20 Gallon Tank Problems with the nitrogen cycle

KianMan
Member
Hey guys! im a newbie here. I just wanted to know, can I start the nitrogen without any bacteria starters or objects from an already established tank? Where I live no one really knows about the nitrogen cycle and a bottle of API bacteria starters are pretty expensive. can I procure the beneficial bacteria from my surroundings? and nobody knows what water testing is over here. I asked at the fish shop the other day and the guy there was blank.Help!!!
 
Jojo205
Member
Yes!! You just need an ammonia source (fish food, pure ammonia, or fish). I think if I type: Nitrogen Cycle it should be blue and there’s a link explaining it. I’m not sure if there’s a tutorial or not. Objects from a cycled tank speeds up the cycle but is definitely not required.
 
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KianMan
Member
thanks so much Jojo205
I live in goa [ India ] and the fish hobby isn't that big here
if u need stuff related to the nitrogen cycle, you've got to buy it online and amazon keeps only the expensive stuff
 
Jojo205
Member
Looks like the blue link didn’t show up but it is on your post.
KianMan said:
thanks so much Jojo205
I live in goa [ India ] and the fish hobby isn't that big here
if u need stuff related to the nitrogen cycle, you've got to buy it online and amazon keeps only the expensive stuff
you can 100% just use fish food! I cycled my tank just find without any bacteria starters (i used Tetra safe start toward the end just to speed it up, i was impatient LOL)
 
Lmg01
Member
KianMan said:
Hey guys! im a newbie here. I just wanted to know, can I start the nitrogen without any bacteria starters or objects from an already established tank? Where I live no one really knows about the nitrogen cycle and a bottle of API bacteria starters are pretty expensive. can I procure the beneficial bacteria from my surroundings? and nobody knows what water testing is over here. I asked at the fish shop the other day and the guy there was blank.Help!!!
If you don’t have access to ammonia or bacteria then you could start a fish-in cycle. I recommend getting one or two hardy fish such as barbs or rasboras to cycle the tank. You can order some test strips online that aren’t expensive. If you don’t want to do a fish-in cycle then you could use fish food as your ammonia but it could take a while.
 
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KianMan
Member
thanks so much
Jojo205 did u just have plain dechlorinated water with absolutely nothing added to it? Do beneficial bacteria appear out of nowhere just like earthworms? I just did a massive water change and out of 6 fish that I kept in an oxygenated bucket overnight, only 2 goldfish are still alive :[ what did I do wrong
[ there were 2 goldfish, 2 serpa Tetras and 2 filament barbs]
im still sort of new to the hobby and im figuring out my way on my own
[ sorry to lay this out on you guys ]
 
Lvmyfsh
Member
KianMan said:
Hey guys! im a newbie here. I just wanted to know, can I start the nitrogen without any bacteria starters or objects from an already established tank? Where I live no one really knows about the nitrogen cycle and a bottle of API bacteria starters are pretty expensive. can I procure the beneficial bacteria from my surroundings? and nobody knows what water testing is over here. I asked at the fish shop the other day and the guy there was blank.Help!!!
increase oxygen turn off lights add fish food every now and then like 1 x a day idk really but let the filter run the best stuff grows there first. Use gravel ph above 7. Heat soeeds up process but not to hot I'd say 85 be a great start. And use declorinator when you start if you can. Add plants I've always used one or 2 fish like guppies or tetras to start it up. I've started fresh from the box but always used beneficial bacteria helpers. When you clean filter and such dont clean it with tap water it kills the good bacteria use some tank water. Never clean both gravel amd filter at once to much to fast causes more issues. In most cases less is more. Be simple and smart you'll do fine. Here in USA they test water at pet stores for free make sure tell them it's a new set up. look up the cycle here in the forum and you'll find loads of info about it.
Ive even used small fresh water ponds to get lilly plants from and have added those to tank but you gotta research species and such if you domt know.
 
Jmanrow
Member
KianMan said:
Hey guys! im a newbie here. I just wanted to know, can I start the nitrogen without any bacteria starters or objects from an already established tank? Where I live no one really knows about the nitrogen cycle and a bottle of API bacteria starters are pretty expensive. can I procure the beneficial bacteria from my surroundings? and nobody knows what water testing is over here. I asked at the fish shop the other day and the guy there was blank.Help!!!
I did some searching online and found a very easy to understand article on the nitrogen cycle. I'm hoping it is all right to post links here. I'm new here and just starting to learn about the site. Here is the URL. The Nitrogen Cycle: Simple Step by Step Guide For Beginners
All test kits that I have seen have always came with instructions. Continue to keep asking questions. That is how we learn from other people's successes and mistakes.
From what I have seen so far, the people in this forum are very knowledgeable. Make sure your pH is within range 6.8 to 7.2
It's all is good to do some research on the fish that you are keeping to find out what conditions they are best suited for in the aquarium. Having a very high pH can stress fish that are from a more basic lower pH. When cycling your aquarium, the ammonia can be more toxic when the pH is high.
 
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KianMan
Member
Jojo205 said:
Looks like the blue link didn’t show up but it is on your post.

you can 100% just use fish food! I cycled my tank just find without any bacteria starters (i used Tetra safe start toward the end just to speed it up, i was impatient LOL)
do u mean that if I keep a bucket of dechlorinated water and add fish food to it to produce ammonia, the beneficial bacteria will come automatically? Without adding anything else?????
 
Jojo205
Member
KianMan said:
do u mean that if I keep a bucket of dechlorinated water and add fish food to it to produce ammonia, the beneficial bacteria will come automatically? Without adding anything else?????
Technically yes, but the BB needs surfaces to live on - so you usually want a filter running so the BB can live on the media. That’s why you would buy established filter media to jump start your cycle
mattgirl is a cycling expert and should be able to help you more than I can.
 
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KianMan
Member
th
Jojo205 said:
Technically yes, but the BB needs surfaces to live on - so you usually want a filter running so the BB can live on the media. That’s why you would buy established filter media to jump start your cycle
mattgirl is a cycling expert and should be able to help you more than I can.
Tanks sooooooo much everyone [ pun intended ] y'all really made my life easier.
 
mattgirl
Member
Before I joined this forum I didn't know there was such a thing as bacteria in a bottle. We don't have to add it to cycle a tank. Sometimes adding it will speed up the cycling process.
Bacteria is everywhere and as long as we have an ammonia source in our tank it will grow.

Tell me a bit about your tank. I see you mentioned a bucket. Hopefully that was just a temporary container and the remaining fish are now in an actual fish tank.

This is a thread I posted that will let you know what to do and what to expect as the tank goes through its fish in nitrogen cycle. Fish In Nitrogen Cycle Simplified | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 414083 Once you read and understand it I will be happy to answer any questions you may still have.
 
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KianMan
Member
I had re-scaped the tank, did a 100 percent water change. I just wanted everything settle down and I left the fish in the bucket overnight. but from that day onwards my fish hv been dying daily :[ the fish weren't even in the bucket for a whole day. the moment I woke up the next day I put them all back into the tank
 
Jojo205
Member
It could just be stress, not the nitrogen cycle then? Fish are extremely sensitive to stress and something like that could be enough to make them sick and they could be dying from that. Do you have a test kit? There’s no way to know if it’s your cycle if you don’t have a way to test the water.
 
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KianMan
Member
I don't hv a test kit. they r pretty expensive but I'll try to buy one
thanks
what kind of testing kits would y'all recommend? I don't know the difference cause ive never used one
 
mattgirl
Member
KianMan said:
I don't hv a test kit. they r pretty expensive but I'll try to buy one
thanks
what kind of testing kits would y'all recommend? I don't know the difference cause ive never used one
If you will read the thread I linked to it goes into some detail as to what kit to use and what to do to keep your fish safe.
 

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