Trouble with fish-in cycling.

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by markah1, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. markah1

    markah1Valued MemberMember

    Hey everybody

    As you can see in my bio, I have two tanks. The first one is established all with good readings.

    The second one however is a different story.

    I decided to start another tank up in hopes of raising some of my guppy fry who are about 4 weeks old. I unexpectedly inherited some fish from my brother who just left the country. Before i received the fish, I was just using fish food to start the cycle without fish in there.

    I had no choice but to put the inherited fish in my new 10 gallon because putting them in my established tank would double the bioload.

    The fish are 2 female fancy guppies, 1 male fancy guppy, and 3 harlequin rasboras (3 HRs died during the 3 hour drive up to my apartment). They have been in there for about 2 and a half weeks now with the highest ammonia test being 0.25.

    I change 3-4 gallons daily to keep the ammonia to a minimum. The fish all seem fine and continue to show normal behavior. I am pretty confident that they would survive the cycle with my daily water changes but on the 15th of March, 1 week from today, I am leaving for spring break and I will be gone for a week. i am not concerned about the fish not eating for a week, I am concerned because i don't think my cycle will be complete by then and without the daily water changes, i feel like they will all die.

    Sorry for the extremely long post. Does anybody have any suggestions on what I could do? Anything I could buy such as TSS or prime?
  2. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    Borrow some filter media from your established 10 gallon if possible.

    If you can't, stick some additional media in that tank for the next week. When you go to leave, stuff it into the new tank's filter alongside the cycling media.

    It should help anyway.

    It's a little late in the game for TSS.

    It's a little bit of a crapshoot. You could always put these new fish into your existing tank with your other fish. Then again, by doing that, you'd be increasing your bioload to the point where you'd probably need to do water changes.

    QQQUUUUAADDDWell Known MemberMember

    You could do 40 - 50 % w/c with Prime.

  4. e_watson09

    e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    What I would have done is just moved the old filter over to the new tank completely and put the new one on the old tank. I also would have cut some of the old filter media and shoved it in the new filter.

  5. toosie

    toosieWell Known MemberMember

    The cycle in your established tank will be strong enough (very, very, VERY good chance) to accept half of these fish with no problems. That would cut the bioload for the other 10 in half which means the bacterial colony that is present in that 10 right now would very likely be able to keep up with the lesser bioload. Plus being as you won't be feeding them for a week, the bioload will be even less yet so I don't think it should present many if any problems.
  6. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    Yeah, what she said...... :;banaman
  7. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    If it were me, I would put in a bottle of SafeStart and know that I wouldn't be doing any water changes for the next 14 days even if I were home.
  8. OP

    markah1Valued MemberMember

    Well someone above said its too late to use TSS and I am not sure if it is safe to use for with fish already in the tank.

    BTW, my tap water has ammonia in it so I would assume that it would be even harder to cycle.
  9. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    If you can get the ammonia in your tank as close to 0 as possible before adding the TSS, it would increase the chance of it working. How much ammonia is in your tap? I have between 2 and 3ppm in mine and I managed to get TSS to work for me twice, although it did fail one time, but even then it worked somewhat, the tank was not cycled on the 14th day, but it was cycled about a week later.
  10. OP

    markah1Valued MemberMember

    A very small amount is in my tap 0.25

    The closest I've gotten it down to was 0.25
  11. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    Cycling with ammonia in your tap is a two steps forward one step back process. Do you still have a Nitrite reading? I in gerenral recomend Prime to anyone with ammonia in their tap even after the tank cycles since you will stillbe adding excess ammonia with your waterchanges every week. But if you go with TSS, You cannot use Prime until after the 14day period, it can mess up The TSS and cause it to fail.

    EDIT: for the record Toosie's suggestion is good too.
  12. OP

    markah1Valued MemberMember

    Yeah its really frustrating. To be honest, I don't think anything in that tank is going to be alive when I get back..
  13. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    That's why I think it is really best to throw in a bottle of SafeStart.

    As Lexi can attest, SafeStart can work in a situation such as your's (that's why I advised using it)

    In your case, you would want to do enough water changes to get the ammonia levels as close to zero as you can. (I realize you will never get it below .5ppm because that is what is in your tap water.)

    Then if using any water conditioner that detoxes ammonia, wait 24 hours after adding the water conditioner to add the SafeStart.

    While it is not 100% certain that the SafeStart will work (but it much more than likely will) the worst that could happen is that it will be like you never added it and went away (which is your other option).

    But I really believe if you does with SafeStart you will come back to living fish.
  14. YoungClayBValued MemberMember

    I wouldnt use TSS at this point as it will be a complete crapshoot. There is a product by Microbe-Lift called Nite Out 2 that is fantastic. 5 ml per 10 gallons of water every other day. It took my 10g tank about a week to cycle once I started using the Nite Out 2. It worked fantastic and is way cheaper than TSS - really surprised that there arent more folks here on the forum endorsing it.
  15. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    I vote for plain old water changes and Prime. You can't really go wrong that way, just extra work.
  16. YoungClayBValued MemberMember

    plus it builds character. lol
  17. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    I've been thinking..... Spring Break is highly over-rated. I think you should just stay home and do water changes instead.
  18. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    The problem is that the OP is going away for Spring Break and will not be available to put Nite Out in his tank every two days or do daily water changes. That is why I believe SafeStart is the best choice.
  19. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    I would just stay home, have no fun, and do the water changes. LOL Your only realy option if you are going to be gone is to try the TSS, and keep your fingers crossed.
  20. YoungClayBValued MemberMember

    If you are going on vacation and TSS is you only option. I would take your fish out of the tank (any pet store will give you some of those little plastic bags for free), empty your tank completely, rinse your gravel REALLY well with tap water, replace your filter media with brand new....put everything back together, use tetra aqua safe to treat the water for chlorine, and add your fish and TSS to the tank at the same time. Fish ONLY, do not put your old bagged water into the tank. Use a net; fish only.

    So, basically: start over. TSS is known to fail when its not used from the "get go".

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