Has Been Deep Cleaned With The Fish In, What Do I Do Now About Cycling?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by jaymethy, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. jaymethyValued MemberMember

    Hey folks,

    I got home from university to find that my parents, two days before I got home, had taken all the decor and plants (plastic) out of my aquarium and scrubbed them down (with bleach). They'd also vacuumed all the gravel, scrubbed the walls of the tank with a scraper, taken apart the filter and cleaned it with tap water, and changed the filter media...
    So all that probably accounted to two 50% water changes as well...

    I currently have two panda cory catfish in there (who thankfully are looking okay). I guess this means I'm most likely running a fish in cycle for the next couple weeks... which was not my plan, as I had a plan for re-stocking the aquarium.

    So any suggestions for making this as short and painless for my corys? Thanks.
  2. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    whoa. first, tell your parents how many things they did wrong! No bleach without some serious rinsing! never ever replace the filter media all in one go! never use untreated tap water on anything in the tank (unless, like me, you're on rainwater).

    anyway, after that, suggest they can partially make up for the giant pain in the bum you're about to have by buying you the following:

    Seachem stability (bottled bacteria) - a big one
    Seachem prime - a big one
    Several new buckets and siphon to make the many water changes you'll need to make daily easier
    the API freshwater master test kit

    Step 1 - if there could be ANY residual bleach, do some big water changes
    Step 2 - test your water ammonia, nitrite, nitrate
    Step 3 - put in DOUBLE the first time dose of stability (5mil per 40L is recommended, double it)
    Step 4 - if there is any ammonia or nitrite, dose with prime

    as your ammonia and nitrite levels creep up, you'll need to start doing partial water changes.

    Prime detoxified ammonia + nitrite up to a total of 1ppm combined.

    so .5 ammonia + .25 nitrite is safe enough that you dont need a water change, and can just dose with prime

    once the levels meet or exceed 1ppm, you need to start water changes to keep them below a combined 1ppm (and also dose with prime)

    dose with the stability at double the regular dose daily (5ml per 80L is recommended - double it). once you start water changes, be sure to dose after your wc's or directly in your filter.

    other people may suggest other products like Dr Tims or Tetra Safe Start, which both need different things than i've written above. my steps are based on doing this with stability and prime :)

    good luck and school your parents ;)

  3. jaymethyValued MemberMember

    Thankfully I've already got bottled bacteria, and a siphon that connects directly to my sink. So I'm just off to the aquarium depot tomorrow to pick up prime and a test kit.

    Thanks so much! Hopefully I can get this over with in a couple of weeks.

  4. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    wow, i'm envious of people who have the direct tap siphons! i need to research that more because i'm not sure how to add water conditioner to them before the water gets to the tank... we just use buckets. lolz.

    which BB do you have? there are experts in TSS, TSS+ and Dr Tim's on this forum who can help with each specifically :)

    good luck!

    the other option i forgot to mention is asking a friend to have some of their cycled media to seed your tank (unless you have another tank that is cycled?)... this will help your tank cycle in the 2 weeks you have :)
  5. jaymethyValued MemberMember

    I'm going to be honest, I just add the water conditioner to the tank after adding the water... I've been doing it for 10 years without a problem. Granted I've only had some pretty small, hardy (and cheap) tropical fish.

    I have a big al's brand BB (I think its canadian). Though now that I'm thinking about it, its pretty old and I cant find an expiration date on it, so I'll probably just replace it.
  6. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    ah, well i don't know big al's but i've seen people on here mention that brand. if you can get stability, i've had great success....but only when doubling the recommended doses. when i stuck to the doses on the bottle, i found little improvement.

    if your water isn't chlorinated, that could be why adding the conditioner after works for you? also i've read that adding conditioner straight after can prevent any harm.
  7. pugletfanWell Known MemberMember

    I have heard that people who use Python water changers dose Prime directly to the tank, the full dose for your tank volume, and then add the water to the tank. The Prime mixes with the water as it enters the tank and conditions it.

    I still use buckets, but I only have one 29 gallon aquarium. I add Prime to the new water in the bucket, dosing the amount of new water. Hope that makes sense!
  8. jaymethyValued MemberMember

    Thats what I do. I just add the water conditioner (which was a different brand than prime up until the other day) straight to the tank at the full dose for the water volume. I'm sure its not a case of the water not having chlorine because I'm in an urban area.

    Thought I'd update. So far it seems that I may have gotten off lucky. My ammonia, nitrate and nitrite readings are all currently zero, and its been about 4 days with a few fish in the tank. Will keep watching!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2018
  9. JoeCamaroWell Known MemberMember

    I hope your parents didn't get in trouble for this. After all, I'm sure they had the best intentions in mind and they may not be familiar with the process and principles.
    I'm glad your fish are doing good.
  10. jaymethyValued MemberMember

    Yea they definitely had the best intentions. Prior to them cleaning my tank was overrun with algae, so they were probably trying to resolve that issue.
  11. jaymethyValued MemberMember

    Another update,

    I picked up 3 guppys the other day, in case I needed a higher bioload to make sure it was cycling. Its now been a week since this whole thing happened, and all my levels are still 0. Looks like I got lucky.

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