10 Gallon Tank I need cycling advice!

mckcomplex
Member
Cycling with Angelfish

I need advice big time. What I don't need, though, is people telling me what a horrible person I am. I have been ignorant, not cruel.

Okay. I bought a fishbowl and two angelfish. I will readily admit that it was a split second decision, and I'd always thought of fish as decoration. Boy, have I learned quickly.

After a couple of days, I noticed my fish acting strange. I got online and got a wealth of information about what an idiot I was. I bought a ten gallon tank with a filter system and a bubble-thingy (don't worry, I am in the process of getting a 29 gallon tank for them). I am only keeping these two angelfish as I have grown very, very fond of Josie and Zeke.

I know that was a lot of background, but I know how fishkeeping enthusiasts can treat the uninitiated! So, here's my question. I now know it's horrible to cycle with angelfish; keep in mind that I didn't even know what cycling WAS when I bought the babies. Unfortunately, there's not much I can do about that now. When I get the 29 gallon tank, I will do a fishless cycle BEFORE I introduce Josie and Zeke. I have been testing for ammonia and vacuuming the water daily. I do a 25% to 40% water change daily. I watch them very closely for any signs they're feeling ill. So far, surprisingly, they're eating well, playing, not fighting, etc. I know I'm very lucky in this.

So, finally, the questions. Is there anything else I can do to help them survive this ordeal? Is there anything I can do to make them more comfortable? When will I know I've gotten out of the danger zone as far as the ammonia levels? It's been thirteen days now. I know the daily water changes will slow the cycle somewhat, but that can't be helped. I just have to concentrate on helping them survive right now. Any advice would be appreciated!
 
Sharkitty
Member
Welcome to Fishlore - you're in the right place. This is a strange, strange place on the world wide intertubes where people are NICE to one another. And almost everyone starts would doing something like you did - buy too many fish for too small of a tank and then only finding out the error of their ways when things go bad. Don't beat yourself up about it. You're doing the right thing for your critters now, and that's what counts.

I'm new, but what I've learned so far is that you should buy Vita Chem, Garlic Guard (or minced garlic with juice in the jar), and an API Master Test Kit.

Do they have a heater? Are you vacuuming the water or the gravel? You won't want to gravel vac that much, as some bacteria will grow in your substate.

When your tank is cycled your ammonia will be 0, nitrItes 0, and nitrates present (5-20 usually). This is when you are out of the danger zone. What are you ammonia levels now?
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
HI mckcomplex welcome to Fish Lore.

Many of us have made the same mistakes. What counts now is you did some research and are making things right for your fish
Really, you're doing exactly what you should be doing, keeping the toxic levels down with daily water changes.

The only thing I would add along with Sharkitty's advice is to use Prime as your water conditioner. It'll detox the ammonia for 24 hrs between water changes but the ammonia would still be available to feed the growing beneficial bacteria.

When you get your bigger tank, look into getting Tetra Safe Start. It should cycle your tank in a week to 10 days. Add it and your fish at the same time.
Steer clear of other products that claI'm to contain bacteria, most of them haven't done what they claim.

We're glad you joined, good luck
 
Aquarist
Member
Welcome to Fish Lore! Hang in there with the water changes. It may take a while for your tank to cycle but the hard work now will pay off in the long run. Good luck and keep us posted.
 
ApolloX54
Member
Welcome to Fish Lore!

So let me get this straight. You have Josie and Zeke in a non-cycled 10G and you are trying to prevent spikes until you can get the 29G and do a fishless cycle?

If that is the case, as for slowing the cycle I would say use a ammonia neutralizer or something since ammonia is the starter of the cycle and as always make sure the parameters of the water are in check. Don't feed too much... uneaten food is counterproductive.

And when that 29G comes in makes sure you have TSS to practically instant cycle the tank. That will give them least amount of time in the 10G.
 
prairielilly
Member
mckcomplex said:
So, finally, the questions. Is there anything else I can do to help them survive this ordeal? Is there anything I can do to make them more comfortable? When will I know I've gotten out of the danger zone as far as the ammonia levels? It's been thirteen days now. I know the daily water changes will slow the cycle somewhat, but that can't be helped. I just have to concentrate on helping them survive right now. Any advice would be appreciated!
HI mckcomplex, welcome to Fishlore! we're very glad to have you. Many of us have found Fishlore in much the same way as you. I'd also made some decisions without knowing any better and been treated badly at other places. People here are kind and really want to help, and it's great that you've taken the initiative to learn how to better care for your fish!

I think it's a really great idea to be doing the daily water changes, I'd increase it to 50% though, but only vacuum your gravel once a week and don't rinse down any decor - you want the bacteria to build up on any surface in the tank you can. If you use Prime it will make the ammonia nontoxic to your fish for 24 hours like Lucy said, but still available for the bacteria - it's seriously good stuff! If you get the API dropper test kits you'll be able to monitor your readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates to know where you're at in the cycle, and as Sharkitty said when ammonia and nitrite are at zero you're done!

By monitoring your water parameters and changing out 50% of your water daily it IS possible to get through a cycle with fish. Good luck, and be sure to post back with any more questions
 
  • Thread Starter
mckcomplex
Member
Okay, I just got back from the store. I bought Prime and Stress-Zyme. I know that stuff hasn't been proven to work, but I figure it's worth a shot, and it's supposed to help them feel less stressed out at least.

My ph level is high. I am working to decrease it little by little, as I have read that too strong of a change can hurt the fish. Some people have said it's better to let the ph work itself out through the cycle; would you guys agree? I have both a fear of doing too little and doing too much, and I don't want to hurt Josie and Zeke!

As for the rest of the parameters, my ammonia is at 0; nitrites are at 0, but unfortunately, nitrates are also at 0. *sigh*

You guys have already helped so much. Thank you!
 
Sharkitty
Member
I don't think stress-zyme has much buy in around here. Is it supposed to have bacteria? I would call around and find a place that sells SafeStart or buy some online. I just used it in my new 5 gallon and it cycled over the weekend.

Cycling will take about a month. When do you think you'll have your 29 gallon? Is your current filter large enough to do 29 gallons? It would be great if you could just switch it over. Any pictures? We like pictures.
 
Sharkitty
Member
Oops, meant to ask what your pH is. ?

General consensus seems to be not to bother with it, so long as it tests somewhere between 6-8, but perhaps angels are pickier. Anyone?
 
  • Thread Starter
mckcomplex
Member
My ph right now is between a 7.6 and 7.8. I know Angelfish like water acidic and under 7. Also, I have been trying to download pictures of Josie and Zeke all day, but I've had trouble uploading anything except one (bad) picture of myself!
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
I'd skip the stress zyme, it'll probably hinder the cycle by using the ammonia the bacteria needs to develop. You may get readings that seem encouraging with it, but the bacteria it contains will die off quickly and use the ammonia the beneficial bacteria needs to develop.
If you can, return it and get your money back.

A stable ph is usually better, as many fish can adapt to your ph.

Edit: Just saw you posted your ph. If that's what it is out of your tap, I wouldn't worry about messing with it.
Here ya go:
Angels

This should help with the pics:
 
  • Thread Starter
mckcomplex
Member
Okay, here are my babies. I never would have guessed I would fall in love with fish!

Josie is the leopard angelfish, and I think Zeke is either a marble or some kind of cross. Any ideas?

I have no idea if Josie is really a girl and Zeke is a boy, but Zeke is very serene and a bit slow--Josie is manic and super-inquisitive. She's everywhere at once! I think I just gave Josie a girl name because her tail reminds me of an old-fashioned bustle!
 
Sharkitty
Member
Aww, they are really pretty! I like the super long tail.
 
  • Moderator
Lucy
Moderator
Member
They're beautiful
 
  • Thread Starter
mckcomplex
Member
Thanks for the compliments, and thank you EVERYONE for your help! I feel so much better now!
 

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