Rookie first tank mistakes, Please help!

laynenicole

Hello everyone!
I'm new here and so happy this forum exists, even though I possibly it slightly too late it seems. I recently received a 10 gallon aquarium "kit" as a present and thought I did the proper research and got everything set up within the last 3 days and fish introduced yesterday.. This is my current situation and I apologize if they are redundant questions here but I really don't know what to do!

I set up the 10 gallon tank with gravel, a mopani wood fixture and some fake silk plants that were rinsed thoroughly and added to the tank. I added the included water conditioner from the Aqueon kit and let the tank sit for a little over 2 days. I used the API water test kit and tested pH, Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates before introducing 4 Guppys. Everything was within normal parameters before letting the bag float for around a half hour, then slowly introducing tank water for a combined time of an hour and a half and scooping the fish into the tank (no bagged water was introduced to the tank). This happened last night.
Now that I've found this forum I see that I should have let the water cycle in a different manner to introduce a better base line of beneficial bacteria.

I woke up this morning to a slightly cloudy tank, I took out the "rock" that I got from the pet store thinking it may have been dirt/something coming off it and I set it aside to soak to hopefully remove anything else on it. I tested the water again and my ammonia levels are around a .25, everything else is within normal limits.
I added the appropriate amount of Seachem Prime based on what the bottle says and have yet to feed them today.

So to my question... What else do I do? I clearly made a rookie mistake not cycling the tank properly or possibly over feeding, introducing too many fish at once or something... and I want to give these little guys the best fighting chance.
Do I do a 10% water change when I get home from work tonight?
What do I do?!
Thank you so much in advance for your time and effort, it is greatly appreciated by this novice!

Layne
 

Passionfish

Hello everyone!
I'm new here and so happy this forum exists, even though I possibly it slightly too late it seems. I recently received a 10 gallon aquarium "kit" as a present and thought I did the proper research and got everything set up within the last 3 days and fish introduced yesterday.. This is my current situation and I apologize if they are redundant questions here but I really don't know what to do!

I set up the 10 gallon tank with gravel, a mopani wood fixture and some fake silk plants that were rinsed thoroughly and added to the tank. I added the included water conditioner from the Aqueon kit and let the tank sit for a little over 2 days. I used the API water test kit and tested pH, Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates before introducing 4 Guppys. Everything was within normal parameters before letting the bag float for around a half hour, then slowly introducing tank water for a combined time of an hour and a half and scooping the fish into the tank (no bagged water was introduced to the tank). This happened last night.
Now that I've found this forum I see that I should have let the water cycle in a different manner to introduce a better base line of beneficial bacteria.

I woke up this morning to a slightly cloudy tank, I took out the "rock" that I got from the pet store thinking it may have been dirt/something coming off it and I set it aside to soak to hopefully remove anything else on it. I tested the water again and my ammonia levels are around a .25, everything else is within normal limits.
I added the appropriate amount of Seachem Prime based on what the bottle says and have yet to feed them today.

So to my question... What else do I do? I clearly made a rookie mistake not cycling the tank properly or possibly over feeding, introducing too many fish at once or something... and I want to give these little guys the best fighting chance.
Do I do a 10% water change when I get home from work tonight?
What do I do?!
Thank you so much in advance for your time and effort, it is greatly appreciated by this novice!

Layne
Hi and welcome to the forum!
Basically, you have started a fish-in cycle. I do not know much about fish-in cycles, but I have done a few, and managed. I would suggest 50% water changes, like every other day. I will tag someone who can help you. You'll want to use SeaChem stability with SeaChem prime. Sorry I couldn't help you more.
mattgirl
 
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mattgirl

Welcome to Fishlore

Please don't beat yourself up. You started like many others have. Fish in cycles are totally doable and as long as you keep an eye on things and do water changes as needed your little guys should come through this just fine.

This is a thread I posted just for times like this. I hope it will help put your mind at ease since you will know what to expect and what to do about it.

Fish In Nitrogen Cycle Simplified | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 414083

Once you read it if you have more questions I will try to answer them.
 
Upvote 0

Maryellen

Hello and welcome to fishlore!
many new aquarists are steered in the wrong direction by perstores and big brand products, same thing happened to me. The nitrogen cycle isn’t nearly as well known as it should be.

Youre already on the right path by coming here! Right now you’re starting a fish in cycle with your 4 guppies. If you haven’t read about it yet, theres some great articles on here. id run to the store and buy some seachem prime ASAP, as this will take some of the stress off your guppies. Maintaining water changes is very important for the health of your fish for now, and with some research you’ll be able to understand the basics no problem.

everyone here is more then happy to help if u have questions!
 
Upvote 0

laynenicole

Please don't beat yourself up. You started like many others have. Fish in cycles are totally doable and as long as you keep an eye on things and do water changes as needed your little guys should come through this just fine.

This is a thread I posted just for times like this. I hope it will help put your mind at ease since you will know what to expect and what to do about it.

Fish In Nitrogen Cycle Simplified | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 414083

Once you read it if you have more questions I will try to answer them.
Thank you so much! So I already have Prime, I added around 1mL to the tank, which based on the label is the first threading of the cap. I certainly have the time, patience and energy for this endeavor or else I wouldn't have started it haha.
When I return from work tonight, what percent water change do you think I should do? Also, is there anything else I need to grab from the store to add to the water for the water changes?

I appreciate your help SO MUCH! I would be so lost and confused without this right now. Thank you again!
 
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FreshwaterCole

Hello,

We have done many fish-in cycles but use a aquarium cycling product as a kick-start.
Otherwise its precycled media used for new setups until enough bac has grown on new media etc...So just the initial 3 day dosage then we stop.
Some say that's cheating lol but I like to say it helps the fish have something at first. Most of the cycling products say to keep adding with wc, but depending on stock, aquarium size, media and other surfaces for bac to grow, chances are most are just a temp boost to get things going until there is enough established bac colonies on filter media etc.
 
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mattgirl

Thank you so much! So I already have Prime, I added around 1mL to the tank, which based on the label is the first threading of the cap. I certainly have the time, patience and energy for this endeavor or else I wouldn't have started it haha.
When I return from work tonight, what percent water change do you think I should do? Also, is there anything else I need to grab from the store to add to the water for the water changes?

I appreciate your help SO MUCH! I would be so lost and confused without this right now. Thank you again!
One thing I will suggest you do. I am sure you have noticed Prime doesn't smell very good. (My understatement of the day) You may want to consider getting a syringe and use it for adding the prime. I actually pour some in a much smaller clear bottle. I am afraid your big prime bottle is going to get pretty smelly if any of it gets on the outside of it. It is going to happen if it is poured from the big bottle each time. It is also easier to add the correct amount when using either a syringe or some kind of dropper.

What are you using to test your water? As suggested in the thread I linked I do recommend the API Master Kit. With it you can let your numbers be your guide as to when to do water changes and the amount you need to change each time. For example: If your ammonia is up to .50 changing half of the water will get it down to a much safer .25

Some folks have had success adding bottled bacteria to help cycle their tanks. Personally I've never used any of them but it might be a good idea to get a bottle of Stability and follow the directions on the bottle. I think it also recommends adding it with each water change for the life of the tank but in my humble opinion there is no need at all to add it once a tank is cycled.
 
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laynenicole

I have the API master test kit currently and thats what i have been using to test the water.
I'll pick up a syring to get a more accurate amount and reduce the chances of spillage and stink lol
My levels before i left for work were at a .25 so I'll do an appropriate water change based on that amount when I get home tonight.

One last question, how long does this process last? The fish in cycle I mean.
I'm assuming I continue the appropriate water changes and use the correct additives each time until the levels are within normal limits and at 0 ideally?

Again, thank you so much for your insight and assistance today
 
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mattgirl

I have the API master test kit currently and thats what i have been using to test the water.
I'll pick up a syring to get a more accurate amount and reduce the chances of spillage and stink lol
My levels before i left for work were at a .25 so I'll do an appropriate water change based on that amount when I get home tonight.

One last question, how long does this process last? The fish in cycle I mean.
I'm assuming I continue the appropriate water changes and use the correct additives each time until the levels are within normal limits and at 0 ideally?

Again, thank you so much for your insight and assistance today
If you are still seeing .25 you shouldn't have to do a water change tonight. I feel sure it is going to take at least a month to complete this cycle. First you are going to see ammonia. In about 3 weeks (maybe sooner) you will start seeing nitrites. You are not going to see nitrates until the nitrites rise and then start going down unless you have them in your tap water.

If you add bottled bacteria the cycle may not follow this timeline. You just want to make sure you don't allow the total amount of ammonia plus nitrites to go above one. If the number gets that high get it back down with a water change. When all you are seeing is ammonia try to keep it down to .25. When the nitrites spike they normally rise quickly so ammonia plus nitrites can easily go up to one quickly.

Keep an eye on your pH during the process. The cycling process has been known to lower the pH as it is using up the minerals in the water. You want to try to keep it up to at least 7. Higher isn't a problem but is better if it isn't lower.

Be sure you temp match and add Prime to the fresh water before pouring it in the tank with each water change. While going through the cycle add enough Prime to treat the full 10 gallons of water with each water change. We want to detox the ammonia in the tank. Once the cycle is complete you will just have to add enough to treat the amount of water you are replacing or you can use any of the many other water conditioners on the market. I choose to continue using Prime simply because it take so little of it to get the job done.

Your cycle will be done once nitrites spike and drop back down to zero, you are no longer seeing ammonia and you have some nitrates.
 
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Cawafuoshi

In case it hasn't been mentioned: live plants! Some that grow quickly and soak up ammonia quickly. Won't let you skip the water changes for now, but it works wonders down the road for overall tank stability.
 
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