Getting Nitrogen Cycle in New Tank

gopikrish81

Hi,

To start with - I learnt about nitrogen cycle and establishing tank only after losing my first fish. Even the Aquarium seller did not mention about it

I bought the tank (attached picture) on 31st Jan and along with it 2 artificial plant, gravel. Along with the tank came water pump with filter and sponge, siphon cleaner tube.
2 fantail goldfish (2.5 inch), 2 orange guppy, 2 black guppy, 2 blackskirt tetra(glo fish yellow fluorescent), 2 neon tetras.

On 2nd day one of the neon died and immediately I researched online to find that neon's are schooling group and do best with family of 6 or more. So I purchased 7 more neon's and added the same day!
Next day another neon died and on 4th day a black guppy and on 5th day another neon died. Purchased 2 more guppies (orange and yellow tail) on 6th day (friday) along with 2 live plants(hoping for more hiding place and also read that live plants can aid in faster nitrogen cycle process), and on 8th day the recently purchased yellow tail guppy also died (ie yesterday Sunday). So 5 died out of total 19 and 14 remain as of now.

I feed only 2-3 pinches morning and evening and tank is not under any sunlight and it is in my living room which is not bright ( I can say quite dark on day time and lights on only from 6PM - 11 PM) and with filters running 24x7. Also the water is quite warm since we live in tropical climate.

Today I purchased API Fresh Water Master Test Kit and this is what I am planning to do -

  • Whatever fish maybe remaining, continue to run the tank with filter on always and hoping that tank gets established with benefetial bacteria by 42 days(6 weeks)
  • Will be getting the test kit by this saturday and perform water test for ammonia, nitrates and nitrites once in 7 days. If any high ppm is noticed perform 25% water change immediately or else perform 25% water change on 20th day and another 25% water change on 40th day, before finally performing water test on 42nd day and if all is fine(with 0 ppm) then only purchase additional fish (to start with 4 and gradually increase another to another 4 the following week)

1) So my ask for experts is if my above plan looks good? I am not sure how to check if my tank got established fully.
2) So my assumption is if water test return 0 ppm of ammonia, nitrate and nitrites then tank must have got full nitrogen cycle, correct?
3) Also, can I rinse the filter lightly once with little of my existing tank water in a bowl (maybe in between around 20th day?) since I am afraid it may wash off if any benefetial bacterias forming colonies. But today I just removed 2 or 3 dirt particles manually from sponge pores. But not seeing any major dirt in sponge except the color of white sponge has turned little grey in some parts.

So above 3 are my questions to experts and highly appreciate your suggestion on these 3 points or you also correct me if my plan is entirely wrong!
Thanks in advance!

PS: Picture with tank1(with flashlight on), tank2(with flashlight off) so there is a difference in color appearence, but to naked eye water looks clear and white only.
 

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Makalah

Hi,

To start with - I learnt about nitrogen cycle and establishing tank only after losing my first fish. Even the Aquarium seller did not mention about it

I bought the tank (attached picture) on 31st Jan and along with it 2 artificial plant, gravel. Along with the tank came water pump with filter and sponge, siphon cleaner tube.
2 fantail goldfish (2.5 inch), 2 orange guppy, 2 black guppy, 2 blackskirt tetra(glo fish yellow fluorescent), 2 neon tetras.

On 2nd day one of the neon died and immediately I researched online to find that neon's are schooling group and do best with family of 6 or more. So I purchased 7 more neon's and added the same day!
Next day another neon died and on 4th day a black guppy and on 5th day another neon died. Purchased 2 more guppies (orange and yellow tail) on 6th day (friday) along with 2 live plants(hoping for more hiding place and also read that live plants can aid in faster nitrogen cycle process), and on 8th day the recently purchased yellow tail guppy also died (ie yesterday Sunday). So 5 died out of total 19 and 14 remain as of now.

I feed only 2-3 pinches morning and evening and tank is not under any sunlight and it is in my living room which is not bright ( I can say quite dark on day time and lights on only from 6PM - 11 PM) and with filters running 24x7. Also the water is quite warm since we live in tropical climate.

Today I purchased API Fresh Water Master Test Kit and this is what I am planning to do -

  • Whatever fish maybe remaining, continue to run the tank with filter on always and hoping that tank gets established with benefetial bacteria by 42 days(6 weeks)
  • Will be getting the test kit by this saturday and perform water test for ammonia, nitrates and nitrites once in 7 days. If any high ppm is noticed perform 25% water change immediately or else perform 25% water change on 20th day and another 25% water change on 40th day, before finally performing water test on 42nd day and if all is fine(with 0 ppm) then only purchase additional fish (to start with 4 and gradually increase another to another 4 the following week)

1) So my ask for experts is if my above plan looks good? I am not sure how to check if my tank got established fully.
2) So my assumption is if water test return 0 ppm of ammonia, nitrate and nitrites then tank must have got full nitrogen cycle, correct?
3) Also, can I rinse the filter lightly once with little of my existing tank water in a bowl (maybe in between around 20th day?) since I am afraid it may wash off if any benefetial bacterias forming colonies. But today I just removed 2 or 3 dirt particles manually from sponge pores. But not seeing any major dirt in sponge except the color of white sponge has turned little grey in some parts.

So above 3 are my questions to experts and highly appreciate your suggestion on these 3 points or you also correct me if my plan is entirely wrong!
Thanks in advance!

PS: Picture with tank1(with flashlight on), tank2(with flashlight off) so there is a difference in color appearence, but to naked eye water looks clear and white only.
Hello! I am by no means an expert but how many gallons is your tank? Fantail goldfish alone need a ton of room at least 30 gallons for one and then additional 10 gallons per fish there after so for example if you have a 40 gallon you could get two. Goldfish also have a huge bio load so it’s likely with those goldfish alone your beneficial bacteria cannot keep up. I believe with your other fish you are overstocked for the size of your tank and your bioload is too much for your tank to handle.
 
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RunsOnCoffee

I am sorry to hear that you got such bad advice at the store.

Let's start with your questions and then with the other issues.

1) You will have to do bigger water changes more frequently until the beneficial bacteria in your filter become established. I would recommend to do at least 50% water changes every day. You are very much overstocked and goldfish are messy. (I'll touch on the stocking issues after answering your questions.)
Even without your test kit having gotten there yet, perform a large water change ASAP. At least 75%. I am sure that you have lost so many fish because of very high ammonia levels. Do not put in more fish!

2) Establishing your beneficial bacteria will take weeks - and most times longer than a month. You can see if you're Nitrogen Cycle is "set up" when you have 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite and Nitrates above 0. Nitrates rising means you are cycled. 0 Nitrates typically only happens in low stocked heavily planted tanks.

3) I would not recommend rinsing your filter when you are still trying to establish your beneficial bacteria. The first time I rinsed my filter media was when the cycle on my tanks had been established for at least 3 or 4 months.

While you are doing the "fish-in-cycle" I recommend testing every day. You are going to want to keep an eye on your ammonia and nitrite levels. They will determine how much water you will need to change out.

Now, your stocking issues. Guppies, Neons, and Goldfish do not go well together because of their vastly different temperature requirements. Guppies and Neons prefer warmer water, while Goldfish prefer water on the colder side. Also, Goldfish need larger tanks. Even if they're fantails.
What size is your tank? How many gallons? At what temperature do you keep the water?

I highly recommend reading up on the fish and their requirements, rehoming/returning of your fish or some of them, and making sure your tank is properly cycled. Seachem Prime is what we recommend as water conditioner since it helps to detoxify small amounts of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
Look up "fish-in-cycle", too.

Welcome to Fishlore, and welcome to the hobby. Stay assured that you're not the first one who got thrown into the deep end like that.
 
Upvote 0

gopikrish81

Hello! I am by no means an expert but how many gallons is your tank? Fantail goldfish alone need a ton of room at least 30 gallons for one and then additional 10 gallons per fish there after so for example if you have a 40 gallon you could get two. Goldfish also have a huge bio load so it’s likely with those goldfish alone your beneficial bacteria cannot keep up. I believe with your other fish you are overstocked for the size of your tank and your bioload is too much for your tank to handle.

I am not exactly sure of tank size but its definately above 5 Gallon and less than or equal to 7 Gallon (i.e above 20 Litres and less than or equal to 27 Litres)
I am sorry to hear that you got such bad advice at the store.

Let's start with your questions and then with the other issues.

1) You will have to do bigger water changes more frequently until the beneficial bacteria in your filter become established. I would recommend to do at least 50% water changes every day. You are very much overstocked and goldfish are messy. (I'll touch on the stocking issues after answering your questions.)
Even without your test kit having gotten there yet, perform a large water change ASAP. At least 75%. I am sure that you have lost so many fish because of very high ammonia levels. Do not put in more fish!

2) Establishing your beneficial bacteria will take weeks - and most times longer than a month. You can see if you're Nitrogen Cycle is "set up" when you have 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite and Nitrates above 0. Nitrates rising means you are cycled. 0 Nitrates typically only happens in low stocked heavily planted tanks.

3) I would not recommend rinsing your filter when you are still trying to establish your beneficial bacteria. The first time I rinsed my filter media was when the cycle on my tanks had been established for at least 3 or 4 months.

While you are doing the "fish-in-cycle" I recommend testing every day. You are going to want to keep an eye on your ammonia and nitrite levels. They will determine how much water you will need to change out.

Now, your stocking issues. Guppies, Neons, and Goldfish do not go well together because of their vastly different temperature requirements. Guppies and Neons prefer warmer water, while Goldfish prefer water on the colder side. Also, Goldfish need larger tanks. Even if they're fantails.
What size is your tank? How many gallons? At what temperature do you keep the water?

I highly recommend reading up on the fish and their requirements, rehoming/returning of your fish or some of them, and making sure your tank is properly cycled. Seachem Prime is what we recommend as water conditioner since it helps to detoxify small amounts of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
Look up "fish-in-cycle", too.

Welcome to Fishlore, and welcome to the hobby. Stay assured that you're not the first one who got thrown into the deep end like that.

That was a great answer! Thanks very much

I am not exactly sure of tank size but its definately above 5 Gallon and less than or equal to 7 Gallon (i.e above 20 Litres and less than or equal to 27 Litres)

Temperature of tank water must be around 26-28 degree celcius (78 F - 82 F)

Edit: I re-measured again my tank capacity and it is 32 Litres (8.5 Gallon)
 
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