Will Lack Of Test Kit Delay Me Starting Fish Tank?

Rxo_c
  • #1
So...Sunday September 2nd I am buying my tank, setting up and planned to begin the cycle. I heard from a lot of people I should get the API kit, so I just ordered it off amazon. However, it won’t get here until September 5. Does this mean I cannot actually begin the cycling until the kit gets here? Or can I do the process without testing stuff. It’s been so hard waiting for September 2nd D’:


This is why beginners add their fish right away, we never have the patience to do stuff right. But I’m so not killing fish because I’m impatient...
 
Bettythebetta
  • #2
I’m not sure...... I just gotta day I love that you are putting your future fishes health before your impatience.
 
Jellibeen
  • #3
Are you doing a fishless cycle? If so, you can definitely start adding ammonia before you get your test kit. you won’t be able to monitor the whole cycling process without a test kit, but the first three days will be fine without testing water.
 
Hunter1
  • #4
I believe Dr Tim’s one and only ammonia has a legend to tell you how much ammonia to add to a certain size tank to get 2ppm, 4 ppm, etc.

If not, you can find it here surfing, or ask that specific question.

Initially, not much will happen so getting the test kit a few days later won’t be an issue.
 
Rxo_c
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Are you doing a fishless cycle? If so, you can definitely start adding ammonia before you get your test kit. you won’t be able to monitor the whole cycling process without a test kit, but the first three days will be fine without testing water.

I believe Dr Tim’s one and only ammonia has a legend to tell you how much ammonia to add to a certain size tank to get 2ppm, 4 ppm, etc.

If not, you can find it here surfing, or ask that specific question.

Initially, not much will happen so getting the test kit a few days later won’t be an issue.


Oh ok! Yes so I will be doing a fishless cycle. So I’ll just add the ammonia and stuff and just wait to test when I get the kit. Yay!
 
PonzLL
  • #6
I use this calculator to cycle my tanks. I always shoot for 4ppm for ammonia, but others recommend 2.

Fishless Cycle Ammonia Calculator

If you have the filter now, you could run it in a bowl or something to get a few days jumpstart. I know every day counts when you're excited to get your first fish!
 
Rxo_c
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I use this calculator to cycle my tanks. I always shoot for 4ppm for ammonia, but others recommend 2.

Fishless Cycle Ammonia Calculator

If you have the filter now, you could run it in a bowl or something to get a few days jumpstart. I know every day counts when you're excited to get your first fish!

For sure! It’s been hard enough to wait until Sunday to begin I would have hated to delay it any further... I don’t have my filter yet though. I will check that calculator out. Thanks!
 
Rxo_c
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
I’m not sure...... I just gotta day I love that you are putting your future fishes health before your impatience.

Well ofcourse. Some people simply just don’t know but A lot of people take the easy and fast way then wonder why their fish get sick or die. I know as a kid I had a few Betta that didn’t last long, and now growing up I know why! Now I that I know, it would be very negligent of me to still do the wrong thing anyways.
 
SmallFishGuy
  • #9
I’ve never had a water test kit and never will, when I set up my first tank I let it sit running for 2 months with nothing but some moss in there I figured that 2 months was enough time seeing as I was just adding a small pinch of fish food every day just so something was happening, I planted my tank and added fish and had no problems at all, now I can just recycle filter media and have a tank running for a couple of days if and when I decide to get a new tank
 
Gidde
  • #10
I would actually wait until you have your filter set up, because that's where your bacteria will live that you are trying to grow during the cycle. Without the filter, they have far less optimal places to hang out.

I totally sympathize with the waiting. Waiting over this last month for the cycle before adding any fish was torture! Being able to play with plants helped a bit though.
 
Jellibeen
  • #11
I could be wrong, but it sounds like the OP will have the filter on Sunday, but won’t have the test kit for another few days. No sense in starting to cycle without a filter or tank, but I think it’s a great idea to start cycling before you get the test kit.
 
ETNsilverstar
  • #12
I agree, no need to wait for the test kit to show up to start your cycle! You just won't know for sure what's going on and how quickly things are moving. I started with strips and had my tank cycling (with fish, because pet store people said the tank had cycled), and I had to wait a couple days for my master kit to arrive before I could really see what was going on. Then my fishy started getting ammonia burns, but I was doing water changes before that because he got a tear in his fin and I wanted quality water to help it heal. Then I saw how crazy my ammonia was and adjusted water changes appropriately. The fish had been in the tank for a week by the time I got the test kit, and I'd done a couple days of 20% water changes. Ammonia was at 2 ppm!! But with no fish, that wouldn't have been a big deal.
 
Rxo_c
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
I could be wrong, but it sounds like the OP will have the filter on Sunday, but won’t have the test kit for another few days. No sense in starting to cycle without a filter or tank, but I think it’s a great idea to start cycling before you get the test kit.


Yes you are right, I get my filter and tank on Sunday. I think I will begin adding ammonia and such on Sunday and just test it when my
Kit comes and hope for the best. Fingers crossed.
 
Pescado_Verde
  • #14
Good luck and...

WELCOME TO FISH LORE!!!!
 
Hunter1
  • #15
I’ve never had a water test kit and never will, when I set up my first tank I let it sit running for 2 months with nothing but some moss in there I figured that 2 months was enough time seeing as I was just adding a small pinch of fish food every day just so something was happening, I planted my tank and added fish and had no problems at all, now I can just recycle filter media and have a tank running for a couple of days if and when I decide to get a new tank

How do you measure nitrate levels and determine your water change schedules?

I also start my new tanks with seeded filters for an instant cycle. But use the test kit to determine my water change schedules.
 
YATT
  • #16
I’ve never had a water test kit and never will, when I set up my first tank I let it sit running for 2 months with nothing but some moss in there I figured that 2 months was enough time seeing as I was just adding a small pinch of fish food every day just so something was happening, I planted my tank and added fish and had no problems at all, now I can just recycle filter media and have a tank running for a couple of days if and when I decide to get a new tank

Love this. Hard core aquarium contol. Makes me feel better that I won’t kill all my fish!
 
Lh 90 gallon
  • #17
How do you measure nitrate levels and determine your water change schedules?

I also start my new tanks with seeded filters for an instant cycle. But use the test kit to determine my water change schedules.
I honestly cannot tell you the last time I tested my tank including nitrates. Several friends all have 75+ gallons and none of us test routinely. The first few month I tested to make sure everything was cycled, but now I only test if a fish behaves abnormally or if I add fish. But with a heavily planted moderately stocked tank none of my levels ever change.
 
Hunter1
  • #18
I honestly cannot tell you the last time I tested my tank including nitrates. Several friends all have 75+ gallons and none of us test routinely. The first few month I tested to make sure everything was cycled, but now I only test if a fish behaves abnormally or if I add fish. But with a heavily planted moderately stocked tank none of my levels ever change.

I agree.

I have 7 tanks, and haven’t tested anything in over a month. 4 of them are heavily stocked. I know if I don’t do a water change for 10 days, I need to do 2 50% changes in the next 3 days.

But I know that from prior testing.

My other 3 tanks can get by with 1 50% a week although every 3-4 weeks they get a double 50% change.

But the reason I can estimate my nitrates is because of many nitrate tests leading up to this.

Never using a test kit wouldn’t allow me this knowledge.

Edit: all of my tanks are moderately to heavily planted as well.
 

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