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Pea Gravel and Cycling Questions

This is a discussion on Pea Gravel and Cycling Questions within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Given the fact that the fish are literally waiting for the tank to be cycled, I would cycle it with the fish. You don't ...

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Pea Gravel and Cycling Questions
Old 08-21-2009, 12:38 AM   #11
 
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Given the fact that the fish are literally waiting for the tank to be cycled, I would cycle it with the fish. You don't say how many there are, but if they're in a 12g now and your tank is 3 times bigger, it should work fine. I always use fish, never the fishless methods that seem a lot of fuss for nothing. Provided you introduce sufficient bacteria with the fish, the fish will not be stressed (other than from the move itself, but not from ammonia or nitrite) and none will die as a result.

Bacteria seeding can, as 1077 mentioned, come from any thing with a surface moved from an established tank (gravel, wood, rocks, plants, decor, filter media...) and/or from a biological bacteria supplement like Seachem's Stability. Nutrafin's Cycle also works (although technically it is not live bacteria like Seachem's is), and API make one called (I think) Stress Zyme. In the US you can also get a frozen culture [Bio-something...sorry I can't remember the name--we can't get it in Canada].

Fishless cycling takes 2-8 weeks because that's how long it takes the bacteria to become established. By adding bacteria with the fish, you do it in a day. I have several times. And interestingly I just finished reading an article by Diana Walstad pursuant to another thread from Mikaila31 in which she says she always cycles new tanks in one day, adding plants and fish the same day. You're not intending to have plants you said, but the principle is the same. This seems by far the preferred method especially in your circumstances. The bacteria simly has to be sufficient to handle the ammonia produced by the fish, and away you go--no fuss, no mess as they say.

Byron.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:19 AM   #12
 
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I am like Byron in so much as I have nearly always used fish for the maturing or (cycling) of newly established tanks. In this case however ,I feel that twenty or twenty five fish would be way too many to begin with. I am not a fan of most bacteria in a bottle supplements but feel that they would do no harm and some report ,, that they have had success with using them to help establish bacteria colonies.If you have no access to any established bacteria from active disease free tank, or seed material as it is often called, Then were it me, and it ain't,, I would use the five hatchet fish, or the three mollies to help establish the bacteria in your tank. I would feed these fish tiny amount of food every other day while using the test kit you have(good choice) to monitor the water to ensure ammonia levels were kept at non lethal levels. After a couple weeks, I would add another two or three fish and repeat this process until all fish were moved. I fear,, (almost certain) that adding the majority of these fish too quickly, with or without seed material and or bacterial supplements,, will or could result in sick and or dead fish.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:35 PM   #13
 
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My friend has twenty-nine fish in his aquarium. He has no filter, no décor, no substrate, nothing. These fish are already in bad conditions and I have to go over there every day to do water changes of about 45%. He has the following inhabitants:

1 Angelfish
1 Red-Tailed Shark
1 Honey Gourami
1 Mystery Snail
1 Ghost Knife
1 Ropefish
3 Pencilfish
3 Female Bettas
3 Mollies
3 Platies
5 Hatchetfish
5 Corydoras

If Im not mistaken he has tetras and ghost cats as well. I do not want to risk these fish further harm by using them to cycle. If I purchase Seachem Stability and five feeder goldfish, will the tank cycle quicker? I am anxious to get these fish into my tank before it's too late, but I am not going to endanger them and use them to cycle. I have $60 right now and will be using around $10 to purchase two bags of Pea Gravel, and another $12 for the Seachem Stability and the feeders. (hopefully it's not more than that.) and I ABSOLUTELY need the rest for my personal needs to pay my bills, buy food, ect. I might be able to afford some more feeders seeing as there like a nicle a fish. I can give them to my little cousins after cycling is over, or feed them to my fathers catfish. Would a larger number of feeders speed up the cycling process with the Seachem added as well? This will need to be done for another tank as well. He has a three gallon that is worse off than the 12. Plus a Betta but he'll be coming home with me Sunday to an un-cycled tank that was all I could afford. It was meant for two bettas but I took the divider out. It's still pretty small but at least he'll have room to swim. This friend saw my wishlist of fish and decided he was jealous and bought them all for himself without knowledge of any of them.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:47 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by British View Post
My friend has twenty-nine fish in his aquarium. He has no filter, no décor, no substrate, nothing. These fish are already in bad conditions and I have to go over there every day to do water changes of about 45%. He has the following inhabitants:

1 Angelfish
1 Red-Tailed Shark
1 Honey Gourami
1 Mystery Snail
1 Ghost Knife
1 Ropefish
3 Pencilfish
3 Female Bettas
3 Mollies
3 Platies
5 Hatchetfish
5 Corydoras

If Im not mistaken he has tetras and ghost cats as well. I do not want to risk these fish further harm by using them to cycle. If I purchase Seachem Stability and five feeder goldfish, will the tank cycle quicker? I am anxious to get these fish into my tank before it's too late, but I am not going to endanger them and use them to cycle. I have $60 right now and will be using around $10 to purchase two bags of Pea Gravel, and another $12 for the Seachem Stability and the feeders. (hopefully it's not more than that.) and I ABSOLUTELY need the rest for my personal needs to pay my bills, buy food, ect. I might be able to afford some more feeders seeing as there like a nicle a fish. I can give them to my little cousins after cycling is over, or feed them to my fathers catfish. Would a larger number of feeders speed up the cycling process with the Seachem added as well? This will need to be done for another tank as well. He has a three gallon that is worse off than the 12. Plus a Betta but he'll be coming home with me Sunday to an un-cycled tank that was all I could afford. It was meant for two bettas but I took the divider out. It's still pretty small but at least he'll have room to swim. This friend saw my wishlist of fish and decided he was jealous and bought them all for himself without knowledge of any of them.
Using fish you don't want to cycle is not sensible; it risks introducing pathogens, waste, parasites... for nothing.

I've told you what I would do, if you don't believe me I can't help that. I and many others have cycled tanks with fish and never lost one or caused any stress other than the stress of moving the fish which will occur however you do this. I just set up a 115g tank last month and put 112 fish in it the day after I filled it. Five weeks later not one fish dead; no signs of any stress throughout and ammonia and nitrite were 0 every single day; nitrates have been 10 since the first week (normal for all my aquaria). Several years ago I had an emergency and had to drain my 115g, clean everything (gravel, rocks, plants, new filter media), refilled it, added Cycle (then), put all 130 fish back in--all the same day (in 12 hours, a lot of work). Not one loss. I can assure you I would not mislead anyone into endangering their fish.

Given their present state, which is not only deplorable (not your fault) but highly risking their health and survival, I wouldn't hesitate to fill the tank, condition the water, add Stability and the fish. They will thank you.

Byron.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:56 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
I am like Byron in so much as I have nearly always used fish for the maturing or (cycling) of newly established tanks. In this case however ,I feel that twenty or twenty five fish would be way too many to begin with. I am not a fan of most bacteria in a bottle supplements but feel that they would do no harm and some report ,, that they have had success with using them to help establish bacteria colonies.If you have no access to any established bacteria from active disease free tank, or seed material as it is often called, Then were it me, and it ain't,, I would use the five hatchet fish, or the three mollies to help establish the bacteria in your tank. I would feed these fish tiny amount of food every other day while using the test kit you have(good choice) to monitor the water to ensure ammonia levels were kept at non lethal levels. After a couple weeks, I would add another two or three fish and repeat this process until all fish were moved. I fear,, (almost certain) that adding the majority of these fish too quickly, with or without seed material and or bacterial supplements,, will or could result in sick and or dead fish.
If I used the Hatchets, Mollies and Platies would that be okay at first? The Mollies and Platies are all males andI haven't done my reaserch on Hatchets (I was planning a 100gal tank for all of these fish he has placed in the 12 and I now have to home in the 35 long I have.) The fish he has in the 3gal will be re-homed into my 10gal (Again, I was planning a larger home, of around 55gal for these fish.) Could I use the three Balloon Mollies to cycle that tank? Would purchasing the Seachem Stability and adding it to the tank as the fish are introduced help with cycling? I would like to be adding these fish as close together as possible, but I don't want to stress the tank. would adding fish every week be okay? Like, this:

First Friday: Hatchets, Mollies, Platies
Second Friday: Bettas, Corydoras, Pencils
Third Friday: Angelfish, Honey Gourami, Ropefish
Fourth Friday: Red-Tailed Shark, Ghost Knife

I'm going to have to hold off on plastic plants and such until I get more money. (I do have a birthday coming up in October.) I will place clay pots and I have a Cave-like decoration I could put in as well as a glass vase. Hopefully this will be enough for the RTS and GK to establish territories. I have like three small plastic plants and my grandmother may have a few (this used to be her tank) so hopefully I'll have /something/ to create broken lines of sight.

I am sorry this is such a hectic situation.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:02 PM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Using fish you don't want to cycle is not sensible; it risks introducing pathogens, waste, parasites... for nothing.

I've told you what I would do, if you don't believe me I can't help that. I and many others have cycled tanks with fish and never lost one or caused any stress other than the stress of moving the fish which will occur however you do this. I just set up a 115g tank last month and put 112 fish in it the day after I filled it. Five weeks later not one fish dead; no signs of any stress throughout and ammonia and nitrite were 0 every single day; nitrates have been 10 since the first week (normal for all my aquaria). Several years ago I had an emergency and had to drain my 115g, clean everything (gravel, rocks, plants, new filter media), refilled it, added Cycle (then), put all 130 fish back in--all the same day (in 12 hours, a lot of work). Not one loss. I can assure you I would not mislead anyone into endangering their fish.

Given their present state, which is not only deplorable (not your fault) but highly risking their health and survival, I wouldn't hesitate to fill the tank, condition the water, add Stability and the fish. They will thank you.

Byron.
Okay. I am just worried about adding all of these fish at once. This is a lot of fish for my small tank. I haven't even gotten money to purchase another filter (I currently only have a UG). I have a small filter we had for my 5gal a while back, but it's nothing of major strength and it is missing a few parts. I could put in my bubble wand to help circulate water as well as around three airstones if it would help. How often should I do water changes on this tank and of what amount?

Last edited by British; 08-21-2009 at 01:19 PM..
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:45 PM   #17
 
Fish in the tank. Time for SUPERBAC ! A bacterial product that cycles quickly outperforms tetra safe start and all others. Another forum polled it and it's said to work overnight ! I had great results with it myself. Sold at bigals.

This is a similar but newer product that Byron recommends. He is right it is what to do and think of the $ you'll save on testing and no daily wtaer changes !

Last edited by catfishtabbi; 08-21-2009 at 01:53 PM..
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:00 PM   #18
 
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That isn't too large of a load on a newly cycling tank?
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:09 PM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by British View Post
Okay. I am just worried about adding all of these fish at once. This is a lot of fish for my small tank. I haven't even gotten money to purchase another filter (I currently only have a UG). I have a small filter we had for my 5gal a while back, but it's nothing of major strength and it is missing a few parts. I could put in my bubble wand to help circulate water as well as around three airstones if it would help. How often should I do water changes on this tank and of what amount?
I do understand your worry, and no one can blame you for wanting the best for these poor fish. [When I had that emergency I mentioned, the action I took was recommended by the Curator of Freshwater Fish at the Vancouver Aquarium, and I remember his words when i expressed surprise at the suggestion...let's face it, the fish are slowly dying now, getting them into fresh water free of the toxin can't be any worse that what they're under now.] Many still hold the view that tanks can only be cycled in weeks, but that is simply not supported by scientific fact. I earlier mentioned Diana Walstad's advice, and I could cite many others. And this is no reflection on 1077's suggestion, I value his advice highly; I agree that going slower (or starting with fewer fish in a normal new tank) would be preferable, but we have an emergency here, and even with daily pwc in the 12g it is not a good situation and there can be long-term detrimental effects n the fish's health.

Anyway, to your questions. Airstone and bubble wand is a good idea. The UG filter is actually the best in this situation as it provides the large surface area and pulling the water through the gravel will get the bacteria spread out and working. If you are buying gravel (I think you mentioned this) get the smallest grain size you can, regular aquarium gravel that is inert (won't change water chemistry like marine gravel or rift lake cichlid gravels, dolomite, coral, etc will). More surface area, better filtration with UG, and better for plants if they are in the picture down the road.

Once the fish are in the tank with Stability, you add it every day for a week. I do the normal (for me) pwc every week, but as you have a lot of fish for the volume, daily pwc of 25-30% may be advisable. And I would monitor the situation carefully. Watch the fish; I don't know what condition they are in now (I can magine though), but I would expect them to perk up considerably in the new digs. Add the daily dose of Stability right after the pwc. You can't overdose, in fact, I wuld probably double the initial dose under the circumstances. It will take care of the ammonia/nitrite problem, but there are other issues with too many fish in too little water, and the pwc helps with that.

Once a tank is settled, weekly pwc of 30-50% is advisable, but this is with a correctly-stocked tank.

Byron.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:10 PM   #20
 
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Okay. If I add one capful of Seachem a day, (this tank is 35 gal long) adding these fish as I said, but instead of every Friday, adding them everyday, would it be okay? I would add the seachem one day, let the tank run for 24 hours, add it again the next day, and add the hatchets, mollies and platies. then the next day add it and some more fish, ect. This would be okay, correct?

I was planning on PWCs as needed, but DEFINATELY once a week. Twice if nessicary. The pea gravel is all I can afford and it is small.

Last edited by British; 08-21-2009 at 02:13 PM..
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