I forgot to cycle my tank???

Baylaay

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We recently just purchased a used 36 gallon tank. We cleaned it with water and soap (only used soap because it was really disgusting with build up of rust on the bottom) we thoroughly rinsed it and dried it.
the next day we went to the store and purchased an angel fish and an opium gourami, gradually we continued to add 4 neon tetras, 2 tiger barbs, 2 dwarf gourami (one sunset and one blue) and recently a Jack Dempsey cichlid. We had a bad experience with him as he ate our tetras and basically made the whole tank his territory so we removed him.
We also had 3 Apple snails and only 1 remains. (One died from getting stuck to filter) this morning our angel fish was doing fine and all of a sudden when I walked by he was floating at the top. We do have a liquid PH tester kit and our ph has remained at 8.0. We recently just purchased an ammonia test kit and our ammonia level was also at the max. (A dark green colour I forget the number)
I know this is probably due to not cycling our tank but the fish seem so active, they eat good and they swim around just fine, we have had this tank for about 2 weeks now, what should I do? How do I know if it's cycled or not?
 

Bijou88

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You'll know it's cycled when you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and +5 nitrate. I recommend picking up a bottle of seachem stability, it's a bottled bacteria product that will help get your cycle on track. Also consider getting seachem prime for your water conditioner, it detoxifies up to 1ppm of ammonia and nitrite for 24 hours and is extremely helpful during a fish in cycle (I use it all the time because I have ammonia in my tap water). Until you can get some kind of bacteria additive I say to do a 50% water change followed by another 50% change to get your ammonia down to a safer level.

Welcome to fishlore btw!

 

redorchestra

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Did you also get a nitrites tester? If all your fish are gone now, I would try to get the ammonia level to 6 ppm. Test it, if it is higher, siphon some water and add some treated water (declorinated) test again until it is around 6 ppm. On my test kit I had to estimate because the colour blocks are 4ppm or 8ppm so I had to see it was darker than 4 but not quite 8. When it is 6ppm test ammonia daily until it starts to drop then add a small frozen shrimp about 1 inch long and start testing nitrites! The nitrites should go up! Continue testing daily until the nitrites start to drop! When they do you can remove the shrimp, drain the water and refill with declorinated tap water! Then add fish!
 

Bijou88

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Did you also get a nitrites tester? If all your fish are gone now, I would try to get the ammonia level to 6 ppm. Test it, if it is higher, siphon some water and add some treated water (declorinated) test again until it is around 6 ppm. On my test kit I had to estimate because the colour blocks are 4ppm or 8ppm so I had to see it was darker than 4 but not quite 8. When it is 6ppm test ammonia daily until it starts to drop then add a small frozen shrimp about 1 inch long and start testing nitrites! The nitrites should go up! Continue testing daily until the nitrites start to drop! When they do you can remove the shrimp, drain the water and refill with declorinated tap water! Then add fish!
Unless I misread, there are still gourami and barbs in the tank.

 

Et tu

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Umm, first things first. Read the sticky at the top of this page, titled fresh water beginners. Read ALL of the topics, then read it again. so you clearly understand the basics of what you should and should not be doing. Also go to a stocking site called Aquavisor, this is a good stocking tool, that will red flag issues. Research can eliminate so many problems. Good luck.
 

ClearEyes

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Other than cycling issues (definitely read up on that first, there's good advice from the posts above), you have potential stocking issues that will lead to more fish loss. Do you know the genders of your gouramis? If they're all males, they will probably fight. And tiger barbs are aggressive in small numbers...with only 2, they will most likely harass your other fish and nip their fins.
 
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Baylaay

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I have researched it and it's kinda clear as mud to me...... I have also researched barbs and I know that they are fin nipping. But they don't seem to bother my other fish, the gouramis are pretty much the bosses of the tank, when they come by they just swim away. And no I still have all the rest of my fish. Sometimes our water would get cloudy and we would put in water clarifier, but I also read that it was the bacteria blooming. Did we make the mistake by putting in the clarifier???? Also, my ammonia test kit has the nitrates and nitrites included into it so it kinda just gives me a general number.




Other than cycling issues (definitely read up on that first, there's good advice from the posts above), you have potential stocking issues that will lead to more fish loss. Do you know the genders of your gouramis? If they're all males, they will probably fight. And tiger barbs are aggressive in small numbers...with only 2, they will most likely harass your other fish and nip their fins.
I don't know how to tell, yes I've researched it but i can't decide if their fin is pointy or not... They seem to get along for the most part, there is the occasional chase but that's about as bad as it gets.


 
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