Hey Y’all

Discussion in 'Welcome to FishLore' started by R2D2Fish, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. R2D2FishNew MemberMember

    Hello everyone! My name is Esther, I’m 42, a native born Orlando Floridian that now lives in Hope Mills NC. I’m married to a wonderful man named Ted and we have a 19 month old son named Connor.
    We bought a home a little more than a year ago and recently decided to buy an aquarium for my son (Well actually it was more for him just to look at for now lol)
    My husband had a little experience with aquariums as a child and though my father had an aquarium when I was a little girl, I knew nothing about aquariums prior to buying one.

    Sooooo.... here’s my story

    We have a 39 gallon bow front fresh water aquarium.. We made the mistake of listening to the PetSmart worker and We set up our tank and only let it run for about a week and a half before We added fish. We currently have 6 rainbows (3 boesemani and 3 Australians) 2 sword tails (that I didn’t buy intentionally, PetSmart sold them to me as rainbows) 2 cobalt blue angel fish, 1 rainbow shark and 2 dwarf honey gouramis. I also had 5 ghost shrimp but they all died except for one. I’ve been testing with the api master kit daily and adding prime as needed. My ammonia is between .50 and 1ppm, zero nitrites, zero nitrates and ph is like 7.6.

    We bought and set up the tank on 5/21

    We bought 2 boesemani rainbows and the rainbow shark on 5/29

    We bought 3 Australians and what I thought was another boesemani (it was actually a swordtail) on 5/30

    1 week later I realized that I had been sold a swordtail and not a boesemani so I returned to PetSmart and they gave me the boesemani and I had originally paid for and they also gave me another swordtail as a companion to the one they had given me in error.

    6/5 we went to a local family owned aquarium store and bought the 2 dwarf gouramis and 2 angelfish.

    I’m sure your heads are spinning right now...
    I really need some advice/help,
    I know I can use tetra safe start with my fish already in the tank, but...
    Do I need to add anything else with it?
    Do I need to do a water change before adding the safe start?
    Can I keep using prime after I’ve added the safe start?

    I’d be ever so grateful for any help you fellow fish folk can lend.

    By the way my water is crystal clear and my fish all seem well and happy.

    Attached Files:

  2. CrispiiWell Known MemberMember

    1. I would not keep boesemani rainbows in a 30 something gallon tank. They prefer a 50+ gallon aquarium.

    2. You need to have ammonia if you're going to add TSS. The bacteria won't colonize if there are no ammonia present.

    3. I believe that it is better to do a WC before adding TSS, but don't take my word for it.

    4. You can use Prime after you use TSS.
  3. Magicpenny75Well Known MemberMember

    OK so you've had the tank for roughly four weeks and you have all those fish in it...? You may be well into your cycle already, and if you haven't lost anything but shrimp you are really lucky and must be doing something right :) I've only used Aqua Vitro Seed as a bacteria starter, but it may be a case of closing the barn door after the horse ran out. I would do a water change and then add the TSS and follow the directions to the letter. You can use Prime, it won't kill your cycle and it will help to protect your fish from the ammonia present in the water. Follow the directions on that to the letter as well.
    And, welcome to the forum from Raleigh :)
  4. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to Fishlore and to this wonderful hobby. :)

    I have to think you are doing something right and before adding stuff to the tank I would just continue doing what you have been doing. I would keep the ammonia level down as close to zero as possible with water changes and use Prime to detox what is left.

    Bottled bacteria does help in some cases but in my humble opinion it is totally unnecessary as long as things are moving along as well as they seem to be. The cycle will happen naturally and your fish should be fine as long as you keep up with the water changes as often as necessary to keep the ammonia level down close to zero as possible.
  5. angelfishguppieValued MemberMember

    Hey there in Hope Mills from Wilson!
    Welcome to the forum.

    What are you doing for water changes? How much, how often? What kind of filter? You do have a lot of fish in there and you have been lucky so far.

    Keep a close watch on those water parameters like you have been doing and keep using prime. Feed lightly.

    Read up on the nitrogen cycle and "fish in" cycling.Ask lots and lots of questions!
  6. R2D2FishNew MemberMember

    Thank you so everyone for responding and thank you for the warm welcome!

    This aquarium was originally my husbands idea
    I got on board because he wanted to do it for our son, because he always enjoys it so much when we take him to the fort fisher aquarium or when he sees the fish in let stores or an office with a tank... I had no idea that I was going to fall in love with fish keeping.. and honestly I’ve become a bit obsessed
    I’m a stay at home mommy so I think that might have something to do with why the fish are thriving so far, I watch my little beauties like a hawk!! More than I watch tv or even my phone!!!
    I’ve only done one water change and it was about a 20-25% change. The shrimp that died were remover immediately, and I feed lightly a couple times a day.
    We have a Fluval Aqua clear 50 and a fluval water heater. I have a decorative hiding rock that is also a bubbler and also a second air stone in the opposite corner so there’s decent but not overly crazy movement in the water.
    I bought the tetra SafeStart today but I think I am going to wait a little bit and keep testing the water daily to see if anything changes.

    I tested the water today and the ammonia was as 1ppm zero nitrites, and the nitrates looked like the yellow color was becoming a little warmer in color.. I don’t know, what do you guys think? Also the ph was at 7.2 this time.

    Attached Files:

  7. Sheldon13Valued MemberMember

    Nah, I think that is still 0 nitrates. With 1ppm ammonia I would add in something like Prime to protect the fishies.
  8. R2D2FishNew MemberMember

    Yea, I added a little extra prime today.. Thanks for the input
  9. angelfishguppieValued MemberMember

    R2D2Fish, how are things going this weekend?
  10. R2D2FishNew MemberMember

    Things are good, fish are all thriving.. I currently have two fry that have found a hiding place under one of my plants lol
    My ammonia is still between .50 and 1ppm and still zero nitrites and zero nitrates.. gonna do another water change..
  11. angelfishguppieValued MemberMember

    A fish in cycle is kind of like a marathon. Keep up the good work and eventually it will be more like a 5 k you can run occasionally.
  12. jennalynnjValued MemberMember

    Hi R2D2fish and welcome! I, too, am a stay at home mom and I am a bit obsessive about my two small tanks. I am pretty sure I will go through this API master kit in record time lol. It sounds like you are on the right track. It is frustrating to wait for a cycle to start with fish in it, because you are constantly removing the ammonia that the cycle needs to start so it takes what seems like forvever. I know I was impatient even with a fishless cycle. That .5-1 ammonia should start turning to nitrites soon, the nitrites eating bacteria take a little longer to grow in numbers so don't get discouraged if it is taking a long time. That may be a good reason to use the TSS. I have read a lot of people do not even see a spike in Nitrites when they use it. The other option is if you know anyone with an aquarium, you could get a bit of seeded filter media from them, but you seems like you have done your research so I am sure if that was an option it would have been mentioned. Being obsessive will be a good thing to help keep your fish alive and healthy, but it makes it feel like it takes even looooonger lol
  13. jennalynnjValued MemberMember

    Disclaimer: I am no expert, I just related to your post and felt compelled to join in with my experience so far.
  14. R2D2FishNew MemberMember

    Hiya Jennalynn, last night I tested my water.. again lol. And the nitrites are finally there!!!! My results were between 1-2ppm for ammonia, .25 nitrites and zero nitrates.. I doubled my dose of prime and I’ll probably do another water change today or tomorrow. I can’t believe it’s finally happening!! And my fish are all still alive!!! Nice to meet another SAHM
  15. R2D2FishNew MemberMember

    Tell me about it!! If I make it to the finish line with no fishy losses I’ll be super proud of myself lol
  16. Dennis57Valued MemberMember

    Hi welcome to Fishlore.
    Congrats on your luck so far, and what ever your doing keep it up. IMO I would cut back the feeding to once a day and just enough for 2-3 minutes of feeding. I also do not feed my fish 1 day a week, give them a brake.
    I would change 50 60% of the water once a week
  17. R2D2FishNew MemberMember

    Hi Dennis, I recently switched their food to the Hikari micro pellets and they absolutely love it, I’m also able to more accurately see what they are actually eating and also that they are all getting the opportunity to eat. I was feeding them omega one flakes and I was getting frustrated because my angels and rainbow shark weren’t getting to the flakes fast enough before my fast and hungry little rainbows would devour it all lol. I am feeding very lightly twice a day and I try to space the feedings, once in the am and once in the pm. I haven’t done a water change that large yet, I’ve been keeping it at about 20-25%. Wouldn’t removing that much water right now mess up the currently forming bacteria and thus mess up my nitrogen cycle that has just started?
  18. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    When doing a fish in cycle water changes are critical to the health of the fish. The cycle is important but protecting the fish from the damaging affects of ammonia and nitrites.

    When I did my last fish in cycle I kept the ammonia so low with every other day water changes it didn't show up in my tests. I know the ammonia was there because after about 3 weeks or so I got my nitrite spike. Once that happened I was doing no less than 30% water changes daily. I did it 5 straight days and after the 5th day the nitrites dropped to zero.

    It took 6 weeks to go from dry tank to fully cycled. All the water changes I did may have slowed my cycle down by a few days but that didn't really matter. The fish were more important than a quicker cycle.

    As long as there are fish in the tank there will be a steady supply of ammonia so even daily water changes won't remove all of it. Since the bacteria doesn't live in the water changing it out won't be removing any bacteria. The bacteria grows on your filter media and on all the surfaces in the tank.

    If I were you I would be doing big enough water changes to keep the ammonia level down to negligible and then add Prime to detox what is left and what will be produced between water changes.

    Often the advice given is, as long as the total amount of ammonia plus nitrite is below one you can skip the water change and just add Prime. Personally I never did that. I just made sure the ammonia was kept as low as possible with water changes and just added Prime to the water before pouring it in the tank. Most of the fish that were in the tank during the cycling process are still with me 3 1/2 years later. I do admit that all tanks aren't the same though and what worked for me may not work the same for everyone. :)

    Once your nitrites spike getting them down below one may be next to impossible. If that is the case you may want to consider daily 50% water changes until they drop to zero.
  19. R2D2FishNew MemberMember

    Ok, I’m doing a water change today.. instead of 20% I’ll do 50% and then I’ll see what my tests say tomorrow. Thank you!