Took The Wrong Advice Now I Need Help With Fish-in Cycle Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Klokow, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. KlokowNew MemberMember

    Hi everybody, hope you are doing well!

    I was interested in starting with this hobby and only did research from local fish stores. They told me i can start a aquarium with a betta, and a week later i can add two cory catfish to eat the leftover food that the betta does not eat.

    I know, i feel like an idiot only asking local fish stores and not doing proper research... Afterwards i found out about the nitrogen cycle and how it work and felt like kicking myself.

    Hoping to save my fish i decided to buy beneficial bacteria to speed up the cycling process but also keep the ammonia levels low.

    I do not have access to a test kit, and as a student i can not afford one at this time because they are a bit expensive in south africa.

    My local fish store does do water testing, but at a price so decided to do a fill water test every week.

    I did the first test today, my ammonia levels were at 0.25, nitrites 0 and nitrates 0. Afterwards i added beneficial bacteria and will test the water levels in a few days again. I am closely monitoring my fish to make sure they stay healthy to the best of my ability. On my next aquarium build im definitely doing a fishless cycle as i know it is the right thing to do.

    Am i taking the right steps of action?
  2. SomeoneFISHyValued MemberMember

    It seems like you are doing good. A big mistake is jumping right in with getting fish. The ammonia is fine, just don't add anything else for a little. The ammonia will cycle into nitrites, then nitrates. It goes from more, to less dangerous. In my opinion, the Beneficial Bacteria was a save. In the future, you have the right idea, a fishless cycle. A few questions, so we can give you a boost on stocking, (filling,) the tank. To answer your question, you are taking the right course of action. Everyone messes up. I am a good, solid fishkeeper, but nowhere near some other people. Ask around for some other experiences. Most of all though, welcome and have fun!

    How big is the tank?
    What Equipment do you have?
    What is your budget (For EVERYTHING fish related?)
    Any questions about cycles?
    What stores are around you?

    The last 2 are optional, you don't have to know. Thanks a lot, and good luck!

  3. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to the wonderful world of fish keeping. You started out just like a lot of us. :)

    The very best thing you can do to keep your fish healthy is keep the ammonia level as low as possible with water changes. Eventually the tank will start producing nitrites and soon after nitrates will show up.

    Which bottled bacteria are you using? Some say no water changes for a certain amount of time. Others have you add it with each water change.

    In my humble opinion a fish in cycle is totally doable without harming the fish at all. It just takes dedication to water changes and time.

  4. bitseriouslyWell Known MemberMember

    Water changes, water changes, water changes.
    We can even help you figure out how much to change. :)
    When they test the water for you, does the fish store also give pH? If so, can you let us know?
    What size of tank are we dealing with? What temp does it run? Do you have a filter? [LOL just saw above]
    Gotta be honest, I don't think only 2 cories is a good idea. And also being honest, it's not their job to keep that tank clean, that's your job. Cories are partial scavengers, but they're mainly micropredators, and will be healthier if fed an appropriate diet. But an easy mistake for beginners is overfeeding. Everything you put in the tank (food) will end up as ammonia (and nitrate after you're cycled). So please avoid overfeeding. :)

  5. KlokowNew MemberMember

    Thank you for your quick response, it is much appreciated!

    My tank is a 8 gallon, but as soon as my tank is cycled i want to start with a larger tank which will be a longer term project so that i can add more cory to make them a larger group because the research i did showed me that cory cory bigger groups.

    At this time i have a heater, a thermostat, a sponge filter that worka with a air pump, i also have a dechloring agent, a water conditioner that also reduces ammonia, JBL denitrol (the benificial bacteria) and a bottle of aquarium fertilizer for my plants.

    I have about a maximum $30 budget for fish related needs in a month.

    I cant think of any cycling questions at this time as i have done a lot of research to make sure i am not missing anything because of making this mistake and now fish are suffering.

    In my area i only have about 3 dedicated fish stores, and some had more help than others.

    Once again thank you for your quick response!
  6. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    It sounds to me like you have done your research and have a pretty firm handle on what to do and how to do it.

    The very most important thing to do when doing a fish in cycle is to keep the ammonia level down as low as possible with water changes. It may prolong the cycling process by a few days but the lives of your fish are more important than speeding up a cycle. As always, just my humble opinion.

    If you have questions, Please feel free to ask and we will try to help. :)
  7. KlokowNew MemberMember

    Hi, thanks for your advice!

    My pH currently stands at 7.0. My tank size is a 8 gallon tank. It runs at 26°C ( 78.8°F).

    After doing more extensive research i realized that cory were not a good idea as they like bigger groups and need more space, so as soon as i get my tank stable i i wi start working on a bigger tank for them and a bigger group. I do feed them their own food which are mostly bottom feeder pellets and bloodworms, which they love.

    Thanks again for your reply!

    Thanks again for your help! I will knock on your door if i have any questions.
  8. DonthemonValued MemberMember

    I do fish in cycles and have had no issues! If done correctly it is fine no matter what the fish less cyclers will say.
  9. KlokowNew MemberMember

    After all the research, i found out that fish-in cycles are not that bad when closely monitoring, but now that i do not have a testink kit for regular testing, i wouli would rather go the fishless route next time.
  10. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Once you get this tank cycled you can just move the cycle over to a bigger tank and won't have to go through the long drawn out process again :)

    The beauty of having a fully cycled tank one never has to do it again because soon we all seem to get afflicted with MTS. (multi-tank syndrome). Sadly the only thing you can do to ease the pain of it is add more tanks :D
  11. KlokowNew MemberMember

    Thanks, that i exactly why i just wanted to get this tank stable. This would make things much easier.

    I do also have one question, i read about a product that detoxifies ammonia, its called prime, i am sure you will know it. My question is, do you think it is a good idea to add this regularly to my tank while cycling to keep the fish same from ammonia toxins?
  12. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Yes, I both use and highly recommend Prime. The only reason it wasn't the first thing I recommended to you is I didn't know if it was available where you are. I'm sorry, I should have just asked if you could get it in the first place.
  13. KlokowNew MemberMember

    Yes did some quick research and actually found a small place that sells them. I will call them tomorrow after they open and hopefully the have stock!

    What would you recommend in terms of dosage and how to use it?
  14. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Prime is very concentrated so a little goes a long way. Folks say it only takes a couple of drops per gallon. Since you are mid-cycle you may want to add 1/2 ml to your 8 gallon tank each time. Others also say it only has to be added during a water change or every 48 hours. Personally I would add it every 24 hours or each water change.

    Like anything else you could possibly over dose it but I would think it would be hard to do. You would have to dump a full bottle of it in there and even then I don't think it would hurt anything. I am sure you aren't going to do that so just add the amount recommended on the bottle. You can safely add 5 times the recommended amount if your ammonia and/or nitrites sky rocket but water changes should prevent that from happening.
  15. KlokowNew MemberMember

    I also did quick research and because i cannot do regular water testing i think if i can get the prime i am going to use about 1 ml between 24 and 48 hours. Thank you for your help, i feel much more confident and comfortable after this. Hopefully i can get the prime tomorrow
  16. bitseriouslyWell Known MemberMember

    With your relatively low ammonia levels, and modest pH, I don’t think you need to overdose with the prime. As mattgirl said, a little goes a long way. 2 drops per gallon, every 24hrs, is fine. Unless you think your ammonia (and nitrites, when they appear) are over 1ppm.
    2 drops per gallon is the same as 1mL per 10 gals, FYI.
  17. KlokowNew MemberMember

    Thanks for all your help!

    I just got off the phone with the local fish store i found that sells prime. They had one in stock, how lucky is that! They are keeping it for me and will be picking it up as soon as they open.