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Discussion Starter #1
I am fairly new to fish keeping. I acquired a free 15g fish tank, no leaks, great condition, with some healthy and established bacteria in the substrate. I have 4 Cherry Barbs (1 male, 3 females) currently in it since 03/09/19 (Saturday). The pH level is fine; the temperature is 75F. My filter is new (AquaClear 30). This is my first set up, and I would like to be successful, helping my fish to grow.

I am wondering about things to watch for in a fish-in-the-tank cycling process; I know it is possibly more difficult than a fishless cycle, but I have already got the fish in it. I am thinking that maybe I should conduct partial water changes every other day for the first week or so (10%-15%). Is this advised at first, so as to allow the bacteria to grow, but to rid the tank of excess ammonia/waste/etc.? Also, about how quickly will I see algae grow? I know algae is good (up to a point), but how much is good, how much needs to be removed?

Lastly, my fish are still timid (it's been about 2 days and a night). When should I expect them to swim about more and eat more?

Read more: https://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/introduce-yourself/fish-cycling-newly-set-up-but-707403/#ixzz5htNyuJob
 

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Have a test kit that reads ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate ready. Read every day or two. Do as little to disrupt the substrate till the tank cycles. If it's larger gravel you can put some in the filter. What media is currently in there? Keep your readings low with water changes, if it spikes careful about removing too much and shocking fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response; I appreciate it. I have all three in there (mechanical, chemical, biological). It's a brand new filter, and I have it on max to provide the highest filtration for the tank. I mostly have sand with some chunks of gravel spread out in there from my friend's established, healthy tropical fish tank. I have the SeaChem Prime and have changed the water once since I got it on Saturday. The barbs are still very shy, and I'm not sure when they will warm up to their new environment (although I have snuck up on them at night and have seen them swimming around, so maybe it's just day time that they are shy).
 

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Just as a caution, charcoal (if that's the chemical media) will absorb ammonia/toxins etc until it's full, then it will release them back into the water. You might be better off taking it out and adding more media if you don't change it out regularly. Your school is a bit small, so it could take a while before they become comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It is charcoal, yes. I plan to change it maybe every two months (I think that's what it suggested). And they actually are becoming a little more comfortable swimming around and not just hiding all day. I just wasn't sure how long until they are comfortable, and didn't want anything to be wrong with them. I completed another partial water change last night as well (about 5%10%). I will stay on top of the process until it is complete.
 

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You need to change it every week or two, especially when cycling. I only use it if I need to get meds out of the water
 

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two things.


I would add fast growing plants like anacharis to absorb any ammonia being generated. See the methods in the link in my signature.


And I would not add any food for a week to limit the cycling spikes as well.


Best tank every and hope all the fish survive.


.02
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the suggestions so far; all my barbs appear to be active, healthy, and happy. It is Day 10 in the process of cycling. I tested the water on Saturday the 16th (1 week mark) and found that there is a lower concentration of ammonia and a fair level of nitrites. No nitrates have shown up yet. I have continued to do partial water changes when i) the water smells funky; ii) the water appears murky; iii) 1-2 times per week. I am continually using the SeaChem Prime conditioner with changes to keep the water safer. The temperature is consistently around 77-78 degrees F. The pH is still between 7-7.5. I feed them twice daily and have not yet introduced any special treats. I plan to introduce 1-3 new fish in about 3-4 weeks, depending on the stability of the tank and the health of my current fish.
 

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stop feeding and you will should notice nitrItes will drop in a few days. and the cloudiness may less also.


If there is still cloudy water after nitrItes drop then kill the lights until the water clears.


my .02
 
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