Starting Over After Fish Loss

Lorekeeper

Well Known Member
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
1,688
Points
158
Experience
4 years
@Lorekeeper, probably fish flake since I still have a bunch of it left. I'll get the tank drained & cleaned this weekend. Is it best to add live plants before the tank is completely filled, or can I fill the tank & start cycling and add the plants later? I found an aquarium store in my city that I'd like to try (instead of going back to Petco) but not sure I'll be able to get there this weekend.

@BluMan1914, I've never properly cycled a tank before! That was my problem. I've read the articles on this site about starting a cycle, so I'm going to attempt to follow those instructions.

Should I change the filter media, or keep the one I was using with my last group of fish?
You can add plants after the tank is started with no issues.

I'd recommend aiming for about 2PPM of ammonia, although as long as there's some flakes in the tank, you'll be fine. Don't let ammonia or nitrite get over 4 PPM.
 

BluMan1914

Well Known Member
Messages
2,207
Reaction score
1,062
Points
158
Experience
More than 10 years
Since you are basically starting from scratch, start brand new. If you have bio balls, ceramic noodles, or Purigen, hold onto it and use it.
Since you didn't properly cycle your tank last time, I strongly suggest that you do a fish in cycle like I suggested or as @AllieSten suggested. It really is much easier to do than a fish less cycle.
Saying that, if you do a fish less cycle, use ammonia. With the ammonia you can dose to the exact amount that you need. With fish food you are only guessing how much you will need to add.
 

Lorekeeper

Well Known Member
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
1,688
Points
158
Experience
4 years
So I should do a water change if the ammonia gets higher than 2PPM? Or wait until/if it gets to 4?
Do a WC if ammonia gets to 4 PPM. 2 PPM is a good number to shoot for

I gotta say, everyone has differing opinions, but me and BluMan are offering the exact opposite advice.

Fish-in cycling works, but its much more humane to fishless cycle, not to mention much, much easier.

While pure ammonia would techincally be easier to control, as long as you don't dump the whole container of food into the tank, you shouldn't have issues.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #25

avab80

New Member
Messages
6
Reaction score
6
Points
3
@BluMan1914, I respect your knowledge & opinion on fish-in cycles, but I don't want to do one. We've lost 10 fish in the last 3 months. My kids, and me, need a break from worrying about our fishies. I'd rather do the fishless cycle so we take our time choosing the type of fish we want, getting some new plants, and making them a nice home instead of rushing into anything.

@Lorekeeper, my 3-year-old dumped most of a container of food into the tank once. That was fun to clean up...
 

Lorekeeper

Well Known Member
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
1,688
Points
158
Experience
4 years
Ooo... fun!

Just today, a member had a full container of food dumped into a 5 or 10 gallon tank... it was bad!
 

AngelTheGypsy

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,107
Reaction score
5,992
Points
603
Experience
Just started
Welcome to fishlore!

I have cycled 5 tanks recently and have done all of the afore mentioned methods

By far the easiest was a fish in cycle with TSS. I followed the instructions on the bottle to the letter and it worked in 12 days. (I basically did this as a test to see if it worked)

By far the most difficult (and nerve racking) was a fish in cycle using prime and stability. This was how I did my first 2 tanks, and I was testing every day, constantly adding prime and stability and checking to make sure the fish were ok. I do not advise to start out this way. (Those fish I got before I knew about a cycle)

The last tank I did fishless. I started with fish food and stability, got Dr Tims ammonium chloride, then his one & only bacteria, then plain old ammonia, and then TSS. I actually quite enjoyed watching the process. I tested 2 x a day, added live plants as I went along and didn't have to worry if anything was going to die. If I were to offer advice, it would be to start with a couple different brands of bacteria (cuz they are all a little different) and straight pure ammonia. That is the easiest way to keep everything under control. I would also start low with your ammonia dose. I advise 1 ppm. If you start too fast, and get a big ammonia or nitrite spike, then you have to do large water changes. I have .5 ppm ammonia in my tap and that got me 2 ppm nitrite in two weeks (that was accidental, I just filled the tank so it wouldn't be empty)

All of these methods work. But this is what I have experienced. I would do fishless with ammonia and TSS+ if I were to start cycling a new tank tomorrow.
 

jdhef

Moderator
Messages
14,194
Reaction score
3,212
Points
583
Experience
More than 10 years
@avab80 I can certainly understand your reluctance to doing a fish-in cycle at this point, but I have to say that I personally am on the same page as @BluMan1914 . I love Tetra SafeStart. It is by far the easiest way to cycle a tank.

I have cycled with TSS several times in the past, and never lost a fish.
 
Last edited:

JRS

Well Known Member
Messages
1,360
Reaction score
1,045
Points
163
Experience
3 years
he chemical additives tend to be a temporary fix for this issue. whereas the coral, shells, or cuttlebone tend to be more of a stable fix that you just need to add more when they dissolve. (Which can take several months)
I put 3 shells collected from the beach and rinsed them very well. I just stuck them in the filter and within a 1 week the ph stabilized to about what comes out of my tap. I am still monitoring it. I was told they would need to be replaced maybe every 6 months. It was a cheap and easy way for me as I have buckets of shells that my kids have collected.

Good luck!
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom