New Tank---Seeking Help
Tried to do what is right for this new tank but getting advice and info from so many sources I don't know what to do.
Here is what has been done---don't ask me why for any of the steps I did---was following advice or directions....
Have a 38 gallon tank, with LED air bubbler, Marineland Emperor 400 filter, thermometer, and a heater
- filled with distilled water
- Added Seachem Stability to filter and water (late at night)
- Added API Proper pH 7.0
Tested tank right before adding anything:
date pH Amonia Nitrites Nitrates
21-Jul-12 6.4 0.25 0 0
- Tested in the morning and in the evening
- After evening testing (11pm) added more Seachem Stability to filter and water
Date pH Amonia Nitrites Nitrates Time
22-Jul-12 6.4 0.25 0 0 Morning
22-Jul-12 6.4 0.25 0 0 Night
I have a few questions....
- So far am I doing everything right? Our plan was to go get about 5-6 Neon Tetra's on Sunday.
- Was using the distilled water a good idea...I am now starting to think that might not have been the best advice?
- Do I need to keep using the API Proper pH 7.0? I am thinking using distilled water I might not have needed it, but since all the items in the tank were washed in tap water that it was still the right move to use
- Should I add more Stability....or just keep going as per the instrucitons on the container?
- Do you think we can put fish in the tank Sunday afternoon? I would continue with Stability for the 7 days, as per the instuctions on the bottle.
- Any other hints suggestions---tips?? The tank is a present for my sons. We are limited in time to get it together between our jobs and the kids. It doesn't help that the closest LFS is over an hour away.
Sooo much information out there and sooo hard to tell what is good or bad---getting overwhelmed.
Hopefully someone out there will prefer to help me than be out there shopping today!!!
First of all,
What is your ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate out of the tap?
Why did you use distilled water? Stop using it immediately! You will not have any buffering capacity in your tank to regulate the ph (crashes) and there will be no trace elements present to keep your fish alive or to thrive.
Your ammonia levels are way too high, especially for a 38 gallon.
How much ammonia are you adding?
Look at the second link in my signature it's the way to conduct fishless cycling the right way.
Last edited by jeffs99dime; 11-23-2012 at 03:16 PM.
Question - what exactly are you using to cycle your tank? Stability will NOT cycle your tank - only ammonia does this. If you are looking to do a fishless cycle, you need pure ammonia to do that. Stability might say it helps to establish the biofilter but it does NOT grow bacteria - only ammonia does that.
Originally Posted by LiaNicole
I am assuming the ammonia in your tank is from your tap water?
Do NOT add fish yet!
+1 with ditching the distilled water - you can use plain tap water with water conditioner added - you do not need to let the water sit at all - water conditioner works immediately.
Originally Posted by jeffs99dime
1. Date 23Nov12:
Nitrate: 10 ppm
2. Used distilled at the advice of others (can't remember if this was online or store--have local Petsmart)
3. I have not added any ammonia at all. Just Seachem Stabilizer and Proper pH 7.0. Should I add more Proper pH 7.0? Should I add more Seachem Stabilizer? Is there anything else I should add?
4. I looked at the guide (I think that was the link you were directing me to) but due to upcoming obligations with family, work, and church this weekend is the last weekend we will have to run out to get fish prior to Christmas---unless we get them from Petsmart--which I would rather not do...after seeing the LFS tanks and fish...the Petsmart ones don't look as good.
Is it possible to get this tank ready for fish by tomorrow? Would it be humane to do the cycle with just 5-6 Neon Tetras---or just selfish? If not we can consider shelving this idea---breaking everything down and restarting maybe in March for son's birthday in May...Hubby will kill me due to all the money shelled out so far for this...but don't want to kill fish either.
All help and advice is appreciated---even if it is not what I want to hear.
1. If those are your tap water parameters, they look good to start with.
2. Don't use distilled water at all for the reasons I already listed above.
3. Seachem Stabilizer will not cycle the tank nor will it remove chlorine/chloramines. Stop adding Ph regulator you don't need it. If you are going to do a fishless cycle, go to Ace Hardware and get pure ammonia which ahs no surfactants or scents/dyes in it. The janitorial strength works very well.
4. That is a great free e-book for beginner's. Here's the link I was referring to though:
You should really start over from scratch by following the link provided above and following it to a "t." In my opinion.
Last edited by jeffs99dime; 11-23-2012 at 04:12 PM.
Like I mentioned above, it's far more humane to cycle a tank without fish. Neon tetras are sensitive fish and will most probably not live through the cycling process. It's far better to cycle first and then add the fish of your choice (depending of course upon how large of a tank and how large the fish will get).
Originally Posted by LiaNicole
You can cycle with fish in the tank, but you would need to keep on top of your water parameters on your own to ensure the fish stay safe & unstressed.
Please do not take advice from people at your LFS - distilled water is a waste of money.
Again, like I stated above, Stability does NOT cycle a tank - only AMMONIA does that.
Oh wow...didn't see the posts made while testing the water and writing. So it looks like then this tank is going to be a wash. :(
My kids are too young to understand waiting a few months for a Christmas present. Don't get me wrong---I am all for teaching them lessons in patience; but there is no way we would survive the constant asking about fish in the tank for months. We are very limited in pet choices due to the allergies of both my son and my husband---we thought we had finally found one that both of them would be able to work with that everyone would enjoy. The past week has been borderline tolerable as we have been prepping the tank and cleaning everything with 1:4 vinegar/water solution (finances were tight so we got most of our stuff from Craigslist). Daddy when are the fish coming? Mommy, you forgot something--you forgot the fish. Daddy why are there no fish?...etc...etc Then when we tried to add a day we were going to get a few fish...Is it Sunday yet? Is is Sunday now? When is Sunday? Still love them to death though!!
Unfortunately, the tank is too big to hide in our house as we try prepping to wait for it to cycle. And doing this for a few months, fine by me, will not work with 2 and 3 year olds. I thought I had researched this enough before embarking, but I was wrong. I appreciate your help! Hmmm....guess I gotta call Grand mom over to see if she can take them out for a bit while we drain and break down the tank. Uggg....do I have to clean this stuff all over again before posting onto Craigslist?!?
THANKS EVERYONE!!! Hope all had a good Thanksgiving!!!
You can cycle the tank with fish but it takes even longer and requires changing large amounts of water every day and really staying on top of the tank's water parameters more so than the fishless cycle. It also puts unwarranted stress on the fish. Here's the link for it though:
Thanks---but I guess this is why I am getting confused. I thought I had read there was a way to cycle the tank with fish without putting unwarranted stress on them. I don't want to do that...but then I am being told there isn't a way to do this the right way without waiting a couple of months---which at this time isn't a viable option. I know I am probably seeming like one of those people who are just fishing for what they want to hear...that is not the case. There is so much online regarding starting aquariums...and when you start reading you think you are using reliable info. But the more you read---the more you see conflicting information till you are soo dizzy your can't tell your left from your right. And you just hope that misinformation you saw on that 'other website' or from the LFS or from PetSmart/Petco (before you knew better) was right....
I can honestly say---I am so confused now! I can put the time in to take care of the tank...I work from home Wed-Fri--long hours but I can take time to check a tank level and change water multiple times a day if need be. Mon-Tues no one is home till evening. There is no time for testing and water changes in the morning---so this probably is not a viable option. If this has the potential to make fish stressed I won't do it...just like I wouldn't get puppy and not take some time off to help the dog to it's new owners and residence--but sadly, my dog days are over.
So to conclude you can either do fishless cycling which can only be done over a few months time or you can do cycling with fish but there is no way to make this process humane or stress free for the fish despite the products sold now and days (such as Stability, SafeStart, QuickStart, Prime...etc...etc..).