Need help!! New 36 Gallon bowfront Fish in Cycle?

Clambeth25
  • #1
So I am new to the aquarium hobby. My father just got rid of his aquarium and was going to get rid his 4 year old angelfish and his 2 year old Male betta that is extremely calm and doesn't bother the angel fish. I couldnt let that happen so I went and bought a new 36 gallon bowfront aquarim. The filter is a Aqueon 30 gallon filter with 200 gallon per hour filtration. Long story short, I have the two fish in the new Aquarium uncycled... I put the tank together Sunday the 18th.. On Tuesday night I took the levels and they read Ammonia 0.5 and Ph 8.2 and the temp is roughly 78 degrees...The Betta is loving the new tank but the Angel fish not so much! He is staying in the bottom of the tank in the corner.. He doesn't look sick, just not swiming all that much.. I live in the country and have well water.. Well I checked the water coming out of my faucet and it is showing to have 0.25-0.5 of ammonia in it already and the Ph level is around 7.8-8.0... Today I changed approx 15-20% of my water in my tank.. I will take the readings when I get off work at 7:00 pm today.. Am I doing this right? Please help!!
 

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CindiL
  • #2
Hi, welcome to fishlore

When did you move the fish over? Is your dads tank still setup?
Ideally you would've taken his filter materials and put them into your new filter. That is where the majority of the nitrifying bacteria live. This would have kept the cycle. If its only been a day and his filter still has water in it then it would be worth doing that.

Assuming the worst and it is already tossed, pick up some Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability. Prime will not only get rid of chlorine but will detoxify ammonia and nitrites up to 1.0. Once you have a good cycle going, when you do a water change you will dose Prime for the volume of the tank and within 24 hours that ammonia in your tap will be converted to nitrates. Until that happens you can dose Prime every 24 hours to keep your fish safe.

In the mean time Seachem Stability will help cycle your tank. It contains the bacteria needed for your filter. You put in a lot up front and then put it in every day after that or even twice a day until your tank completes cycling.

Your ph is fine
 

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jdhef
  • #3
Welcome to FishLore!

Some good advice (as usual) from CindiL above. I just wanted to mention a couple of things. The first is that your filter really isn't big enough for a 36 gallon tank. Ideally you would like to have at least 360 gph turnover (the rule of thumb for HOB (hang on back) filters is 10x the tank volume per hour. If you go with a canister filter you want 8x per hour turnover. When I had my 36g bowfront set-up, I used a Fluval 205 canister and it worked really well.

The next thing is that fish can be pretty sensitive to change in pH. If there was a difference in the pH of your dad's tank, and your tank and you did not acclimate properly, that could be what's wrong with your angel. But then again the elevated ammonia may be bothering him also.

Like CindiL recommended you may want to use a bacteria additive to speed up the cycle. I have never used Stability, but I have used Tetra SafeStart successfully several times in the past. If you choose to use SafeStart you want to make sure you wait 24 hours after any water conditioner was added to the tank before adding the entire, well shaken, appropriate sized bottle of SafeStart+. Then do nothing but lightly feed your fish for the next 14 days. On day 14 test your water and if all worked correctly...you've cycled.

Once cycled, if you treat all your new water when doing water changes with Prime, it will detox the ammonia in your tap water for 24 hours, which is plenty of time for a cycle tank to process the .25 ppm ammonia in your tap water.

Best of luck!
 
Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #4



Thank you guys for your quick response. I did a 15% water change at around noon today. Went to work came back and just tested the water again but like an idiot I forgot to put some prime in the water after I put the new water in so I just put it in the tank!! In the 2 pictures attached looks like to me still 0-25-0.5 ammonia and 8.2 PH... On a good note my Angel looks more active tonight. Still won't eat.. 3 days now... The Betta loves it lol! So I'm on day 3 going into day 4 tomorrow what do I need to do? More water changes or if the numbers are the same tomorrow don't do anything?? Also when I'm adding the prime should I only be adding enough to cover for how much water I'm taking out or add the full amount for the 36 gallon tank? Thank you guys and gals for all your help! I was on another site and didnt get one response! I look forward to hearing more information!
 
OceanicFlight815
  • #5
We all worry a bit when our fish quit eating. He will be OK.
 
lobstahlights
  • #6
Since your well water has ammonia in it, and your fish produce ammonia, I would use enough Prime for the entire tank. It only lasts 24-48 hours, so I would keep doing water changes, with Prime, every 1-2 days. Once your ammonia hits 0, you can use only enough Prime for the new water, and once your nitrite hits 0, you can slow down on water changes.

So far, so good, and I'm glad your fish are settling in a little now. Moving is stressful for them, no matter how nice the new home. You can try a more enticing food to get the Angel to eat. I'm not familiar with their diets.
 

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Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I have a quick question, I added some more prime to the water today at around 11:00 am. When could I add the Tetra Safe Start? Does it have to be a full 24 Hours? Thanks again! Also I will post my water paremeters tonight when I get off at 9:00pm!!
 
happygolucky
  • #8
It should be a full 24 hours. Good luck
 
Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Alright guys and gals I have an Update. I left the tank alone from Tuesday when I did a 15% water change. I haven't messed with adding or taking out any water. I checked my Ph level today and its roughly the same as it was 8.2 ish and If I'm seeing correct it looks like my Ammonia Lvl is almost 0?? WOOOOT!! If so what should I do next? Leave the tank alone for a few more days while monitoring the levels or should I do a 15% water change tomorrow just because I'm only in day 6 of my cycle. Also an update on my 2 fish. The Betta still loves life lol.. Puffing and flaring all over the place at his .. The Angel is slowly coming out... Just got him to eat his first pellet of food today and that is it!! 6 days now, you would think he was starving! Needing further advice!! Thanks again for everyones help and Advice! I posted the picture of my levels below!!

 

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Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Cindi, thank you again! Ibwill be running to petsmart here within the next hour or so. I will get what I need to test the nitrites and nitrates. I look forward to your input after I post the numbers! Thanks again!

OK so I just went out and bought the nitrite and nitrate test kit. My results on my water are after day 8. (Forgot to mention I didnt add any Tetra safe start. I actually bought it just now with my nitrate/nitrite kit. Do not know if I need to add it or Not?)

Ph 8.2
Ammonia 0.25 or a little under
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

I noticed my ammonia went up a little bit from last night. So what should be my next action? Change 15% water in the morning? Look forward to hearing back from you guys and gals!
 
CindiL
  • #12
Ok, so yes I would add in the tetra safe start, usually a whole bottle for the size tank it shows. You are not cycled and the safe start will get your on your way there. For the nitrogen cycle to complete you go from ammonia readings, to nitrite readings with ammonia tapering off to 0, to nitrate readings and both ammonia and nitrites being 0. THEN you will be cycled

You are pretty much starting off with a new tank and no cycle so TSS is the way to go here.
 
Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Cindi, should I do a partial water change first to get the ammonia back down to 0? or just add the Tetra Safe Start and then check the levels in 14 days?

Sorry just read that the Safe Start has ammonia binder in it! I'm going to add it and then be back in 14 Days! Thanks so much!
 
CindiL
  • #14
Hope it all goes well!
 

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Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Ok I have another question sorry lol! I'm in day 3 of the Tetra Safe Start. When the 14 days are up after I check the water parameters do I do an automatic 20% water change no matter what the water levels are? Thanks again!!
 
jdhef
  • #16
When I use SafeStart, if my nitrates aren't above 20ppm, I wait another week before doing a water change. But do keep in mind that the percentage of water you change going forward, will be based on your nitrate readings. If you have 0ppm nitrates in your tap water, you want to do a large enough water change so that your nitrate are 20ppm or less just before your next water change.So you may have to change out more than 20% weekly.
 
Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Ok thanks again guys! Just want to make sure I'm doing this right! Thanks for everyones advice!

ngel Fish Picture


Just thought you all would like a pic of my Awesome Angel Fish! Not the best picture but the best I could get tonight! Thanks again for everyones help!



Just thought I would give another update. This is day 4 after adding Tetra Safestart Plus. Doesnt look any different yet, guess that's why they say wait 14 days? I'll add a pic below.

Ph 8.2ish
Ammonia 0-0.25
Nitrates 0
Nitrites 0

Should I check the levels on day 7 again and if no changes add another bottle? Or just wait the rest of the 14 days then try again? Thanks again everyone!
 
jdhef
  • #18
Just wait it out, unless it appears your fish are stressed. I actually recommend not even testing until day 14 (unless the fish look stressed) because as you can see, the intermediate test results can weaken your resolve.
 

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Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
I know, I know, Wait it out lol. Day 7 Water results.. Still the same..
Ph 8.2
Ammonia 0-0.25
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

I'm not going to do anymore water checks until day 14. If the results are the same as today on day 14 should I do a partial water change and just get another bottle of Tetra Safe Start and add it as well? Or maybe go out and purchase a couple more fish to create some waste? 3-5 cherry barbs? I like those. Also my dad must not of ran a strong filter because my Angel fish will not come out and swim in the tank. He stays in the corner unless I turn the filter off to feed.. Its just a basic Aqua Safe 30 HOB Filter.. Anyways.. Thanks again guys! Results below in a photo!!



Just wanted to give another update.. Did a water test last night on day 9 of the Tetra Safe Start.. Still showing 0.25 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, 8.2 ph. Is it just me or is this looking like its going take take longer then 14 days? Should I add a couple more fish, or after day 14 add another bottle of Tetra Safe Start? Maybe I screwed something up? Thanks again!
 
tyguy7760
  • #20
I tried to scan the thread but didn't see, what fish do you currently have in your tank? Also what test are you using?
 
Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
I have a Angelfish and a male betta. I'm going to rehome the betta after the tank cycles. I am using API liquid Test.
 
tyguy7760
  • #22
Both fish are pretty low on the bioload. It may be rather difficult to cycle a tank with that low of a bioload. Not sure if you have live plants or not but they could also be hindering the cycle since you have such a low ammonia source. I would give it the rest of the time though as it does not appear your fish are being harmed in anyway and reaccess after the 14 days are up.

For a reference, the first time I cycled my tank with TSS+ on day 12 I had very similar readings as yours and on day 15 I registered nitrates.
 

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Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Thanks for the quick reply btw! No live plants, I would like to eventually get a few. But right now none. The tank has had the TSS+ for 9 days now. And it was set up with the same two fish before I added the TSS+ for roughly 9 or 10 days.. Would it hurt if after the 14 days and no change to go and grab roughly 3 or 4 Cherry barbs or a small group of tetra?
 
tyguy7760
  • #24
I think it's probably best to give it until the 14th day and see where we are at. After the 14th day if we still don't have nitrates, I would probably do a water change and try again. You could try and swap to Stability instead of TSS+. Adding 4 or 5 cherry barbs/tetras may help the cycle because right now 1 angel and 1 betta may not be producing enough waste for a cycle in a 36 gallon tank.

But let's wait the full 14 days and see.
 
Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Sounds like a plan! Thanks again, I'll update on the 14th day.
 
Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
Alright guys, heres the 14 day update. Everythings staying the same other than ph going up....

Amonia 0.25
Ph is going up a little 8.3-8.4
Nitrie 0
Nitrate 0
Water temp 78

I also added 5 cherry barbs to the tank yesterday and they are doing great! It has been 23 days since my last water change so I'm thinking about a 30% water change today with a good gravel cleaning. Also there is a brown alge starting to form on my big rocks under the filter and on my other decor. I will also dose the tank with prime again, then wait till tomorrow night and add another bottle of TSS and see what happens. Does this sound like the right thing to do? Thanks again looking for some advice!

 

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CindiL
  • #27
That seems odd that it didn't work as expected (since you have no nitrates). I would think it was just that the bio-load wasn't enough. With the 5 cherry barbs you could pick up stability instead as you can dose it as much as you want, I usually dose once or twice a day after the initial dosage and you can use Prime daily with it to keep your new guys safe.

Yes, do a water change first
 
Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
Ok so I feel stupid again lol. Did a 30% water change today, rescaped the tank a little, put my seachem prime in to make sure everything was safe for the fish. Went to Petsmart about 3 hours later and bought what you had Suggested Cindi, the Stability starter. Was also talked into a Extremely small Bristle nose pleco from the fish clerk when I told them I had brown alge! Well I forgot to wait 24 hours to put it in the Stability LOL ... I added it after I got home, reading the bottle it says it will not hurt to overdose so I'm guessing tomorrow I should start over and redose the whole tank?? Thanks again!! Also took a pic for you guys to see the tank!! Started to get addicted to this fish thing BTW!!

 
CindiL
  • #29
It looks beautiful!

With Stability you don't need to wait 24 hours It can be used daily with Prime.
 
Clambeth25
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
Well just wanted to post an update, just did a water test and I got 0.25 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 2.5-5.0 nitrate!!! Does this mean the tank has almost fully cycled? What should I do next? I was planning a 30% water change tomorrow. Should I still do it or leave the tank alone for a few more days? Getting Excited!! Thanks for everyones help!!
 
CindiL
  • #31
With your levels the way they are, I'd wait a few more days, keep dosing Stability and see if the ammonia drops to 0 and the nitrates keep rising.

Looks like you're there (almost)
 

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