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Old 02-26-2013, 01:25 AM   #1
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Cycling question

So I have had my tank for about a month and a half. I wasn't smart enough to look up cycling so I have quite a few fish, about seven and two frogs. They are pretty healthy or nothing has gone wrong...yet. I need to cycle it but I do not want to buy a expensive test kit. I was thinking of getting tetra safe start, add that. Get it tested next week and do about two 50% water changes by then and see if everything is good. Is that gonna work? Second let's say my tank is cycled how often do I do water changes and how much? Thanks
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:39 AM   #2
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This is just my .02 cents.

Your going to want to get a test kit, preferable the liquid ones. The test strip ones are not that great. Things may be doing fine now, but how can you really tell what ammonia and nitrite levels are which can be toxic to fish without a kit. IMO it would be cheaper to get one and be able to prevent and see things happen than react to fish acting weird or dying and having to replace them.

Essentially throwing in tetra safestart would work. I've read hundreds of people having great luck with the product. The biggest thing would be following the directions. Here is one link with great info about safestart from the company. Tetra Safe Start

I personally used it and did not have any luck, but I'm sure its still a great product. Check amazon and dr foster and smith if your looking to get it. The big bottle was about 10-13 bucks last time I checked. Its about 20+ bucks at most stores.

I do 20% PWC every week. I would recommend every week if you could, but a lot of people do it bi-weekly and some do it monthly. I'd say 15-20% around that.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:01 AM   #3
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What size tank?

If you have a large bioload, then you'll need to do large water changes. Testing the water chemistry is going to be what decides how often you change the water. Which means you need a test kit. The API Master Test kit may look expensive to you, but you get hundreds of tests from it.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:31 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=john.hunter225;2358743]This is just my .02 cents.

Your going to want to get a test kit, preferable the liquid ones. The test strip ones are not that great. Things may be doing fine now, but how can you really tell what ammonia and nitrite levels are which can be toxic to fish without a kit. QUOTE]

Exactly, just get the kit. Especially for ammonia. My tank with 12 guppies and no filter, just lots of used gravel and plants, can generate about .5 ppm of ammonia per day. So doing a "huge" water change once a week or two in a non cycled tank is just asking for trouble. The test kit I have is API ammonia test kit, which was like $15 or $20 from petsmart. It will last you for well over a year, and you should be testing every other day at bare mimimum until the tank has been set up for a couple months. Live plants absorb ammonia, like I said I don't have a filter in my tank, just an airstone. I test the water daily and I do a 30% wc every other day. I also would reccoment Prime, it neutralizes ammonia and nitrates, and It can be used by itself as a Declorinator.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:34 PM   #5
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If you've had fish in the tank for a month it could be cycled already or it could be in the middle, you won't know until you get a good test kit (liquid is preferred over strips as the strips aren't very accurate). The tank will cycle whether you consciously want to cycle it or not, so it has been cycling, you'll just need a test kit to determine whether the cycle is done.
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