Cycle questions...
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Cycle questions...

This is a discussion on Cycle questions... within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hi, let met start off by saying I've got a 10g tank with a baby upside down catfish, dalmatian molly, and a rainbow shark. ...

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Old 05-28-2009, 09:27 PM   #1
 
Xathine's Avatar
 
Cycle questions...

Hi, let met start off by saying I've got a 10g tank with a baby upside down catfish, dalmatian molly, and a rainbow shark.

We've had the tank for roughly a month. When we first got it, we let it run for about a week with zero fish.

We added a tiny bit of freshwater salt, and the tap water chemicals that make the water safe for fish.

After about two weeks the water became cloudy and yellow. At which I was getting ready to do my first water change.

I took a sample of the water to petco and they said everything checked out fine. But I did a little online reading and found out I've been over feeding the fish.

They told me to feed 2-3 times a day, and I was probably doing 3-4 small feedings a day for a few weeks (the molly likes to beg )

Its been a good 2 weeks since I learned how to properly feed the fish, and I also preformed another water change.

But I've still got the same results, water is cloudy and yellow. I took the water to get tested and everything was fine once again.

I did a little more online reading and found information on a gravel cleaner. I picked one up and hopefully this weekend when I do another water change it will help clear the water up.

Anyway, I was reading on the cycle the tank has to do before fish can be added. I had no idea about this and it seems now I have to do a cycle with fish in the tank.

Could anyone give me some advice with this? Will my tank be fine with weekly water changes / gravel cleanings?

Not sure what to do here
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:01 PM   #2
 
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I would buy an API liquid water test kit, it is a lot more accurate than the test strips used at store.
These test will help you determine when you need to do a water change and how much water to change out.
Ammonia and nitrites are highly toxic to your fish. I have done fish cycles. I tested the water 1 or two times daily. Tried to keep both ammonia and nitrites under .25 ppm. Sometimes daily water changes where needed to keep these levels under control.
Once the tank is cycled, weekly water changes are usually enough. The rainbow shark will get a little large for a 10 gal. So be sure to test your water often.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:38 PM   #3
 
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I'm not sure how to tell when the tank is cycled?

And how did you do a daily water change, don't you have to prepare the water 24 hours ahead of time?
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:40 AM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xathine View Post
I'm not sure how to tell when the tank is cycled?
When in a cycle, your tank is pretty much building up the nitrite level in your tank in order to handle the everyday ammonia load....which comes from fish waste, excess food and dead fish. You will want your tank to read "0" across the board and have a nitrate level of about 10-20 ppm....you can get nitrates up to 40ppm and still be safe, but thats about the high end on the "safe" side. You will notice a daily ammonia reading in your tank, which will one day "spike" and once it spikes, your nitrites will begin to rise and they too will "spike" and then fall off as well....once both of these happen and you see a reading of 0 for several days, your tank has cycled. You will need to do a good water change of about 75% or more in order to get your nitrates under control, which will be jumping off the charts at the end of the cycle.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Xathine View Post
And how did you do a daily water change, don't you have to prepare the water 24 hours ahead of time?
You don't need to prepare you water ahead of time. What you will need is a bucket to put your tap water in...BEFORE you put it in your tank, add dechlorinator....just add however much you need by the bottle dosage and swirl the water around and within minutes, you will be all set.

As the member mentioned above, I would get a API Master Liquid Test kit....during your cycle stage you will to test your water everyday.....these test kits are about $25 in stores.....not only are they way more reliable than the dip strips....but for me atleast, spending $25 once is better than driving to Pet Smart everyday and getting my water tested.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:19 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xathine View Post
Hi, let met start off by saying I've got a 10g tank with a baby upside down catfish, dalmatian molly, and a rainbow shark.

We've had the tank for roughly a month. When we first got it, we let it run for about a week with zero fish.
Hi Xathine,

First of all, I would like to commend you for doing your part in researching further despite being convinced by your store to do things the wrong way which unfortunately happens and has happened to a lot of us. Don't blame yourself for the mistakes. It will happen and you will eventually grasp everything as you research further.

I notice the tank has a wrong combination of fish especially when you consider their final size. Could you please post a picture of your baby upside down catfish? Is it a Synodontis nigriventris by any chance? If so, these ones reach 3-4 inches in size and are by nature, shy but sociable fish so a big tank really needs to be set for this fish if you want it to thrive in the long run.

Rainbow sharks are another issue. They are by nature quite aggressive and the limited space can endanger your other fish from constant harassments perpetrated by the rainbow shark. Your molly is appropriate for that tank size but if you really want to widen your options, I suggest you get a larger tank if money and space are not an issue. Look into Craiglist where you get plenty of tank bargains.

Quote:
We added a tiny bit of freshwater salt, and the tap water chemicals that make the water safe for fish.
The third paragraph is not correct. You really do not need the aquarium salt. Please keep the remaining salt in your cabinet until for later uses such as treatment against white spot disease, etc. At the moment, you really do not need it although it can be used for nitrite poisoning where it neutralizes the toxic effect of the nitrite. Take note the use is done on a temporary basis only. All you need is dechlorinator. Try the Prime brand. It will neutralize chlorine and chloramine. Don't be surprised if it gives of the sulfur smell because it naturally does have that smell but will not harm your fish in any way.

Quote:
After about two weeks the water became cloudy and yellow. At which I was getting ready to do my first water change.
Do you have driftwood inside your tank? Driftwoods leach tannins which is responsible for the yellowing of the water although it will not harm your fish. If you do not have a piece of wood in there, then poor maintenance is the culprit as organic matter such as fish wastes and food leftovers are responsible for the degrading of water quality.

Quote:
I took a sample of the water to petco and they said everything checked out fine. But I did a little online reading and found out I've been over feeding the fish.
Twistermom is quite correct. Get an API liquid test kit and please be sure to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. The three variables are pretty basic but these are not given further notice by hobbyists in general. Don't trust your store to make generic comments that will not convince you easily whether there is something in there or not.

Quote:
They told me to feed 2-3 times a day, and I was probably doing 3-4 small feedings a day for a few weeks (the molly likes to beg )
Once a day feeding is okay. Add a day fasting per week to compensate for the amount of food you gave to your fish. Don't be tempted to overfeed your fish. Fish will practically ask for food all the time and will not stop until most suffer digestive upsets in the end such as bloat and constipation.

Quote:
Its been a good 2 weeks since I learned how to properly feed the fish, and I also preformed another water change.

But I've still got the same results, water is cloudy and yellow. I took the water to get tested and everything was fine once again.
See above replies. Yellowing of water indicates your maintenance is inadequate.

Quote:
Anyway, I was reading on the cycle the tank has to do before fish can be added. I had no idea about this and it seems now I have to do a cycle with fish in the tank.
Since you already have fish in there, please see if you have any friend who keeps fish and ask for an established filter media such as filter floss or sponge to instantly cycle the tank. Read Johnny's post for nitrogen cycle explanation.

Quote:
Could anyone give me some advice with this? Will my tank be fine with weekly water changes / gravel cleanings?
It depends on the results of your test kit. Let us know the results and we will be able to determine what is the proper schedule although normally in cases where you do not have the results yet, it doesn't hurt to do at least 20% water change daily.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:11 AM   #6
 
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As expected, great advice from all. The only thing I would respectfuly add,, Is not to clean the filter material while your tank is going through this maturing, (cycling process) The good bacteria that you want will in large part ,be found in the filter. It may be that this good bacteria has already begun to develop (good). So unless the water cannot enter the tank, or is slowed down considerably,, then you will not want to clean or replace it. If the filter material gets clogged,, you can take it out and swish it around in some of the old aquarium water that you remove during water changes and stick it back in. When it literally begins to fall apart then you can replace it. Your tank has been running for near a month and you may be well on your way to having an established biological filter, wouldn't want to destroy any portion of it.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:17 AM   #7
 
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Thanks for the replies guys.

I'll go out this weekend and snag up one of those kits.

Nope, there is no driftwood in the tank. 2 plastic plants, some easter island head (for the shark to hide in) a large rock, and a small happy shark decoration haha(GF likes cute things ><)

@1077 I wish I would of known this sooner. I got rid of the old filter last week :(


As for the baby cat fish, it can't be longer then 1/2" long. He is really energetic. He'll swim in a pattern ALL day long all the way around the tank. Starting from the front left corner he'll go to the front right, back right, pause for a minute in front of our bubble strip and try to swim through the bubbles. But everytime he gets about half way through and the bubbles just push him up to the top haha


Yeah, after purchasing the fish and doing some reading I've found that my make-up of fish isn't exactly ideal...but what can you do? Were already attached to them!!!

So a bigger tank will be in our future, I just want to make sure I can maintain this smaller one and do everything in my power to do this the right way before I move on to something bigger...

Last edited by Xathine; 05-29-2009 at 10:19 AM..
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:24 AM   #8
 
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Picture of said catfish.

Sorry its blurry, hes a fast fish!
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:02 PM   #9
 
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Great post Lupin!!!

Twistersmom is right, you should get a test kit ASAP and get ready to do some water changes....i would pick up siphon to make your changes easier and pick up an extension to the standard tube...you can then run it out a window, or into a sink to save you filling a bucket and risk spilling it.

Last edited by JohnnyD44; 05-29-2009 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:39 PM   #10
 
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Here is a better picture.

the catfish is in the happy shark lol

the rainbow shark is in the easter island head.

and the molly is there in plain sight!
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