Next steps?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Crabbyj, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. CrabbyjNew MemberMember

    Hey everyone,

    I'm a newbie at fish and have a couple questions. I know my questions might sound silly to the experienced ones, but I'm trying to understand keeping fish as I've never had them before.

    I have a 20L that is set up and I just added bio-spira tonight. After it was added my readings are as follows:

    PH = 6.8
    Nitrates = 20
    Nitrites = 0
    H = 25
    Alk = 40
    Ammonia = a little less than 3.0
    Temp = 80

    I have about 2 inches of gravel, a few fake plants, a filter, and airpump with stone, some hiding spots, a temp guage,...

    Do I test the water daily until the nitrites and the ammonia are 0?

    What level should the nitrates be?

    Do I need to do a partial water change before adding fish?

    I plan on adding a couple each zebra danios, tetras, dwarf gouramis, a mystery snail, an otto catfish, and maybe a red fin shark (the smallest kind).
    And maybe a couple other 1.5 to 2" fish.

    Would I add about half the fish at first, wait a couple weeks and add the rest?
  2. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    With bio-Spira you add your whole fish load immediately. that way the bacteria your adding has some waste to feed on.
  3. CrabbyjNew MemberMember

    Well, I guess I messed that up. I misunderstood what I read about bio-spira.

    Will it be ok if I had the entire fish load 12 hours after adding the bio-spira?

    Just a note: There was some ammonia in the tank prior to putting in the bio-spira because I started to do a fish less cycle then changed to bio-spira.

    I suppose I should just test my water in the morning and if the levels are fine it would be safe to add the fish?
  4. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Sounds good to me. Just be sure to monitor the Ammonia, nitrite and nitrates closely.
  5. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Definately don't add the fish until your ammonia comes back down to zero. If your bio spira is alive, your ammonia should come right down pretty quickly. ;)
  6. ShortyValued MemberMember

    Sorry to butt in - whats Bio-spira?
  7. GunnieWell Known MemberMember

    Bio spira is a product put out by Marineland that actually contains all the bacteria you find in a cycled tank. I have used it 3 times, and had no ammonia or nitrite readings, and within 24 hours had nitrates. You add 1 oz. per 30 gallons of tank along with a full bioload of fish from the very beginning. You have to be careful where you get it from though. It needs to be refrigerated, and if the dealer didn't handle it properly, you end up buying an expensive packet of dead bacteria.
  8. ShortyValued MemberMember

    I want some - it would get my new tank off to a flying start, can you get it in the UK?
  9. CrabbyjNew MemberMember

    It's supposed to be great stuff. I just messed up using it and got off to a bad start. I started to cycle my tank with ammonia then the next day decided to try the bio-spira thinking I could add it without the fish. Thankfully I did not add fish because the ammonia readings were still there and I probably would have killed off any fish I put in.

    I also have real low ph and alkalinity so I had to add baking soda to my tank. I hope I'm on the right track now, but I'm back to cycling with ammonia because my bio-spira did not work for me for whatever reason.

    Here are the latest numbers:

    PH = 7.8 (after adding baking soda - was 6.0)
    Nitrite = .2
    Nitrate = 20 (comes straight from tap with nitrates of 20)
    Hardness = 25
    Alkalinity = 120 (after adding baking soda - was 40)
    Ammonia = 2.0
    Temp = 80

    I guess it's just a waiting game now.
  10. ShortyValued MemberMember

    Where do you get bio spira - I would like to try it for my new tank.
  11. CrabbyjNew MemberMember

    I called around the local petshops and found one that carried it. You can also go online to Marineland's website and see what shops in your area get their supplies from Marineland. Maybe they could special order it for you if they don't carry it. Or you can order it from sites online. There are a few that carry it.

    Just be cautious and find out all you can about it first. Sounds like Gunnie could explain exactly how it works to you. If I ever set up a tank again I will most likely use it.

    EDIT: I just realized you're in the uk. I don't think they carry it. I believe you would have to order it.
  12. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Bio-spira is not available in the uk yet. Sorry
    Crabbyj - Most fish will adapt to your ph and alkakinity so adding the baking soda isn't really a good idea at this point. Stable water parameters are more important, and when you add chemicals to change your water they tend to fluctuate causing sick fish. Ask the fish store where you get your fish what their pH is and if its different just acclimate your fish slower than usual. HTH
  13. CrabbyjNew MemberMember

    I will check with the local petstore about the ph and alkalinity in this area.

    I haven't added any fish yet. My tank did not fully cycle so there aren't any fish to harm yet, thankfully.
  14. ShortyValued MemberMember

    Aggrrh....(please insert your own choice of word here)..... That really does kinda suck.

    Crabbyj good luck with the new tank, I am sure you will have it looking great, don't forget to post a pic of it in the pics forum :)
  15. CrabbyjNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the encouragment Shorty. I need all the help I can get right now.

    I will post pictures when (if) I ever get throught this cycle properly. All the numbers are about the same today.
  16. vinWell Known MemberMember

    No need. You can do those tests quite simply yourself. Put some tapwater in a jar, bucket, container - whatever you have handy and allow it to sit out for 24-48 hours and then perform your tests. That would give you a pretty good baseline for your water readings.
  17. CrabbyjNew MemberMember

    How true Vin, never would have thought of that myself... :-[
  18. vinWell Known MemberMember

    ;D We aim to please......