New To The Fish World! Help With The Process

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Blaggy, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. BlaggyValued MemberMember

    Hey all, I'm brand new to the fish world and Ive noticed this forum has tons of information so I wanted to join the community. I learned about the cycling process just recently, and I'm currently in the beginning stages of it. I went to my LFS (I believe that stands for local fish store?! haha) and was told to do a fish-in cycle because this speeds up the cycling process. They told me to use Stress Zyme and Stress Coat weekly and to double the doses the first two weeks so really kickstart the process.

    My situation: I have a 37 g tank, set it up on Wednesday 4/11, so its been running for 3 days now. The second day I added the fish, 5 green swordtails because I was told these guys are hardy fish and will possibly survive the cycling process.

    I recently checked my parameters: ph 7.0, Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 0ppm. I don't have tests for my hardness.

    So I guess I want to make sure I'm doing everything right, if the info I was fed from my LFS is accurate, how long the process will tank to complete the cycling, what else I could be doing, are those two chemicals I was told to use good or bad?

    Hope to hear from you guys!

    Thank you :)
  2. Little JohnValued MemberMember

    it could take 5 to 6 weeks

  3. CraniumRexWell Known MemberMember

    I would change the water conditioner to Seachem Prime or Ammo lock personally. This product can detoxify the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates in the water and give the fish in there the best chance of survival.

    I’m not against fish-in cycling per se but not a fan of sacrificing lives to do it.

    Welcome. You have come to a great place.

  4. BlaggyValued MemberMember

    Do these just make the toxic levels safer for the fish to survive, but allow it to be consumed by the BB?

    Yeah, I feel bad now, the lfs made it sound like the cycle wont happen without adding fish and that having fish will make it a quicker process.

  5. CarlthefishnotthelamaValued MemberMember

    Yes, they will detoxify it (within a reasonable amount) so its not hurting your fish, but it will still be there. it will show up on water tests and the BB will still eat it!
  6. BlaggyValued MemberMember

    Thats awesome! I'll definitely get some Seachem Prime tomorrow! So should I toss the Stress Coat off to the side, but continue using Stress Zyme with the Prime? Also, will this slow down the natural cycle process?

    Ooh, should I be doing partial water changes too?
  7. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!
    I have learned a ton here - I hope you do too.
    A generally good rule of thumb when fish-in-cycling...
    if Ammonia + Nitrite > or = 1.0, do a 50% water change, dose with Prime for the full volume of the tank & recheck levels in 24 hours.
    If Ammonia + Nitrite <1.0 dose with Prime & recheck in 24 hours.

    In the water: nitrogen cycle sub forum I found this which might be helpful.
    4 of the best if cycling with fish
  8. DakotablueValued MemberMember

    Good advice above!

    Sometimes your LFS will sell you some established biomedia to add to your filter to speed up the process (There are differing opinions on instant cycling). I've had good luck with adding established media in a new setup.
  9. SFGiantsGuyWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome. If you opt for a planted tank, then that will also accelerate the cycling process. Mine completed in just 3 weeks now. Although I admit, I did use some "bottled" BB lol...and plants. Because once you start to see "life" start to spark with the extra help of plants, then it WILL accelerate the prcoess much faster as well. And yes, I concur with using Prime and Ammo Lock. How ammonia "neutralizers" actually work is, they bond together certain ammonia based molecules from the fish, rendering them harmless...but only for a short time, usually about for 24 hours, 48 hours tops. Kinda like a force field does. *Most importantly, be sure to buy a LIQUID Master water test kit ASAP, as it is absolutely of mandatory importance that you monitor your water test levels, once or even twice per day--thus, utilizing your threshold for control, to reach your goal.
  10. MissRuthlessWell Known MemberMember

    The important stuff has been said already, but I just wanted to add to be very careful if you do consider asking for media at the store. I suppose since everything is brand new and the fish just came from there it wouldn't be a big deal, but I would never want anything from the store in my tank. We don't even want to pour their water in from the bag with new fish - if there's any disease or anything in their tanks, putting their media in your filter can transfer it to your tank. Though, if there is disease in their tanks, your fish could already have it so I'd do it now if you're going to and then you'll basically be quarantining while cycling, which you're already doing. Blah blah blah.

    Stress zyme doesn't have the bacteria you need to start a cycle. If I were you I'd try to return it if you have the receipt still. Tetra safe start plus (must be PLUS not just safe start) is the only bottled bacteria I know of that will really help with that, though it's not the best for fish in cycling because you want to avoid water changes with it but you really don't want to kill your fish. Since you already have the fish, I'd discontinue any additives and just stick to a schedule of changing 50% whenever ammonia/nitrite is at or above 1.0 combined, and using prime throughout to protect your fish.

    Also - do not, I repeat DO NOT EVER trust a pet store employee, or even a dedicated fish store employee. No matter what they tell you about their experience, how many fish they have or ANYTHING. Come here. Once in a blue moon you may find a knowledgeable employee, but most are uneducated and simply don't know better (remember the pet store is a minimum wage kids job) and some will even give you false information to make sales or make themselves look smart. Many of us ended up here after taking their horrible advice. Better to ask the real pros on the best fish forum on the web :)

    This is great advice that was posted as I was typing. Plants are indispensable in any tank as they help consume waste! And a liquid test kit is the most important investment you can make for your fish. I would caution you not to use prime and ammo lock together, and not to use ammo lock at all while cycling as it does not bond ammonia into ammonium like prime does but into a form that won't feed the bacteria that you need to feed to establish the cycle. I stalled one of my first cycles for weeks with that stuff before calling API to ask about it, and that's what they told me.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2018
  11. SFGiantsGuyWell Known MemberMember

    I concur with MissRuthless. Even since I was younger, I seeked out legitimate, professional, respectable, and reputable aquarium hobby stores. As they have the high tendency and probability to adhere to very solid and fruitful advice and generally care, much like a reflex action and not like some cheesy, off-the wall manufactured type of corporate-sullied"fish store". Lose the box stores...come here and get EDUCATED and scrutinzed in a friendly way. I firmly believe in the simple concept of engratiating encouragment, rather than criticsm. Thus, for someone relatively new to this hobby, a smooth transition into a rather difficult hobby IS fun, so never succumb to any unpresumable discouragment, ok? Ok. : )

    And any ammoniUM readings you can detect possess no differential between ammoniA, so be wary, and careful. Please feel completely free to ask for any further advisement.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2018
  12. BlaggyValued MemberMember

    Alright, I'll make sure I do this! So for a 50% water change, odds of me getting the water temp to come remotely close to matching the temp from the current water in the tank, so I'm curious how to ensure I don't shock the fish with such a cooler water temp? Also, do I add the conditioner to my tap water and let it sit for a while?

    Sounds to me like Prime is the best thing to use in my situation, and actually most situations, it just controls so many things!

    I have the API Master Test Kit, I heard its the best one out there. I would love to eventually have plants, but I thought as a beginner it would be best to stay somewhat simple haha.

    Yeah, I fell victim to listening to the LFS, but!, I'm sure I'm not the only one haha. So I should cease using the API Stress Zyme and Stress Coat? Just stick with the Prime if above 1.0 and 50% daily water changes?

    Thanks for all your input guys! :)

    Oh, one more questions, I've noticed my tank is somewhat cloudy now, it was clear the first day, then the second it clouded up, even before I put the fish, now since the fish were added its remained cloudy. I'm assuming its caused by the fish food/fish waste?Will this clear up once my cycle is complete because then the BB will be in there?
  13. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Most people’s fingers are sensitive enough to get the water temp matching within a couple of degrees. Some people use a thermometer.

    How you add Prime relates to how you are doing water changes. If you can dose each bucket of water, do so. I use a Python water changer & so dose the full volume of tank water as I add water back in to the tank.
  14. pugletfanWell Known MemberMember

    I run my tap water until it is the same temperature as my aquarium, checking the temperature with an instant read meat thermometer (digital). Then fill my bucket and add a dose of Prime . I mix it in a bit , then add it to the aquarium. It doesn't need to sit for a while. Prime works instantly. If you have 5 gallons of water in a bucket, you add 0.5 mL of Prime. It's fine to add a bit more. A bottle of Prime should last a long time!
  15. Hunter1Well Known MemberMember

    I second the opinion to use TetraSafeStart +.

    But if you do you want to dump it into your filter on the upstream side of your filter media. Don’t use Prime for 24 hours before TetraSafeStart and don’t test or do water changes for 14 days.

    There is a great instructional thread on here by one of the moderators, I believe Lori?

    I need to look into the instant, digital meat thermometer. I use a tank thermometer, float it in the bucket and get the temperature close by hand, then look at the thermometer and adjust accordingly.

    Once I get the water close, I have couple buckets filling in the shower with the hose in one or the other.

    Just move to the other bucket when the first is full.

    I put the Prime in before I fill the bucket.

    In bigger tanks, i’m Not as picky about water temperature. IMO 2 degrees off, doing a 33% water change amounts to approximately .66 degree difference in the entire tank. I run my various tanks from 76 degrees to 80 degrees so I strive for 78 degree water when i’m doing multiple tanks.
  16. BlaggyValued MemberMember

    Alright awesome and very helpful guys!

    I’m going to start the Prime process tonight and go from there!

    I was just looking into some of the fish I’d like to have in the future and I believe the Bolivian ram is a top contender. I’ve read they’re very personable with their owner and come right up to the glass which is awesome. I am worried that because I decided to use gravel substrate and it seems they prefer sand. I wonder if I made the right choice there or if they will adapt to the gravel. I’ll attach a picture of my aquarium for you all to see.

    I overall though would like a community aquarium with guppies, the Bolivian ram, swordtails, dwarf gouramis, and possibly an angelfish.

    Attached Files:

  17. Hunter1Well Known MemberMember

    Personally I like your stocking ideas except for the angel.

    They get pretty aggressive at 8 months or so.

    I want to start raising angels and am going to start them off with 8-10 in a 90. As soon as a pair forms, that pair is getting moved to a 30 breeder. Once I get 3 pairs, the rest are getting rehomed since the 90 will be the rearing tank. Not sure if that is even enough room.

    My wife’s marbled angel is pretty aggressive in a 48, planted. Fortunately everything has room to hide and get away.
  18. BlaggyValued MemberMember

    Oh wow I guess I didn’t realize they were so aggressive. I’d like my Bolivian ram to stand out the most so I’ll probably pass on the angel then and keep more peaceful fish with the BR.

    That sounds like a fun task to take on! Breeding would be awesome haha.
  19. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    I have a 34 gallon tank & our angel is also a bully. If you are thinking about using a bacterial supplement to help kick start your cycle I would recommend Seachem Stability since it allows you to do water changes during the cycle, while TSS+ does not allow water changes for 14 days.
  20. Hunter1Well Known MemberMember

    I am looking at a pair of BRs for a 29 i’m just starting.

    Good centerpiece fish for a tank with small fish.

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