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Old 10-25-2002, 09:44 AM   #1
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Cycle.....???

Hi Fishy People,

Here goes............

I'm new to freshwater fishkeeping and have recently set up a Juwel Trigon 50US gallon tank and I followed all the rules to the best of my ability. So......I put in plenty of spotlessly clean 2mm gravel, sloping from 5cm deep at the front to 14cm deep at the back, some large cobbles (used to give me a tiered effect) plus around 2 dozen plants. The proper amounts of StressCoat and StressZyme were added to clean tap water and then it was left to run for a whole week with about 10 hours of light per day. I took a sample of the water to my local (very upmarket) fish supplier and it tested AOK. With this great news I brought home 6 neons, 10 guppies and 4 shrimpytype things. Now for the bad news ........50% have keeled over within a week. I picked up an API ph test kit and it shows my ph is 7.8. I then tested my tap water and it gave the same reading. That's a summary of where I am today.

Did I do something REALLY wrong? And would someone explain the meaning of the word "Cycle" that's mentioned so many times.

Looking forward to a reply.

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Old 10-25-2002, 10:09 AM   #2
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first I am interested by what an "UPMARKET" LFS is? Would this be classified as a high class shop vs a hole in the wall kind of store?

What type of filtration are you using?

Adding 16 fish to a new tank is alot of fish even for a 50 gal tank since the bio filter is not fully established. I suspect what your experencing is an ammonia spike.

Please purchase a test kit of have your water tested for ammonia at the LFS. Perform a 25% water change today and also perform another 25% water change in 1 or two days. This will help lower the ammoinia levels if present to a lower level quickly.

I personally hold no faith in the stresszyme product.
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Old 10-25-2002, 10:30 AM   #3
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Well....... by UPMARKET I mean very clean, beautifully displayed equipment and livestock plus lots of information from a knowledgeable and proud shop owner. This, compared to some sad shops I've visited where untrained "Saturday staff" are left in charge, is far more preferred.

The Juwel tanks come with an inboard filtration unit using a fine layer of filter wool/active carbon sponge/two coarse sponges in the upper cassette then two fine sponges in the lower one.

Many thanks for the advice and I'll do the water changes promptly as instructed.

What do you recommend instead of the StressZyme approach?
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Old 10-25-2002, 11:11 AM   #4
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never trust a LFS its a rare sight to see a tru good one that truly tells you wants best for ure tank and not their pocket book.

with that said I thought I found a LFS like that for SW. but the last time I went (last wk) he was very unhelpful and did not want to help me in any way then told me several false things.. such as "condylactis anemones are NON-photosythetic" which is opposite of tru. and this place a has a gorgeous 500 gallon tank setup (Well it was pretty kind of went down hill i think)..


So my advice anything u get told by a LFS double check it with other ppl via msg board, books, research..

On the other subject my guess why ure fish died was you added sooo many fish to the tank at once which caused a ammonia spike.. my only get one ot two at a time and wait a few wks (double check that. nto big on FW have had them but not big.. this was my technique tho) and then go get a few mores. once your tank is established you can add even more fish but until th en I would not advise it.


also guppies breed like mad we had a guppie tank with sooo many guppis i am guessin over 100 (in a 30 gal) and we didn't start with more then 10 guppies.. so go figure.. it took a while tho.



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Old 10-25-2002, 02:21 PM   #5
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do a search on google for aquarium nitrogen cycle--you should find plenty of information there--that said, i do think that is probably too high a fishload, i wouldn't replace any until your tank has had time to catch up and finish it's initial cycling phase--and be careful not to overfeed! only a pinch at the time, and only as much as the fish will consume in just a few minutes...and you definately need a test kit
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Old 10-25-2002, 02:35 PM   #6
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Your water would appear fine, yes. Why? Because with no source of ammonia (fish, ammonia, fish food) the nitrogen cycle would not start. Unless your tap water was freaky, the fish store would test it, and "Let's see.. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, you're good to go." Leaving a tank to run for a week really doesn't do much besides prove whether or not your equipment is working. The plants will have an impact on the nitrogen cycle, but after a week with no source of ammonia, I don't think they'd be doing much.

I highly recommend the beginner FAQs found here: http://faq.thekrib.com/begin.html

What you need to be worried about the most right now is the levels of Ammonia and Nitrite in your aquarium. I'd recommend picking up test kits for these.. watch them carefully, and once they both hit 0, your tank is cycled and ready for fish. Your remaining fish may or may not make it through the rest of the cycle.. keep a close eye on them - if they've made it this far (through the initial ammonia spike), they'll probably make it through the rest. Here's hoping

I know all of this can sound really confusing at first, but there's a ton of information out there The FAQs that I recommended above are great, and there's also a number of really good books on fishkeeping.

Best of luck. This is a great hobby
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Old 10-28-2002, 10:54 AM   #7
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Firstly,

A big public thank you to Aaron, Jacob, CRaZeee and Stargurl.

Ace people.

Did a 25% water change on Friday evening. The fish seemed happier straight way and I did another 25% swap late on Sunday as advised. No more fatalities so far. I thought that one of the Shrimptypethingies had popped off but, after a quick count up, it was just it's old cast off shell floating in the water. Didn't know they shed their skin like snakes do.........Weird.

Have got both the Ammonia and Nitrites test kits and will use them tonight.

After a "crash course" in Water Chemistry things are starting to make so much more sense.

Thanks again you guys.

Old Bob
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Old 10-28-2002, 12:21 PM   #8
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Hiya mate, nice to see another English bloke aboard the ranks !
I'd just like to add, I am at exactly the same stage as you at the minute, luckily, no fatalities though.
My water was tested this Saturday just gone and passed all the tests !
(Had been running for a week)

I have four male guppies, one gold and one pearl gourami and two platy.
You, like me, seem to be learning a lot, fast ??!

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Old 10-28-2002, 03:25 PM   #9
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shrimp will molt as they grow.
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Old 10-28-2002, 03:53 PM   #10
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haha yes htey will the first time mine molted i thought it died then thought it split.. LOL its common tho I think they do it after stress or every motnh or so..


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Old 10-28-2002, 07:00 PM   #11
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lol, glad your shrimp is ok
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Old 10-29-2002, 07:01 AM   #12
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Hi CRaZeee/Stargurl/Aaron/Jacob/Grant (fellow Brit) and Jebus

TTFN is an abbreviation for a "frightfully English" way of saying cheerio......it means Ta Ta For Now.

And I think I know why the shrimpytypethingy shed it's skin........we were having prawn salad starter that night and I'm pretty sure I walked passed the tank carring a jar of Thousand Island Dressing.........must have scared it out of it's shell. I feel so bad, I might even stop eating fish&chips.

Livestock is currently 3 male neon guppies, who seem to want to mate with each other instead of the.... 1 female guppy, 3 neon tetras, and 4 shrimptypethingies. I have NO intention of adding any more fish until "The Cycle " has finished.

PS
I've done all the tests for pH, KH, GH, NO2, NO3, and Ammonia and everything is within the limits shown on the kits.

Crikey I'm starting to talk like a chemist.......whoa back.

TTFN (again)

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Old 10-29-2002, 08:47 AM   #13
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Let me first say I LOVE the BLUE HAIR.

Quote:
...NO2, ... Ammonia...within the limits shown on the kits.
For the two tests above the readings should be as close to 0 as possible. I know durring the cycle they will creep up on ya simply because the bactera levels are not there to cope but be careful not to let them get to far out of wack.

If they start to get out of wack do a 20% water change or so.

That should not hurt your cycle and keep your fish alive at the same time.

The shrimp story was excellent. Someone should write a fish joke book. haha

A healthy shrimp will molt on a regular basis as they grow they will need to shed their exoskeliten and replace it.
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Old 10-31-2002, 08:42 AM   #14
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Thanks for the tip off fishfreek.

You obviously speak with experience ........ and yep, myAmmonia level did creep up to 0.25+ mg/litre so I did another 25% water change this morning.

All is well with our little brood, happily feeding on tiny amounts of Tetramin 2/3 times a day........they even seem to know that they are about to be fed as they cruise the front of tank when we approach it.

BTW my hair is NOT blue as the Avatar shows but the hairstyle is spot-on, as are the spectacles.

TTFN

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Old 10-31-2002, 08:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Bob
All is well with our little brood, happily feeding on tiny amounts of Tetramin 2/3 times a day........they even seem to know that they are about to be fed as they cruise the front of tank when we approach it.

Old Bob
Cut it back to 1 time a day for a few weeks. This will help your ammonia levels durring the cycle. Dont worry your fish wont starve. Feeding less will introduce less uneaten fish food and also less fish waste into the tank so that the bactera levels can build up.

Experence? Hm, well I have to admit I was a aswell. Many things I speak of are from acutal experence in starting my own tanks. I think over the last 7 years I have started about 7 different tanks. I have to say your first tank is the hardest. Your second tank is usually a breeze to start cause you can just borrow some gravel or a power filter off the first tank and that will give your bactera a jumpstart in establishing themselves.

I tell ya LFS's could make a good bit of money if they wised up and sold "live gravel" for freshwater simular to the "live sand" they sell for saltwater. All ya gotta do is put some gravel in the sump of a wet/dry filter for a few weeks and presto you got live gravel.
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Old 11-25-2002, 07:26 AM   #16
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Hi Folks



So who's a happy guy then ??? Me of course.

Things are going great at last and my test kits have been giving all the right readings for the last two weeks.

Soooooooo ...... the regular 20% water changes/the minimalist feeding regimen/controlling the almost irresistible urge to add more livestock has finally paid off and my little fishy friends seem to love their new home.

One area for concern is some algae on the slower growing plants.....I think it's called "beard algae". What causes this? Is it a long term problem? Can I do something to prevent it or do I simply trash and replace the affected plants? Otherwise all is well and a joy to behold.

Thank you all for the advice and support. It was worth the wait.

Old Bob
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