New Tank Questions Question

  1. ToCkSiC

    ToCkSiC Valued Member Member

    Day 5 of my new tank cycle (fish-in cycle, I know not good but I explain everything in my signature link), day 3 for my fish (2 guppies) and I am wondering about water changes.

    I understand what the water changes do and the benefits plus some of the problems they can cause with bacteria not being established etc.
    Currently my test readings are PH 7.8, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0 and Nitrate 0, I haven't done a water change since I introduced the fish due to the low Ammonia levels as I know bacteria need ammonia to grow, so I am worried about causing more delay in the bacteria growing by changing the water.

    My question is, should I only start doing water changes when the ammonia gets to 0.5+, or should I do water changes regardless of how high the levels are?
  2. bizaliz3

    bizaliz3 Fishlore Legend Member

    You have fish in there!! And ammonia is harmful to them. Absolutely do NOT wait for the ammonia to rise that high to do a water change. I think you are getting fishLESS cycle confused with fish IN cycle.

    If you choose to do a fish-in cycle, you need to be doing water changes almost daily to keep the fish safe. If that delays the cycle, so be it!! But the fish should not have to live in .5ppm ammonia just in order for the cycle to possibly go faster.
  3. OP

    ToCkSiC Valued Member Member

    Sorry I wasn't clear in what I meant, my assumptions was that the ammonia would spike relatively sharply and so I just used 0.5 as a base number.
    My point of the question was that it currently is at 0, is it still worth changing the water even at 0 or do I wait until I get some kind of reading?

  4. TexasGuppy

    TexasGuppy Well Known Member Member

    A common recommendation is to dose Prime daily to detox ammonia and nitrite and do a 50% water change any time ammonia+nitrite >= 1ppm
    I would get some seachem stability since it works with prime and can help speed up the cycle.
  5. bizaliz3

    bizaliz3 Fishlore Legend Member

    Oh I see. Have you tested for anything else yet?
    I'm surprised there's not at least a trace of ammonia after 3 days with fish.
  6. OP

    ToCkSiC Valued Member Member

    Yeah I've ordered some prime as my LFS had none at the time and I thought Tetra Aqua Safe did the same thing (silly mistake), but your comment about only doing water change when 1ppm is whats confusing me, so the prime I'm assuming controls anything under 1ppm but if their is a spike then that is where I step in?

    So when using prime and its says 0.25 or something should I still be doing water changes, say 10% or something? or is that something that wont happen with prime?

    Well this is something I was also confused about, I did have a slight reading yesterday but honestly it was basically nothing, perhaps 0.0001 or something.
    When you say tested for anything else? PH, Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate is what I've tested so far and they all normal I guess for the time frame.
    If you check my signature link you will see some pictures of the tank, It wouldn't have anything to do with the anubias would it? I am wondering if for the size of the tank that the anubias is using most if not all the ammonia being produced by just two guppies?
  7. bizaliz3

    bizaliz3 Fishlore Legend Member

    I would not wait until it gets to 1.0ppm to step in. While prime does say it detoxifies up to 1ppm, I don't think it should be relied on entirely when it gets that high. If you are using prime, i'd say do small water changes every couple days with prime (for the full tank volume, not just the new water), and also dose prime on the days you don't do a WC (again, the whole tank volume). Test the water each day to make sure there wasn't a bad spike.

    Since you are starting from scratch, you will also have a spike of nitrites down the road that are equally harmful to the fish. So you really need to be careful and test often and do lots of water changes. :)

    I don't think plants eat ammonia...they eat nitrates. And you likely don't have any nitrAtes yet because you just began your cycle
  8. OP

    ToCkSiC Valued Member Member

    ah ok my bad, I thought I read somewhere that plants use some ammonia, not sure where though so perhaps I'm getting confused with something else. :facepalm:

    I've been doing 2 tests daily since introducing the fish and every ammonia reading has come back basically 'zero', I have yet to do a water change since adding the fish due to as already discussed about the 'zero' levels.

    Do you think its worth maybe doing a 10-15% water change to maybe 'kickstart' anything?
  9. bizaliz3

    bizaliz3 Fishlore Legend Member

    If all the readings are zero, I would just wait until you start seeing at least some ammonia. I don't think a WC would kick start anything.

    You don't happen to have any established tanks do you? or have a friend with one? Using some of the media from the filter on an established tank is a way to kick start things. Stability is a bottled bacteria that is supposed to help kick start it. And a popular choice around here is TSS+ but I have never used it. Its another bottled bacteria I believe.

    Personally I have never done a cycle from scratch. Well technically my first tank since I was totally uneducated. Luckily the carnival goldfish was a hardy fellow. But every tank I have set up since over the years (I have 18 now lol) has used media from my other tanks to kick start things and sometimes it can even be instant! So I admittedly don't really know much about cycling from scratch.
  10. OP

    ToCkSiC Valued Member Member

    Unfortunately I don't, I could possibly ask for something from LFS but I'm a little worried about diseases etc.

    I've read about the bottle bacteria but I read a lot of mixed reviews about using it, I was originally going to use some for a fishless cycle but due to getting fish instead, opted against it. I thought the fish would produce enough ammonia to grow the bacteria.

    Do you think getting some TSS+ or Stability would be a good idea, or due to it still being early stages still to wait another few days before going that route?
  11. bizaliz3

    bizaliz3 Fishlore Legend Member

    I don't think bottle bacteria works in a fishLESS cycle....that bottled bacteria will just die without an ammonia source.

    The way I understand it is that the Bacteria in those bottles is just like the beneficial bacteria that our cycled tanks have in them. And just like the BB in our cycled tanks, the BB in the bottle has to be fed....with ammonia

    It will take a lot longer for BB to develop in your tank with just a few fish. So getting some of the bottled stuff will definitely help speed it along. I say go for it
  12. OP

    ToCkSiC Valued Member Member

    haha sorry again I didn't make myself clear, I would have done the whole fish flakes process to start the ammonia and then added once established.

    Sounds good, I'm assuming stability would work better with prime rather than TSS+?