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I am currently cycling my tank with fish food and am on the 9th day. Ammonia levels are going down and Nitrite levels ...
I am currently cycling my tank with fish food and am on the 9th day. Ammonia levels are going down and Nitrite levels are rising. I added live plants a day ago, and they seem to be doing well. In a about a week i was hoping to add a shoal of cherry barbs, but i suspect that my tank won't have completely finished cycling. First of all i know cherry barbs are supposed to be kept in shoals of 6 or more, so i was hoping to add 6. Would this be too much to start, so could i just add 3 to start then more once the tanks cycling has stabilized. Also what should i do in terms of maintenance to give the new fish the best conditions possible, with still slightly elevated nitrite.
There is absolutely nothing that keeps you from adding fish to your tank at this point. Heck I did it way before you did. But there are consequences that you need to be willing to live with:
1. You can add fish to a tank that has not finished cycling... but fish don't do well with ammonia or nitrites in the tank above a certain level (your test kit will tell you that). Do as many water changes as necessary to keep your fish healthy... 1/day may be necessary.
2. How big is your tank? I added 7 fish to a 32g in the same day with the tank not cycled yet. I had a lot of maintenance to do in the following month mind you, but 6 barbs should be well beyond your worst nightmare...
3. What to do for maintenance... follow what the test kit tells you. If you don't have a test kit... go get one! It will be that much more detailed than I can ever be... and it will be the best purchase for your tank that you can ever make!
It takes about 7 weeks for the cycle to complete. Keep in mind you may actually put fish in at the the most critical time if you try and do it now. Or it may be OK.
fishless cycle is weird sometimes its finished in a few weeks sometimes it takes atleast a month.
to the OP, i wouldnt add all 6 at once only being a 12 gal tank cause the BB you have are used to the ammonia from the food not actuall fish so it will take about two three days for your Bb to catch up. if you add 6 at a time your ammonia could very well spike overnight i would add 3 at a time and wait for the levels to even out beofre the other three. just because you dont have six from the get go doesnt mean your fish are going to die or hate you.
I can only assume that you decided to use fishless method so that no fish were harmed. Placing fish in the tank now could possibly (probably),, increase the chances of toxins Ammonia,and nitrites, doing damage to the fish but many view fish in different ways.
If you are prepared to perform the necessary water changes ,perhaps daily or twice daily,,, then only you can decide whether fish should be placed in your tank.