Want to gain from the 'experienced ones'! Help 

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tonyl

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2 weeks old Elite 65l tank complete with heater, stingray underwater filter and nutrafin cycle supplement and aqua plus tap water conditioner.
29 inhabitants, (5 fancytailed guppies, 3 black widow tetras, 3 scissortails, 1 catfish, 2 ghost catfish, 2 glowlight tetras, 3 swordtails, 5 serpae tetras and 5 zebra danios).
Ammonia 4, ph 7.2, nitrite 0, nitrate 0 according to apI tester.
Has had 2 x 30% water changes since set up.
Getting lots of conflicting advice on best way to cycle, what chemical additives , if any, to use. Which fish mix best, correct feeding (live, flakes, frozen) etc.
I am fully aware that there are no hard and fast fixes but I'm sure that there must be some simple early stage rules to follow that the more experienced amonst you would advise all newbies to follow.
Any comments on my profile would be gratefully received, tonyl
 

bass master

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sounds to me like you are severely over stocked especially for cycling with fish.... Most people do not recommend every cycling with fish, its very hard on fish and many people believe its cruel. I would either return or re-home as many of your fish as you can, if you can get down to 3 zebra danios total in your tank, you might be able to get away with cycling with those guys. If your going to add anything to your tank for cycling, really the only additive recommended is tetra safe start, it contains the necessary bacteria for your cycled tank. The nutrafin cycle supplement you have is not the right type of bacteria and therefor will not sustain itself on its own in your aquarium. Also your ammonia is very high and really any amount of ammonia can be lethal to fish. You need to start daily water changes of 30-50% and treat the new water with amquel+ or prime water conditioner
 

Meenu

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I would respectfully disagree with bassmaster about the zebras. If you can rehome the fish while the tank cycles, you should rehome ALL of them. Why pick 3 danios to be inhumane to?

Welcome to FL Tony.
 

bass master

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^very true about fishless cycling, like I said he should get rid of as many fish as he can, but if its just not possible (which seems reasonable cause its pretty difficult to rehome 29 fish, especially with the variety he has bought) he could probably technically get away with keeping three of the hardier fish as long as he stayed on top of daily water changes and such, not that I am suggesting he SHOULD keep three of the fish, sorry if I didnt make that clear
 
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tonyl

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thanks for your prompt replies, ignorance is no defence and more research should have been done first, but the large pet shop retailers make it sound so easy and straight-forward, buy a tank, fill it with water and plants, buy some fish and away you go. I will try to take on board all that you have said. Is the nutrafin aqua+ no good as a tap water conditioner as that was not mentioned. My wife may have a contact with whom I may be able to farm out my fish until my tank has cycled. They have a large aquarium that may be able to foster for a while, thanks for the help. tonyl
 

Meenu

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No experience with Aqua+, but it should be fine...
And don't be so hard on yourself. Ignorance has been a defense for almost everyone on this forum.
 

Shawnie

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welcome to fishlore!!!!!!!!
allot of us started out as you are got to love the info from pet stores
bassmaster2010 said:
sounds to me like you are severely over stocked especially for cycling with fish.... Most people do not recommend every cycling with fish, its very hard on fish and many people believe its cruel. I would either return or re-home as many of your fish as you can, if you can get down to 3 zebra danios total in your tank, you might be able to get away with cycling with those guys. If your going to add anything to your tank for cycling, really the only additive recommended is tetra safe start, it contains the necessary bacteria for your cycled tank. The nutrafin cycle supplement you have is not the right type of bacteria and therefor will not sustain itself on its own in your aquarium. Also your ammonia is very high and really any amount of ammonia can be lethal to fish. You need to start daily water changes of 30-50% and treat the new water with amquel+ or prime water conditioner
+2 GREAT advice!!!!!!....although if its not possible to rehome the fish, getting some prime or amquel+ with daily water changes, will get the cycle completed and keep the fish safe...it will take a few weeks though so be patient ..you need one of those to detox the ammonia/nitrites but still keep it avail for the cycle process.....the product cycle, as bass advised, won't do it

good luck and hope things work out!
 

phishyitis

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the nutrafin water conditioner is fine,the nutrafin cycle is the wrong type of bacteria and will die off ,its a waste of money.
to give you perspective,there is a much out dated rule that states you should have no more than 1 inch of fish per gallon.That is adult size not present size.you have about an 18gallon tank with 29 fish.your biggest fish for example, the swordtails will reach 3 inches easily.
your main problem at the moment is ammonia, very toxic to fish.you need to get some Prime or Amquel and do 50% water changes every day until ammo and nitrite read zero.
I would go back to the fish store and ask them to take the fish back or lose my future business.even if they give you a minimal credit.look at it as a learning experience.
read up on cycling fish tanks your fish will thank you for it.
welcome to fishlore
 

gef21

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if you can find Tetra Safe Start I would use that on your tank.
 

bass master

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thanks shawnie , glad to know I'm on the right track

and don't worry tony, many people have done many of the same things you have when starting out. So many pet stores are unfortunately just out to get your money and will have no problem selling you fish and plants that really won't work in your tank. Its good to hear that you are fully willing to do what it takes to make sure your fish end up ok, I'm sure once you have your tank fully in order you will definitely enjoy the hobby. This forum is a great source of info so don't hesitate to ask any questions you have

best of luck
 

Jrobber

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I agree with the statement above, if you can get some Tetra SafeStart, I would add that. I use it after overfeeding my fish for a couple of weeks during the cycle and it cleared my tank up in about 5 days.

Hopefully, you'll be able to return all those fish because they shouldn't have sold you that many with a new tank.

Good luck.
 
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tonyl

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???called in to a large retailer to puchase TSS as advised and was queried by the sales assistant if he could be of help. Explained what I had done and what I was after and he told me the following.
1. As has been said, 29 too many and will probably lose most if I can't foster them out.
2. TSS is good but I can do just as well with a 3 day course of nutrafin cycle and then weekly courses at each 10% water change.
3. No need for daily water changes as any useful bacteria is being flushed away with the water.
4. Do not re-stock until at earliest end of may.
Would be grateful for any input, thanks tonyl.
 

Shawnie

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tonyl said:
???called in to a large retailer to puchase TSS as advised and was queried by the sales assistant if he could be of help. Explained what I had done and what I was after and he told me the following.
1. As has been said, 29 too many and will probably lose most if I can't foster them out.
2. TSS is good but I can do just as well with a 3 day course of nutrafin cycle and then weekly courses at each 10% water change.
3. No need for daily water changes as any useful bacteria is being flushed away with the water.
4. Do not re-stock until at earliest end of may.
Would be grateful for any input, thanks tonyl.
allot of our members gave some great advice...and we give it for FREE...your pet store is good in some points, not so good in others

cycle will NOT cycle yoru tank ....daily water changes ARE needed to keep the fish alive and there is no good bacteria in the water to keep the cycling going ......the rest is great
 

ppate1977

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Shawnie nailed it spot on. All the advice given here is quite sound. Good luck with the tank. I can't stress enough; if you keep any fish in there daily 50% water changes are needed to try and prevent irreversible damage to the fish' gills from ammonia. 50% daily water change with prime. Hang in there.
 

Prince Powder

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tonyl said:
???called in to a large retailer to puchase TSS as advised and was queried by the sales assistant if he could be of help. Explained what I had done and what I was after and he told me the following.

1. As has been said, 29 too many and will probably lose most if I can't foster them out. I agree with the fish store and the other members on this point.

2. TSS is good but I can do just as well with a 3 day course of nutrafin cycle and then weekly courses at each 10% water change. I could go on for days about Nutrafin Cycle vs. TSS, but I will only say that as advised above Nutrafin Cycle does not contain the correct bacteria to cycle your tank. I have personally used TSS to cycle 2 tanks and when used as directed it DOES work as advertised. When using TSS you can't do water changes for 2 weeks once it's been added, but after that your water change schedule would need to be based on whatever your final stock winds up being. I wouldn't recommend a specific percentage to change as what would need changing would vary based on how much you are stocked.

3. No need for daily water changes as any useful bacteria is being flushed away with the water. I have to completely disagree with this statement. If you are not using TSS than daily water changes with a water conditioner like Prime or Amquel Plus which also detox ammonia and nitrite are absolutely necessary in order to keep your fish as safe as possible during the cycling process. The beneficial bacteria is not free floating, it grows on surfaces, in particular inside your filter so changing the water doesn't remove the bacteria. Gravel vacs however can affect your cycle since your bacteria will colonize there as well. While cycling it is best to limit your gravel vacs so as not to disturb the bacteria, but you can do water changes without gravel vacs. The daily water changes WILL however lower the levels of toxic ammonia and nitrite that your fish are being exposed to. While your bacteria do need the ammonia and nitrite to feed off a partial change only removes SOME of the ammonia and nitrite and the remaining is sufficient to keep your bacteria growing and reproducing. Keep in mind, whatever you remove through water changes your fish will put right back.

4. Do not re-stock until at earliest end of may. If you are planning on removing all the fish and starting a fishless cycle then you wouldn't be restocking your tank until the cycle is complete and there is no way of knowing exactly how long that could take. Every tank is different and every cycle unique. The only way to know whether it is time to add fish would be by testing your parameters and once they read ammonia 0, nitrite 0, and nitrate 5 or more and your tank can hold those numbers steadily, then the cycle is complete and your tank ready for fish.

Would be grateful for any input, thanks tonyl.

My responses are in blue.

Keep in mind, if your plan is to return or rehome ALL the fish then you will be doing a fishless cycle in which case the water changes will not be necessary. TSS will also not be necessary with a fishless cycle, although I know at least one member who cycled fishless with TSS. All of the rest of the advice is based upon you still having at least some fish in the tank. With all the fish still in the tank I would definitely recommend the daily water changes. Being so overstocked your ammonia levels will rise very quickly.
 
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jdhef

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The problem with Cycle is that it contains a land based form of the bacteria, and dies off in about a week or so in an aquatic environment. So you are forced to add Cycle weekly for the life of the tank.

TSS on the other hand contains an aquatic form of the bacteria (the same bacteria that would form naturally in your tank). This bacteria is self sustaining, so you only need to add the SafeStart once. It very much like using used filter media.
 
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