New Fish Tank

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MadMike

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First i would like to say hello to everyone and I am so glad I found this site.

My wife and I bought a 10 gallon tank for my 9 year old for Christmas. It was a package deal from petco so it came with all the basic essentials. The tank was set up properly, however fish were added after only 48 hours. Obviously the tank was not cycled properly first. I was a hard core fish enthusiast as a child but have forgotten alot of things, and also alot has changed. A total of 4 fish were added all of which are mollies (2 black and 2 gold ones "not sure of the exact type"). The temperature is fine, about 78 degrees, the filter is set up and working correctly, and its been 10 days thus far. Now I was not here for the adding of the fish and would have prevented it but now that I am, I am trying everything I can to salvage the fish for my kids sake. I check the AMMONIA everyday and it has been steady at 0.25 and just rose to 0.50 today. The PH level has been steady at about 7.4 or 7.5 I have done partial water changes every other day of about 20 to 30 % The fish seem ok and are eating like most mollies do "ALOT" I have been feeding them 2 times a day but very little to cut down on waste. I know I need to start checking nitrite and nitrate which I will start tomorrow. Also we live in Alaska which is not an issue other then transporting fish from the store to home.

That is the quick story so now my questions are;\

1. Is changing the water to much going to hamper the cycle?

2. Is there any advice for me to help me through the cycling with fish?

3. lastly, any thing that doesn't sound right please help, it's been a long time?


Thanks in advance, Michael
 

chickadee

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Welcome, Michael...it is so unusual to have someone actually understand the cycle process to begin with. This is going to be so much simpler...

1. The size of water changes you are doing (20-30%) and frequency and the fact that you are testing for ammonia are going to help the fish and they are our main concern here. The cycle will progress fine..cycling with fish does take longer than Fishless Cycling and is a bit hard on the fish, but you will be fine as long as you continue to do what you are doing. You HAVE to do these water changes to keep the ammonia at a level that the fish can handle..not like, but handle. They can get along with a 0.25 but 0.50 is a bit much. As long as you are not doing LARGE water changes everyday, you will not upset your cycle.

2. Turn the temperature up to about 80 degrees so the bacteria will grow faster. The 78 degrees you mentioned is okay for the mollies, but the cycle will progress faster at 80-82 degrees and the fish can handle that temperature. You are doing the right thing by curtailing the feeding to cut down on the waste production. The pH of the tank is perfect! Lucky you.

3. I think the fish are very lucky to have you there, as is your 9 year old. They will learn the right way to start a tank and be used to the testing and water changes and care that the fish need from day 1.

Here is a good article to read even if you are aware of the Nitrogen Cycle, it describes the various methods for cycling fishless should you ever decide to get another tank (or two) MTS (Multiple Tank Syndrome) is very contagious and you have definitely been exposed by visiting our forum. We do not offer advice about the "cure" for this condition, it is generally considered to be chronic.

https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm

Welcome to the forum, I hope you will keep us informed of the progress of your tank and feel free to browse, question or comment to your heart's desire here. We are so pleased to meet you.

Rose
 
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MadMike

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UPDATE;

LOST ONE OF THE BLACK MOLLIES ON THE 2ND AS THE AMMONIA WENT TO 1.0, WHICH I AM ASSUMING IS THE CAUSE. I HAVE DONE WATER CHANGES EVERYDAY NOW, AND THE AMMONIA IS AROUND .25 SO NOW THE QUESTION THAT I HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO FIND IN THE FORUM IS... WITH SO MANY WATER CHANGES, AND THE AMMONIA STAYING LOWER THEN IF I WOULD SIMPLY LET IT RUN IT'S COURSE, WILL THIS SLOW OR EVEN PREVENT THE CYCLE FROM MOVING FORWARD?


THANKS IN ADVANCE...
MICHAEL
 

shollia

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I'm no expert, but from what I understand and what I've read here, cycling with fish is going to be slower b/c you have to do so many water changes to make sure your fish are ok.
So... yeah..... cycling with fish= more water changes= slower nitrogen cycle.

I'm sure one of the very cool more knowledgeable people here will be able to explain it all better to ya!
 

Jmarcus

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The more water changes you have to do will affect the cycle time, but in order to your fish alive water changes are necessary, daily is allright if that is needed, Can be a good experience for you and your whole family. Good luck and welcome to FishLore
 

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I am so glad that you have already done all your research and are doing everything you can to help your fish through the cycle. I am so sorry about the loss of your Molly. :'( The water changes will slow but not prevent the cycle from occurring. Keep up the water changes and daily testing and hopefully you won't lose any more fish. You are doing everything you can for them.
 

55james55

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MadMike said:
UPDATE;

LOST ONE OF THE BLACK MOLLIES ON THE 2ND AS THE AMMONIA WENT TO 1.0, WHICH I AM ASSUMING IS THE CAUSE. I HAVE DONE WATER CHANGES  EVERYDAY NOW, AND THE AMMONIA IS AROUND .25    SO NOW THE QUESTION THAT I HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO FIND IN THE FORUM IS...   WITH SO MANY WATER CHANGES, AND THE AMMONIA STAYING LOWER THEN IF I WOULD SIMPLY LET IT RUN IT'S COURSE, WILL THIS SLOW OR EVEN PREVENT THE CYCLE FROM MOVING FORWARD?


THANKS IN ADVANCE...
MICHAEL


hello MICHAEL

i was wondering u ya could help me with some thing if thats possible ill ask ya first and if its not alright then i wont ask u but hopefully u can help me


cya james
 

kerryve

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Yes doing frequent water changes will slow they cycling process, for a 20 gallon tank mine took two weeks fishless, cos theres less water changes, with fish, you should try to keep you ammonia below .25ppm if it rises your fish will die, nitrite too, try to keep below.50ppm doing 10% daily water change to save your fish it should take about 4-6weeks. try to get some filter media to speed up the process the less toxins your fish are exposed to the happier and longer they will live.

good luck, keep us posted on you water parameters.

kerry
 
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MadMike

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THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAS REPLIED TO MY POST SO FAR, THE HELP HAS BEEN INVALUABLE. I HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION, AND IT'S NOT URGENT, SO WHEN SOMEONE CAN PLEASE TEACH ME. ANYWAYS, IN REGARDS TO THE FILTER AND THE MEDIA, WHICH I AM ASSUMING IS THE BIO MEDIA THAT CAME WITH THE FILTER AND AS I READ SHOULD BE BUILDING UP ALL THE BACTERIA ON IT AS WE SPEAK. SO I HAVE 2 MEDIA'S OR CARTRIDGES IF YOU WILL, AND I HAVE READ THAT AT SOME POINT THEY WILL NEED TO BE CLEANED OR RINSED OFF. DO I RINSE BOTH OF THEM OR LET THEM BE OR IS IT JUST ONE OR THE OTHER? I HAVE A WISPER HANG ON WHICH I UNDERSTAND IS GREAT FOR BEGINNERS. AS I UNDERSTAND IT, WE WANT THE MEDIA TO BE "DIRTY" IF YOU WILL, AND SO HOW DO I PREVENT FROM MAKING IT "CLEAN" IN THE EVENT I NEED OR SHOULD CLEAN IT? AND IF ALL THE ANSWERS ARE YES... HOW OFTEN DO YOU CLEAN THEM?

I HOPE THE QUESTION IS NOT TO CONFUSING..

THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL THE HELP...
MICHAEL
 

JMatt1983

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they should be cleaned every once in a while to prevent them from becoming clogged with fish waste and excess food, to do so, simply swish them media in some tank water when you do a water change, that way you won't kill the bacteria, also the impeller assembly in the filter should be cleaned monthly
 

0morrokh

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Only rinse the media (in used tank water as JMatt said) when the water flow into the tank has slowed down a lot because there is so much junk on the media. Replace the media only when it cannot be cleaned and water is having trouble getting through it at all, which is not very ofter (shouldn't be less than 6 months probably). Since you have two cartridges, don't replace htem at the same time but alternate rinsing and replacing them.
 
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MadMike

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LOST MY SECOND AND LAST BLACK MOLLIE..... IT'S A SAD AND HARD LESSON TO BE LEARNED AND UNFORTUNATELY THE FISH PAID THE PRICE. I HAVE BEEN VIGOROUSLY CHANGING THE WATER AND MONITORING THE WATER CHEMISTRY. I THINK THE CYCLE IS COMING ALONG FINE AND HOPEFULLY NO MORE FISH HAVE TO SUFFER.

AGAIN I APPRECIATE ALL THE WISDOM PROVIDED HERE THUSFAR...

THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT.
MICHAEL
 
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MadMike

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EXPERTS...LET'S SEE HOW GOOD YOU GUYS ARE... JUST KIDDING

EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED THUS FAR IS ON MY POST HERE. NOW WITH THAT BEING SAID, IT HAS BEEN WELL OVER 2 WEEKS NOW AND NO SIGN OF NITRITE. I REALIZE AFTER SOME CAREFUL SEARCHING THAT TEMPERATURE PLAYS A GREAT DEAL ON THE CYCLE. SO I HAVE MY TANK SET FOR 80 DEGREES AND THE THERMOMETER READS ROUGHLY 78 TO 80 DEGREES, AND IT STAYS STEADY EXCEPT FOR SMALL 1 DEGREE SHIFTS WITH WATER CHANGES. SO HERE IS THE ISSUE, AT LEAST WHAT I'M THINKING; I LIVE IN ALASKA, FAIRBANKS TO BE EXACT AND RIGHT NOW OUTSIDE IT'S -43 DEGREES AND ALTHOUGH MY HOME IS NICELY HEATED, I WONDER IF THE ROOM AIR COULD GET LOW ENOUGH TO POSSIBLY EFFECT THE TANK EVEN A LITTLE WHICH MAY BE SLOWING THE CYCLE. I HAVE THE TANK ON AN INNER WALL AND THE TANK IS BASICALLY WARM TO THE TOUCH OF THE BACK OF MY HAND. THERE WILL BE A LITTLE COOLNESS ON THE GLASS AT NIGHT. SO ANYWAYS IF ANYONE THINKS THIS MAY BE AN ISSUE PLEASE LET ME KNOW. IF NOT I AM GOING TO JUST DRIVE ON AND HOPE TO SEE SOME WATER CHANGES SOON.

THANKS IN ADVANCE
MICHAEL
 

0morrokh

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If hte thermometer reads 80 degrees then that is what temp the water is, so the cold outdoor temp shouldn't be effecting your tank. the thing with the cycle is just to be patient. Since you are doing frequent water changes, the bacteria will take a long time to grow. Don't start worrying quite yet.
 
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