uhoh now I'm scared...

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by GoGreen, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. GoGreenWell Known MemberMember

    So I am trying to wean my tank off of cycle...Lucy I have discussed this with you in a previous thread. For an update for others: My 30g tank has been running successfully since 3rd week of September, set it up the end of August and it took about 3 1/2 to 4 weeks to cycle. I did have some comets in there to help get things going and they went back to the LFS when all was done (pls don't hate me for cycling with fish, that's what the LFS suggested) So now I have a good little community and all is well, but with each 5 to 10% water change I have been using 'Cycle.'
    So as planned I fed my fish a small amount this morning, and after work did my water change, without adding cycle. Then I went to the LFS to look for another Panda for my lonely Panda, Streifen. (he lost his friend last week) Well when I talked about my non-Cycle plans my dealer got worried, said that I really should add it, it is good for my fish.All his tanks always look good so now I am worried that I will harm all my friends. He said you can't believe everything you read on the internet! But you guys seem to really care! My plan was to test the water tonight, not feed tomorrow morning (test the water again then) and test again tomorrow evening. Doing a water change of 5 to 10% if needed. Sunday maybe give a bit of food and keep testing. But I got so worried that this evening I added some Cycle again, but at least only 1 cap instead of the weekly three. Or I wouldn't be able to sleep. So, maybe I should just wean it off now instead of stopping altogether? Lucy, I am sorry, I chickened out! I will still follow through with the rest of the plan but I broke down and added that 1 cap of Cycle out of fear! Anyone else wean their tank off of Cycle once their precious little friends were in there? I am going to go test my water now, it has been 6 hours since that water change! Please I would appreciate some more input!:eek:P.S. I didn't bring home another Panda as I thought I should see how my water is tomorrow before I add anyone else.

  2. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    I think that buying Cycle to add to your tank every week makes the company and the fish stores a bunch of money. I'm not saying that's your guy's motivation, I'm just saying he drank the Koolaid.

    If you are more comfortable weaning the tank off the Cycle, I think in the end you'll be okay. It'll just take longer for your beneficial bacteria to grow, in my opinion. But in the end, you have to realize that ours is just advice, as is the fish store guy's, and you have to make the decisions for your fish that you are most comfortable with. Just keep in mind what the fish store has to gain and what we have to gain :)

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  3. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    There's no need to apologize. When there's so much conflicting advice, it's hard to know what to do. We understand that. :)

    Something to keep in mind, the store makes money every time you buy a bottle of Cycle.
    We make nothing off the advice given. We just want you to have a happy healthy tank. :)

    I also understand your store keepers concern about stopping Cycle. I think what he's saying is once you stop using the product you don't have any of the natural bacteria to process the ammonia so in essence, you'd be just starting the nitrogen cycle.
    Notice I don't say re-starting because the product Cycle never allowed you to start the natural process to begin with.

    I don't know if anyone has weened their tank off of cycle. It'll be interesting to see if anyone has and how it worked out.

  4. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    i am sorry you are having such a tough time, my advice is to NOT us that Cycle unless you want to use if for the life of the tank. I know it's hard when you have different advice here and your LFS tells you another thing. I had to cycle my tanks with fish, long story and it was frustrating but I got there, then it's smooth sailing, hopefully......don't clean too good, keep up on weekly or biweekly (depends how stocked) water changes, gravel vac, rinsing filter media off when gunked up in bucket of tank water. Right now getting a bottle of Prime or Amquel Plus to detox the toxins for 24 hrs and doing daily water changes until it's cycled is all you can do. There is no easy way out, unless you take all your fish back to the lfs and do a fishless cycle. You can do it!!! :D Be patient my friend.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  5. clickWell Known MemberMember

    I know how you feel. When I first got my tank setup, the guy in the store insisted for 20 minutes to get the cycle product. I bought it and came home and read the forums...decided not to add it. The decision was easier for me since I did not had any fish so I was not risking much, but I believe with constant water changes and no Cycle product, your bacteria will build in time and your fish will be fine. There is a product (forgot the name) that makes ammonia safe for your fish but still allows your cycle to develop. If other members can step in and name that product I have a total mind block now; it will help you keep your fish safe till you get the cycle done. You will still have ammonia readings but it will not affect your fish...darn I wish I remember the name.

    I wanted to take the cycle bottle back to the store, but now I'm glad I didn't since I use it for my hospital tank. So it is good at something, but for sure not good to get you through the cycle.

    Edit: Christine was posting at the same time and got the names right. Thanks!
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  6. GoGreenWell Known MemberMember

    As usual everyone replied so fast regarding my issue, thank you! So here's where things stand right now: all my water readings are still good after 6 hours without the complete weekly addition of Cycle (as before mentioned I just added the one capful instead of 3) I will test again tomorrow morning. Do you guys think my fish will be okay overnight? They haven't had anything to eat since their small breakfast this morning. Oh and a funny thing is that the last bottle of cycle I used I don't believe I remembered to shake it before using, so maybe the terrestrial bacteria I thought I was adding really wasn't as much as I thought and my tank actually has a certain amount of the necessary aquatic bacteria in it? Wow I am confused.:;fru
  7. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Who knew fish keeping could be so confusing? lol I didn't when I first started either.
    It'll get easier.
    If you're water readings are normal now, I'm sure they'll be fine over night.
    If you switch to a water conditioner like Prime, it'll detox the ammonia and nitrites for 24 hours.
    That should give you some peace of mind.
  8. grumpValued MemberMember

    Hi there GoGreen I to have been where you are and I just stoped useing it cold turkey and my tank did very well the only thing is my tank was running for about 7 months befor i stopped...If you do stop you should keep a close eye on the water pram's i checked mine twice a day and keep a bottle of AMMO LOCK on hand in case thing go south on you...I also increased my WC to twice a week and did smiller ones 5-10%..I now only do one 20-25% WC every 2 weeks...Everything is good and has been for over a year...
  9. GoGreenWell Known MemberMember

    Okay then... I am going to go to bed sleep on it, as soon as I get up I will test my water. I don't have a source to get Prime but my LFS does carry Ammo-lock. Grump, it's good to hear that you got through all this, although your tank was clearly more mature than mine. I will check in here tomorrow to let you guys know what my readings are and most likely to spew out another stream of questions! Here's hoping my little guys do okay!
  10. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Ammolock is okay, but I think it doesn't do anything about nitrites and nitrates. I was using a similar product by Tetra but switched to Prime because of this.

    Prime and Amelquel Plus will detoxify all three, and condition the water at the same time. If you get the amelquel plus, make sure to get the plus and not just amelquel. Also, some members report getting false positives on the API ammonio test with the amelquel+, and end up purchasing a powder-based test from the manufacturer's website.
  11. LlamaWell Known MemberMember

    See if you have any friends in the surrounding area who have a cycled tank, just some filter media or a handful of gravel will shorten the cycle time considerably. Make sure its a properly cycled one though.
  12. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello GoGreen. It sounds like you're on the right track to achieving a natural cycle for your tank.

    I would like to add to Meenu's post #10. Anytime you add Prime or Amquel + to your tank, I suggest not testing for 24 hours after adding so that you get a more accurate reading.
    Best of luck and keep us posted. I use Amquel + and love it! :) I also use Nova Aqua + and Immune +. That's it. :)
  13. GoGreenWell Known MemberMember

    Good morning to all! Well, I tested my water this morning and all was very well indeed!Ammonia 0, nitrites 0, pH 7.5. Everyone is looking very healthy, lively and hungry! So no water change is needed yet. I wasn't going to feed today at all but I realise I need the fish to give off a bit of waste to feed the bacteria I do have in there so they don't die off. I promised a spew of questions and would hate to disappoint so here they are! Usually I do have a day during the week where everyone has to fast, to help clean out there digestive systems. However, as I am trying to get my tank off of 'Cycle', should I do a light feeding before I go out today? I will be out for 6 hours, and test my water as soon as I get home. If I give them a bit of food will I be back in time to control the ammonia levels if necessary? Or should I wait even longer to test and do it in the evening? Any chance that it would be all right to bring home a little panda friend for Streifen? They have some healthy looking little pandas in at my LFS but I am willing to wait if needed, maybe they could put one on hold for me. How long should I wait if my tests continue to be good?
  14. GoGreenWell Known MemberMember

    Oh, btw, Llama I just checked out your pictures, what lovely, healthy little fish! Love your mickey mouse platy, they are great looking fish, my little Finley looks quite similar. Is that a bronze catfish?
  15. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Since you're weening the tank off Cycle, I wouldn't add anything just yet.
    A new fish should be quarentined for at least 2 weeks any. In the mean time, hopefully you'll know what's going on with your cycle.
  16. GoGreenWell Known MemberMember

    Checked my water again this evening, looks good still. Yes I am being pretty anal about all this testing, but what is 5 min. of my time compared to the life of my fish? Easy answer. Anyway, still looks good so I think it will be okay for another night. Tomorrow, check again in the morning and then hopefully feed them a light breakie with a shrimp pellet for my corys. Then test again later in the day. So based on your advice Lucy I didn't buy another panda today, but am going to set up my Hospital tank as a Q tank to have it ready for him. You mentioned I could use 'cycle' since it is only short term? Idon't plan to have the Q tank running all the time, just set it up when I need it.
    Click-you mentioned you use Cycle for your Q tank, how did you set it up then, do you also just set it up when you need it? Can you add your one fish right away as long as you monitor the tank? Mine is a small 1.5g, and I would do one fish only at a time.
    Main tank-so far so good, yet it is early days.:;f
  17. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    hi, gogreen. I am glad things are looking good for you so far.
    the q tank would be so that when you introduce a new fish, if it is sick when you get it, it doesn't spread the illness to any other fish in your tank.

    the reason Nutrafin Cycle isn't recommended is because it doesn't contain nitrifying, aquatic bacteria, so in the long term, it won't cycle your tank (that's why the weekly additions - it doesn't let the natural bacteria grow in the tank). However, it does contain terrestrial bacteria that will process ammonia, etc. So as long as you keep adding it, it will take care of the ammonia and nitrites in the tank for the short term... so if you set up a quick q tank, you can use cycle for the two weeks it is up, since you don't have to worry about establishing a long-term bacterial bed in a temporary q tank.

    I hope that made sense...

    edit: some people keep a q tank always running and cycled. others keep extra media in their tank or filter so they can add it whenever they set up a q tank, creating an instant cycle. others (like me) are totally neglegent and don't have a q tank at all. :-[
  18. GoGreenWell Known MemberMember

    Yup that makes sense to me. My Q-tank is up and running this evening, I will add the Cycle to it to prepare it for my next fish, due on Monday or
    Tuesday. Thanks for the answer;D

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