Tss Cycling

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by babiimoore, May 17, 2018.

  1. babiimoore

    babiimooreWell Known MemberMember

    hey guys! i was hoping someone could help me out with this so i can make sure everything goes smoothly. i have a 10 gallon tank with 3 fish, 1 betta and 2 mollies that i got 6 days ago. i also got two ADF in a 5 gallon tank that is also not cycled. but lets focus on the 10 gallon because i can always just put them in there. the things i have at the moment is a filter, heater (keep tank 79), top fin water conditioner (removes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals) and top fin beneficial bacteria (which ive been told does nothing but i add some anyways) i just ordered a 3.38 OZ bottle of tatra safe start and API test kit. i have been doing daily 30% water changes and so far everyone in the tank seems fine but i need to speed things up, i dont enjoy water changes everyday and worrying about them. safe start and testing kit should be here in no more then 4 days. from what ive read so far everyone mentions using prime 24 hours before adding safe start, but will API water conditioner work too? i can get prime if need be. is there anything specific i need to do to make sure this works? how long will it take to cycle? since i only have a 10 gallon can i save half the bottle for my 5 gallon? do i keep the carbon in my filter? will i still need to do daily water changes? if anyone could give me some direction itd be greatly appreeciated! thanks!
  2. sam mcworthingtonNew MemberMember

    seeing as you got the tank 6 days ago I am assuming it is probably not cycled yet, in which case you should have waited until the tank had been cycled before adding the fish, anyways if they are doing fine then oh well. - I assume that your current dechlorinator will be fine instead of prime, and I have used the beneficial bacteria and found it to work, if you do not enjoy the water changes maybe try 30% every 2-3 days instead (only do this if the fish show no signs of stress/unhealthy) - if they do show signs of stress perhaps change back to once a day. - there does not seem much point in moving the fish to the bucket if they are both uncycled. - it should take about 2 weeks to cycle however it can be a bit shorter or longer. Carbon in the filter is mainly used to keep water clear, and so I assume it is fine to leave in.
  3. OP

    babiimooreWell Known MemberMember

    i know its a bit more difficult to cycle with fish in the tank, but ive read that itll work fine as long as you keep an eye on them. youve used top fin benefical bacteria and it worked? i have tetra safe start on the way, thats the main reason i made this thread, i was wondering how to use it efficiently.

  4. stella1979

    stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    The reason you have to wait to use TSS+ after Prime is that Prime not only dechlorinates, but it also binds ammonia. TSS+ has ammonia in it for the bacteria to eat and the product works based on ammonia being available. Your dechlorination is not an ammonia binder, so you don't have to worry about that. I would still avoid using it the same day as TSS though. :)

    Check your parameters before adding TSS to the tank. You may have to do a water change first, as TSS works on low amounts of ammonia in the water. So, test and do a water change if you have to in order to be sure that neither ammonia or nitrite are over one. Ideally, you will have less than 1ppm ammonia and zero nitrite. If you do have nitrites, be sure that ammonia plus nitrite equals one or less. For example - ammonia is 1ppm and nitrites are 1ppm, 1+1 = 2.:) That's too high. Ammonia is 0.5 and so is nitrites, 0.5+0.5 = 1 and that's fine.

    Do not keep carbon in the filter.

    TSS makes parameters spike, but doing a water change soon after adding it will delay or stop the cycling process. Lots of people say to not even test for a week after TSS, as there's nothing you can do and it may only cause worry. Watch your fish though... I'd have to say screw the cycle and do a water change if my fish appeared to be suffering.

    After the first week, start checking your numbers and do a water change if the sum of ammonia and nitrites are above 1ppm. This is where you want to switch to Prime because of its ability to bind ammonia. There will be ammonia in the water, you can keep it low via water changes, but even low amounts are toxic to fish. Daily doses of Prime and keeping the ammonia and nitrite below 1ppm will make the water safe for your fish.

  5. GuppyDazzle

    GuppyDazzleValued MemberMember

    You're being impatient. You want to speed up the process because you don't like doing water changes so often. I think that's why people so often reach for the magic cycle booster products and wonder why they can't get their tanks cycled. I disagree that the cycle boosters do nothing. They do something significant, you can see that by reading all the posts with people tearing their hair out. But whether you use cycle boosters or not, if you're trying to force your tank to cycle before it happens naturally, you're asking for trouble. This isn't a scientific opinion, but I'll bet impatience kills a lot more fish than anything else.

    I'll recommend what I know works. Do a 25% water change every other day, on off days do your water testing, and just watch your tanks cycle over a period of about a month. If you get nasty ammonia or nitrite spikes, up your water change percentage, but don't panic because you need those substances for your tank to cycle. If you add cycle boosters all bets are off.
  6. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Prime, like TopFin water conditioner, will remove chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals from your tap water. But where Prime goes the extra mile is in it's ability to detox up to 1ppm of ammonia (and presumably) nitrites for 24 hours. So if you have fish in an uncycled tank, it is preferable to use Prime as your water conditioner. So long as you keep your ammonia/nitrite level under 1ppm, Prime will totally detox them making the water safe for your fish.

    I'm a big fan of Tetra SafeStart and have at success with it every time I used it. The first misconception I want to clear up is that you cannot use any water conditioner which removes chloramines (and as far as I know, all water conditioners on the market remove chloramines) less than 24 hours before adding SafeStart.

    Since your SafeStart is arriving in 4 days, it's kinda up to you if you want to splurge on Prime or if you want to do 4 more days of water changes to keep your ammonia levels low. If you do get the Prime, you will not have wasted money on the TopFin water conditioner, since after the tank has completed cycling you can either use it up and then switch to Prime or use up the Prime and then stay with the TopFin. But I prefer staying with Prime just in case you ever have an ammonia problem in the future, you don't have to run out and buy some.

    Okay now for what you really want to know...how to use the SafeStart...
    Since you already have fish in the tank, here's what you should do:
    1) Perform a large water change, using the water conditioner of your choice (even back to back water changes if needed) to get the ammonia level as close to 0ppm as possible.
    2) Wait 24 hours.
    3) Add the ENTIRE, well shaken bottle of SafeStart to the tank.
    4 Do nothing other than lightly feed your fish for the next 14 days. And I mean nothing, no water changes, no adding chemicals...nothing. Don't even test your water unless the fish look distressed.
    5) On day 14 after adding SafeStart test your water, if all worked properly...You're cycled!
    6) sometime after day 14, but before your nitrate level gets to 20ppm you can do your first (since adding SafeStart) water change.

    One last thing...test your pH level. If it is much under 7.0 you may have a difficult time cycling the tank. If it is below 7.0, post and I'll explain why that's a problem and how to solve it.

    Here's a link that you should find very helpful and informative:
    Q & A With Tetra about Tetra SafeStart

    Best of luck.
  7. Sarah73

    Sarah73Fishlore VIPMember

    Also I would remove both mollies as they get up to 5 inches and are big poop machines in the live bearer world.
  8. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    With TSS+, you'll want to not do any testing or water changes for 2 full weeks, not just one week. However, I'd rehome the mollies before you do anything else, as they need a much larger tank and they're likely stressing the betta out. After you do that, you can cycle the tank using TSS+ with just the betta. Use the whole bottle, don't split it between the tanks.

    For the 5 gal frog tank, do daily water changes until it's cycled. Yes, they're annoying, but that's what you're signing up for when you put sensitive animals (like ADFs) in an uncycled tank.
  9. stella1979

    stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Awesome! You've got the experts here OP. You can't ask for better advice than what you get from @jdhef and @TexasDomer :) I'd follow their instructions to a T.
  10. OP

    babiimooreWell Known MemberMember

    i didnt mean to sound impatient, i have fallen in love with my fish and im sure it will be a life long hobby. i will do anything i have to to keep them healthy and if that means water changes everyday for both tanks then thats what itll be. i just have to admit, im not very strong and hauling the water back and forth is a little difficult. everyone seems very happy in the tank so im hoping i can keep the mollies here until i have the money to upgrade to a larger size. im a freak and i worry about everything. the other day my mollies were huddled together resting and i just about had a heart attack. so im sure the bigger tank will come soon. thanks for all the replies, everyone is so friendly on here. i really appreciate it.
  11. Sarah73

    Sarah73Fishlore VIPMember

    think about getting a python to solve your bucket problems ;)
  12. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    A python can be overkill for a 10 gal tank.

    Maybe a larger bucket would be better? Lowe's has cheap 5 gal buckets.

    I would strongly consider rehoming the mollies now. They are dirtying up the water and they will grow too large for your tank. If you can't upgrade in the next few weeks, rehome them and get them again once you have the right sized tank already set up and waiting for them.
  13. Sarah73

    Sarah73Fishlore VIPMember

    I use the python's perfectly fine for my 10 gallons. but that's just me.
  14. OP

    babiimooreWell Known MemberMember

    i wouldnt be able to get rid of my babies.. i already had to do that with a couple i had bought sick. i wasnt educated and i didnt know the white dots on him were ick. i will take good care of them.
  15. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I'm sure you mean well, but they won't do well long term in a small tank. Sometimes what's best for the fish isn't what we want, but we must consider the healthy and happiness of the fish first.
  16. OP

    babiimooreWell Known MemberMember

    the only thing id be able to do is take them back to the store and then their fate is completely unknown.. i do plan on upgrading once i have the money so i still feel like theyre better off with me.
  17. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    When can you upgrade to a 29 gal? Check places like Craigslist (if you're in the US) to find cheaper setups.
  18. OP

    babiimooreWell Known MemberMember

    little confused. got my test tubes today. i had already done my 30% water change today, but decided to test anyways. came back around 2ppm. that scared me so i did another 50% water change, i tested it and it came back 2 ppm again?!

    does anyone know what the cause of that could be?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2018
  19. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Are you sure you're testing correctly?

    Test your tap water as well.
  20. OP

    babiimooreWell Known MemberMember

    this is my water before i put it in the tank and after i did a 50% water change. theres no distress in the tank, everyones swimming around happy as can be.. confused how it could be that dark when i gravel vaccume the floor and changed half their water?.. it always looks the same everytime i test no matter how much clean water i put in there. i have white gravel so im able to see all their poop and i dont stop vaccuming till im sure i did the whole floor. im 100% sure i dont overfeed because they gobble it all up when i put it in there and the mollies go around cleaning the gravel and walls all day so if any small peices fall, im sure they find it in 2 seconds. im just confused why the reading never changes.

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    Last edited: May 20, 2018

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