… Do you think they will be OK if I do a water change Thursday before I leave and do one right when I come back?
since you are going to be gone I don't think there is much we can say. We can't say whether or not they will be OK as much as we would like to.

I would do 2 50% water changes the day before you leave to get both ammonia and nitrites as low as possible. I will recommend you pour in a bottle of Tetra Safe Start plus just before you leave. By doing so it may keep both ammonia and nitrites down. In fact you may find your cycle done or very close to done when you get back.

Run your tests the day you get back. If both ammonia and nitrites are still there but the total amount of ammonia and nitrites are below one don't do a water change. Give the TSS+ more time to work. As long as both stay low give the TSS+ a full 2 weeks to finish its job.
 

Coffeexmama15

since you are going to be gone I don't think there is much we can say. We can't say whether or not they will be OK as much as we would like to.

I would do 2 50% water changes the day before you leave to get both ammonia and nitrites as low as possible. I will recommend you pour in a bottle of Tetra Safe Start plus just before you leave. By doing so it may keep both ammonia and nitrites down. In fact you may find your cycle done or very close to done when you get back.

Run your tests the day you get back. If both ammonia and nitrites are still there but the total amount of ammonia and nitrites are below one don't do a water change. Give the TSS+ more time to work. As long as both stay low give the TSS+ a full 2 weeks to finish its job.
How do I do 2 50% water change? Should I add prime and stability as well?
How do I do 2 50% water change? Should I add prime and stability as well?
since you are going to be gone I don't think there is much we can say. We can't say whether or not they will be OK as much as we would like to.

I would do 2 50% water changes the day before you leave to get both ammonia and nitrites as low as possible. I will recommend you pour in a bottle of Tetra Safe Start plus just before you leave. By doing so it may keep both ammonia and nitrites down. In fact you may find your cycle done or very close to done when you get back.

Run your tests the day you get back. If both ammonia and nitrites are still there but the total amount of ammonia and nitrites are below one don't do a water change. Give the TSS+ more time to work. As long as both stay low give the TSS+ a full 2 weeks to finish its job.
I’m sorry. I have a few more questions… when I do my water change before I go… do I add prime? I head if I add prime.. tss will not work? Is that true? I mean I need to prime the tap water or tss will replace prime?
 

Revan

How do I do 2 50% water change? Should I add prime and stability as well?


I’m sorry. I have a few more questions… when I do my water change before I go… do I add prime? I head if I add prime.. tss will not work? Is that true? I mean I need to prime the tap water or tss will replace prime?
To do 2 50% water changes, you’ll want to do a 50% water change, replacing water, then do another 50%.

As for the latter questions, you should always add prime (or another dechlorinator) to tap water. You can add it to the vessel you use to hold the water before you add it to the tank. I usually dose enough for the whole tank, as Seachem Prime is super potent.
 

mattgirl

How do I do 2 50% water change? Should I add prime and stability as well?


I’m sorry. I have a few more questions… when I do my water change before I go… do I add prime? I head if I add prime.. tss will not work? Is that true? I mean I need to prime the tap water or tss will replace prime?
No TSS+ does not replace Prime. TSS is bottled bacteria. Prime is a water conditioner. You need the water conditioner to remove the chlorine from your tap water. When doing a fish in cycle we use prime because it detoxes low levels of ammonia. If fish weren't in there any water conditioner would work just fine.

You can use both Prime and TSS+. You just have to wait for 24 hours after adding prime before adding the TSS. This is why I said to do the water changes the day before you leave and add the TSS+ the day you leave which should be 24 hours after adding Prime.

As to the water changes. Change out 50% of the water and then a few hours later change out 50% again. These water changes should get both ammonia and nitrites down to almost nothing. Add enough prime to treat the water with each water change. I wouldn't add the Stability if you are going to add the TSS+.
 

Coffeexmama15

No TSS+ does not replace Prime. TSS is bottled bacteria. Prime is a water conditioner. You need the water conditioner to remove the chlorine from your tap water. When doing a fish in cycle we use prime because it detoxes low levels of ammonia. If fish weren't in there any water conditioner would work just fine.

You can use both Prime and TSS+. You just have to wait for 24 hours after adding prime before adding the TSS. This is why I said to do the water changes the day before you leave and add the TSS+ the day you leave which should be 24 hours after adding Prime.

As to the water changes. Change out 50% of the water and then a few hours later change out 50% again. These water changes should get both ammonia and nitrites down to almost nothing. Add enough prime to treat the water with each water change. I wouldn't add the Stability if you are going to add the TSS+.
Got some good news today…
I did a 50% water change last night…
Now current water parameter
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0.25
Nitrate 5 ( I think I was reading the nitrate wrong)
I test my tap water again and it is 5ppm not 10-20ppm
 

Coffeexmama15

Got some good news today…
I did a 50% water change last night…
Now current water parameter
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0.25
Nitrate 5 ( I think I was reading the nitrate wrong)
I test my tap water again and it is 5ppm not 10-20ppm
No TSS+ does not replace Prime. TSS is bottled bacteria. Prime is a water conditioner. You need the water conditioner to remove the chlorine from your tap water. When doing a fish in cycle we use prime because it detoxes low levels of ammonia. If fish weren't in there any water conditioner would work just fine.

You can use both Prime and TSS+. You just have to wait for 24 hours after adding prime before adding the TSS. This is why I said to do the water changes the day before you leave and add the TSS+ the day you leave which should be 24 hours after adding Prime.

As to the water changes. Change out 50% of the water and then a few hours later change out 50% again. These water changes should get both ammonia and nitrites down to almost nothing. Add enough prime to treat the water with each water change. I wouldn't add the Stability if you are going to add the TSS+.
Hi Mattgirl,

I think I have some good news today…

I finally got nitrates … is this 40ppm? I’m having a hard time reading this but I know this is the first time ive seen a different color for nitrate. ( see photo)

also am I reading ammonia 0.25 and nitrite 0.50?

Thank you so much for helping me along this fish in journey. I really do appreciate all the time you put in to answer my questions.
 

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mattgirl

This is good news. It means you now have some nitrite eating bacteria. If not your nitrates would not be going up. When are you leaving on your vacation? Are you still planning on adding TSS the day you leave? Now that you have both ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria the TSS may give this cycle just what it needs to finish up quickly. In fact you may find it done or very very close to it by the time you get back from the vacation.
 

Coffeexmama15

This is good news. It means you now have some nitrite eating bacteria. If not your nitrates would not be going up. When are you leaving on your vacation? Are you still planning on adding TSS the day you leave? Now that you have both ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria the TSS may give this cycle just what it needs to finish up quickly. In fact you may find it done or very very close to it by the time you get back from the vacation.
I know! You have no idea how excited I am to see the nitrate reading more then 5-10ppm…

yes, I will be leaving Thursday afternoon and will follow your recommendation to add the whole bottle of tss before I leave. So how should I go forward on Thursday…

So do I should do my water change then just add the whole bottle of tss? And when I return test again & don’t do any water change until 2 weeks later?
 

Coffeexmama15

I know! You have no idea how excited I am to see the nitrate reading more then 5-10ppm…

yes, I will be leaving Thursday afternoon and will follow your recommendation to add the whole bottle of tss before I leave. So how should I go forward on Thursday…

So do I should do my water change then just add the whole bottle of tss? And when I return test again & don’t do any water change until 2 weeks later?
This is good news. It means you now have some nitrite eating bacteria. If not your nitrates would not be going up. When are you leaving on your vacation? Are you still planning on adding TSS the day you leave? Now that you have both ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria the TSS may give this cycle just what it needs to finish up quickly. In fact you may find it done or very very close to it by the time you get back from the vacation.
Good afternoon Mattgirl…

I somehow missed your instructions on how to add tetra safe start. Unfortunately, It got buried in my thread. I got my tetra safe start but I won’t be adding the bottle now since I didn’t do my water change yesterday so I can add it today before I leave. I will add it when I come back then. In the meantime I’ll do two 50 % water changes before I leave.
Good afternoon Mattgirl…

I somehow missed your instructions on how to add tetra safe start. Unfortunately, It got buried in my thread. I got my tetra safe start but I won’t be adding the bottle now since I didn’t do my water change yesterday so I can add it today before I leave. I will add it when I come back then. In the meantime I’ll do two 50 % water changes before I leave.
I mean I will not be adding the tss until I return back from vacation
 

mattgirl

I'm sorry you missed my reply. The reason behind my recommendation was so the TSS would help while you were gone. You may or may not need it by the time you get back.
 

Coffeexmama15

I'm sorry you missed my reply. The reason behind my recommendation was so the TSS would help while you were gone. You may or may not need it by the time you get back.
Hi Mattgirl…

I’m back from my vacation now. Here are my water parameters

I’m having a hard time reading it…

is it ammonia 0 or 0.25
Nitrite is 2.0?
Nitrate 20 ppm? Or higher like 160ppm
Should I do two 50% water changes today?
 

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mattgirl

I am sorry I wasn't online yesterday afternoon. Wasn't feeling well. Your nitrates look to be fine. I see orange in the test tube so it definitely isn't 160. I would do a 50% water change to lower the nitrites though. Ammonia is looking very good. Adding the TSS+ now may push this cycle all the way to the end very quickly so go ahead and add it now.
 

Coffeexmama15

Hi Mattgirl!
Hope you’re feeling better now. Yes, I already did a 50% water change yesterday when I got home after I tested. So for today, I should add the whole bottle? After that I should I test everyday but don’t do water change for 2 weeks?
I am sorry I wasn't online yesterday afternoon. Wasn't feeling well. Your nitrates look to be fine. I see orange in the test tube so it definitely isn't 160. I would do a 50% water change to lower the nitrites though. Ammonia is looking very good. Adding the TSS+ now may push this cycle all the way to the end very quickly so go ahead and add it now.
Hi Mattgirl!
Hope you’re feeling better now. Yes, I already did a 50% water change yesterday when I got home after I tested. So for today, I should add the whole bottle? After that I should I test everyday but don’t do water change for 2 weeks?
 

mattgirl

Hi Mattgirl!
Hope you’re feeling better now. Yes, I already did a 50% water change yesterday when I got home after I tested. So for today, I should add the whole bottle? After that I should I test everyday but don’t do water change for 2 weeks?

Hi Mattgirl!
Hope you’re feeling better now. Yes, I already did a 50% water change yesterday when I got home after I tested. So for today, I should add the whole bottle? After that I should I test everyday but don’t do water change for 2 weeks?
I am feeling better today. Thank you for asking. Yes, add the whole bottle. Keep an eye on the ammonia level. If it goes no higher than .5 leave it alone and let the TSS work. I suspect it won't get that high though. I also expect the nitrites to drop pretty quick.
 

Coffeexmama15

I am feeling better today. Thank you for asking. Yes, add the whole bottle. Keep an eye on the ammonia level. If it goes no higher than .5 leave it alone and let the TSS work. I suspect it won't get that high though. I also expect the nitrites to drop pretty quick.

I am feeling better today. Thank you for asking. Yes, add the whole bottle. Keep an eye on the ammonia level. If it goes no higher than .5 leave it alone and let the TSS work. I suspect it won't get that high though. I also expect the nitrites to drop pretty quick.
Good afternoon!
I added the whole bottle yesterday. It’s been 12 hours since so I decided to test…
I think my ammonia is 0ppm is that right? Should I worry about the nitrite level? Looks about 1.0 ppm for nitrite. I know I should leave it alone if the ammonia stays lower then 0.50ppm but what about nitrite levels?
 

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mattgirl

Good afternoon!
I added the whole bottle yesterday. It’s been 12 hours since so I decided to test…
I think my ammonia is 0ppm is that right? Should I worry about the nitrite level? Looks about 1.0 ppm for nitrite. I know I should leave it alone if the ammonia stays lower then 0.50ppm but what about nitrite levels?
If not for the TSS I would be recommending water changes to lower the nitrites but at this point I would just let the TSS work. Hopefully the nitrites will drop within a day or two.
 

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