Tetra Restart

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Iamonslaughtt, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. IamonslaughttNew MemberMember

    Hey guys,
    So after a recent failure with my 29ga and Tetra Safe Start (overwhelmed any bacteria if it was still alive in the first place) ive decided to do a 100% water change and get another bottle tonight. The problem is, my tap water has about a 2.0 ammonia reading straight from the tap, and im almost positive this ammonia plus the bottled ammonia in the Tetra accumulated with my tiger barbs waste and just turned my tank into on earth for any fish. My question is how can i get a cycle going when im starting with an ammonia source already in my water? Ive read old threads regarding Tetra Safe Starts ammonia threshold to be effective, and im worried ill always overwhelm it because of my water. I do have access to Reverse Osmosis, but i am also aware this is very soft water and not optimal for fish. Just for reference i took one last API test on my tank before i tear it down in an hour.
    PH: 8.0
    Temp: 76°
    Ammonia: 2.0-4.0 (depending on light when reading results)
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 0
    This tank has been running for almost 3 1/2 weeks, has had two bottles of Tetra on day 1, and lost all 6 tiger barbs i started with. I have an aqueon 29gallon led deluxe kit with a 50 gallon rated filter, 100 watt heater, gravel substrate along with organic soil (i intend this to be heavily planted after cycling) Any tips or tricks? Thank you for reading!
  2. appcontrolWell Known MemberMember

    If you are doing cycle with fish there is no need to add more ammonia other than fish produce.

    Using prime in new water before you put it in tank will detoxificate ammonia in water for 24-48h max then you make another 50% water change and you keep doing that for 2-3-4 weeks until your system can make ammonia into nitrite in less than 24h. So when you change water and tomorrow you test it and you have 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and 5-20nitrate youu are cycled and you can stop making that much of water changes. Then check your water for next few days just to be sure.

    After that you do depending on how heavily you are stocked every 7 days around 30% water change.
  3. Leonardo626New MemberMember

    If there is fish in the water, then daily water changes would be necessary to keep the levels of nitrites and ammonia low enough for the fish to survive the cycling process. Bacteria grows faster at higher temp at like 80 F or so. Yet if there is no more fish in the tank then I would recommend a fish less cycle. The following link is to a post from one of the members that shows how to do fish less cycle effectively. Ammonia instructions for a fishless cycle
  4. IamonslaughttNew MemberMember

    Thank you for the replies! There are no fish currently, after losing the barbs and seeing the ammonia i refuse to stress anymore out or risk killing more. My ammonia levels have stayed the same however, and the last fish came out a week ago. The only living things are a couple malaysian trumpet snails (have literally no clue how they got there but they are surviving) and one micro sword bunch planted. Should i leave it alone and hope bacteria eventually forms around the current 2.0 ammonia levels? I havent added fish food or any other sources of ammonia since the fish passed.
  5. appcontrolWell Known MemberMember

    Then you have two options.
    1. Just try to make normal fishless cycle, you can add little bit more ammonia.
    2. Restart whole system and start with fresh fishless cycle.

    When you add fish later when you finish cycle make sure to add prime in water before you put it in tank.

    Btw no need for prime in fishless cycle just use some dechlorinator!!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2018
  6. Leonardo626New MemberMember

    Then I agree with appcontrol, just go the fishless cycle route. I'm currently fishless cycling my tank and got a little bit impatient and dosed more than 8 ppm of NH3, but about after a week it went down to 1 ppm. Granted I didn't have the patience and used 2 bottles of TSS+ the big ol' 8.45 oz bottle at the beginning. If there are no fish then you will have to provide the ammonia for the BB to thrive on. Good luck!
  7. IamonslaughttNew MemberMember

    Oh wow! Did you add the Tetra Safe Start after you had 8.0 readings? If so, it still took it all the way down and cycled? If so that gives me more confidence, i was under the impression that 4.0 and higher harmed any beneficial bacteria because its simply too much. Thanks for the replies!
  8. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    I agree with your understanding OP. That excessively high ammonia or nitrites (>4.0) can stall a cycle, but not always.
    I have Ammonia in my source water as well. My mature tank can process my weekly 50% water changes in about 24-48 hours. So I just dose Prime. So you don’t necessarily need to go the RO route.
    I would encourage you to consider using Seachem Stability to speed up your cycle, it is a bacterial supplement, but you can do water changes while using it, unlike TSS+.