Help With 1 Week Old Aquarium

Neilt
  • #1
HI all!

I recently decided to get back into the aquarium hobby. I had a small 10 gallon tank when I was young, so I know all about the nitrogen cycle. I remember waiting about a week for the tank to cycle, after which water tests were good! Never really had problems with ammonia spikes.

Or maybe I did, and just didn't know it

Anyway, this time I've gone with a 20 gallon tank! I set it up one week ago. Here is my log:

Day 1: 75% water change, bacteria added, 9 plants added
Day 2: 50% water change, bacteria added, 3 plants added, extra filter media added
Day 3: removed small snail from tank
Day 4: water test (NH3/4 - .25, NO3 - 60, NO2 - .5), bacteria added
Day 5: bacteria added
Day 6: water test (NH3/4 - 0, NO3 - 30, NO2 - 1), bacteria added, 5 zebra danios added
Day 7: water test (NH3/4 - .5, NO3 - 40, NO2 - 1), 25% water change, bacteria added
Day 8: water test (NH3/4 - .5, NO3 - 80, NO2 - 3), bacteria added, removed carbon from filter

I removed the carbon from my filter at the suggestion of the aquarium store. They also suggested a 50% water change, which I haven't done yet. I am concerned about the amount of nitrite present...though I didn't want to do another water change this early.

If I do say a 50% change, will that also mean that I lose 50% of the bacteria that I need?
 
Sion
  • #2
The bacteria live primarily in the filter and to a lesser degree on the tank substrate, plants and decorations. They don't live in the water.
 
Neilt
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
But wouldn't 50% of food (ammonia & nitrite) = 50% eventual colonies?
 
Wraithen
  • #4
It's not really linear. The conversion process strips the food source a little at every step.
 
Sion
  • #5
You are removing a food source but high levels of nitrite and ammonia can inhibit the beneficial bacteria.
 
mattgirl
  • #6
Since you are adding bottled bacteria daily you may want to wait 24 hours after adding your daily dose. Do your water change and then add the daily amount of BB.

I am assuming since you have to add it daily that is uses all it needs within 24 hours so the water change shouldn't be removing viable bacteria since it doesn't live in the water.
 
Neilt
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Yeah I usually do my water changes in the morning, before I add the bb. I'll wait until tomorrow then do another 25% change before adding the bb.
 
mattgirl
  • #8
Zebra Danois are pretty tough little guys so using them to cycle your tank was a good choice. High nitrites can be bad for them though. I would think a 50% instead of 25% water change might be better for them.
 
Neilt
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
My tank:

20180323_121504.jpg

Zebra Danois are pretty tough little guys so using them to cycle your tank was a good choice. High nitrites can be bad for them though. I would think a 50% instead of 25% water change might be better for them.

Ok, I'll go ahead and do the 50% change tomorrow.

Should I get my water tested before I do the change? Or just change it anyway?
 
mattgirl
  • #10
That is going to look wonderful once all those plants get established. The only thing I would have to do is put a backdrop on the back of the tank to hide all the workings. It also adds so much more depth to a tank.

While I was cycling mine I ran the tests both before and after a water change but I wasn't adding any BB. It could be the BB will skew the readings so the test might not be totally accurate.
 
Neilt
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I was thinking of a black background - I had gone with one of the planted scenes for my old tank, but I think the black will look better! The plants are all doing really well! This will be my first time having a planted aquarium
 
mattgirl
  • #12
I am old school and am a firm believer in water changes and lots of them while doing a fish in cycle. Since you are using a bottled bacteria it is possible that all these water changes aren't supposed to be done.

What does it say in the instructions on the bottle? I know there are some that say add it and don't do anything for 14 days. Others do recommend water changes at certain points in the cycle. Which one are you using?

I have seen photos of tanks with solid colored back grounds and they do look good. I am partial to the planted scenes though.
 
Neilt
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
I was using the local aquarium store's own brand of "Bio-Support", which doesn't say anything about water changes. I switched over to "Cycle" by Nutrafin today (ran out of the other stuff) and it also doesn't say anything about water changes

Edit: the Cycle does say on it "allows immediate introduction of fish"
 
mattgirl
  • #14
I was using the local aquarium store's own brand of "Bio-Support", which doesn't say anything about water changes. I switched over to "Cycle" by Nutrafin today (ran out of the other stuff) and it also doesn't say anything about water changes

Edit: the Cycle does say on it "allows immediate introduction of fish"
Hopefully someone that knows much more than I do about using bottled bacteria will stop by. I have never used any of it. As I said before I am a firm believer in water changes when necessary to cycle a tank. If the test numbers told me it was time I would just do it even if it meant daily.

In your case I think I might be tempted to follow the instructions your aquarium store gave you since the bacteria you have been using is their own brand.
 
Wraithen
  • #15
I can't help as I'm not familiar with that particular bottled bb. If it's the same as fluvals cycle, it is pretty much the same technique as using tss+
 
Neilt
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
I just did the 50% water change, and added another dose of the bb.
 

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