Cycling with Fish Questions/Concerns
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Cycling with Fish Questions/Concerns

This is a discussion on Cycling with Fish Questions/Concerns within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> We have a 55 gallon as most of you probably know by now, but sunday we went out to get some hardy fish to ...

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Cycling with Fish Questions/Concerns
Old 01-12-2009, 09:49 PM   #1
 
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Cycling with Fish Questions/Concerns

We have a 55 gallon as most of you probably know by now, but sunday we went out to get some hardy fish to cycle our tank. We were directed towards either Tiger Barbs or Zebra Dianos. I preferred to buy 5-6 Tiger Barbs although my father seemed to think 10-15 fish would be fine ~.~ so in the end, we came back with:

5 Tiger Barbs
5 Zebra Danios
1 Black Mollie

My Questions:

1) As I was worried, my ammonia level has gone from 0 (without fish) to .50 in one day with fish, when cycling a tank is this more normal or a little bit high. (I have no nitrites yet)

2) 1 of my Tiger Barbs is more or less hovering in one end of the tank between two plants. He has no signs of disease, although he has a few signs of "Ammonia Stress" (tired, lethargic, not eating) I was wondering if a .50 reading could initiate this as the other fish seem to be fine at the moment.

3) If my tank ammonia were to reach too high, I would do a water change as I was advised not to use chemicals to fix it. At what level would you highly recommend me to change it?

4) Would it be ok not to add aquarium salt for my mollie?

Thank You so much, Sj

Extra Details: Test were done with API Freshwater Mater Test Kit. - Ty to Senior Member (Cody) for the help on obtaining this wonderful product ($34.99) Petco.

Last edited by Sj45; 01-12-2009 at 09:54 PM..
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:04 PM   #2
 
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Anything over .25 is toxic to fish. You need to do a partial water change in the range of about 10 gallons. Unfortunately when you cycle with fish, you will need to do water changes very often in order to keep the ammonia within acceptable levels. I just got done doing this, and I had to do a partial water change almost everyday for 11 weeks before my tank cycled. I had seven fish in a 30 gallons, so 11 fish for a 55 sounds about the same load per gallon as what I had. One suggestion that I would have is to get a couple ghost shrimp. You can usually find them for less than $0.50, they don't have much of a bioload, and they will eat any food that settles to the bottom that your fish couldn't catch in time. This doesn't mean to overfeed your fish, but it is an extra precaution.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:26 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBilyeu View Post
Anything over .25 is toxic to fish. You need to do a partial water change in the range of about 10 gallons. Unfortunately when you cycle with fish, you will need to do water changes very often in order to keep the ammonia within acceptable levels. I just got done doing this, and I had to do a partial water change almost everyday for 11 weeks before my tank cycled. I had seven fish in a 30 gallons, so 11 fish for a 55 sounds about the same load per gallon as what I had. One suggestion that I would have is to get a couple ghost shrimp. You can usually find them for less than $0.50, they don't have much of a bioload, and they will eat any food that settles to the bottom that your fish couldn't catch in time. This doesn't mean to overfeed your fish, but it is an extra precaution.
Thank you very much, would it be alright to throw in 10 right now? I have a smaller pet store in town, are ghost shrimp fairly popular?
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:19 AM   #4
 
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Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought that you had already put the fish in. If you haven't yet, and that was just a list of what you were going to buy. I would hold off on the fish, and do a fishless cycle. Yeah, you wont have fish for a month, but you also wont risk your fish being hurt by the ammonia. If you already have the fish in the tank, I wouldn't put anymore in.

I can't speak to where you live, but I see ghost shrimp in every pet and aquarium store around my area, so yes, I would say that they are popular and easy to find. I believe the reason is because they are feeder shrimp to certain fish.

As far as the salt goes, I wouldn't add salt unless it is just a pinch. It is more of a danger in the long term. In theory salt helps fish, but fish are made to survive better at certain salt levels. Why would you try to change the level nature wants? Since you are cycling with fish, as soon as you see a little bit of nitrItes, it would be beneficial to add a pinch of salt every 5 water changes(assuming 20% water changes...5x20%=100%). This will help with the fish living through that stage. After your tank has cycled, I wouldn't add salt again. The other beneficial use of salt is in a quaratine tank for a short salt bath of a diseased fish. You would be adding quite a bit more salt then.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:29 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBilyeu View Post
Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought that you had already put the fish in. If you haven't yet, and that was just a list of what you were going to buy. I would hold off on the fish, and do a fishless cycle. Yeah, you wont have fish for a month, but you also wont risk your fish being hurt by the ammonia. If you already have the fish in the tank, I wouldn't put anymore in.

I can't speak to where you live, but I see ghost shrimp in every pet and aquarium store around my area, so yes, I would say that they are popular and easy to find. I believe the reason is because they are feeder shrimp to certain fish.

As far as the salt goes, I wouldn't add salt unless it is just a pinch. It is more of a danger in the long term. In theory salt helps fish, but fish are made to survive better at certain salt levels. Why would you try to change the level nature wants? Since you are cycling with fish, as soon as you see a little bit of nitrItes, it would be beneficial to add a pinch of salt every 5 water changes(assuming 20% water changes...5x20%=100%). This will help with the fish living through that stage. After your tank has cycled, I wouldn't add salt again. The other beneficial use of salt is in a quaratine tank for a short salt bath of a diseased fish. You would be adding quite a bit more salt then.
Thank you very much for responding, very informative. On the mollie deal, I was wondering because many sights/stores will tell you to add salt for optimum health as they are a "brackish" fish and live in salt/freshwater. But i wasn't sure if it would be alright for my other fish etc.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:10 AM   #6
 
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they tell you to add salt for every fish which alot of fish can handle except scale-less species. aquarium salt helps gill function and i believe disease

i wouldnt add the ghost shrimp just yet as inverts are sensitive to ammonia and nitrite.
you can cycle a tank with fish but as mentioned it takes longer due to having to do frequent water changes. is it possible to return the fish and do a fishless cycle with pure ammonia?
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:36 AM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
they tell you to add salt for every fish which alot of fish can handle except scale-less species. aquarium salt helps gill function and i believe disease

i wouldnt add the ghost shrimp just yet as inverts are sensitive to ammonia and nitrite.
you can cycle a tank with fish but as mentioned it takes longer due to having to do frequent water changes. is it possible to return the fish and do a fishless cycle with pure ammonia?
Where can I buy aquarium salt? I would like to add the shrimp though as they're cheap and could help...
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:11 AM   #8
 
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Onefish2fish is right about inverts being sensitive to ammonia, so if you do add them you have to keep on top of your water changes. I probably wouldn't get more than four because they may not survive the cycle. They wont make the cycle any faster, but they will help to prevent a quick rise in ammonia from a little extra food getting into the substrate. The ones I had in my tank survived the last few weeks of my cycle just fine, but my ammonia never got above .5, and most of the time it was barely reading .25
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:12 AM   #9
 
Wink Agro mollie story!

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Originally Posted by Sj45 View Post
Thank you very much for responding, very informative. On the mollie deal, I was wondering because many sights/stores will tell you to add salt for optimum health as they are a "brackish" fish and live in salt/freshwater. But i wasn't sure if it would be alright for my other fish etc.
Hi there,
All I know is that the MOST AGGRESSIVE FISH I have ever encountered in my life (with a community tank) was a MOLLIE! It was accidentally sold to me as a female Platie (and I can remember thinking how it looked a "bit odd" after I bought it). Then I awoke a few days later and IT WAS 'HOLDING THE WHOLE TANK TO RANSOM'.
A Silver Shark jumped out/ a discus died/ it had everybody flipped out in there!/ and after that I rapidly decided to take it back to the shop.....It began an entire disaster for my poor fish/ stressed after it's aggression/ someone advised me to use Ph down and I lost ALL MY DISCUS!.......
I'm not saying that one bad fish makes a bad breed/species, but true story/ exercise caution with other fish in your tank! It was 'nipping' and attacking every single fish in the tank with the exception of the 2 that hid in the rock to avoid it ( the Bristlenose Catfish/ Clown Loach)
I didn't add any salt /because Discus are mighty expensive fish here in Australia, and I had been advised to set the tank 'around the 3 Discus'....

MY TANK:160 Litre(606 gallons) tank ( Freshwater Tropical/ Setup with only 'chlorine neutral' added because of fussy Discus)
Temperature set at 31 degrees C)

3 X Discus
2 X Angelfish
2 X Rainbow Sharks (new)
2 X Redtailed Sharks
5 X Black Widow Tetras (new)
2 X Blue Platies
1 X Clown Loach
1 X Bristlenose Catfish

Multiple plants
2 X 'Cavey' rocks (tunneled in one case)
'Wooly' thick algae kept in there (although controlled)
Undergravel biological filtration/ Water change weekly of 2 buckets/ 'Chlorine neutral' added to fresh warm water.......

Everybody seems happy and healthy/ just set up....looks nice and clean.......
Most of these fish are survivors from living in a tank with only 1/2 (55L) capacity..........
- After I accidentally fell on the old tank due to my bad back/ left leg (as well as old right leg) problem as a result and it ruptured............It took a few months before I could afford and handle carrying the new tank as I had a shocker of a back/left leg and was even hospitalised for it.......

Back to Mollies......make sure that they are PLACID ONES!
Cheers Jewels

Last edited by Jewels; 01-13-2009 at 02:30 AM..
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:21 AM   #10
 
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in regard to your post jewel i personally do not believe the molly was the cause of tank deaths.
to start 160 litres = about 35-36 US gallons.
your bioload was extremely heavy, and discus already sensitive as they are died. the sharks which are territorial prob. chased one of eachother out of the tank, the angel fish as they mature will get territorial, the clown loach likes a school/shoal and gets very large itself. is this tank currently up and running now with these tank mates?
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