New 55 Gal. Tank

tinip40
  • #1
I started a 55 gal.Tank and my ammonia level is sitting between 0.50 & 1.0
Temp. is 76-80. I used a 6 point test and all shows to be in normal or safe zone and the Ph is sitting in between 6.5 7.5.There are zero fish and zero live plants in the tank, actually only gravel water and 1 artifical plant.What should I do next?I have read info but am not to sure since there are many opinions on diffrent threads here.Thanks in advance for the help.
 
kra-z-fishmumm
  • #2
1-you could buy Bio-Spira or Turbostart700 to get the tank cycled and be able to buy fish at the same time. OR
2- you could feed your tank (fish food) and let the cycling process do it's natural thing. If you go to the home page, there is a much more detailed description on how to do this.

But most of all,,, it is much easier on both you and a potential group of fish if you cycle the tank BEFOREadding fish!:
 
susitna-flower
  • #3
WELCOME TO FISHLORE!

If you haven't bought your fish yet......DON'T until you cycle your tank. That is the very best option....it takes a couple of weeks, but that just gives you lots of time to plan your tank.

Go up to the top of the page under "ARTICLES", and read all about the nitrogen cycle. There is a portion on cycling fish-less....it tells just how to do it. When the cycle is complete, and you do a water change, then it is safe to add fish 2 or 3 at a time over several weeks. Good Luck, and we are always happy to meet new people!
 
Shawnie
  • #4
welcome to fishlore! great advice given already ..people here are so very helpful..goodluck
 
tinip40
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks to all, I appreciate thee help/advice...now some more dumb questions.

If all my readings show everything is safe like I posted earlier then why do I have to cycle more? If I do not want ammonia in the tank but then I am to cycle to make it just so it will break down again then I am confused.The numbers I posted earlier are they not what I am looking for to keep my tank in good condition?
I am sorry to bug you so much but as many times as I have read it still makes no sense to me.
I have not bought any fish and do not plan too until I know for sure but I have no clue as to when that is!I do not want to hurt any fish and I am not going to use any for sacrifical purposes either and I am patient, the only thing I really want to know why I am to do what I am to do....I know I don't make a lot of sense and I do really appreciate all the help and info I can get.
Once again Thanks
Theresa
 
susitna-flower
  • #6
Thanks to all, I appreciate thee help/advice...now some more dumb questions.

If all my readings show everything is safe like I posted earlier then why do I have to cycle more? If I do not want ammonia in the tank but then I am to cycle to make it just so it will break down again then I am confused. The numbers I posted earlier are they not what I am looking for to keep my tank in good condition?
I am sorry to bug you so much but as many times as I have read it still makes no sense to me.
I have not bought any fish and do not plan too until I know for sure but I have no clue as to when that is!I do not want to hurt any fish and I am not going to use any for sacrifical purposes either and I am patient, the only thing I really want to know why I am to do what I am to do....I know I don't make a lot of sense and I do really appreciate all the help and info I can get.
Once again Thanks
Theresa

The first thing I would say is that ANY reading above 0 of ammonia OR nitrite are not "safe".

The fish in the tank are SAFE if the cycle has been "complete". If you choose to put fish in an uncycled tank you have to do huge water changes for many weeks to keep them alive. It slows down the cycle, and what you would have been able to do in 2 weeks takes 6-8 weeks of water changes every day!

If you read the article you would understand that the fish produce waste....ammonia....bacteria has to grow (takes time, and is speeded by either adding bio-spira OR using filter media from an established tank) it takes time any way you look at it.....the bacteria grows, it eats ammonia and the result is nitrite...a different bacteria grows that eats nitrite and the result is nitrate......

Both ammonia AND nitrite are extremely toxic to fish. It will kill them.....if you try to have fish in your tank before the cycle is complete they will be stressed, and either be very sick, or die.

The tank isn't cycled until the ammonia and nitrite both rise and then fall back to 0 at which time you will have nitrate readings.

Most here recommend the API Master test kit as the only reliable testing kit on the market. If you are using something that says 1 on your ammonia test is OK, you are NOT using reliable information.

Sorry if this comes off sounding blunt, but I suggest you read the articles up at the top of the page.
 
sp33drhno
  • #7
your tank is still cycling. continue feeding your tank, and taking readings until your ammonia and nitrite are no longer present. then do a large water change to lower nitrate levels. at that point you'll be ready to add fish at a gradual rate as mentioned above.

when you slowly increase the number of fish in the tank, the beneficial bacteria will be able to grow with the increasing bio-load. therefore you will not go through another cycle. if you suddenly add 10 fish or add fish before the tank is completely cycled, the bacteria will not be able to process all the waste fast enough. this will prolong the cycle or cause a minI cycle.
 
tinip40
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks for the bluntness I have read and re-read it still is over my head
I did another multI test and ammonia test(by apI just for ammonia)

I have not put anything into the tank like fish /fish food these readings are strictly from water gravel and 1 aquatic (not real)plant.

nitrate 0
nitrite 0
hardness soft
chlorine 0
alkalinity 80
ph 7.8-8.4

ammonia 0.50-1.0

This is the best I can read the cards

So I now need to add flake food and let it decay and then take another reading whne?
Thanks again.
Ps. Like I said earlier I will not add fish till it is time.
I am just trying to learn all of it all at once and it helps to ask questions and get answers also I know when I set up my tank and went to tetra.com and registered they sent me info and email me day to day stuff and the reason I asked is the other day they said it was time to add fish and that confuised me since I already felt it was to early to add.
Should I go out and by Bio Spira and add it?
Thanks again
Theresa
 
angelfish220
  • #9
I find that pure ammonia (no cleaning aditive in it ) is the easyest way to cycle a tank. fish food would work to though. take another reading in 3 days. Biospira would cycle your tank really fast if you already know what fish you want andtend to be impatient.
 
tinip40
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Thanks I am in no hurry Whatever fish I decide to put in I want to live and live well.With no stress or anything especially if I became the reason.
Theresa
 
susitna-flower
  • #11
If you choose to do the fish-less cycle. You have to feed the tank every 12 hours or so....stop and the bacteria die. So you either use 100% pure ammonia as angelfish stated and put in drops every 12 hours, OR you feed fish food every 12 hours, or you put a chunk of raw fish in the tank......only to be taken out when the tank if fully cycled.

Your cycle doesn't start until you put something in the water that will create ammonia. If you haven't put anything in yet, I would say the readings you are getting are not accurate.
 
65gallon
  • #12
I am also in the process of cycling my new 55 gallon tank before I put fish in it. I put in some stuff called cycle, some frozen raw shrimp from my freezer, and a cup of water from my wifes betta tank hoping that this well help as I am already getting impateint and I have no clue how to cycle. and I read everything.

ps this is my first tank ever, I didnt even have one as a child so I know nothing when it comes to having a tank.
 
Halibut
  • #13
If your going to use a conditioner to help cycle the tank then use bio-spira. Once you stop using the cycle you'll find your tank is not actually cycled and you'll wind up starting all over again.

It works like this:
Fish create waste
waste breaksdown producing ammonia
ammonia breaks down producing nitrite
nitrite breaks down producing nitrate
The bacteria needed to break these down will develop over time slowly. Products like cycle claim to speed up the process but really only inhibit it because you never really grow the necessary bacteria's in the tank so as soon as you don't use it your water becomes toxic to the fish due to the ammonia not breaking down. The bio=spira claims to have the actual needed bacteria and was the only conditioner to have a positive effect on my tank.
 
susitna-flower
  • #14
I am also in the process of cycling my new 55 gallon tank before I put fish in it. I put in some stuff called cycle, some frozen raw shrimp from my freezer, and a cup of water from my wifes betta tank hoping that this well help as I am already getting impateint and I have no clue how to cycle. and I read everything.

ps this is my first tank ever, I didnt even have one as a child so I know nothing when it comes to having a tank.

PLEASE believe the folks here that the product CYCLE does NOT work.....it has bacteria in it, but not the right bacteria and will make your tank dependant and not self sustaining....there are many posts on this.

Putting water over from another tank also does not work, as the bacteria are in the filter material, on the glass, decorations and in the gravel. That is why you can do water changes during the cycle with fish process and not cause problems.

IF you do cycle with fish you either have to use bio-spira, or put filter media or gravel over from a fully cycled tank. Then that just STARTS the bacteria growth, and the tank still has to go through the cycle process, growing it's own supply to take care of the fish load you have in the tank.
 
65gallon
  • #15
I can't find Bio-Spira. I have been looking around a local stores and no one seems to carry it.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #16
According to information from the manufacturers themselves, Cycle will kill the type of bacteria that you want to develop in your tank.

Welcome to Fishlore, tinip40. I would recommend the API master freshwater testing kit. Those testing strips are notoriously inaccurate.
 
angelfish220
  • #17
if you snaged a plastic plant, handfull of gravel or a filter pad from your wife's tank it would do the same thing biospira would do
 
65gallon
  • #18
I just bought some biospira from ebay
 

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