Should I stop using bacterial supplements

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by anz, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. anzValued MemberMember

    Please help. I'm new to fish keeping. I got a new 55 gal tank. Put water in 2 weeks ago, then added filter for one day before getting fish. I used TopFin declorinator and Bacterial Supplement before adding the fish. I have done 5-10 gal water changes at least two times per week. I have 4 fish. A yellow lab, pleco, acie and one "assorted" cichlid.

    After reading some threads on cycling a tank, it looks like I should stop using the bacterial supplement because it may prevent the tank from cycling properly.
    I've tested my water every couple of days and all levels have been at zero, with the exception of two days ago with the ammonia "appeard" to be at .25.

    I am truly confused about how I should proceed. Should I stop using the supplement and just let the tank cycle on it's own? Please help with any feedback. thanks.
  2. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    You'll have to be very diligent with water changes when cycling with fish. And you have some fish with large bioloads.

    What test kit are you using?

    Now that you read up on the nitrogen cycle, you know that the way you started off made no difference as to the actual cycling process. Most likely, your bacterial supplement is worthless, too. Most are.

    Do you know which species of pleco you have?
  3. OP

    anzValued MemberMember

    I'm using API freshwater master kit. The pleco is a Liposarcus anisitsi.

  4. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    You do know that this pleco can reach 15 inches?

    Cycling generally takes from 4-6 weeks. You're two weeks in?

  5. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to the forum anz

    I generally don't like to pay for what occurs naturally. Getting a natural cycle is a lot more work initially, but the payoff is there and it's worth it. Your fish (and your wallet) will be happier in the long run.
  6. sirdarksol

    sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!

    My opinion on cycling is this:
    Best to cycle with used filter media from another tank.
    Failing that, cycle fishless.
    Failing that, either use Tetra Safe Start (one of the very few bacterial supplements that works long-term), or settle in with a Python water change system and a jug of Prime (or equivalent product) and do water changes to keep the fish alive.

    Most of the other bacterial supplements will simply drain your wallet of money and increase your likelihood of a cycle crash. TSS drains cash from your wallet, but at least it usually works. ;)

    I've seen almost 2'. And I'm not talking about "I've seen reference to almost 2'," I mean that I've seen a pleco that was nearly 2' long. It was kept in a custom tank made by one of the Minnesota Aquarium Society people, and was old. Fed right, and kept in wonderful conditions, these guys can match many of "monster" fish for size.
  7. OP

    anzValued MemberMember

    LyndaB, Are you saying that I need to do more frequent water changes? No, I did not know that this pleco could get that big! Yes, I'm 2 weeks in. Started March 1.
  8. OP

    anzValued MemberMember

    What is Prime?
  9. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember


    Prime is (in my humble opinion) the best dechlorinator available.

    Yes, many many many water changes are in your near future, and I didn't need a crystal ball to show me that. ;)
  10. OP

    anzValued MemberMember

    Thanks! Wish me luck.
  11. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    Let us know how things are going. Ask questions if you need more help!
  12. JessiNoel21Well Known MemberMember

    I love Prime it is a life saver and great on the wallet too :)
  13. OP

    anzValued MemberMember

    Forgive me for I know not what I do! Over the last couple of days, I have done daily water changes and added Prime with each change. At first, it looked like the fish were doing better. Well this morning one was dead and the others look like they will not survive as well. I feel horrible. :;smack:;smack:;smack

    My question now is if my tank will continue to cycle without fish? My ammonia is at .25. Nitrite is 0. Please help. I don't want any more fish to suffer for my lack of knowledge.
  14. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    if you wind up losing all the fish, you can continue to cycle the tank without fish by adding ammonia to the tank.

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