Will My Fish Die If I Don’t Do The Nitrogen Cycle?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by gilbertsmom, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. gilbertsmom

    gilbertsmom New Member Member

    I’ve read the site’s description of it but I’m still not entirely sure what it is/how to do it? I don’t think I have the time to do it anyway :(
     
  2. penguin02

    penguin02 Well Known Member Member

    What do you mean by "do the nitrogen cycle"? Cycling your tank is a necessary component of keeping your fish healthy. They might not DIE (there's lots of stories of people keeping bettas alive for years in tiny cups) but they won't THRIVE. You shouldn't be keeping fish if you don't want to provide the best life possible for them.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    gilbertsmom

    gilbertsmom New Member Member

    I’m not sure what the cycle is & the site’s description doesn’t help me understand
     




  4. JLeeM

    JLeeM Well Known Member Member

    Long story short, yes your fish will more than likely eventually die from living in a non cycled tank. Read the information again when you have plenty of time to read, study, and understand the literature. Once you grasp it, it's super easy. There's plenty of people on here to help you with it too.
     
  5. penguin02

    penguin02 Well Known Member Member

    Dalmation Molly Laying On Bottom Of Tank

    Here is my very first post on the forum, back when I had my 6g (was a disaster :( ) Read the long post about the nitrogen cycle near the bottom. That was my wake up call that I needed a bigger tank, and now 1.5 years later I'm a happy fishkeeper! :)
     
  6. OP
    OP
    gilbertsmom

    gilbertsmom New Member Member

    I’m just really confused about everything because my tank is 10 gallons. I don’t have a testing kit & my mother won’t buy me one so I’m not sure what to do
     
  7. GuppyGuy007

    GuppyGuy007 Well Known Member Member

    So,
    Three main components of your fish tank are ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.
    Ammonia- Very Dangerous
    Nitrite- Not as dangerous, but still dangerous
    Nitrate- Safe up to 30 PPM.
    Basically what will happen is eventually the Ammonia will turn into nitrites, and eventually the nitrites to nitrates. This is just an extremely simplified version of it. Read up on it for more details.

    If you have a fish store near you, most will test your water for you. You are really better off with your own test kit. If it is properly cycled, it will have 0 Ammonia, 0 nitrites, and some nitrates.
     
  8. penguin02

    penguin02 Well Known Member Member

    I used to be in the same situation as you, and there are ways to work around it (ex. most stores will test your water for you) Cycling is a necessary step whether your parents will pay for a test kit or not, and if there's one thing this hobby taught me it's that I need to find ways to make money on my own to support my interests. Why not ask to do some extra chores around the house for a few bucks here and there? Fishkeeping is expensive, ESPECIALLY for teens who don't have jobs. ;)
     
  9. OP
    OP
    gilbertsmom

    gilbertsmom New Member Member

    My mom won’t give me money for chores as she’s a single mother who doesn’t bring in too much money. But I’m kind of stuck on what to do because currently, my fish is in a 1/2 gallon tank & I’ve set up a 10 gallon tank for him, I’m just not quite sure how to transition him to the 10 gallon. I’ve put water conditioner in & there’s a filter, so I don’t know how to cycle it
     
  10. AquaticJ

    AquaticJ Fishlore VIP Member

    Let me try to simplify it for you. The fish poops, that poop breaks down into ammonia. The first kind of bacteria lives off of ammonia, so they eat the ammonia. When that bacteria poops, that breaks down into nitrite (thats where you are). The second kind of bacteria lives off of nitrite, so they eat it. When they poop, it breaks down into nitrates, which you take out with water changes. The bacteria doesn't actually poop like a fish, but that's an easier way to think about it lol!
     
  11. W

    Why me Valued Member Member

    If she won’t buy you one. Here’s my advice. Let your take run for at least a week and a half. When you see cloudy water the next day or so. You’ll know the bacteria is sorting itself out. And when the second week comes. Put a fish you want and is compatible with size. For the lowest cost
     
  12. Lorekeeper

    Lorekeeper Well Known Member Member

    From someone who maintained a reef before they were legally allowed to have a job (talk about expensive!), look for ways to earn cash around the house, and around town, if you're allowed.

    I used to mow lawns, do chores around the house, and do dirty work at my LFS for some in-store credit. You never know what opportunities you may have till you look!
     
  13. W

    Why me Valued Member Member

    Still. Attempt to get a kit. They have them at Walmart for like 2-3 bucks
     
  14. Mike1995

    Mike1995 Well Known Member Member

    it's pretty much a matter of waiting. it may take a month or two to cycle.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    gilbertsmom

    gilbertsmom New Member Member

    Is it possible for it to naturally cycle without me putting my fish in it?
     
  16. AquaticJ

    AquaticJ Fishlore VIP Member

    You can also just take water samples to the fish stores and theyll test it for free. You need an ammonia source for it to cycle, which doesn't technically have to be a fish.
     
  17. Mike1995

    Mike1995 Well Known Member Member

    yes. An uncycled tank is actually bad for fish as ammonia, nitrites and high level of nitrates are existing and no bacteria to consume it.
     
  18. Piaelliott

    Piaelliott Well Known Member Member

    What kind of fish do you have, a betta?
    Just add lots of fast growing plants like hornwort, water lettuce, frogbit, even duckweed (messy).

    With one fish in a 10 gal you'll be okay with plants and water changes. I would rather invest in plants than in a test kit.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    gilbertsmom

    gilbertsmom New Member Member

    What else could be an ammonia source?
     
  20. mattgirl

    mattgirl Fishlore VIP Member

    Most folks don't recommend this but If you are willing to do the work you can cycle your tank without anything other than a dechlorinator for your tap water and fish in there to produce the ammonia.

    You have to be willing to keep up on the water changes though. Since you don't have a test kit to see what is happening with your water then you just have to assume the water needs to be changed at least every other day for the first 6 weeks and then do it. It takes a lot of commitment to do this but if you are willing to do it your fish should be fine.

    Cycling a tank just means allowing it to grow the bacteria it needs to keep it healthy. That bacteria grows on all the surfaces in the tank but the majority of it grows on and lives in your filter.

    Fish poop...That poop turn into ammonia...in time that ammonia forms nitrites and then those nitrites form nitrates. Simply put. That is what a cycle is.
     
  21. GuppyGuy007

    GuppyGuy007 Well Known Member Member

    You could use fish food or bottled ammonia.(like from the dollar store)
     




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