Hoe to avoid "new tank syndrome" - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-27-2009, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Hoe to avoid "new tank syndrome"

Hello everyone,
I am new to the hobby and will shortly begin stocking my Aquarium, I have read up on what to do and what not to do and I have come across a phrase " New tank Syndrome" were Im led to believe that when you buy your first fish that you should not buy to many at once as this could cause the above " Syndrome " so my question is how many fish would be a safe amount to begin with, I was thinking may 3 or 4 Tetras to begin with, could you please advise .

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post #2 of 6 Old 10-27-2009, 05:01 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

We are going to need more information about your tank. Like..

How long has it been set up?
Has it been completely cycled? 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, some nitrate
How big is the tank?
Temperature, pH, ect..
Filtration used?
What type of fish are you interested in getting?
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-27-2009, 05:08 PM
The only way to avoid new tank syndrome or "cycling" as its more commonly called, is to clone the tank using the filter media from a already established tank. If unable to do this the next best option is to do a "fishless cycle" your other option is a "fish in cycle". I suggest googling the words I " " to get a better understanding of your options.

.... I'm probably drunk.

This is how I lurk

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post #4 of 6 Old 10-27-2009, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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I have'nt exactly set the tank up as yet but it will be a 60 gallon tank, I know it will have to be up and running for at least a week before I can add fish to it
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-27-2009, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by kevin1963 View Post
I have'nt exactly set the tank up as yet but it will be a 60 gallon tank, I know it will have to be up and running for at least a week before I can add fish to it

wouldnt add any more than 5 fish at start i added only 4 fish in my tank. 5 smaller fish under 3 inches. i have a 55 gallon and wasnt able to get anything to seed the cycle. i kept up with w/c and did them whenever ammonia was above 25ppm. i fed once a day and had the temp up to like 78-79. i had no disease or fish loss. i did however add a product called cycle whihc is distrubuted by hagen.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-27-2009, 06:47 PM
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You haven't mentioned if this is to be a planted tank; but if it is, then you can plant it on day one and add fish (I wouldn't overdo it though) and there will be no issues with "cycling." I have done this dozens of times, as have others, with never a fish loss and ammonia and nitrite never above zero. The tank needs to be well planted, not just a couple of plants.

Another method I have used is a biological supplement. That was in an emergency, when I had to tear down and clean my 115g and reset it in one day, back in 1997/8. Admittedly, it was heavily planted, so the plants probably did the cycling there as well, and not the supplement.

I set up three new tanks in July with plants, but I also used Seachem's "Stability" for the first day just as a "backup" I guess. Anyone who's ever used Stability that has commented on this forum or elsewhere that I've seen has had no problems. It is 100% live bacteria that seeds the tank the same as using existing filter media, etc. There are similar products, Bio-Spira is one, but I have not myself tried these; can't get this last one in Canada because it is frozen bacteria and I've been told it is illegal to import it.

Whichever way you go, out of caution I would only add a few fish at first, and add the rest slowly over several days. Aside from the planted method, the bacteria you add to the tank need to multiply in order to handle the additional ammonia and nitrite as new fish are added. Under optimum conditions, nitrosomonas bacteria can multiply every seven hours, and nitrospira every 13 hours, but more realistically it is likely closer to 20 hours; bacteria multiply by binary division, so the result is that roughly every 20 hours the bacteria double. Of course, they need a food source (ammonia for nitrosomonas, nitrite for nitrospira) or they won't multiply. The bacteria only live at the level required to use the available food, which is why you will read that killing off the bacteria can create a mini-cycle.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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