Results From First Water Test

  1. happygolucky

    happygolucky Well Known Member Member

    I own a 20 gallon tank(just purchased, will begin cycling soon, and a 5 gallon tank(has 3 Serpae tetras that I will be giving away to a LFS on Saturday due to the fact that 5 gallon is way too small). My 5 gallon has been neglected a lot until recently, when I got back into the fish business, and now I am trying to clean it up, as it will soon house a betta once the tetras are properly rehomed.

    The results form the API test kit were honestly really bad, I don't know how my fish have survived this long. Ammonia was between 1 and 2 ppm, nitrite was between .25 and .50 ppm, and nitrate was 40 ppm. Oh and my pH was at like 6.2, but my tap is at almost a perfect 7, the water is just old. So after the test results, I changed the water(70%) and will test again in an hour to see if it made a dent in the ammonia. I will be doing daily water changes to make sure it comes down to a manageable amount. If anyone has tips to help me fix the water conditions, it would definitely help.

    As for my new 20 gallon, the readings were "good" for a new tank. Ammonia was .25, nitrite was 0, nitrate was 0, and pH was 7(because it is new, clean water). However it kind of sucks that I need to restart my cycle because I am still transitioning to a better filter(current is a Topfin 20 HOB that came with kit). Anyone know a good way to do fish-less cycling with Tetra SafeStart Plus and pure ammonia? I know I need those two things, I'm just unsure how to use them. Also, I'm planning on stocking with one Dwarf Gourami, 6-7 Cardinal/Neon tetras, and 6 corydora habrosus or another kind of the tiny corys. I would also like 2-3 male platys, do you think that that would work, or am I already full?

    Sorry for the long post, and thanks to anyone who gives me some answers to my many questions :)
     
  2. OP
    OP
    happygolucky

    happygolucky Well Known Member Member

    UPDATE : Testing again from my 5 gallon after the water change, ammonia is .50, nitrite is 0, nitrate is 5-10. Water changes seem to be working, I'll do another tomorrow.
     
  3. LiterallyHydro

    LiterallyHydro Well Known Member Member

    It's good that the ammonia is coming down. You should continue your water changes to ensure that ammonia stays as low as possible, since the fish are still in the tank for now.

    It's also wise of you to re-home the serpae tetras and instead put a betta in the tank. Bettas are one of few fish that would be fine in a 5 gallon tank.

    You just want to dose enough ammonia to raise the levels to 2ppm. Tetra Safe Start is designed for a fish-in cycle but you could theoretically use it if you make sure the ammonia doesn't stay at 0 for a long period of time.

    You have one of two options here. You could either just skip the Tetra Safe Start entirely and cycle with pure ammonia, or you could add the corydoras and the Tetra Safe Start at the same time right at the beginning. The Tetra Safe Start should keep the fish safe by maintaining manageable ammonia/nitrite levels during the cycle. You wouldn't want to use the more sensitive fish such as the cardinals/neons though.
     


  4. Bijou88

    Bijou88 Well Known Member Member

    I wouldn't fish in cycle with cories, they don't fare so well in cycling tanks. If you absolutely must do a fish in cycle I would use the platies, they're much sturdier fish ime. Fishless would be better though since you don't already have fish. Less stress for you, less stress on the fishes. :)

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  5. LiterallyHydro

    LiterallyHydro Well Known Member Member

    I missed the platys in the stocking list. That is my bad. Yeah the platys would be the best option for cycling with TSS.

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  6. OP
    OP
    happygolucky

    happygolucky Well Known Member Member

    I don't want to hurt the fish, so I'll go for fishless. Ugh now I gotta be patient ;). So with pure ammonia, how do I cycle the tank?

    Also, since you are saying I could(but won't) do fish in with platies, this means I can still fit them in my tank along with everything else?
     
  7. LiterallyHydro

    LiterallyHydro Well Known Member Member

    I don't see why not. As long as you keep up the water changes to keep nitrates low.

    As for cycling with ammonia you just add enough to get It to 2ppm and wait until it's converted to nitrites. Every time ammonia drops to 0 dose it back to 2ppm. When the ammonia and nitrites are both 0 and you have nitrates 24 hours after adding ammonia your cycle is finished.

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  8. OP
    OP
    happygolucky

    happygolucky Well Known Member Member

    Ok thanks :)
     
  9. LiterallyHydro

    LiterallyHydro Well Known Member Member

    No problem. If you're unsure of the full process, you could make a thread as you're starting to log the test readings daily. You could then also get our opinion on what to do throughout so the cycle goes smoothly.