Hi I'm new with a few questions

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by freak78, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. freak78Well Known MemberMember

    Just started up a 20 gallon fresh water aquarium after doing alot of research and reading. I set everything up and let the tank run for 72 hours with nothing in it. Saturday I decided to get 6 zebra danois to help kick off the cycling process for a new tank. So far as of today my tank water has a slight hazy look so I think this mean's I'm on the right track. The Zebra's look to be in good health still and are very energetic. I'm only feeding them in the morning with just enough food for them to eat. Don't want alot of extra food floating around. There a fun fish to watch I must say. Water temp is 76 degree's and the Ph is 7.8, I have a well for water at my house that is run through a sediment filter before the water softner and a taste, odor, and color filter before it come's out of the tap. The water is very soft. I'm using a Marineland boi-wheel power filter. It's a penguin 150. I have yet to do any water changes yet, this is where I'm a little confused. Not sure how it will help with the cycling process. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  2. mosin360Well Known MemberMember

    I assume you added Tetra Safe Start when you added your fish? If so, your not supposed to do any water changes until the cycle is complete which can take 7-10 days.

    What test kit do you have or plan on getting?

  3. freak78Well Known MemberMember

    No I used something called Start Right, by Jungle. I have test strip's no kit. I took my sample to the pet store.

  4. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    lol... Mosin, I assumed the opposite, that TSS wasn;t used.

    welcome to fishlore.

    the cycling process is very hard on fish, because while the bacteria colony is building up, the fish are exposed to lethal levels of ammonia and nitrites. They can easily get ammonia poisoning, and if the cycling doesn't kill them, often they have shortened lives because of the damage to their organs.
    if you are able and so inclined, you may wish to see if the store will take the fish back, and then you could do a fishless cycle, which is explained in the link in my signature.
    so now that we've got the bad news out of the way, if you choose to keep your fish in while the tank cycles, you mightwant to pick up a bottle of the TSS mosin mentioned. It has to be TSS, not any other brand the store tells you is the same. TSS is the only product on the market that contains nitrifying bacteria.

    if you don[t have tss available to you, to keep the fish safe during the cycling, you should do daily partial water changes, conditioning your water with Prime (by seachem). Prime conditions your water like normal, but in addition detoxifies ammonia, etc., for 24 hours at a time. it leaves them in the tank for the bacteria to eat, but makes them harmless to the fish.

    i hope this helps. if not, let me know and i'll explain it better.
  5. mosin360Well Known MemberMember

    You'll find that a vast majority of users on this site will recommend a liquid test kit instead of strips. I'm sure if you do a search on here, you can find many threads about it.
  6. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Totally agree, almost every here has the API master test kit. It's liquid, provides hundreds of tests, is accurate and reliable.

    I don't know what right start is, but if it's a bacterial supplement , I'd stop using it, because none of the others (Cycle, Stresszyme, Stability, etc.), have aquatic bacteria. The tank crashes when you stop using them, because their bacteria is terrestrial and drowns. The proper bacteria you want in your tank will stay in there forever without weekly additions in a well-maintained tank.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
  7. freak78Well Known MemberMember

    It was just a one time use when i filled up the tank. Haven't used it since.
  8. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    see if you can find some prime and an api test kit. if you condition with n ammonia detoxifier and change the water today, they'll probably make it through the cycle.
  9. BeekerWell Known MemberMember

    Meenu has given you great advice.
    Here are some links to get the items she is recommending:


  10. freak78Well Known MemberMember

    This is what I used. But the one I have has the Allantoin in it for their slim coat.

  11. BeekerWell Known MemberMember

    That is fine for removing the chlorine in the water, but you need to cycle the tank first.
    Please read about the Nitrogen Cycle. Return the fish if you can, and cycle your tank fishless.
  12. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    I was given bad advice when I started my 36 gallon tank (before I discovered FishLore) and cycled with Danios. I just put them in the tank and waited for the tank to cycle. No water changes, no Safe Start. Two of the Danio's died during the cycle, and the other two died within 8 months. They also didn't really grow. so I think they were pretty damaged from going through the ammonia and nitrite spikes.
  13. freak78Well Known MemberMember

    Ok update, went out this morning and added a bottle of TSS. Also purchased a Tetra Test Laborett kit. Here are the number's.

    Ph-7.9 to 8.0

    This is the kit.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  14. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Now just wait seven days and test your water. If your not reading zero for ammonia and nitrates at that time wait 3 more days and test again. If not reading zeros at that point, you will need to do daily water changes until cycled. (or add more Safe Start).

    Most people have had success using SafeStart, but it seems the few who haven't had success were people like yourself who had already started a tank, added a bacteria supplement then added SafeStart after a few days. So while I think you will cycle just fine, just be on the lookout for the possibility of the tank not cycling properly within the 10 days.

    Good luck!
  15. freak78Well Known MemberMember

    Ok, I'll be keepiong an eye on thing's. Lot's of good info on here.
  16. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    good luck. :) while the TSS is in your tank, your readings will be wacky, so no point in testing the water.
  17. freak78Well Known MemberMember

    Update, as of this morning the 23rd of December. Woke up to a very clear fish tank, no hazy look anymore. Took another water test.

    Nitrate still show's safe on my test strip, it's at the lowest mark. The kit didn't come with a Nitrate test so I will go get one today.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
  18. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    That's really great that everything looks good. Until the TSS has been in the tank for a week to 10 days, you won't get accurate readings. I'd say as long as things look okay, you are safe not testing until that time. If you decide to continue to test, and see high ammonia levels or something, just don't panic and add detoxifier to the tank - I did that and the TSS didn't work.
  19. freak78Well Known MemberMember

    Monday will be a week so I will just have to wait till then. I hate waiting.

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