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Old 01-15-2007, 01:30 PM   #1
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I've just done my first Freshwater Master Test and I've got the results. My Mrs is begging me for fish.... I have seen a couple of hardy bottom feeders I think I'm gonna put in. Can I have your opinions based on my results....

PH - 7.2
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5.0


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Old 01-15-2007, 01:35 PM   #2
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Is this a new tank? how long has it been running? is it cycled?

We need some history to be able to make recommendations. Your other thread seems to indicate this is a new tank. Do you intend on fishless cycling?

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Old 01-15-2007, 01:46 PM   #3
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New tank.

Bought 2 days ago. Used a dechlorifier and Nutrafin cycle, which says if used fish can be added after 48 hrs. Just wanted to add 2 hardy bottom feeders for introduction/cycle purposes for a week and run another test next week.

Also have a plant in too, which was from an established tank. put that in today.
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Old 01-15-2007, 01:54 PM   #4
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Ahh yes, I remember now you saying about that.

Again, I can't speak for the cycle stuff, never used it. If your plan is to cycle with fish, others can probably recommend good, hardy fish that are more prone to handling the environment they'll be in during the cycle. What exact fish did you have in mind? Others can probably tell you if your choice is good or not.

You'll need to keep checking your water levels after you add the fish. My gut tells me you should check them everyday, and do a PWC anytime the Ammonia or NitrIte level reaches 0.5ppm to keep the water inhabitable for whatever fish you decide until your cycle completes. I understand that cycling with fish, if managed correctly, can take upwards of 6 weeks typically. Something to keep in mind.

Are you against the fishless cycle? I understand the desire to get fish in as soon as possible, trust me I'm going through that waiting for my cycle to complete, but a few weeks of patience now will allow you a much better environment for your fish, as well as being able to stock all at once when the fishless cycle completes. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-15-2007, 02:27 PM   #5
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The 5ppm of nitrate is most likely from your tap water. IMO you have not begun to cycle yet. If this were my tank, I would go either the ammonia or the rotting, festering shrimp method . Actually, no I would go with the ammonia method, but those are your two choices for a fishless cycle.

Definitely read the article on the Nitrogen Cycle. Find the link below or look up to at the articles page.
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:07 PM   #6
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I agree with Sparky...2 days would be a miracle.
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:13 PM   #7
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I agree, that is a very fast cyce. I also agree, if you are already showing nitrAtes, it's probably from your tap...have you tested that yet?
I started cycling my tank in late November, and it is done, now, I have NO fish in there. When you cycle with fish, it is subjecting them to a sewage-like environmnet, and you new fish might or might not make it....
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Good reading about:
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:18 PM   #8
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I have to agree with the other voices here. Cycling in 2 days is miraculous and cycling with fish is unneccessary. If you want to speed the cycle once it actually statrs you can always purchase some Bio Spira. As long as there's an ammonia source, whether rotting shrimp or pure ammonia this stuff will make the tank cycle in less than a week. About $15.00 at the LFS. Otherwise 4 to 6 weeks is about the norm for a complete sycle with or without fish.
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:41 PM   #9
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I know as a newbie it is so easy to read "add fish right away" or "add fish in 48hrs" and turn around and hear fish keepers tell you that is not correct and to go another route.

You are excited to have a tank full of fish and it is easy to be impatient and most of all easy to think because you are told by LFS or a package of a fish related product that you can add fish right away or after 48hrs that it must be able to work.

Problem is... you add those fish and the next thing you know they are acting sick, gasping for air, develop ich, and even finrot. You test and test your water and you watch it become more and more toxic. You do massive PWC to try and keep your HARDY fish alive that are struggling to live. After WEEKS yes WEEKS of this stress as I call it, chances are you will watch your fish suffer and die. If they do make it, you spend some time trying to get them healthy again. You start to feel guilty as you realize more and more that fish have personalities and they feel pain. You realize you made them suffer when you didnt have to.

How do I know this? I did it myself. I know it is easy to think that people suggesting to fishless cycle are PETA loving, tree hugging people and it is easy to think "the fish can take it".

I thought the fish could take it. I had goldfish. They are very hardy fish. I put it in a tank to cycle and got attached to the guy. I watched one goldfish die, the other seemed bummed out, I watched him get sick and his back tail fin rot off and I did PWC constantly to save him. It seemed my tank would never cycle. It went on for weeks. All I wanted to do was save the fish because I felt so **** guilty for the torture I put him through. All the work I did to save him and it proved to be pointless. I realized I was wrong in the end.

In the end he died. That still bugs me. I didnt even like fish! I just got it for my daughter.

I got a 55gl tank and did it fishless and did it with pure pride. When it was done and I added my fish and they all to this day are still healthy it was a great feeling. I lost one Serpae Tetra and 1 pleco since I put up my 55gl tank. I have always done regular PWC and my tank is stable. No stress and no watching sick fish. The two deaths I had were far apart and just flukes from coming from the LFS and didnt make it. I have a nice stock of tropicals in my tank that thrive.

I went from not thinking much about fish to really enjoying the living beings they are. They have personality and feelings. My snail even has it. He sulks when he is grumpy. One of my pictus cats loves human attention and comes out of hiding and sits at the edge of the tank to see me. I went from goldfish to make my daughter happy to a 55gl tank full of tropicals for us BOTH. and I am planning my 125gl tank. I am hooked.

The moral of this story is. It is easy to think you can just throw fish in and cycle through. You can, but in the end many fish can not survive the toxic home you provide, they die and you have to restock. You will try to save them, a lot of work, stress and money down the drain and the guilt.

It is much easier to fishless cycle and not watch any living being in the tank suffer. It is hard to wait but it feels much better when you are done and something you can take pride in.

You have fish to look at, care for and enjoy. Shoving them in a toxic home just because you can not wait to have fish, is that really right?

just food for thought. We are not saying fishless cycle because we are tree huggers and what not. Cycling with fish is just down right torture and we owe them more then that.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:36 PM   #10
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Just an additional note to what was already said. Although the fish may not exhibit visible signs of ammonia poisoning, and they may not go belly up while the tank is cycling, there is certainly some gill damage, and the long-term success of your livestock will definitely be affected, regardless of how "hardy" the fish you put in. At the very least, the stress on their system will make them more prone to infectious disease, which we see a lot of in a closed ecosystem like an aquarium.

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