Tetra SafeStart....first fish

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Erica0107

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Hi. I am going to be setting up a new 29 gallon freshwater tank in a few weeks for my sons 6th birthday. I've been doing a lot of research, and have read a lot about cycling the tank. If it were my own tank I would absolutely want to do fishless, but seeing as how it's a birthday present for a young child I've been reading about how to do it with fish. I am planning on using Tetra Safestart, but I have a question. Tetras directions state to stick with the rule of only adding a couple fish at first, but in the Tetra Safestart Q&A thread it was stated that with a new tank and TSS that you should add your full stock. Which should I do? I can't even imagine a store letting me buy so many fish at once, lol.
 

flyin-lowe

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First off (sad but true) a store will let you buy as many fish as you will buy. What type of tank are you going to have? I personally would get a few hardy fish (danios, black skirt tetras) and use them with the TSS. Then once it is cycled he can go out and pick out some fish to add later. The product does work but it is still hard on some fish. It might not kill them but it can very well shorten their lifespan a bunch. Do you have any friends that have a fish tank? You could always put your filter media in there tank for a few weeks and this will help a bunch. It won't get enough bacteria to fully cycle the tank but it will help kick start it.
 

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jetajockey

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Welcome to FL!

No, it's not a good idea to add your full stock with TSS. The only exception to this is with territorial fish like cichlids. It's a much better idea to start with a few small fish, as per the instructions.


taken from Lucy's Q&A

"Our normal recommendation is to add one small fish per
ten gallons of water. However, you CAN fully stock the tank, you just
need to keep a close eye on it, and be sure to not complicate matters by
overfeeding as well. We recommend this method for African cichlid tanks
since it is best to fully stock such a tank from the beginning due to
territorial issues. For a novice fish-keeper, we'd recommend the one
small fish per ten gallons rule for the first two weeks. Within two
weeks, TSS should have fully cycled the tank and they can start slowly
adding more fish, one at a time."

From my own personal experience with the product, I had much more favorable results with a smaller bioload, so I suggest going with just a few at first, and then slowly stocking in the following weeks.


Best of luck!
 

fishingman001

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No, it's not a good idea to add your full stock with TSS. The only exception to this is with territorial fish like cichlids. It's a much better idea to start with a few small fish, as per the instructions.
I was going off what Shawnie added. She has cycled with TSS multiple times.
 
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Erica0107

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Thanks for the responses. No, I don't know anyone with a fish tank to get media off of.
It will be a 29 gallon freshwater...I haven't made any final choices of what will be in it yet. I had planned on starting with danios, but now I don't know if I should do the full stock instead. That Q&A thread is the one that confused me with the conflicting information from tetra and from shawnie.
 

fishingman001

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I would trust Shawnie. She has cycled successfully with TSS before.

I would make a stock list first. Then get gravel/sand and decorations and all the other items.

Here is a site to help you with stocking: aqadvisor
 
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Erica0107

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I have all the decorations and substrate, water testing master kit, tetra aquasafe, tetra safestart, filter, heater, etc etc, lol. I just didn't do too much fish planning because I didn't expect to need to yet. thanks for the site....i'll check it out. I"m just worried about not stocking enough fish to create enough ammonia for the bacteria to feed off and therefore not cycling. But on the other hand I don't want to overload the tank with ammonia with too many fish.
 

jetajockey

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fishingman001 said:
I would trust Shawnie. She has cycled successfully with TSS before.

I would make a stock list first. Then get gravel/sand and decorations and all the other items.

Here is a site to help you with stocking: aqadvisor
Okay, well I was just giving my experience with the product, there are many people who use it. For a beginning aquarist, things like stocking levels , maintaining water parameters, and something as simple as feeding can be tricky to get in order without trial and error, so I understand where the tetra rep is going with their statement.

One major problem is when there is too heavy of a bioload, caused by either overstocking and/or overfeeding, the tank is not going to cycle, no matter what is being used. If the biofilter cannot effectively process the waste being produced then it just won't happen.
 

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welcome to fishlore!!!!!!!
I would add your full stock with TSS and add a bigger bottle....it takes time for ammonia to even be produced, for TSS to eat....but even before that, id throw a ton of sponges or filter media in your current tank and establish it that way but if no tank avail, a few fish will keep a young child happy!
 

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I won't further complicate the situation with my TSS experiences but I will say that relying a stocking tool likeisn't advised. It is one tool that is improving all the time but nothing can take the place of experience. And for those of us who lack the experience, coming here and asking for advice is *the* way to go. Your local fish store or a place like Petsmart will tell you anything to get you to spend more money and trusting their advice is not a good idea. Double check anything they tell you here, just to be safe. . Like someone said above, they'll sell you as many fish at once as you want to cough up the dough for. I've bought up to 10 fish at once and no one batted an eye, which is a shame and really scary at the same time.

Welcome to Fish Lore too!

-Lisa
 
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jdhef

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Welcome to FishLore!

I agree with both sides on this one.

The most conservative thing would be to use the SafeStart and put about 4 or 5 Danio's in there. But you should be able to fully stock your tank just as Shawnie say's (assuming you will be stocking with fairly hardy fish). The only thing is that in my opinion there would be a slightly greater chance of the SafeStart failing.

But keep in mind, either way there is always a chance the SafeStart will fail, and you will need to be prepared to do daily water changes with Prime until the tank cycles.

Good luck!

I have used SafeStart (and it's predesser BioSpira) in the past with great results, so I would have a pretty high confidence level whichever stocking method you choose.
 
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Erica0107

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Hmmm...I"m still confused Maybe I'll shoot for somewhere in the middle. Not a full stock, but more than just a couple. Like maybe a school of about 6 danios, and maybe something else little and hardy that doesn't school. Any suggestions? I'd like a bottom swimmer if possible.
 

fishingman001

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Hmmm...I"m still confused Maybe I'll shoot for somewhere in the middle. Not a full stock, but more than just a couple. Like maybe a school of about 6 danios, and maybe something else little and hardy that doesn't school. Any suggestions? I'd like a bottom swimmer if possible.
I know you said something that doesn't school but what about cory cats? 4-5 would cover the bottom of the tank pretty well.
 
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Erica0107

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Yeah...I've been looking at the cory cats, but I"m not sure I want a school, and I wouldn't want to get just one and have him be unhappy. Does anyone know what the very smallest cory is? The smallest I've found so far is 3in full grown. Are any smaller than that?
 
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Hmmm....I just did another search on them and found smaller ones, but it also says schools of 6 where as I had read schools of 3 before. Do you have to have 6 of them?
 

fishingman001

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You don't have to get 6. 4-5 is usually the recommended group size.

Pigmy and Dainty cory cats are the smallest of the bunch.
 

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Erica0107 said:
Yeah...I've been looking at the cory cats, but I"m not sure I want a school, and I wouldn't want to get just one and have him be unhappy. Does anyone know what the very smallest cory is? The smallest I've found so far is 3in full grown. Are any smaller than that?
There is quite a few small Corys. But they are better suited to large groups. More 6-10. Once they become use to the tank they will spread out and generally won't school much unless threatened.
With any Corys sand substrate is a must. That way they won't get damaged barbels.

Some sites say 3 some say 6. But the best is 6 due to more fish to interact with, and safety in numbers. Even if their is nothing in the tank to hurt them. They still get afraid.

If you don't want another school like Corys, there are ones like Bango Catfish. They are wonderful. just give them plants and logs and caves to hide in. But you won't see them all the time. They are out at nigh, but if the tank is set up heavily planted and enough places to hide, like mine they seem to be quite active all the time.
 
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I"m getting completely off topic,but do you think there is any way I could get a rainbow shark as the "centerpiece fish" or is a 29 gallon to small for that? Or would it be too aggressive with the little guys? I would add it last....not in the beginning. I haven't even set this tank up and I already want a bigger one, lol.
 

Amano

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Erica0107 said:
I"m getting completely off topic,but do you think there is any way I could get a rainbow shark as the "centerpiece fish" or is a 29 gallon to small for that? Or would it be too aggressive with the little guys? I would add it last....not in the beginning. I haven't even set this tank up and I already want a bigger one, lol.
IME these fish are very peaceful. But that is one thing to be broken down.

I have both Red tail and Rainbow. The Red tail is 4-5in long and Red tail just of 4.

The red tail lived for the first year I had him in a 50 gallon tank. And was not to bad. But use to chase all around him. Slowly I add more logs with Java Fern on them, and more plants and he became a lot better.

But then I shifted all the fish and everything into a 100g. Once that was all set and more logs plants were added he never ever chances anything. Just swims around. And is IME more peaceful than a Ember Tetra.

The same with my Rainbow he i has live the whole time in my Heavily wood and planted 75 gallon Angle tank cube and is going very well. never bothers a thing.

IME and IMo the larger the tank the more planted it is the better they are. SO I would not IMO add one to the 29 gallon. No to mention they do get quite large.

mac
 
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