I need a little help--ok maybe a lot.

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genie

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I have lost all of the fish in my tank-- due to cycling with fish. Now that they are all dead, I am going to do a fishless cycle. I have never cycled without fish. Any suggestions? Should I do a partial water change first, or is that not necessary.

Also, I have live plants. I think they are too close together because it seems like one is choking the other out. Can I move them, and when I am cycled, is there a creature out there that will eat the dead plant leaves, while leaving the good ones alone. Also this creature needs to be ok in a community tank.

sorry for the long post.

Thanks!
 

tan.b

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what fish did you have? to be honest i cant see any benefit in changing the water now you are going for a fishless cycle as the ammonia and poss nitrite you have in there is what you need and water changes can slow down the cycle. w/changes essential to protect fish, but with no fish there's no need. have you tested your water with an api master test kit so we know where abouts in the cycle you are? if not, that would be worth doing!
to do a fishless cycle you can use ammonia if you can get it (i've never seen it, but it seems more avaiable in the US). i think they recommend 6 drops a day (anyone out there correct me if i'm wrong) then you'll see the ammonia go up, then this will convert to nitrite then nitrate. have you read the freshwater beginners info in blue writing at the bottom of the page?https://www.fishlore.com/Beginners.htm
this is very useful.
also, if ammonia is hard to get, you can put a pinch of fish food (flakes) in the tank everyday..this decomposes into ammonia, or some raw shrimp from your fishmonger will decompose with the same effect.
you can move plants about pretty much, as much as you like, just dont damage the roots too much when you do. i've moved mine from tank to tank and shuffled them around in the tank (just cos i know nowt about them, so when they get big i realise it should be elsewhere etc!)
snails eat dead leaves but i wouldnt recommend them as i have a major snail infestation! i cant think of anything else....i'd recommend just removing the leaves yourself every week. i often have the odd dead leaf in there and its done no harm to the ammonia levels. just unsightly initially, then over time when decomposing would release the toxic ammonia.
no worries about the long post...the more info the better!...could do with some readings of your ph, ammonia nitrite and nitrate though please!!
hope i've been of help...any more questions, give us a shout!
tan
 
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genie

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Thanks for your help. I had some blue tetras and some albino cories.

I only have ammonia right now (.5), and I had been using Amquel+ to make it safe, but I guess it wasn't enough. I think I can get some pure ammonia at the dollar store, so I think that will be the less messy way to go. I was kinda scared because I bought the tank used, and all of the fish died after like 3 weeks, so I entertained the idea that the tank was somehow infected. But I think my imagination just ran wild-- pretty sure it is a cycle thing.
 

COBettaCouple

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Hey Genie,
Looks like tan got all your questions. I'd go with the flakes method and not use the amquel+ anymore while it's cycling. Best of luck with a fast cycle.
 
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genie

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Thanks for the help. I hope this goes fast!!
 
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Question about Amquel+ and the Cycle

Ok-- I got some conflicting information on the cycling process and using Amquel+. I thought that the Amquel+ didn't affect the cycle, but someone else said that I will never cycle if I am using Amquel+.
Can the bacteria still use the ammonia when I use Amquel+?
How can I keep my fish safe while cycling?
 

tan.b

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we all hope for a fast cycle!! i'm quite sure it was a cycle thing that killed your fish. unfortunately you picked 2 of the most delicate fish to cycle with! tetras and cories are known to die if not accimated right or if the tank hasnt fully cycled. once your tank has cycled, try some danios as a first fish or cherry barbs as these are much hardier and just as much fun to watch, then if they do well, go for anything you like! good luck and keep us updated! any questions at all, just yell!
tan
 
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genie

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Well I had never heard of the blue tetras so I made the mistake of asking the pet store-- my bad. I didn't know how delicate the cories were until I had already bought them.
I got this new product called Bio Zyme it is supposed to be dried bacteria? I hope it works.
 

Luniyn

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Re: Question about Amquel+ and the Cycle

Amquel+ (or Prime which is a similar product) will not effect the cycle at all. What it does it take the ammonia and the nitrite in the tank and bind it up into new compound molecules. For all intents and purposes they are still ammonia and nitrite and the good bacteria treat them exactly the same and eat it like nothing has changed, however, they are completely non-toxic to your fish now and they will be happier for it.

Now, some people have theorized that these new molecules take longer for the good bacteria to eat, so it might appear to take longer for your tank to cycle. As the companies haven't released any data to let us know what is the new compound that is being made (they are patent pending products so they don't share info so no one tries to steal the formula) we don't know for sure. But rest assured that it will not harm the cycle process. I have used Prime throughout my cycle process and not found it to take much longer to cycle then anyone else that didn't cheat and use a good batch of Bio-Spira .
 
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Re: Question about Amquel+ and the Cycle

Well thanks for the info... that is what I had read but was unsure. Now I feel better about putting that in Spike & Lila's tank. I was worried b/c the ottos in there are sensitive, and I wanted to make sure the ammonia wouldn't get to them. But it has been up and running since March 30 and still is not showing signs of cycling. I don't know what the prob. is.
 

Luniyn

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Re: Question about Amquel+ and the Cycle

Your tank has been up with fish in it for a month and you only have ammonia in the tank and not any nitrite or nitrate?
 
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Re: Question about Amquel+ and the Cycle

Luniyn said:
Your tank has been up with fish in it for a month and you only have ammonia in the tank and not any nitrite or nitrate?
Yup, and the ammonia is not too high. I only change the water once a week (about 30%), and have never changed the filter cartridge.
That is why I asked about the Amquel+
 

chickadee

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Re: Question about Amquel+ and the Cycle

For those of us who do happen to "cheat" and use Bio-spira to do the cycle (and it works fine thank you) the literature specifically states that the products you mentioned would cause a problem with the cycle going forward as they would neutralize the ammonia necessary for the growth of the bacterial colony. The good folks at Marineland have provided me with much great information about many subjects in the past and I have known many very experienced fish keepers on and off this forum that used Bio-spira and not and the ones who got away from the conditioners that reacted in any way with the ammonia, nitrates and nitrites seemed to have better luck. I have cycled about 16 tanks at different times, some with and some without Bio-spira, some with fish and some fishless, some with Amquel+ and some with StressCoat or NovAqua+. The only time I have had trouble with the time period was the tank I did with the Amquel+. That is when I did a 100% water change and did my first Bio-spira cycle out of desperation as I had fish coming the next day.

Just my own experience.

Rose
 

chickadee

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So sorry but the only product proven to promote a cycle is Bio-spira and it is a refrigerated product put out by Marineland and as far as I know not available a lot of places. Maybe some small stores or online on . It is expensive and for good reason....you shake that pouch and open it and dump it in. Then you add fish. It is literally that fast and takes longer to type than to do.

I keep it in my refrigerator at all times in case of emergency and it has been a lifesaver many times over.

Now I am going to suggest that you put all your posts together about cycling. Posting all over the place about the same subject is not helpful and can be quite confusing. Members cannot keep up and do not know what others have said when they answer your question. I am going to merge the topics and we can go from there.

Rose
 

Luniyn

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When I said "cheat" I meant it jokingly (hence the face sticking his tongue out) and I never said that using Bio-Spira wouldn't work. It has been shown to work very well provided the pet store you get it from is competent enough to keep it refrigerated properly. I didn't mean to insult anyone if it was taken another way.

As for using Amquel+ or Prime or any of those conditioners with or without Bio-Spira, no one has shown that using them hurts the cycle process at all. In fact Marineland says to use Bio-Safe before you use Bio-Spira and Bio-Safe is just another type of Amquel+ except it doesn't do anything about nitrite or nitrate. Now what Marineland (and the label on the Bio-Safe container) does say is that repeated dosage of any product including their Bio-Safe to the tank can inhibit the work of the good bacteria in Bio-Spira. But then they go on to say that it is recommended to use it only to treat new water to the tank, which is pretty much how you are supposed to be using them anyway. So as I stated, 'using Amquel+ or Prime will not effect the cycle at all', but I need to qualify that by also saying 'provided you use the appropriate dosage according to the manufacturer during a water change'.

The reason for this is because of the way these products work. Only the toxic form of ammonia (NH3) is looking to bind with other molicules, the non-toxic form (NH4+) isn't. So while Amquel+, Prime, etc. is added to the new supply of water, only the NH3 is being bound up while the NH4+ (which isn't toxic to the fish except in very high levels) is going right into your tank as normal. And since the majority of the ammonia in your tank is NH4+ anyway, this is available for the good bacteria to eat. If all of the NH3 is bound up and there is still left over Amquel+, Prime, etc. in the tank, it will simply not do anything until more ammonia is added and there is free ammonia (NH3) to bind with.
 
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