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Old 10-22-2012, 11:29 AM   #1
ancora_imparo
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Default New tank-cycling with fish

So, I *did* do some research before we started setting the tank up, but I'm finding all the information confusing as you can read 5 pages and get 15 different answers.

I've been following the advice of the only recommended local fish store (there's a few, but only one that people recommend.) Thing is, everything they've said goes against some of what I've read-but their tanks are clean, no dead fish, and the fish seem alert and not sick.

We have a 55 gallon long tank, which I set up 4 days before adding fish. It's got 2 jungle vals, an amazon sword, and two microswords in "regular" gravel. I've been adding profito to the water as directed. The lighting is a 48" long 40 watt "plant and aquarium" tube. I used aquasafe in the water as directed. The filter is an aquaclear500.

Friday, as directed by the pet store guy (there's like 6 of them that work there, and this one came recommended by a friend who has a healthy 100 gallon tank and shops at this LFS) we added 10 black neon tetras (I didnt just dump them in there, let them get acclimated to the water temperature. The heater is set to 75-79 F.) I also added microbe lift (as directed by the fish store guy) who said follow the directions on the bottle for dosing until the bottle is gone. He said NOT to change the water until after the tank was established, even though I questioned him on that.

The tetras seem happy-they're exploring all over the tank in ones and twos, and only shoal when someone stops by the tank. My ph is 7.2 (down from 7.6 last week) the ammonia is at .25, and the nitrites are at 0.

I'm at a loss of what to do here-do I do as the fish store says and wait this out, or what?
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:00 PM   #2
lohachata
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wait...test the water twice a week just to keep an eye on the readings..in 2 weeks do a 25% water change..and another in 2 more weeks...make sure you test the water befor and after each water change...
because you have just a few small fish in a large tank your readings will most likely not be very dramatic in the changes..i doubt you will see any massive spikes.....
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:25 AM   #3
ancora_imparo
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My PH is back up to 7.6+. I think its the microbe lift that is causing it to drop. I've been bugging my partner that we need to get some driftwood to help with the PH, but no luck on getting him to act on that yet.

My ammonia is still at .25 with no nitrites. The fish are getting fed every other day with flakes.

Any idea when I should start seeing some nitrites?
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:48 AM   #4
lohachata
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with such a low bioload it may take a little time..it has only been a week...just keep doing what you are doing..
tell your partner..........DRIFTWOOD..............NOW !!!!!!!!.......lol


oh yeah........be patient..
__________________
PLECOCAINE = feeding frenzy=PLECOCAINE


if we ignore nature;maybe it will go away

10 gallon..nothing but air

10 gallon...just more air

10 gallon...stale air

just don't ask about the rest
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:10 PM   #5
ancora_imparo
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I know, I had to take note of the date I posted this, but you're right, it's only been about 11 days since we added fish. It just seems like longer!

I'm not really concerned about the tank cycling so we can get more fish-we probably wont add more fish until after the new year, because I'll be out of town twice before then for about a week a piece (My partner will be home with the dog, but I dont want to stress him out, and adding new fish that needed an eye kept on them probably would stress him out.)
I'm honestly just concerned about doing what's right for the fish. I've grown attached to them already and want to do what's right for them.

I'm not going to remove the plants, but could the plants be keeping the ammonia and nitrites down?
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:51 PM   #6
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no.....leave the plants in ; they are good for the tank and fish..if you want to kick things up a little try feeding more often...3-4 times a day with a little bit extra food esach time...but you will have to keep a closer eye on your readings...maybe 3 times a week...
__________________
PLECOCAINE = feeding frenzy=PLECOCAINE


if we ignore nature;maybe it will go away

10 gallon..nothing but air

10 gallon...just more air

10 gallon...stale air

just don't ask about the rest
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:43 PM   #7
ancora_imparo
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I upped the feedings to 1-2x a day instead of once every other day, been checking the readings regularly, and today we're at .25 ammonia and .25 nitrites. I'm heading to Ohio on Friday, but my partner will be home. I'm having him keep an eye on the levels for me, but is there a point he might need to do a water change, or are we supposed to wait for it to spike and go down on its own?
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:43 PM   #8
lohachata
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don't worry about the water change..it will be fine until you return..
__________________
PLECOCAINE = feeding frenzy=PLECOCAINE


if we ignore nature;maybe it will go away

10 gallon..nothing but air

10 gallon...just more air

10 gallon...stale air

just don't ask about the rest
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:06 AM   #9
ancora_imparo
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Thanks for all your help once again
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:08 AM   #10
lohachata
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where at in ohio are you going ? OCA maybe ? the wife and i will be there...
__________________
PLECOCAINE = feeding frenzy=PLECOCAINE


if we ignore nature;maybe it will go away

10 gallon..nothing but air

10 gallon...just more air

10 gallon...stale air

just don't ask about the rest
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:57 PM   #11
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No, seriously thought about keeping cichlids but a friend who has a 100+ gallon established tank advised against it, said it could be done but the water here was wrong for it and you have to screw with the parameters all the time.

I'm headed to Columbus for an reiki-like weekend workshop, then to Toledo to visit family (was born there) and to Detroit to teach a class on energy before heading back to Georgia.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:37 PM   #12
ancora_imparo
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Just got home. Partner forgot to add fertilizer to tank so plants looked kind of pathetic. PH was still through the roof, ammonia was .25 and nitrites have spiked to 2.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:49 PM   #13
emc7
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My water is very soft, but you can make just about any water by adding stuff. Much easier than taking out. And you can keep blackwater cichlids in dechlored tap: Discus, rams, dicrossus, etc.

Plug for local club: Atlanta area aquarium association http://www.atlantaaquarium.com
There are groups in SC and Tampa also.

The "no water change" advice is BS. If you cycle with fish, change enough water to keep ammonia and nitrite down to "safe" levels.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:54 AM   #14
ancora_imparo
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What's considered safe when you're still trying to cycle? Less than what?
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:47 AM   #15
ancora_imparo
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3 days ago, I emptied out 15 gallons and replaced them. Yesterday, the nitrates were somewhere between .5-1. Today they're between 0-.25. Ammonia is .25, and PH is 7.2.

Did I just shoot myself in the foot?
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