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  1. Default hi guys/ladies. new guy with couple questions.

    0 Not allowed!
    just got my first tank last week so really pleased apart from gf wanting all the fish in the sea asap

    I need to cycle my tank first. I've read up lots on it and been to my 2 closest fish shops and got water conditioner had that run a week then added 5 tetras to do a fish cycle I've read it needs lots of water changes while cycling I just would like to know much much should I change and how often while cycling with fish and should I use warm water to get it to the right temp or close as I can to the tanks temp so fish dont Get stressed/shocked

    also my hot tap water comes out the tap cloudy... now I've read that this is just air bubbles but not sure so any help would be much appreciated.


  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    I always found it's easier running a cycle without fish, esp that many. My best advise is to keep testing and when you start seeing spikes do more water changes. You need some of the bad stuff for the bacteria to populate on.

    Shrimp and snail junkie... What can I say, I like the little things in life.

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Hi and welcome to the hobby and the forum. Since you have already set up your tank and purchased some fish, you will need to cycle your tank per the instructions in this link

    You mentioned you got 'water conditioner' and let that run a week in your tank. Water conditioner's purpose is to eliminate chlorine and chlorimines from tap water as both can the beneficial bacteria you need to grow to avoid killing your fish. water conditioner, however, has nothing to do with the 'cycling' process.

    your tank will build bacteria based on fish waste and fish food waste. the first bacteria to grow will be ammonia. then nitrites will grow and finally those will convert to nitrates.
    as the above link tells you, you must get a water testing kit. strips are not accurate so most here use API liquid test kit that contains test bottles for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates and PH. Don't worry about PH while you're cycling. but during the cycle process, you MUST test daily before doing your water changes for ammonia and nitrites levels. Whenever ammonia and or nitrites approach .50 on the test chart card, a 50% water change is necessary or the ammonia or nitrites or both can damage or kill your fish.
    Make certain that when you change your water you also use water conditioner for reasons mentioned above.
    as for temp: try to match the tap water to the water in your tank to avoid shocking the fish. if you're using buckets, use your hand to gauge the temp or pull the thermometer from the tank and float it in the bucket until you get the temp right. add the water conditioner directly to the bucket, then add the water to the tank.

    do not add more fish until your tank is cycled. A cycled tank = 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 20 or less nitrates.

    let us know if you have more questions and good luck.
    Last edited by fishmommie; 11-04-2012 at 03:36 AM.
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
    15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
    90 Gal Journal:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    #1 - A week is a bit excessive. But the effects of the water conditioner, in most cases, on last for 24 hours. Honestly everyone I have talked to who is "pro" at keeping an aquarium uses the product "SeaChem Prime". This will remove chlorine, break the bond of a chloramine, and help to lock up ammonia and nitrites (make them less toxic to fish) until the bacteria in the tank can break it down. However, you do have to buy the bacteria from the store or borrow filter media from an established tank. I used StartSmart, but there are several other good products, Stability is one, and QuickStart from API is another.

    #2 - Neon Tetras are a cheap and pretty fish, but not ideal for tank cycling. Most people recommend doing a fishless cycle, but plenty of other have gotten away with doing a cycle with fish. *ahem, cough* However, you would need a more durable fish than the neon tetras, those fish tend to be more sensitive to water quality. If those fish tiger barbs, giant danios, or different tetras (buenos aires or lamp eye) would be my recommendation.

    #3 - If you are keeping tropical fish, you need a water heater and a thermostat for measuring water temperature. 76-80 degrees is a good range, and yes its crucial to get the tap water added to the tank at a similar temp. The shock of a 10-15 degree water temp shift can kill fish.

    #4 - Micro bubbles - Usually these occur with a water change because the oxygen needs to be absorbed into the water. This also occured to me when I had a new tank. Also if you have a power filter, make sure the water level is level with the output "slide" and that will reduce the micro bubbles in the tank as well.
    55 Gallon Freshwater Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"

    Video of 55GAL Tank - DEC 2012

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    I would suggest returning the tetras and cycling fishless. By far a lot easier on you and the fish.

    If you are going to cycle with fish, then you will need to test your water every day and base your water changes on your test results. For example, if you test your ammonia and it is at 1ppm, you will need to complete a 75% water change to bring it back down to the safe zone of 0.25ppm

    as already stated, tetras are not the best choice to cycle with

    There are links to the fishless cycle and cycling with fish threads here below in my sig
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL=""]

  6. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    thanks for the messages, I've started water changes at 10% today the fish seem to be swimming about more now so I guess that's a good sign? I've also been back to my lfs they gave me a little bottle to take to them and said if I go once or twice a week they will check my water while it's in cycle mode and would save me money buying a full test kit (36 pound) so hopefully that will be much help and can always ask them anything I need to know while I'm there.

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    10% water changes are not going to be enough to save your fish if you have ammonia and nitrites and trust me - you DO have ammonia and nitrites if you have not been doing larger water changes.
    if at all possible, you need to get an API test kit and do your own checking. you need it long term anyway if you are going to keep fish.
    When I cycled with fish I generally completed 50% water changes every day that my ammonia and or nitrites approached .50. the only way you are going to know how often to make water changes is if you can test daily.
    good luck.
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
    15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
    90 Gal Journal:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by claughane
    thanks for the messages, I've started water changes at 10% today the fish seem to be swimming about more now so I guess that's a good sign? .
    Please return the fish since they will be dead soon because a 10% water change is useless for cycling. By the time you take water to the LFS and get readings, the toxians will kill the fish. A test kit (liquid - don't waste $ on strips!) is not very expensive and having the ability to measure the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate is critical if you do a fish based cycle.

    Water changes under 50% are worthless for removing high waste levels (you will get them soon). Without a test kit, do a 75% water change every day for the first week. Than 80% or greater every day for four more weeks. That will most likely allow the tetra's to stay alive until the filter cycles.

    If you want to reduce the water changes, get a test kit and keep the ammonia below 025 ppm, and nitrites below 0.1 ppm. Better still, do a fishless cycle but a fish based is possible with delicate fish if you do as I say, even without a test kit.
    Knowledge is fun(damental)

    A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is down to just two Sterba's Corys. Filters: continuous new water flow; canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber!! Finally, junked the nitrate removal unit from hell.

    For Fishless cycling:

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    thanks for the messages, I will more than likely just return fish and buy my self a test kit asap. thanks all for the advice much appreciated!!!

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