Water changes w/ stress coat. How much? 10 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Water Changes' started by ~Fanci~, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. ~Fanci~

    ~Fanci~Valued MemberMember

    Hello! I have had my new 10 gallon tank for almost 3 weeks now. I did the set up and let the water cycle with Stress Coat and aquarium salt (recommended amount for freshwater fish) for 4 days before I got my fish (2 Dalmation Mollies and a Pleco). All was well and then when I did my first water change and 2nd and 3rd since starting the levels have been kind of wacky. What am I doing wrong? I am still learning, but this is my basic steps-
    1. I empty 10L (2.5 ish gallons) of water into a bucket and put my heater in to get the temp up
    2. I use the gravel vac to siphon out 25% of my water
    3. I take out my heater when the water is ready and treat it with Stress Coat, about 1/4 the recommended amount for a 10 gallon tank (since my water going in is only 1/4) and also a little aquarium salt (they recommend 1 tbsp for 5 gallons so I use no more than a 1/2 tbsp)
    4. New water goes in, everything hooked back up
    5. I have just today started adding a capful of NutraFin cycle into the filter

    Am I doing anything wrong, or not doing anything I should be? Am I adding enough Stress Coat, or should I be adding enough to treat the full 10 gallons and not just the new water?
    Thank you Thank you!
  2. DRock914

    DRock914Valued MemberMember

    For stress coat I add for the amount of new water going in. You don't need to use your heater to match the tank temp if you can get warm tap water that feels the same temp as your tank. 1/2 tbsp I think is too much salt. I use 1/8th for a 20 gallon. I would not use nutrafin cycle. Before I was advised by this forum I was using stress zyme to try to cycle my tank but all it does is create artificial good bacteria for a short amount of time and doesn't let the bad bacteria break down into good bacteria in your filter media (someone correct me if I said that wrong). I don't think you will ever cycle your tank by using that product. Did you see your ammonia rise then drop, nitrite rise then drop, and nitrate rise to around 10? If not then you have not fully cycled. What do you mean by your levels being wacky, can you explain in more detail?
  3. ThunderValued MemberMember

    You do not need salt. Salt do not evaporate, so if you add water to a tank without a change, then do not add salt. If you do a change and add new water with salt, then it is tricky to know how much salt to add. Basically, you really do not need salt for freshwater.

    Seachem Prime is good and I believe it has stress coat within the product.

    I'm not sure specifically what issue you are having.

  4. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember

    Hi Fanci. :sign0016:to Fishlore. Great to have you with us! :)

    1. Is this fresh water, as in water from the tap, or are you taking the water out of your tank, adding stress coat, and then adding it back in? When you remove the water, just dump it out (down the toilet, in the garden, etc.).

    2. That sounds like a good amount if your tank is cycled. All three of your fish are high waste producers. If it's not cycled, I'd change at least 50% every day.

    3. Stress Coat neutralizes chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia, right? A little more is always better than too little with conditioner products. I suggest you stop adding aquarium salt; it's not necessary for mollies to have it and plecos certainly do not do well with any amount of salt. If your tank is not cycled, Stress Coat doesn't do anything for nitrItes or nitrAtes, so you may want to grab a bottle of Prime and switch to that if you get a chance.

    4. Sounds good. I don't heat my water - I just aim for close to the same temp out of the tap, but it certainly doesn't hurt to heat it up...unless the water in the tank is getting cold during that time. Are you using a spare heater?

    5. I highly recommend you immediately stop using nutrafin cycle. It's a false cycling product. It does not contain the proper aquatic bacteria, so it must be added without fail every week (because the bacteria drowns); it's a sales gimmick, imo. Tetra SafeStart is the only product on the market that contains an all in one true instant cycle that never needs to be added again.


    What kind of pleco do you have? A common pleco grows around 12" in the first year.

    What are your water parameters: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?

    What test kit are you using?

    Hope you're enjoying your new fin babies! We'd love love love to see pics if you have a chance. :D
  5. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning. :animal0068: I have moved your thread to the 'water changes" section of the forum.
  6. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    once you get any ammonia/nitrites, stress coat will NOT do anything...you will need to switch to prime..stress coat is ONLY good for chlorine/chlorimines

    i agree....the salt is just going to irritate them more and cause them to overproduce slime coat...
  7. OP

    ~Fanci~Valued MemberMember


    1-The water I am using is from the tap and treated. I remove about 20% from the tank with the gravel vac, dump it, and then add the new, treated water.

    2- Is the tank cycles when all of the levels (pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are within a normal range for the types of fish I am keeping...?)
    I am going try cycling the tank again...I have just purchased an Aquarium Pharmaceutical water test kit, but currently the carbon filter is removed because I am treating the tank for Ich. I used my previously bought test strips for now and the readings are
    pH- between 7.5-8.0
    Nitrites & Nitrates- both close to 0
    The pH levels were lower before so I am not sure why the rise. I am continuing to treat the tank today and tomorrow with medication, and then plan to do a water change and put the carbon filter back. Maybe this will get the level a little lower?

    3- I keep coming across mixed info about the aquarium salt. I was planning to stop using it because I have read it is bad for my pleco, but then other people have said also that plecos often come from brackish water and that adding a little aquarium salt for the benefit of the other fish is okay for them. Should I use only a VERY small amount, or cut it out altogether?? I purchased a bottle of Prime and am going to begin using that in place of the Stress Coat on my next water change!

    4- I would put the heater in the bucket while removing water, but am going to start just using warmer tap water. Thanks for that tip! It will be much easier and better for the fish I am sure...I think my one guy may have fallen a little ill due to a temp shock with the last few water changes :( Sidenote to that though- he is doing much better, although the female Molly was giving kind of pecking at him when he came back into the tank. He has enough energy to chase her off though when she starts near him and today and yesterday they seem to be becoming "civil" to each other again. I'm hoping for a full recovery!

    5- I won't purchase the Cycle product again. I wish I had done some reading before buying it because a lot of people are of an opinion that it is not a product that does too much. My LFS recommended to use it with water changes (since I have it) but that when the tank has cycled to just continue doing water changes with Prime as the water treatment.

    My pleco is a high-fin spotted pleco. When I purchased him the store did tell me that they grow quite large and can have a long life span but when I have the hang of keeping a tank I DO plan to up-size (would love a 55-gallon) . I am trying to add some pics but they won't attach...hmm, a whole new conundrum! HaHa
    The 9 new additions are in the fry net now but I purchased a Wisteria plant for them and would like to release them into the main tank as soon as they're not of such a swallowable size!


  8. DRock914

    DRock914Valued MemberMember

    I have a Gibbiceps (High-fin) and use 1/8th tablespoon of salt and he is doing good. My dad also has a Gibbiceps in an African tank that has more salt in it so you should be fine using small amounts of salt. The salt comes down to whether you want to or not because people can argue it all day.
  9. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hi :)
    I can only address a couple of your concerns.

    2) Your tank is cycled when your readings are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites with some nitrates present (assuming your tap water doesn't contain nitrates)

    3) I don't know a lot about plecos but off the top of my head, I can't think of any that come from brackish waters.
    Personally, I don't use salt at all. Salt doesn't evaporate with the water so you'd need to keep an eye on how much you're adding and possibly get a salinity test to be sure of the concentrations in the water.
    Although people say they don't see any effects of salt with their pleocs there are some stress factors that we can't see like the effect on their kidneys.

    4) I hope so :)

    5) The bacteria in Cycle is not aquatic. It dies off quickly. That's why you have to add it with every water change. It'll complete with the bacteria that grows naturally in your tank. When using Cycle, your readings might make it appear the tank is cycled, however, imo, it's a "false' cycle because one you stop using the product, there is no natural bacteria to process the ammonia or nitrites.

    Edit: Here's a interesting read:
    Found here:
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009

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