Help With Cycling New Tank - Just Killed Goldie :(

Discussion in 'Welcome to FishLore' started by Maryanne007, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Maryanne007

    Maryanne007New MemberMember

    Hello, newbie here! I just bought a fluval flex 9 gallon to save a goldfish my daughter won at a carnival. The pet store gave me a used filter from a cycled tank they had and two large bags of cycled water which I then added dechlorinated water to. I let it sit in the new tank with the filter on for about 8 hours (at the store's suggestion) and then put goldie in since he was otherwise in a tupperware with decholorinated water. Well, he died this morning.

    So, I'd like to actually do it right and get the tank cycled and get fish that will actually fit into this smaller tank.. so my question is, what do I do now? I took the dead fish out this morning... I just got more supplies, master testing kits, ammonia, gravel, plants, etc. They won't come until tomorrow.

    Should I dump out the old water (its kinda yellowish, and I thought the water didn't really contain helpful bacteria anyway) and refill with clean dechlorinated water?

    Anything else I need to consider? How long will it likely take to cycle? Thanks so much in advance...!
     
  2. Kiks

    KiksWell Known MemberMember

    The beneficial bacteria doesn't live in the water column but the filter media.
    I would never get any cycled filter media from my LFS or add any of their water to my own tanks for that matter. If I were you I'd dump the used filter media, empty out the water and add new clean water and cycle the tank with pure ammonia. That way you know that there is nothing nasty in there and you know it's cycled properly.
    Cycling usually takes about a month or so. A 9 gallon tank isn't much so you should know that your future stocking options are limited and that smaller tanks are harder to maintain. If I were you I'd consider buying something like a 20 gallon. If you stick with the 9 gallon you can choose between fish like a betta or perhaps a nano schooling species as well as some shrimp and snails.
     
  3. Heron

    HeronValued MemberMember

    I would dump the old water but keep the filter media. First thing is to set up the tank with new dechlorinated water and some bacteria starter product ( I use API quick start ). Add ammonia a few drops at a time and test untill you get a reading of 2.0. As the filter bacteria that eat the ammonia and produce nitrites multiply the ammonia will drop so each day add more ammonia to bring it back to 2.0. after a few days the nitrites will increase and the next bacteria that eat nitrites and produce nitrates will start to grow. At this point nitrates should start to grow. Once ammonia and nitrites are at 0 after24 hours after adding ammonia and nitrates are present you are cycled and add fish. If at this point nitrates are too high lower them with some large water changes. Depending on size of the tank and the bacterial starter used this could take from 5 days to 3 weeks.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Maryanne007

    Maryanne007New MemberMember

    Thank you both so much. I think I will dump the water and keep the filter media. The LFS is a pretty reputable place and the lady there did seem super knowledgeable so hoping this will speed up the cycling process!
     
  5. Kiks

    KiksWell Known MemberMember

    If the media is properly cycled your tank should be instantly cycled.
    The shops where I live are all really bad. When I was a beginner they seemed super knowledgeable, but i soon realised that they were absolutely not. They gave terrible advice that seemed reasonable cause I didn't know any better.

    Did your LFS suggest the 9 gallon tank for the goldfish?
    And do you know what kind of goldfish it is?
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Maryanne007

    Maryanne007New MemberMember

    No they said to do 20 gallons, but I live in a small NYC apartment and so 9 it is. Since the goldfish died, I think it was unhealthy to begin with, I'm hoping to get fish that work with a smaller tank...

    Would it really be an instant cycle? I've read it still could take days to get it properly cycled, just faster...
     
  7. Kiks

    KiksWell Known MemberMember

    You can definitely get fish that will do well in a 9 gallon.
    If the filter media is well established and is used to a bioload that's the same or more than the tank it's being added to, there should be no problems at all and it should cycle instantly. This is what I've done with all my tanks when starting up a new one and it has worked great every time. Just keep the media dry and don't rinse it too well at all.
    If you wanna make sure it's all good, you can add the filter media and feed the tank 1 PPM ammonia and see if it's all converted to nitrates after 24 hours.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Maryanne007

    Maryanne007New MemberMember


    Thanks so much! Will give this a try!
     
  9. LynnwoodFishDad

    LynnwoodFishDadValued MemberMember

    Welcome!

    Dump the water and keep the filter media. Once cycled (should be quick), I’d get one nice small live plant, maybe 2-3 snails or small shrimp, and a small fish or two. The right betta or a few male guppies that are nice to look at. (Don’t mix the betta and guppies!)
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Maryanne007

    Maryanne007New MemberMember

    Thank you! I dumped the water and added new dechlorinated water. Do I need to add ammonia right away or is it ok to wait a day as I am not getting it in the mail until Thursday!
     
  11. LynnwoodFishDad

    LynnwoodFishDadValued MemberMember

    A day or so won’t matter too much.
     
  12. pagoda

    pagodaValued MemberMember

    Goldfish won at fairs etc are sometimes not in the best of health, so although yes you should cycle the tank and make sure the water quality is as perfect as you can get it, it might have been the fish itself that was not right

    Over here in the UK giving fish as prizes and fairs and carnivals is banned due to the sheer number of fish that are not kept properly before being given away and the fact that most die within 72 hours of going to new homes

    So try not to blame yourself or immediately assume that you did something wrong, cos chances are you didn't do anything wrong at all...but by going about a proper cycle process you are giving your next fish from a store a fighting chance, something that the prize fish never really had with its previous owner
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Maryanne007

    Maryanne007New MemberMember

    Thanks so much!
     
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