PDA

View Full Version : Six days?



Ayreonaut
04-02-2009, 01:37 PM
I've started my first tropical freshwater aquarium. It's 29 gallons and it's at 78 degrees. I planted a bunch of water sprite and started with four zebra danios.

I've got good news and bad news. Yesterday was day six, and when I came home from work, one of the zebra danios was dead. I immediately removed it. I had been a little concerned because one of them had been hiding, but the other three zebra danios seem perfectly healthy and energetic.

Because it took so long to cycle my old goldfish aquarium, I thought that I would test the water weekly. But after losing a fish, I thought that I should go ahead and check the water to see if anything was wrong. My test strip shows six things:

Nitrate = 10 ppm
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Total Hardness (GH) = 75 ppm
Chlorine = 0 ppm
Alkalinity (KH) = 80 ppm
pH = 7.2

Imagine my surprise to see nitrate after six days.

What do you think killed one of my fish?
Is it possible that my tank cycled in six days?
Can I or should I add more fish?

(I'd like to add a few more zebra danios to bring the total to 7. Eventually I'll add other Asians.)

Thanks for your help. :22:

Lady Hobbs
04-02-2009, 01:42 PM
No. It takes a lot more than 4 danios to give you an ammonia level to start a cycle. Which is why you have no nitrites. Your cycle has not even started. Your nitrates are most likely from the food.

Ayreonaut
04-02-2009, 03:14 PM
OK that makes sense.

How many Danios should I keep while cycling a 29 gallon tank?

I re-read "Cycling with Fish" and see that I need to get a test kit for ammonia immediately.

Northernguy
04-02-2009, 03:35 PM
You may also want to look into adding Tatra Safe Start.
It will help you to get you tank cycled!

Wild Turkey
04-02-2009, 05:17 PM
My initial thought: your ammonia test kit may be bad. How new is it?

I would expect to see some ammonia in that tank by this point. Danios are high waste producers but not unusual to not see any ammonia for quite a few days.

If the nitrates you are seeing are from decaying food or plant matter, that still doesnt make any sense, because the rotting food causes ammonia, it only results in higher nitrates because of the cycling process.

I would check my ammonia test kit and go from there.

Ayreonaut
04-02-2009, 05:39 PM
My multi-test strips do not include ammonia. I find this strange, since this is one of the most critical things to measure, right?

I just ran over to the store and saw that test strips for ammonia are sold separately and cost as much as the multi-test strips do. Maybe the manufacturers don't put the ammonia test on the multi-test strip in order to keep their cost down, or to sell more strips?

Anyway, I just bought the API liquid ammonia test and will test for ammonia tonight when I get home. I'll order the Master Test Kit online soon so that I'll have a cheaper way to monitor nitrates and nitrites than the expensive strips.

dmagerl
04-02-2009, 05:42 PM
I used 8 zebras to cycle my 29g tank and it took 6 weeks.

Wild Turkey
04-02-2009, 05:53 PM
My multi-test strips do not include ammonia. I find this strange, since this is one of the most critical things to measure, right?

I just ran over to the store and saw that test strips for ammonia are sold separately and cost as much as the multi-test strips do. Maybe the manufacturers don't put the ammonia test on the multi-test strip in order to keep their cost down, or to sell more strips?

Anyway, I just bought the API liquid ammonia test and will test for ammonia tonight when I get home. I'll order the Master Test Kit online soon so that I'll have a cheaper way to monitor nitrates and nitrites than the expensive strips.

Good decision. The liquid tests are actually much more accurate and worth the money. Api is what most of us use. Let us know what those ammonia readings are asap. If they are above 1.0 ppm, get ready to do waterchange(s)

Like Ng said above, a bacteria booster can really help you out if its a good one.

Ayreonaut
04-02-2009, 06:15 PM
I used 8 zebras to cycle my 29g tank and it took 6 weeks.Thanks, that's great to know. The people at the pet store wanted me to start with 3 zebras. I haven't seen a rule of thumb for cycling with fish, but it seemed that more than three would be necessary. I'll test the water tonight for ammonium levels. If it's too low (< 0.5) add more fish?

Ayreonaut
04-02-2009, 06:16 PM
Like Ng said above, a bacteria booster can really help you out if its a good one.Tetra Safe Start is the good one?

Wild Turkey
04-02-2009, 06:19 PM
Tetra Safe Start is the good one?

Ones ive seen work are

Tetra Safe Start
API Stress Zyme
Big Als Bio Support (bigalsonline.com)

the last two are the same formula, the latter of which is cheaper but you will have to pay for shipping, there are none near us. (im one state over)

Lady Hobbs
04-02-2009, 10:12 PM
I would do as dmagerl mentioned and use 8 danios and also use the Tetra SafeStart. Cut back on feeding to a very small amount once per day or even even other day.

Ayreonaut
04-03-2009, 01:52 AM
Thanks everyone for the advice.

I tested for ammonia this evening - day 7. It was 0.25 ppm, a little on the low side for cycling from what you tell me. So I will add five more danios tomorrow.

I also added API Stress Zyme according to the instructions. I'll keep you posted.

And I'll post a photo soon...

Lady Hobbs
04-03-2009, 02:14 PM
That'll help. It would have taken you forever to cycle with 3 danio's. Good job.

Wild Turkey
04-03-2009, 02:41 PM
Dont be shy about using the stress zyme, the only thing adding too much will do is give you some foam, which is no big deal. I would add some more when i add the danios, and usually if you have it on hand, not a bad idea to add some after doing a waterchange (if you did it to battle toxic levels.)

Ayreonaut
04-03-2009, 03:22 PM
The directions say 10 mL per 10 gallons, once a week. So I added 30 mL to my 29 gallon tank yesterday after I tested the water. Based on the test results, I have not changed the water yet. I plan to change some water after I exceed 0.5 ppm ammonia. Is that correct?

If I add another 5 zebra danios tonight, should I go ahead and add another 30 mL?

Ayreonaut
04-03-2009, 03:28 PM
Here's a link to the thread where I posted photos.

LINK (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=41126)

Ayreonaut
04-13-2009, 04:57 PM
Good news! My ammonia has dropped to zero. My nitrites were getting up toward 0.1 ppm, so I did a 10/29 water change this morning.

I used baking soda to raise the KH of my very soft acidic tap water. I found this online calculator that worked like a charm.

http://www.dataguru.org/misc/aquarium/calKH.asp

I filled the buckets last night and let it sit until this morning. The temperature of the new water was 15 degrees lower than the tank water. Do you usually temper your tap water and do the water change before it cools?

Wild Turkey
04-13-2009, 05:02 PM
yup, match the temp before you add it, + or - 5 degrees is no big deal though, just watch your heater. In smaller tanks its best to unplug it. And of course, make sure you dechlor

Ayreonaut
04-23-2009, 03:20 PM
Good news folks. My tank is cycled. All of the Danios survived it.

A couple of interesting things:

I followed the advice that I found here and did partial water changes to keep ammonia and nitrites from getting too high. At the fish store they thought this was unnecessary and warned me that I might be delaying the cycle by reducing those levels. They felt that the loss of a few Danios was possible, but an acceptable consequence of cycling with fish. All I have to say is "fiddlesticks." My tank cycled in two weeks, and all my fish are alive, active, hungry and healthy. Don't be afraid to do partial water changes.

I used the API Stress Zyme as directed plus I added another three capfuls when I changed 10 gallons of water. I imagine that it really helped get things going so that the tank cycled as quickly as possible.

Eight danios is perfect for cycling 29 gallons. The ammonia levels increased at a managable rate etc.

Wild Turkey
04-23-2009, 03:41 PM
Congratualtions! You should be quite proud and i agree, poo on the fishstore.