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Old 02-20-2012, 04:29 PM   #1
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Huge emergency! New Setup Overstocked and not Cycled

Hello all, my name is Jessica and I need some serious help! Ok, Im not so sure where to begin.... I will start at the beginning and try to include everything, bear with me!
So, my birthday is here in a week or so and for a very, very long time I have been wanting a fish tank. My husband, bless his heart, knew this since I have been nonstop talking about it for about a year now. My friends and I had gone out last week and upon my return my husband and kids surprised me with a 20 gallon tank kit complete with fish. I was ecstatic! They had it all set up and it was a really neat surprise! Well later that night when the kiddos went to bed I started to research the fish in the tank. I have one small Tiger Oscar, one small Firemouth Cichlid, one very small Yellow Lab, one small Kenyi, 2 small Peacocks, 1 small Pleco, and one Blue Lobster. To my horror my research has revealed that the tank my husband so lovingly surprised me with was much, much too small for these little guys. 6 days went by and I saved every dime I could and purchased a 55 gallon set up. I set up the tank, carefully rinsed the rocks, filled it with water, used dechlorinator, working on getting the right temp in the tank as we speak. I decided then that I wanted to do this the right way so I sit down at my computer and type into the Google search bar "How to properly set up my 55 gallon fish tank" I was then again struck with horror at the fact that neither of my tanks have been cycled, a very important rule of fish keeping. I am so sad that my husband and I have so innocently started to kill these fish Totally incidental and not purposely. I knew nothing of a cycle and my husband swears the pet store he purchased everything from did not inform him. I am sad. I tried to see if I can take the fish back to prevent further damage or pain to them. They only had a 5 day warrantee, they will not accept them back. I live in a small town in Northern Michigan and have a 45 min drive to any pet stores. I dont know what my next step is from here. The fish are probably suffering and being the animal lover that I am my heart is breaking for them. I did read some things on something calld Bio Spira, I ordered it today with expedited shipping, also a master test kit. Does anyone have any advice for me? Can I cycle my 55 gallon with these fish without killing them? Should I leave them in the 20 gallon that I have them in until the Bio Spira arrives? Is the ammonia probably really high in there so would moving them to the larger tank be better and then just add the bacteria when it arrives? Im so sorry this is a long post but I am really clueless and have no idea what to do?! Also have a question about driftwood but that is another topic and will touch on that later! Thank you immensely for your time!
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by AndrewsPistol
Hello all, my name is Jessica and I need some serious help! Ok, Im not so sure where to begin.... I will start at the beginning and try to include everything, bear with me!
So, my birthday is here in a week or so and for a very, very long time I have been wanting a fish tank. My husband, bless his heart, knew this since I have been nonstop talking about it for about a year now. My friends and I had gone out last week and upon my return my husband and kids surprised me with a 20 gallon tank kit complete with fish. I was ecstatic! They had it all set up and it was a really neat surprise! Well later that night when the kiddos went to bed I started to research the fish in the tank. I have one small Tiger Oscar, one small Firemouth Cichlid, one very small Yellow Lab, one small Kenyi, 2 small Peacocks, 1 small Pleco, and one Blue Lobster. To my horror my research has revealed that the tank my husband so lovingly surprised me with was much, much too small for these little guys. 6 days went by and I saved every dime I could and purchased a 55 gallon set up. I set up the tank, carefully rinsed the rocks, filled it with water, used dechlorinator, working on getting the right temp in the tank as we speak. I decided then that I wanted to do this the right way so I sit down at my computer and type into the Google search bar "How to properly set up my 55 gallon fish tank" I was then again struck with horror at the fact that neither of my tanks have been cycled, a very important rule of fish keeping. I am so sad that my husband and I have so innocently started to kill these fish Totally incidental and not purposely. I knew nothing of a cycle and my husband swears the pet store he purchased everything from did not inform him. I am sad. I tried to see if I can take the fish back to prevent further damage or pain to them. They only had a 5 day warrantee, they will not accept them back. I live in a small town in Northern Michigan and have a 45 min drive to any pet stores. I dont know what my next step is from here. The fish are probably suffering and being the animal lover that I am my heart is breaking for them. I did read some things on something calld Bio Spira, I ordered it today with expedited shipping, also a master test kit. Does anyone have any advice for me? Can I cycle my 55 gallon with these fish without killing them? Should I leave them in the 20 gallon that I have them in until the Bio Spira arrives? Is the ammonia probably really high in there so would moving them to the larger tank be better and then just add the bacteria when it arrives? Im so sorry this is a long post but I am really clueless and have no idea what to do?! Also have a question about driftwood but that is another topic and will touch on that later! Thank you immensely for your time!
Don't feel bad, as we've all been there done that!! Im attaching some articles about fish in cycle. They will be fine.



http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ing/Page1.html


http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...now/Page2.html
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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These will really help! !! You wont need that bacteria. Since you have fish, they are producing ammonia and that will help feed bacteria to eat the ammonia. Just check your water when you get your test kit. And you will need to do at least a 50% water change. You also need "prime" its a dechlorinator.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:40 PM   #4
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You may need to try rehoming them. Place a craigslist ad. If you want to try to keep them, I would suggest you do some massive daily water changes.....others here will know more about that. Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:46 PM   #5
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Boadams hit it on the head with the links that he sent you. And yes keep up with water changes and I would also suggest getting to the pet store asap and get some prime and possibly ammo lock. Follow those links and they will save your fish
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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You can do an fish cycle with your tank, since thats probably your only option! the API master liquid test kit will be your best friend for that.

As you do this your water should be checked almost daily to make sure everything is low (ammonia, nitrites, etc) until your Nitrates start to grow, which will mean that your tank is cycled.

I came here about a month ago with the same problem, killed some fish beforehand, but now my tanks are cycled with healthy fish!

I'm sure someone will have a guide for fish cycling, but its just more work since you'll have to do more water changes!
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:48 PM   #7
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And if these start to be high you need to do a water change. Your tank can be cycled with no ammonia and nitrites raising; and they will! Just test your water and do water changes as instructed.

And what kind of filter are you using?
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:48 PM   #8
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Also keep up with the research it will mean the world to you when you start getting.g deal into things. Also look on here at what other people are doing most all of us have learned by trial and error
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by randy86
Boadams hit it on the head with the links that he sent you. And yes keep up with water changes and I would also suggest getting to the pet store asap and get some prime and possibly ammo lock. Follow those links and they will save your fish
I wouldn't bother with ammo lock. The bb need the amm to grow. It only binds it for 24-48 hrs anyway.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:50 PM   #10
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I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?!
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:51 PM   #11
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Oh, thank you sooooo much for replying! I have been asking around to see if anyone is interested in the fish, it isnt going over very well! I just want to be prepared also in the event that they are going to have to endure the cycle. Id like to go as easy on them as possible. My kids and I have really come to love them! So now I pretty much just sit tight till my test kit comes in? Should I move them to the 55g? Or keep them in the 20? Im afraid that ammonia levels are high in the small one The 55g has been running for 2 days. Also the heater in the 20g isnt keeping up with it. Temp is only at 70* Gosh Im so worried for them! I just wish my husband would have came to me first so we could do the research. Poor thing just wanted to surprise me with an awesome gift. He feels bad too.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:53 PM   #12
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It's nothing that can't be overcome with some extra work. Don't wait for your test kit. I'd suggest a large water change once every day or 2 regardless of whether you can test. Testing will make it a bit easier because you can simply allow your readings to tell you when to do a large water change.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:55 PM   #13
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Threads merged.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:55 PM   #14
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Ok, so about 50% daily? Im prepared to do that. I should be moving them to the 55g though probably, right? To start the cycle in that one?
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:57 PM   #15
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And if these start to be high you need to do a water change. Your tank can be cycled with no ammonia and nitrites raising; and they will! Just test your water and do water changes as instructed.

And what kind of filter are you using?
Hmmm not sure, came as a kit! Brand on the box reads Top Fin.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:59 PM   #16
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Yeh you should be okay also look for your fish going to the surface like they are trying to gasp for air this is a great sign that the ammo is getting to them. Your fish will tell you a lot. You'll be okay though just best with them and keep up with your water changes!
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:00 PM   #17
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Ok, so about 50% daily? Im prepared to do that. I should be moving them to the 55g though probably, right? To start the cycle in that one?
What's the temp of the 55? Id move the oscar and pleco to it. Yea do at least 50% daily wc until you get your test.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:01 PM   #18
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Hmmm not sure, came as a kit! Brand on the box reads Top Fin.
I really hate to tell you this but those filters usually aren't big enough for the tank they come with. You need at least 2x the tank size for good filtration
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:02 PM   #19
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What's the temp of the 55? Id move the oscar and pleco to it. Yea do at least 50% daily wc until you get your test.
It is 78*
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:04 PM   #20
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I really hate to tell you this but those filters usually aren't big enough for the tank they come with. You need at least 2x the tank size for good filtration
Ha! Im not surprised! It seemed too good to be true! I got it for a great price! I actually have been doing some ebaying and found a powerhead... Idk if that will be good for me or not! Im full of questions, just need to get thru this cycle first!
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