Goldfish Cycle

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Pamela M., Apr 26, 2017.

  1. Pamela M.New MemberMember

    so I started my 29g tank 2 days ago. I started using API Quick start to start cycling. Nothing was happening. I know it takes awhile but with a brand new tank and Penguin 200 filter, I wanted to see thing happen fast. I started 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 0 nitrate. I wanted to do the fishless cycle to be humane. So today I went to the LFS to purchase the API master test kit, Seachem Prime and Stability. Only found the kit and apparently no one sells stability . The fish guy at Petco advised me to get 2 small goldfish to kickstart my cycle and said within 3-4 wks I should be good to get the fish I originally planned on getting. So when I got home from work at midnight (I'm a nurse so that's the norm for me) I checked my levels and I'm currently at 0.25-0.5 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, 7.5 pH. Also my temp has remained at 82•F even when I turned it off when I got the goldfish (was worried it might be too hot for them).

    Any tips? Am I doing alright?? I'm just too excited to get my first fish tank up and running and it gets in the way of me knowing this is a long process lol

    Thank you in advance for your help

  2. Dave125gFishlore LegendMember

    Patients . it takes time. Its hard to cycle with gold fish as they are major waste producers, so keep an eye on your ammonia levels and do frequent water changes . what is your PH?

  3. Summer22Valued MemberMember

    Do you have a plan on what to do with your smaller goldfish (they still get big) after your done cycling or are those the ones you want to keep forever? Goldfish are very hardy and I cycled my first tank with them.

    Do you know what kind of goldfish they are? What kind are the ones you want in the end? I wouldn't do any more than 2 fancy goldfish in a 29 g. That's even pushing it a bit. Ideally they need 20 gallons per fancy variety and the commets/common need a pond as they aren't suitable for a tank really. Though no store employee will tell you this. It's because goldfish are considered very "dirty" fish and get huge. Here's a photo of my 1 year old fan tailed goldfish... he's 6 1/2 inches from nose to tail and 4 1/2 inches from top to bottom.

    As far as your cycle it takes time. My 55 gallon took 6 weeks. some take 1 month, some 3 weeks. Every cycle is a little different.

    Here's a link to a picture that shows what you can expect during the cycle process in regards to testing water parameters.

    I think you are doing everything right. Just do frequent water testing and change your water a lot to keep ammonia and nitrite from harming your fish. Someone else will have to suggest how much/how often..I'm not 100% sure just know it'll need to be more than once a week 25%. I recommend getting a notebook if you don't already have one to keep track of you numbers so you can see what's going on and be sure of the progress.
    Good Luck!

  4. Pamela M.New MemberMember

    PH 7.5
    How often and how much water change?

    Yeah I read up on the gold fish last night and never realized they're meant for ponds. Crazy! The LFS guy told me I can either return them or give them away to someone who raises goldfish. I believe they're comet goldfish cuz the tails are long and somewhat pointy. I can't upload photos from my phone, says the file is too large. They do have some black on the top.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  5. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Obviously, it would be best to return them and get your money back. ;)

    Then I would recommend continuing your tank cycle without fish by adding another source of ammonia (pure ammonia or fish food) and while your tank continues to cycle and grow BB(beneficial bacteria) you can research what stock you want in the tank. I'd advise you start another thread once you get an idea of what can be kept in your size tank and get some feedback from the forum on recommended stock. There's quite a few things to keep in mind when choosing stock, like temperature, bullying, fish that need a school of 6+, but many people here will be glad to help.
  6. Pamela M.New MemberMember

    Yeah I noticed when I got home last night the water was already cloudy and I added some Accu-Clear.
    I've already gotten some advise on my stock and some actually said I could add a school of tetras if I wanted...

    1x Dwarf Gourami (77°-82°, 3 in)

    1x Cockatoo Apisto (79-84•, 2-3.5 in)

    6x Albino Cory (72-79°, 2 in)

    4x Guppies (male) (66°-84°, 2 in)

    2x Dalmatian Mollies (70°-82°, 2-4 in)
  7. VioletSSValued MemberMember

    My tank cycled in 4 weeks, with no fish. You could possibly cycle in the same amount of time using ammonia and not have to stress out two little fish that you don't intend to keep.

    No one can predict to the day how long a tank will take to cycle, but personally I would use the ammonia and then leave it alone - it takes time for this organic process to happen. You don't need to add a lot of chemicals to treat things. Your tank will probably look awful at some point. Nature is messy sometimes.
  8. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Awesome! Your already a step ahead of me then. :p

    I'm no expert on stocking, so I really can't help there, but it seems like you've already been getting good advice on that in your other thread. From what I can tell, your stocking list looks good. The Apisto and Cory don't have much temperature overlap, but if you keep the tank around 79° it should be fine.
  9. Pamela M.New MemberMember

    Where can I get a bottle of pure ammonia? I went to Petco yesterday to try and look for a bottle before the fish guy basically convinced me to get 2 goldfish to do my cycle instead.
  10. VioletSSValued MemberMember

    I went there too, and they didn't have any.

    I ended up ordering from Amazon. I first tried looking in hardware stores, but had no luck. The tricky bit is that the ammonia can't have any thing in it that makes it bubble. If you find some and shake the container and it foams - it won't work for this process. You need just ammonia and water.

    Eta: Okay the brand I used was "Austin's Clear Ammonia". One note if you get this kind: I think it was dilute. People mention using a number of drops per gallon. I ended up doing more than drops. You'll need a ml dispenser. If you have kids, you probably have one kicking around your medicine cabinet. If not - you can get one at a pharmacy. Our pharmacy gives them out free.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
  11. Pamela M.New MemberMember

    Darn...I'm going to have to take these back then. My son already named them after his favorite TV show
    My ammonia this morning is now a solid 0.5. Still nothing on nitrite/nitrate. While I'm on amazon I'm going to buy some stability. Should I use the ammonia by itself at first? Dose day by day? What's the equation?
  12. VioletSSValued MemberMember

    I think I dosed to keep the ammonia at a constant level, in the beginning that wasn't every day. You're waiting for bacteria to start converting it. There are many online articles about how to do it. And I'm pretty sure there's even information here, in another part of the main forum.
    You can do it! :emoji_thumbsup:
  13. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Here is a quick and fairly accurate guide to doing a fishless cycle using pure ammonia:  
    They also sell and ammonia source in the form of Ammonium Chloride that you can use. You can get the same product off Amazon but it's much more expensive for some reason.

    Many have also used this Ace Hardware product with successfully cycling a tank:  
    It's what I used and it's funny that the only review for it was from someone cycling their tank... :joyful:
  14. chadoNew MemberMember

    What kind of fish are you hoping to put in the tank once it cycles?
    I find that planning and researching that helps with the patience thing...but then again sometimes it makes it worse!
    Like Summer said, patience is the key. Keep up with the testing and water changes and everything should be fine.
  15. Pamela M.New MemberMember

    1x Gourami (77°-82°, 3 in)

    1x Cockatoo Apisto (79-84•, 2-3.5 in)

    6x Albino Cory (72-79°, 2 in)

    4x Guppies (male) (66°-84°, 2 in)

    2x Dalmatian Mollies (70°-82°, 2-4 in)

    And someone mentioned I can even add a school of about 6 neon tetra if I wanted.

    How often should I do water changes?? Every time I ask no one replies :(
  16. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    If you have a local Ace Hardware they sell correct ammonia for about $2.75 for a lifetime supply. It must not contain surfactants, perfumes etc. Should say on the ingredients list. Or shake it and it shouldn't foam up like it has detergent in.

    I have cycled five tanks lately. With and without fish. They all took about 21 days. Cycling with fish is painful when the nitrites spiked in all but a very small tank. You can't change the water often enough. Ammonia is better because you can dose it higher with much more control.
  17. BluMan1914Well Known MemberMember

    Once a week of at least 30-40%.
    Depending on your filter, maybe once every two weeks. If you go every two weeks, I suggest 40-60%.
  18. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry, must have missed that part. :(

    You want to change the water only if your nitrites get above 4ppm, since this can actually cause your cycle to stall.

    So, bring the ammonia up to 1-2ppm. Then wait for that to go to 0-.25ppm. It may take a day or it may take a few depending on how far your cycle has got already. While the tank starts converting this ammonia to nitrite you will want to keep an eye on the nitrite to make sure it doesn't go above 4ppm for the reason of possibly stalling your cycle even more. If the water stays below 4ppm nitrite and your ammonia goes down to 0-.25ppm you can give it more ammonia to bring it back up to 1-2ppm again.

    Eventually you will have nitrites creeping up to 3-4ppm or higher and this is when you want to do a water change to bring the nitrite level back down to 1-2ppm. You basically want to just dose the ammonia at this point to keep the nitrites around 1-2ppm until it starts getting converted into nitrates. Once this starts happening you keep at it until you can dose the tank with 1-2ppm of ammonia and have it converted to nitrite, then to nitrate in a 24 hour period and have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites after 24 hours.

    I hope this helps!

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