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Just started cycle in 55 gallon
I just picked up 6 little tiger barbs from petco last night. Anyways was wondering when can I put in some more fish and how many can I put in at a time? I have a 55 gallon and was looking to only add small fish like the tiger barbs. Thanks.
well tiger barbs aren't the best fish to start off with really so make sure you keep an eye on ammonia and nitrite levels and do small water changes as needed. I would buy a liquid test kit to keep tabs on that. Generally the nitrogen cycle takes about 4-6 weeks to complete on its own. It varies from tank to tank but that is a rough estimate. You can buy some bacterial supplements to help speed up the process if you'd like though. ONe of the fastest I have heard is Bio-Spira by Marineland which people have said cycled their tank in a matter of days. I personally use Stability by Seachem and have cycled the tank in about 2 weeks using that. Stability will be easier for you to find and is probably sold at petco. I keep it around for water changes and such too. After you know the tank has cycled fully (ammonia and nitrite will read zero and nitrate will steadily climb) then only add 3-5 fish at a time. The fewer you add at a time, the less you will shock the tank. For each new fish the tank needs time to establish more bacteria to handle the new bioload, so never throw a ton in at once. For larger or more active fish, put less in at a time. For smaller schooling fish you can probably add a little more at a time.
With your tank just starting to cycle, give it two weeks or so, but make sure the tank is cycled up to the bioload currently in the tank. If you let the tank build up for a while, a week or so may be more appropriate. Always check your ammonia/nitrite levels prior to adding the new fish.
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