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Old 06-06-2014, 02:05 AM   #1
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Cycling with TSS - Help Plz

I have started to cycle my 4 ft tank with TSS, yesterday I put the whole bottle into the tank and 2 hrs later added 6 cherry barbs, 2 platys, I was told I could add more, but thought (hoped), that a smaller number would be easier. SO....I tested the water this morning and the readings are
PH 7.4
Amm .25
Nitrate 5
I don't have a Nitrite test kit..

It says on the bottle NOT to do a water change for 2 weeks....wow, what happens if the Amm goes higher, do I just leave it? If I do a water change, I then have to add another bottle, which I don't have. I live in Australia and had to order the TSS from Amazon, it took 6 days to get here.
So what do I do know?
I would appreciate any advice that you can give me.

Thank you
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:29 AM   #2
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Anyone?
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:11 AM   #3
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Your off to a good start. Keep testing for ammonia daily. If it gets too high you will be forced to do a water change and risk stalling the cycle. But your fish health is more important.

Make sure you don't overfeed, and I wouldn't add any more fish. Feed lightly every 2 or 3 days. That's all you need, it will help avoid ammonia spikes and other spikes.

If you can get live plants like any, that will help too.

Nitrates you have probably came from your tap. Test your tap water to get a good baseline.

Keeping feeding to a minimum is your best defense against all spikes.

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Old 06-06-2014, 07:24 AM   #4
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Hi Phil,
thanks for the advice, i have 6 live plants in the tank, and some driftwood, I could add more plants if needed, i have a fully cycled tank that has plants in it. I fed the fish a little today but will leave it now for a few days. My tap water test 0 for nitrates, so as you suggested i will test daily, i have a small book which i have written the test results into. How high would the amm be before i have to do a water change? The nitrates if it gets over 40, would i do a change then? Thanks for your insight, it has made me less stressed lol, i would hate to do anything where the fish would suffer, so if i have to do a water change and start again, so be it, i could always get a bottle of seachem stability and do it that way, though i think from reviews TSS is the best.
Oh, i forgot, i have added some Almond leaves from my cycled tank, i have put 6 in, i was told that beneficial bacteria can form on them. Hopefully they will help as well. I haven' t added salt in the tank, do you think i should?
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:39 AM   #5
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The bottle telling you to not do a water change is one of the dumbest thing's I've ever seen. If your ammonia or nitrite (asuming you get a tester for it) hits .5ppm then do a water change.
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Old 06-06-2014, 07:44 AM   #6
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Ant - is there any chance to get some of the media from the established tank and put it in the cycling tank? It will definitely speed things up. I ran a new filter with some established media in an established tank for 9 days and then put it in a new tank. It was a fishless cycle and in 6 days it was converting 4 ppm ammonia to zero in 24 hours. I know you are doing a fish in cycle, but this is only to demonstrate the impact of using established on the cycling time table.
For the fish's sake I would do a WC if the ammonia gets over 0.5/1.0 or the nitrates over 40.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:21 AM   #7
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Hi, Mebbid, yes , i thought it was strange too, but that is what it says, no water change for 2 weeks. Thats why i put this post up. Fresh20, one of the filters is a seeded filter that i had running in my main tank, I have had the new tank set up for 10 days without any fish in it and was constantly getting 0 readings, I was also putting water from the main tank into it (i was doing wc's every 2 days so that i could put that water into the new tank), still the readings were 0. I was adding flakes as well, though not much as i was unsure exactly how much i should put in. I don't know what i was doing wrong, so i decided to use the TSS and do a 'fish in cycle". If the ammonia gets above .25 and nitrates over 40, I will most definately do a water change, i don't want to harm any fish. I will get some Seachem Stability tomorrow in case the readings increase and i have to do a partial wc, that should help, hopefully. Open to any other suggestions that anyone else wants to make.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:44 AM   #8
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Running an established filter in a tank with no fish and no other source of ammonia will most likely end up with zeros for ammonia, nitrate (and nitrite). There is no ammonia for the bb to consume and convert into nitrate. Since you now have an ammonia source present (the fish) then the cycle should resume. However, running ten days w/out any ammonia MIGHT have starved the the bb and reduced their population. That may explain why there is a trace amount of ammonia present. I think you are on the right track. Just keep testing and perform the WCs. You may want to go ahead and start your regular weekly WC schedule and monitor the Amm/nitrate.
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Old 06-06-2014, 09:01 AM   #9
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Thanks Fresh2o, was beginning to wonder there. I thought that putting food into the tank would add the ammonia, but I can't have put enough in. I will keep testing daily, and the wc's when needed.
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Old 06-06-2014, 09:45 AM   #10
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At this point I would say depending on what type.of fish is in there would I dictate my max ammonia. Personally at your pH I would do a water change when ammonia is starting to raise above .25 but if its at .25 and holding I would leave it. You will need some.ammonia to get things started and with plants .25 is not that bad.

Get some more ants from established tank and filter media and even gravel. This will all help speed things up. Nitrates at around 50 and up is when I would start to worry but they are the least of your worries ATM

Drift wood would drove the pH Dow. Which makes the ammonia less harmful which will help for sure.

Top offs are perfectly fine and should be do e as needed. Again I can't stress it enough, feed as little as possible. Fish can go weeks without eating minus a few super sensitive ones. Ammonia will not rise if you don't t feed.

Another thing to watch for is plants. They will help use up ammonia and nitrites and nitrates but if they are decaying they will add to ammonia which is not good either.

Remove all dead plant matter. Keep temp at around d 80 which is good for bacteria growth.

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Old 06-06-2014, 09:58 AM   #11
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Your Tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by anteatergoanna View Post
I have started to cycle my 4 ft tank with TSS, yesterday I put the whole bottle into the tank and 2 hrs later added 6 cherry barbs, 2 platys, I was told I could add more, but thought (hoped), that a smaller number would be easier. SO....I tested the water this morning and the readings are
PH 7.4
Amm .25
Nitrate 5
I don't have a Nitrite test kit..

It says on the bottle NOT to do a water change for 2 weeks....wow, what happens if the Amm goes higher, do I just leave it? If I do a water change, I then have to add another bottle, which I don't have. I live in Australia and had to order the TSS from Amazon, it took 6 days to get here.
So what do I do know?
I would appreciate any advice that you can give me.

Thank you
Hello ant...

There aren't many short cuts to cycling a tank. Chemicals isn't one. Since you have fish in the tank, then have a good water testing kit handy and test daily for traces of ammonia and nitrite. Every time you have a positive test for either of these toxins, remove 25 percent of the tank water and replace that with pure, treated tap water.

Just test the water every day and remove the amount needed to return the water chemistry to a safer level for the fish and still grow the bacteria colony needed to naturally remove the ammonia and nitrite.

When several daily tests show no traces of the above forms of nitrogen, the tank is cycled.

B
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:41 AM   #12
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Not to start an argument or anything but that's simply not true at all.

Products like ATM colony and tetra safe start are proven to work by myself and many many others. Also. Seeded media is another great way to instantly cycle a tank. Another option is to sock low and heavily plant, this is an instant cycle too but rather the plant (fast growing, floaters and stems) do all the work instead of the bb. The bb will still establish over normal time.

I personally cycled my tank using bb product in 10days. This is far shorter then the norm which is a lot safer for the fish.

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Old 06-06-2014, 11:23 AM   #13
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Tank Cycling

Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo198 View Post
Not to start an argument or anything but that's simply not true at all.

Products like ATM colony and tetra safe start are proven to work by myself and many many others. Also. Seeded media is another great way to instantly cycle a tank. Another option is to sock low and heavily plant, this is an instant cycle too but rather the plant (fast growing, floaters and stems) do all the work instead of the bb. The bb will still establish over normal time.

I personally cycled my tank using bb product in 10days. This is far shorter then the norm which is a lot safer for the fish.

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Hello phil...

No problem here. My tank was cycled with some hardy fish. That worked fine without putting chemicals into the tank water. If the poster wants to take some short cuts, then he or she is welcomed to it.

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Old 06-06-2014, 11:07 PM   #14
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Cycling with TSS - Help Plz

Okay, I have done todays water test and the readings are:
Amm .25 (no change)
Nitrate 5.0 (no change)
PH 7.5 (minimal change)

I am not trying to take "short cuts" i am just trying to make sure that the tank cycles with as little fuss as possible and with NO Harm to the fish. I used TSS and it's the first time I have cycled a tank this way, I was unsure of how to proceed, hence this post. With TSS you can't use a conditioner like Prime as it, by all accounts, negates the process. IF the Amm increases above .25 I will do a water change REGARDLESS, my priority is to NOT HARM THE FISH. There are so many different views, I am getting unsure on how to move forward. Do I do a water change now or follow the instructions and wait, or wait until the levels increase (if they do). So the option i am going to take, is wait and see. .25 amm isn't drastic, i know it should be kept to 0, but the tank wont' cycle without it. I had the water in the tank for 10 days without fish (see earlier post) and it wouldn't cycle. How I see it is, I'm ****ed if i do and ****ed if i don't. I thought using TSS was a safer way of doing an "in fish cycle" thats why i did it, not to take short cuts. A tank will take however long it takes to cycle and it doesn't matter what i do won't change that, I am just trying to make it easier on the fish, I have barbs and platys, which (I am told) are quite hardy fish. I don't consider using TSS is using a chemical, it's bb. I have added extra plants from my established tank and some ornaments from there too. I have 8 fish in the tank and won't add any more until the tank is cycled.
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Old 06-08-2014, 01:22 AM   #15
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For those of you who are interested, I took my readings today and they are:

Amm not 0 and not .25 somewhere in between
Nitrates 5
PH 7.5

Hopefully this means that the tank is cycling, ammonia is down, not by much, nevertheless, on its way. Nitrates are still 5 but that is good anyway, PH is stablising at 7.5. I do have some corals in the tank, so that would probably account for the higher PH. The main tank has a stable PH of 7.2, but there are no corals or shells in that tank.

The tank that is currently cycling will be the new home to my Clown Loaches, will the higher PH affect them, or should I move my Angels into the new tank? Not sure what I will move in to the tank.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:29 AM   #16
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Cycling with TSS - Help Plz

Just a note - I'm in Perth and my tap water goes about 5 in nitrates. I'm hopeless at the colours but it's not 0 but not very high.

Also I would recommend a nitrite test. I've found you need to watch all three.

It's strange with the product saying two weeks. Usually the bb attaches itself (or however it does it) after a day or two. That's what I thought anyways.

Edit - I've see clown loaches here for sale in about the same ph. I would have got them but didn't like the size and went for yo yo's instead. Lovely fish though.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:41 AM   #17
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I did a google on how to use TSS, it was there that they said about the 2 weeks....must say I thought it was a bit strange. It doesn't say a lot on the bottle, just ",put all contents in tank and then can immediately add fish. I'm new to cycling a tank this way, so I googled it. I'm in Cairns and everything tests 0, I'm an hour away from my LFS, planned on getting a nitrate kit next time I'm in town.
I saw those clown loaches, I would of loved them, but I don't think my hubby would appreciate me spending $500 on a few fish lol
I took the readings today, they are
Amm - closer to yellow than the green (slight improvement on yesterday)
Nitrate - 5
PH - 7.6

So, should a do a partial wc? I have some seachem ability, I could add some of that with the change. Not sure what to do from here, when will I know when it's cycled, I don't want to add my boys (loaches) until I'm certain that it is safe to do so. The amount of ammonia is negligible, so I'm not sure if it needs it at this point.
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:52 AM   #18
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I actually wouldn't bother with a pwc at this point. I'll dig up the conversion ratios to nitrate but since ammonia has been low and you only have a few fish in a 4ft tank, imo not needed.

Edit: Conversion ratio below:

1 ppm ammonia --> 2.7 ppm nitrite --> 3.6 ppm nitrate
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:17 AM   #19
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Thanks Delapool, i will leave things be at this point. The ammonia is coming down each day and the nitrates are steady at 5. If it spikes, i will do a water change then.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:57 AM   #20
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Don't change the water. If ammonia is getting.low like too low feed the fish a bit. You don't want it to bottom out unless you have some nitrite reading.

Once you have nitrites then the hard work is done. All down hill from there.

Have you tested for nitrites? If ammo is going down and nitrates are steady I would have to assume you starting to accumulate some nitrites. You want to make sure not to exceed .5-1ppm nitrites. The nitrite stage is quick though so don't freak out if its there. Not as bad as ammonia, the higher pH the less toxic nitrites are.

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