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Old 08-25-2012, 07:02 PM   #1
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Hi newbie here

Hello all. I am new to this forum and new to fish keeping.

First I will tell you about the tanks.. One is a 29 gallon. I bought it used so it might/should have some kind of bactera already in it I hope. however, I set it up on last Wed, and today day five.. finally got a master test kit and put in four little zebra danios.

The guy at the fish store told me that I need the fish to start the cycle and that he highly recommended that I do it with fish, as its the easiest way to do it.

I also have an assortment of chemicals for the tank and have treated the water of course... Conditioner, bacteria boosting stuff, ph lowering stuff.

I tested the water and so far day one of testing the ph is way too high so I put in the stuff to lower it. I will retest tomorrow.




About the 2nd tank. It's only 5 gallon but it has a filter set up and lighted hood. It was the first tank I got and a few months ago it was set up, overstocked and everything DIED. I did not know what I was doing at all.


This time around, I have been doing alot of reading though and have decided it will house one Betta fish. I got that fish today also as the fish guy at the store said it would be fine. THAT tank was just set up hours ago and the fish seems to be ok so far. Will test that water tomorrow as well.

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Old 08-25-2012, 08:07 PM   #2
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pH lowering products actually hurt fish more than help as they wear off and then cause a fluctuation which is harmful. As long as the water's pH is about 8.4 or lower it should be fine.

As for the cycling.....fish-in cycles are by far not the easiest method. They require tons of water changes. Here is an article to help:I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice
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Old 08-25-2012, 10:33 PM   #3
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I did read about fishless cycling, but there seems to be alot of information out there about both methods. I also read that Zebra Danio's are good 'starter fish' so that is why we went with four of those for the 29 gallon.. Those will be only fish till tank is more stable.
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:00 AM   #4
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Doesn't really matter its done now and they were only like 4 for 3 dollars. There seems to be alot of people on here that swear you can not have a fish in there immediately but plenty of people have told me otherwise.
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:35 AM   #5
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Basically at this point you'll just have to keep a careful eye on the ammonia/nitrIte/natrAte levels. The master kit was a good buy, much more accurate than the strips. You probably wont see any ammonia changes for a few days but once they start showing up you'll have to do water changes frequently. What other types of fishes were you thinking of putting in there (once the cycling is complete)?

The betta will be happy in the 5 gallon considering a lot of people keep them in tiny bowls. You probably won't be able to put anything else in there with it though (someone can correct me on that if I'm wrong).

In the future I'd suggest coming here for any advice. The members of this site have 100 billion times more experience maintaining aquariums than any fish store employee. I am on here almost everyday and I learn something new each time I check in.

Welcome to AA, get ready to become addicted.
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:51 AM   #6
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Eventually whenever the ammonia and stuff spike I have my handy test kit that I bought so that I can keep on top of it. I came here for help not to be attacked. Cycling a tank with fish in it is an 'old school' method and Im sure I am not the first and wont be the last.

The reason the fish died in the 5 gallon tank is because i really did NOT know what I was doing and it was overstocked. This time around I invested in a much larger tank and have all the things I need except the vaccum thing but I plan to get one asap.

I plan to do frequent water changes.... thats why I bought a test kit...


Possible inhabitants of the 29 gallon tank will be 8-10 zebra danios.. one pretty gourami probably a dwarf... A couple of catfish at bottom.. possibly some sort of crab at the bottom and a pleco. Maybe a snail too.

The 5 gallon tank will house a lonely beta and a possible snail or two.
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:37 AM   #7
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Hey folks, keep it tactful. No need to be rude about things.

Read it, learn it, live it

A friendly reminder about tact
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:19 AM   #8
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Welcome to AA!! Ok, let's fix this!!
4 years ago I had no choice but to do a fish-in cycle because my daughter came home from school with a goldfish in a bag that she had "won" on the last day of school. I did not have a tank at that time, so we went to store bought a little 5 gal tank for this tiny goldfish. I did many things to help that tiny fish an 4 years later he is a giant, happy 8 1/2 inch fantail goldfish. You can get there too!!
The bad part about putting fish in during a cycle is that there is no beneficial bacteria to use the ammonia yet, so the ammonia will build up in the water and burn the fishes gills and skin. Those burns can get infected and the fish can die. then the ammonia-eating bacteria arrive and start to eat the ammonia and turn that into nitrite, which when high can cut down on the oxygen and basically suffocate your fish to death. None of this so far is sounding too good, right? We'll get to the better part in a sec. Then finally the nitrite turns to nitrate, which, if kept under 40, won't kill your fish. Problem is this all takes at least a couple of weeks.
So, let's fix the problem: you are going to need to Check the ammonia, nitrite, an nitrate levels of the tank EVERY day. Keep ammonia 0.25 or less- anything above that, you will need to do a water change. If it's way above that, you'll need to do a BIG water change. Also buy some Stabilty and Prime and add to tank every day (after water change if you do one). Ammonia will start to drop after about a week or so and nitrites will rise. Again, try to keep nitrites below 0.1 or do water change. It'll take about another week or more for nitrites to reach zero. I've read that adding an air stone during the nitrite period can help add air to the tank, since the fish are getting less oxygen in their lungs. When I had to do this, I was doing a water change EVERY day for weeks. It's a lot of work, but necessary. Then your tank has cycled and you'll need to monitor all levels every few days. Ammonia should stay at 0, nitrites at 0, and keep nitrates less than 20 once your tank is cycled. If done properly, your fish have survived this process. then you just need to do a PWC every couple of weeks and your good!!

Just on a side note, they're called starter fish cuz they're cheap and people don't care if they die, but that seems like a horrible way to die: burning all your skin and getting infections from that and then being suffocated after that. No one would think to do that to a dog or cat. Fish are just little harmless, helpless, living things after all. Good luck with your cycle and feel free to ask for help here!! Hope this helps you!!
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southerngirl
Eventually whenever the ammonia and stuff spike I have my handy test kit that I bought so that I can keep on top of it. I came here for help not to be attacked. Cycling a tank with fish in it is an 'old school' method and Im sure I am not the first and wont be the last.

The reason the fish died in the 5 gallon tank is because i really did NOT know what I was doing and it was overstocked. This time around I invested in a much larger tank and have all the things I need except the vaccum thing but I plan to get one asap.

I plan to do frequent water changes.... thats why I bought a test kit...

Possible inhabitants of the 29 gallon tank will be 8-10 zebra danios.. one pretty gourami probably a dwarf... A couple of catfish at bottom.. possibly some sort of crab at the bottom and a pleco. Maybe a snail too.

The 5 gallon tank will house a lonely beta and a possible snail or two.
The stock for the 29 sounds good to me. I would warn you that some crabs are escape artists so a secure top to you tank is necessary unless you want to find your little buddy crawling on your floor also, some plecos get HUGE so be careful to pick one that will work for your tank.

The 5 gallon sounds good also. It'll be funny to see your betta checking out his little snail buddy
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:14 AM   #10
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Thanks for replying, and yes this does help me.

No, I dont want the poor little Danios to die.. I want them to live and eventually start the school that will be in the tank. I did do alot of reading to pick what fish to have and for this tank Im going to try to stick with hearty fish that are stronger by reputation and hopefully they will live through my newbie mistakes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beengirl View Post
Welcome to AA!! Ok, let's fix this!!
4 years ago I had no choice but to do a fish-in cycle because my daughter came home from school with a goldfish in a bag that she had "won" on the last day of school. I did not have a tank at that time, so we went to store bought a little 5 gal tank for this tiny goldfish. I did many things to help that tiny fish an 4 years later he is a giant, happy 8 1/2 inch fantail goldfish. You can get there too!!
The bad part about putting fish in during a cycle is that there is no beneficial bacteria to use the ammonia yet, so the ammonia will build up in the water and burn the fishes gills and skin. Those burns can get infected and the fish can die. then the ammonia-eating bacteria arrive and start to eat the ammonia and turn that into nitrite, which when high can cut down on the oxygen and basically suffocate your fish to death. None of this so far is sounding too good, right? We'll get to the better part in a sec. Then finally the nitrite turns to nitrate, which, if kept under 40, won't kill your fish. Problem is this all takes at least a couple of weeks.
So, let's fix the problem: you are going to need to Check the ammonia, nitrite, an nitrate levels of the tank EVERY day. Keep ammonia 0.25 or less- anything above that, you will need to do a water change. If it's way above that, you'll need to do a BIG water change. Also buy some Stabilty and Prime and add to tank every day (after water change if you do one). Ammonia will start to drop after about a week or so and nitrites will rise. Again, try to keep nitrites below 0.1 or do water change. It'll take about another week or more for nitrites to reach zero. I've read that adding an air stone during the nitrite period can help add air to the tank, since the fish are getting less oxygen in their lungs. When I had to do this, I was doing a water change EVERY day for weeks. It's a lot of work, but necessary. Then your tank has cycled and you'll need to monitor all levels every few days. Ammonia should stay at 0, nitrites at 0, and keep nitrates less than 20 once your tank is cycled. If done properly, your fish have survived this process. then you just need to do a PWC every couple of weeks and your good!!

Just on a side note, they're called starter fish cuz they're cheap and people don't care if they die, but that seems like a horrible way to die: burning all your skin and getting infections from that and then being suffocated after that. No one would think to do that to a dog or cat. Fish are just little harmless, helpless, living things after all. Good luck with your cycle and feel free to ask for help here!! Hope this helps you!!
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