Newbee fish in cycle

Splreece
  • #1
Morning all..

I am one of the many newbs who werent told by pet shop that the cycle exists...so apologies but am running a fish in cycle.

My confusions is in the ammonia part...

I have a 200l tank with 6 gourami some shrimp, 5 tetras and 5 corys..

I'm seeing lots of advice say to do water change if any ammonia is seen in tank... But how do I generate bacteria if I don't allow any ammonia build up at all..? (I'm using the friendly bacteria liquids)... My fish in cycle is 4 days old and looks like the attached photo (Im a monitoring freak, I have bearded dragon so do the same with them).. Any help wd be most welcome..
Jus read your guidance.. Its the first set of guidance I think I've ready that makes sense of the practical mechanics of what to do. Iunderstand the theory and the chemicsl cycle.. the guidance on using prime daily to to stall effects and with a water change to minise the counts... That makes more sense.. Thank you..
 

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JVandiver
  • #2
Im having an ammonia spike too. From advice Ive been given, keep up on water changes & use Prime.
The good bacteria will eventually win out. Dont rinse out your filter.

Do you have live plants? Ive been told they will use up the ammonia.
 
Splreece
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks... Err.... Im going to say yes I have live plants.. Although they don't look too well.. Think I've manhandled them too. Much
 
Flyfisha
  • #4
Hi Splreece,
Don’t worry, many of use got poor advice on our first tank and made it through to come out the other side.

I have to be straight with you as I assume by your profile picture you are an adult.? You are probably going to lose the shrimp to ammonia poisoning.

To keep the fish alive is the main task.
Keeping any long term kidney damage to a minimum if possible. To achieve this goal multiply water changes are required.

To begin to answer your question.
Fish breath out ammonia. They sweet ammonia and of course poop . Any uneaten food soon rots enough to produce ammonia. Ammonia is arriving 24 -7 in small amounts continuously. Our API liquid test kits are not sensitive enough to measure small amounts of ammonia.
We are only trying to keep the ammonia as low as possible. With fish in a tank it’s impossible to not have some ammonia.

Can you please tell us the brand name of the “friendly bacteria “ ?
Lets say some brands are not the correct bacteria.
Some brands will do more harm than good.
A couple of brands actually had the correct bacteria in them when they were sealed.
Personally I believe there is plenty of bacteria available for free. Many people believe in using bottled bacteria and if you are going to add it it should be one of the correct bottles.

Using Prime detoxifies ammonia into harmless ammonium but it still slows up on our water test.
 
Splreece
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks for the response.. Ive got prime arriving today and in the interim I've been using tetra filter active... As far as I can tell... Once I start using prime.. I shouldn't need to use anything else unless other none cycle problems occur
 
Flyfisha
  • #6
That’s right .
All water used in an aquarium must have a conditioner added.

Is tetra filter active a de chlorinator as well as bacteria?
 
Splreece
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Taa... Not the one I have so I've been adding a tap safe liquid too.. But prime does both from what I read so happy days and... It pains me to say but after some fish in cycle reading... Yep I'm prepping myself to losing some littluns...
 
Flyfisha
  • #8
Prime is just a conditioner. Because we use such a small amount a hypodermic syringe or similar will help measure the small amount needed.

There are 3 brands of bottled bacteria worth using.
Doctor Tim’s one and only.
Tetras safe start Plus ( I think)
And one other that slips my mind.
 
Splreece
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Ahh cool.. So Ill make sure I should always have prime... Tetra safe start plus throughout the process..
 
ProudPapa
  • #10
Regarding your question about how to let ammonia build up if you keep doing water changes, when you do a water change you only remove the same percentage of ammonia as you do water, so you never remove it all, and it's also constantly being generated by the fish in the tank. When doing a fish-in cycle you should always do water changes when needed to keep the combined ammonia and nitrites at least below 1.0 ppm, and ideally below 0.5 ppm.

Also, you didn't ask for stocking advice, but I noticed you said you have 6 gourami. May I ask which kind? Depending on the species that may turn into a train wreck when they get older.
 
Splreece
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Ahh thanks for that reply..... That makes total sense the 1ppm or under is the max threshold.. I have all 4 dwarf guarami I believe and one pearl, which is a small gourami.

Oh and ignore the husbandry.. My first attempt looks more like a monsoon tsunami disaster..
 

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RayClem
  • #12
Getting fish advice from a pet store owned by a large chain is seldom a great idea. I have run into a few very knowledgeable folks, especially if you talk with the fish department manager, but most of the employees are poorly trained and their focus is more on making sales than it is on educating customers. Thus they will gladly sell you a single bala shark for a 20 gallon aquarium when they should be kept in groups in a 125 gallon aquarium. They will also sell you a comet goldfish to go in a 1 gallon bowl when they need a minimum of 50 gallons per adult fish. Anyway, that is enough ranting.

The toxicity of ammonia is highly dependent upon the pH of the water. Ammonia can exist in two forms, both ammonia NH3 and ammonium ion NH4+. Ammonia is far more toxic than ammonium ion. At high pH levels (around 8.0) the predominant form will be toxic ammonia. At low pH levels (around 6.0) the predominant form will be ammonium ion. At a neutral pH there will be some of each form. Thus, if your pH is high (above 7.5) you need to be far more concerned about the ammonia concentration than you do if the pH is lower.

Seachime Prime seems to be the product most recommended for dealing with ammonia during a fish-in cycle. Unlike some products, it does not remove or "lock up" ammonia. It converts it to a form which is less toxic to fish, but yet it is still available to the beneficial bacteria. If you use a standard ammonia test kit, you will still see a high level of ammonia, but it will be less harmful to your fish. It is a great product to use during a fish-in cycle if the ammonia levels spike and it a useful to have in the cabinet to use if your cycle ever crashes in the future.

If you are testing ammonia levels under 1 ppm, you should not need to do large water changes. However, you should do smaller ones. If the ammonia climbs above 2 ppm, then a water change of 50% is warranted.

If you have a friend who keeps fish, you can get a handful of gravel or a portion of their filter media to add to your filter to provide beneficial bacteria to "seed" the cycle in your new tank. If that is not possible, there are commercial bacterial products like Seachem Stability, API Quick Start, Dr. Tim's Aquatics Life Bacteria, and others. They will all help, but none will instantly cycle your tank.

If at all possible, when you are doing water changes, add your water conditioner to the water about 5-10 minutes before you add it to your tank. That allows the conditioner to react with the chlorine before you add the water to the tank. Many people do not do that with established tanks. However, when your tank is new, you do not want to be killing any of the beneficial bacteria you are trying to develop.
 
Splreece
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Thanks for that. More goood stuff as I only just ready about pH and ammonia link.. Mines 6.6 so I believe less toxic then I might have been. And now I have a baseline and threshold.. Also refill I seem to have got used to transferring on temporature tap water via a syphon so I have a bin that's full of good water to add the drops too instead of the tank directly...... Thanks very much... The only thing I don't have that I need is filter material as the shop said I didn't need any aside the carbon.... Err.... Doh.. So that's due tomorrow.. Getting the bagged ceramic tubes for inside the internal filter... That should mean I have the basic hardware needed.... I think... But learning everyday....
 
Flyfisha
  • #14
ProudPapa
  • #15
Ahh thanks for that reply..... That makes total sense the 1ppm or under is the max threshold.. I have all 4 dwarf guarami I believe and one pearl, which is a small gourami.

I thought something like that may be the case. Pearl gouramis are one of my favorites, and I have 8 (2M and 6F, I think; 7 are still young) in one tank. The jury is still out on whether or not they'll be okay when they all mature, but at least I have a chance since they're a relatively social fish and the tank is heavily planted.

Dwarf gouramis, on the other hand, are not social fish. I haven't tried to keep multiple males in a tank (and females are rarely available in the US, so you probably have all males), but every report I've seen from people who have indicates that when they approach sexual maturity they will begin to fight, and likely not stop until there's only one left alive. You might get lucky, but I wanted you to be aware of it.
 
Splreece
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Ohh noo thanks for that... I saw a similar thing with males so I asked the shop as they supplied all the fish.... And the tank.. And they said they are fine...****... I know what you mean about the pearls, they are stunning.... I like the idea of a custom aquarium (not till im settled with this one and understand the mechanics a bit more...) but am tempted with much longer tank that sits in a 6ft alcove... Probably max height of 2ft.. Just so it's easier to clean.. That may help to split then but yeah that'll be a problem especially since they growth to like 4-6 inches... Maybe a challenge
 
RayClem
  • #17
Thanks for that. More goood stuff as I only just ready about pH and ammonia link.. Mines 6.6 so I believe less toxic then I might have been. And now I have a baseline and threshold.. Also refill I seem to have got used to transferring on temporature tap water via a syphon so I have a bin that's full of good water to add the drops too instead of the tank directly...... Thanks very much... The only thing I don't have that I need is filter material as the shop said I didn't need any aside the carbon.... Err.... Doh.. So that's due tomorrow.. Getting the bagged ceramic tubes for inside the internal filter... That should mean I have the basic hardware needed.... I think... But learning everyday....

Hopefully, you are headed in the right direction.

Of all the types of filter media, activated carbon might be the most overrated. Activated carbon does have its uses: removing used medications from the tank and eliminating unpleasant odors. However, many tanks do not need activated carbon and if you have live plants, the carbon will absorb nutrients needed by the plants. Thus, many fishkeepers with planted tanks no longer use activated carbon except to address a specific issue. Once again that is something that the folks in your local fish store may not tell you since they want to sell you more carbon.

There are lots of things that can be used as filter media: polyurethane sponges (not cellulose sponges or ones with detergents), nylon scrub pads, polyester floss, ceramic rings, gravel, lava rock, pumice and perlite. All bacteria need is a surface area to grow on. The more porous the material the better.
 

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