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  1. Default I'm very confused about cycling but seems like it is very important


    0 Not allowed!
    First, I already have a fish tank with a fish in it. Seems I can still cycle?

    Second, I am a slow learner, sometimes I have to read something 15 times before I understand it. not sure why this is.

    If someone does not have patience for someone who has to be told the same thing over and over, well just remember I was honest up front.

    Can someone simply tell me what I need to do here. I have had my one fish for 2 days in a 14 gallon tank. all I have done is let the tank run for 2 days before adding the fish and added some stuff to the water to neutralize the chlorine.

    I have read everything I can get my hands on and now feel more lost and nervous than ever.
    Last edited by atsbill123; 05-26-2013 at 08:30 AM.

  2. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Just to confirm.

    You have a 14 gallon tank and have added one fish 2 days ago?

    First thing you should do is buy a water test kit. API Master Test kit is ideal, it's cheaper online.

    Once you have that, test for ammonia each day. If it is greater than 0.25 on the test chart, drain some of the tank and refill adding the same dechorlinater stuff you did before.

    When the ammonia reads 0, come back and we can take you from there.

    Simple enough?

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 with above advice - cycling a tank with a fish in it will take a while.

    BTW, what type of fish is in the tank?

    The goal of cycling with a fish is to maintain a low level of ammonia (which the fish produces from its waste) to grow bacteria in the filter, while keeping it low enough so it doesn't harm the fish - cycling involves putting the filter through the nitrogen cycle - at the end of it, you will have readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites & 20ppm or less nitrates.

    It is highly advisable to get a liquid test kit as mentioned above so you can monitor your parameters yourself - do NOT rely upon bringing water samples to your LFS - they use test strips which are inaccurate and the store will not give you exact readings - plus many of them allow up to 1.0ppm ammonia which is not safe.

    When changing your water, you can afford to change 50% at a time if your ammonia goes over .25 - what kind of filter is on this tank?

    Btw, I should add that during this process, you should not touch anything in your filter - all filters come with the advice to change the media every so often - do NOT follow that - it is not necessary.

    EDit: saw your previous post - as advised, there is a "sticky" (article in red letters) about cycling with fish - you are correct about not relying on LFS employees - some have their own tanks and know what they are talking about but most are there to sell fish & supplies. Sometimes when people post with fish that are the inappropriate size for the tank they bought, they are invited to either upgrade to a larger tank or return their fish and get something that fits their tank - but it's still important to learn about cycling!
    Last edited by imma24; 05-26-2013 at 11:53 AM. Reason: saw previous post by OP - need to add things
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by imma24 View Post
    +1 with above advice - cycling a tank with a fish in it will take a while.

    BTW, what type of fish is in the tank?

    The goal of cycling with a fish is to maintain a low level of ammonia (which the fish produces from its waste) to grow bacteria in the filter, while keeping it low enough so it doesn't harm the fish - cycling involves putting the filter through the nitrogen cycle - at the end of it, you will have readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites & 20ppm or less nitrates.

    It is highly advisable to get a liquid test kit as mentioned above so you can monitor your parameters yourself - do NOT rely upon bringing water samples to your LFS - they use test strips which are inaccurate and the store will not give you exact readings - plus many of them allow up to 1.0ppm ammonia which is not safe.

    When changing your water, you can afford to change 50% at a time if your ammonia goes over .25 - what kind of filter is on this tank?

    Btw, I should add that during this process, you should not touch anything in your filter - all filters come with the advice to change the media every so often - do NOT follow that - it is not necessary.

    EDit: saw your previous post - as advised, there is a "sticky" (article in red letters) about cycling with fish - you are correct about not relying on LFS employees - some have their own tanks and know what they are talking about but most are there to sell fish & supplies. Sometimes when people post with fish that are the inappropriate size for the tank they bought, they are invited to either upgrade to a larger tank or return their fish and get something that fits their tank - but it's still important to learn about cycling!

    Thanks, I have the liquid test kit on the way. I really don't know what type of filter but I am pretty sure it takes carbon? It came with the fish tank. It does indeed say to change the filter once a month.
    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by atsbill123 View Post
    Thanks, I have the liquid test kit on the way. I really don't know what type of filter but I am pretty sure it takes carbon? It came with the fish tank. It does indeed say to change the filter once a month.
    Don't touch that filter in any way...it is growing bacteria that you need....let it run and leave it be
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal

    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Slaphppy7 View Post
    Don't touch that filter in any way...it is growing bacteria that you need....let it run and leave it be
    will not touch it, thank you for the advice.
    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Cyling with Fish

    Once you start to cycle (all methods) do no cleaning of the filter media or the gravel. You are growing bacteria in those areas and that bacteria is what cycles your tank. This can not be stressed enough. Also, not use ammonia removers or pH adjusters or other chemicals except your water conditioner that removes chlorine and chloramines. You may use a bacteria booster if you wish to help the fish tolerate toxic water a little better but keep in mind these booster do NOT cycle the tank for you. They do not take the place of the water changes you still will need to do.

    Do not try to cycle a tank with any bottom feeders or sensitive fish.

    The purpose of cycling a fish tank is the production of "good" bacteria that eats the ammonia and nitrites that kill the fish. Ammonia eating bacteria is called Nitrosomona and the bacteria that eats the nitrites are Nitrobacter. They grow in your filter media. Having these bacteria's are what is known as a cycled tank. These bacteria's grow faster in warmer temperatures with lots of oxygen so turn your heater up to 82 and add an air stone or bubbler.

    Unless you have well water, you must always use a de-chlorinator. Some even use water conditioners with well water as it removes the heavy metals that may be present. The chlorine in your water supply will kill bacteria immediately. Many water municipals also use chloramines as a means of sterilization so get a product that removes chlorine and chloramines. Most de-chlorinators do both but read the label. Some “age” their water to remove chlorine. However, storing water does not remove chloramines.

    Fish produce ammonia from their gills, from rotting food in the tank and from their waste. Ammonia continues to build up until the water becomes toxic and kills them.
    If you cycle with fish, it must be with extreme caution, daily testing of the water and doing many water changes to make sure the ammonia never climbs over .25-.50 maximum. (Some fish can not ttolerate even this level.) This is why test kits are vital so you know what the toxic level is in your tank. Bacteria does NOT grow in the water so do as many water changes as necessary.

    After you have a low ammonia level for a time, you will began to see nitrites register on your tester and the ammonia will began to go down. Nitrites are also toxic and water changes and testing must continue.

    As you reach a cycle....0 ammonia and 0 nitrites.... you can again add a few more fish and once again cycle with the new additions. This must continue on after each addition of new fish until you have your tank stocked as you wish. You only grow enough bacteria in your filter media to support what you have in the tank.

    If you began with too many fish at once, you will have very high levels of ammonia’s and they will likely all die so this stocking must be done carefully.

    Never plan on a fast cycle when cycling with fish. It can take a couple months compared to a couple weeks fish-less cycling. Smaller tanks get more toxic than larger tanks due to the water concentration so be very careful in how much you stock when starting out.

    The better filtration you have, the more space you have for "good" bacteria to grow. Feed the fish sparingly. Rotting food in the gravel only adds more ammonia to the tank and fish eat far less than you think.
    So I should not clean the gravel or touch the filter?

    Also how often should I do water changes right now and how do I even do them properly? I have read about changing water a lot though. I have a tube that should be here tomorrow. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 says for cleaning gravel but I can also use it just to take water out I would think?

    I know I have to have the new water at the same temp as in the tank but not sure how to do this since I only have the one heater in the tank? I thought I was supposed to prepare the water before I put in the new water and let it sit a day?
    Last edited by atsbill123; 05-27-2013 at 12:55 AM.
    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Southeast Texas
    Posts
    12,081

    Awards Showcase

    For wanting to try something new! - steeler58 Have a cup pn me for some great conversation this morning :) - steeler58 T.G.I.F. back at you buddy! - steeler58 BEER!!! - Compass Here's to 11,000.....woe!! - steeler58 
    T.G.I.F^2 - Taurus for playing the cory game - cm12setx Cheers! - nickellmama27 6000 posts! You'll have to take that thread to a publisher! - Compass Have another beer for another milestone ;) - steeler58 
    6000 -- wow - RiversGirl Heres to Bacon Beer :-) - Taurus good job on the yappin! Thanks! - SeaLady Thanks for the rep ;) - steeler58 For the YapMeister - Compass 
    Another milestone! - steeler58 TGIF indeed - RiversGirl For passing another memeber ;-) - steeler58 Have another Rummy for 12,000 posts ;) - steeler58 Thanks for the rep - mommy1 
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - steeler58 Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - steeler58 Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - aquariumlover10 Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - gronlaura Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - SeaLady 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by imma24 View Post
    +1 with above advice - cycling a tank with a fish in it will take a while.

    BTW, what type of fish is in the tank?

    The goal of cycling with a fish is to maintain a low level of ammonia (which the fish produces from its waste) to grow bacteria in the filter, while keeping it low enough so it doesn't harm the fish - cycling involves putting the filter through the nitrogen cycle - at the end of it, you will have readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites & 20ppm or less nitrates.

    It is highly advisable to get a liquid test kit as mentioned above so you can monitor your parameters yourself - do NOT rely upon bringing water samples to your LFS - they use test strips which are inaccurate and the store will not give you exact readings - plus many of them allow up to 1.0ppm ammonia which is not safe.

    When changing your water, you can afford to change 50% at a time if your ammonia goes over .25 - what kind of filter is on this tank?

    Btw, I should add that during this process, you should not touch anything in your filter - all filters come with the advice to change the media every so often - do NOT follow that - it is not necessary.

    EDit: saw your previous post - as advised, there is a "sticky" (article in red letters) about cycling with fish - you are correct about not relying on LFS employees - some have their own tanks and know what they are talking about but most are there to sell fish & supplies. Sometimes when people post with fish that are the inappropriate size for the tank they bought, they are invited to either upgrade to a larger tank or return their fish and get something that fits their tank - but it's still important to learn about cycling!
    ++ to the above, and to the suggestions on returning the fish...have you read how to cycle with fish?...it can be daunting, and can take a long time, months...it will stress the fish, too, which we try to avoid...here is the link, please read when you can:

    http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ad.php?t=36492
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal

    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by paulca View Post
    Just to confirm.

    You have a 14 gallon tank and have added one fish 2 days ago?

    First thing you should do is buy a water test kit. API Master Test kit is ideal, it's cheaper online.

    Once you have that, test for ammonia each day. If it is greater than 0.25 on the test chart, drain some of the tank and refill adding the same dechorlinater stuff you did before.

    When the ammonia reads 0, come back and we can take you from there.

    Simple enough?
    Yes this is great! I ordered the api kit yesterday with 2 day shipping.

    The fish is a cichlid-parrot-blood did add him to the tank just very recently.
    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    If the path of your learning curve is going to be a bit extended I would SERIOUSLY suggest you take your fish back to the store so that you don't have that issue to deal with as you get a handle on what is required to keep fish.

    After all.. It's stressing you out already and things are about to get dicey for the fish.

    Why put your fish though that while you learn the ropes when you could cycle without fish [[Take all the time you need] and have time to research AND be putting no fish at risk.

    There's no need for your fish to suffer any slow learner mistakes & It really is the only option I would consider in your shoes considering your situation.
    Gas mileage isn't everything OIIIIIIIO
    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
    Why pretend there are no stupid questions? Actually, There are many stupid questions: "Should I drink this bleach?" Is just one example.
    Having said that, Just because it's a stupid question doesn't mean that it shouldn't be asked. It's better to know.

    A warm beer is better than a cold beer. Because nothing is better than a cold beer, and a warm beer is better than nothing.

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