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Author Topic: How to cycle a new tank with fish  (Read 3807 times)
sajacobs
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How to cycle a new tank with fish
« on: April 17, 2012, 10:58:47 AM »

Im getting ready to set up my new tank. I don't think Bertie can wait weeks for it's new home. I've tried looking for articles on the forum but can't find anything.

Can someone point me to the steps or point out articles.

Thanks for the help

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Christina90
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2012, 11:58:48 AM »

You can try Tetra SafeStart. It basically speeds up the process of cycling your tank, and according to the description, your goldfish should be fine kept in the tank while the bacteria goes to work.

I know of a few people you've used this product with good results.
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cdale
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 05:21:18 PM »

Hi sajacobs,

I was in your situation a few months ago! I bought a new tank but was too excited to wait 6-8 weeks to put my goldfish in so I cycled with my fish in the tank. I did however wait just under a week to kick start the process before I put him in. Set it up as you would normally, but add a filter aid and then wait a few days, to get the bacteria started you can feed your tank as if there were a fish in there as this establishes the bacteria. Keep testing the water parametres too Smiley Have you got some beneficial bacteria? you should add that too!

Then I added him, 5 days later. Making sure it was the same temperature as the tank he has come out of, he was finee!
You just need to keep checking for ammonias, nitrites, nitrates and make sure the pH is ideal for him Smiley
First you should see the ammonia rising, then converting into nitrites and then in nitrates. Ammonia affects the fish long term but as long as it isnt at dangerous levels you should be doing 50% water changes every other day when ammonia is detected to make sure it does not build up to harmful levels. This should decrease as the bacteria colonises. Nitrites are harmful so be aware of this and do a 70% water change when this happen. Add the beneficial bacteria every time you do a water change Smiley
Hope this helps!
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 08:32:48 PM »

Thanks folks for the replies.  I'm feeling a bit more comfortable heading into this process.  I didn't think I would be cycling a tank with a fish waiting.  It's good to know there's knowledge people who I can rely on for advice.  When I cycled the tiny tank, I realize I didn't have a clue.

I've got my additives for the water and I'll wait as long as Bertie seems ok in his condo (ie: tiny tank) and the water quality is within range.

This site is filled with great information.  I've added some different foods for bertie Grin

I swear this fish will eat me out of house and tank.  His stomach is a bottomless pit Cheesy

I'm really getting attached to this fish.  Today he ate out of my hand.  He's so friendly.  I see why people on this board are passionate about their goldies.
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Nossie
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2012, 04:55:12 AM »

I simply tested the water every single day and took out 50% of the water every time the ammonia levels were high. You should also be adding beneficial bacteria with every water change, and avoid feeding him while cycling, just once every two days should be fine Smiley

How often do you feed him now? And what type of goldfish was Bertie again? Wink
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2012, 10:23:06 AM »

That doesn't sound too hard. I can test every day and remove water as needed.

Bertie is a white and orange ryunkin (sp?). I feed him 3 small meals. I have flake, alge in a packet and one night a skinless pea.  He really enjoyed the pea and alge.

Is is ok not feed him for a day or two in the new tank?  The way he eats I'm worried he'll get hungry.
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cdale
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2012, 11:04:54 AM »

Not feeding for a few days is fine. Smiley  I have recently had problems with the ammonia in my tank so I haven't fed my little guy for 4 days. Goldfish don't actually feel hungry or full, they would eat and eat... if you let them, that's why you have to be careful because swim bladder issues arise then.
Sounds like your feeding pattern is good Smiley Good luck with the tank! Let us know how it goes, post a picture if you can?Smiley
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Christina90
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2012, 03:24:40 PM »

Your goldfish sounds gorgeous! And Bertie should be completely fine if you skip a day or two of feeding. Goldfish can even live quite happily for weeks at a time without food if you happen to go on vacation. They're coldblooded after all, so they don't need the extra calories to maintain body heat as us humans do.

In fact, if you listened to your goldfish's begging antics every time you pass by the tank, the poor little guy would probably become overweight, not to mention all of the harm overfeeding can do to the water quality.

So a few days without food wouldn't harm your goldy in the least. Smiley But I admit, they can be such greedy little beggars. Wink And it gets even harder when they look at you with those eager little eyes and nose their noses at you, knowing full well that you just fed them 30 minutes ago. Smiley
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Skwishee
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2012, 04:55:36 PM »

I believe the longest a goldfish can survive without food is 2 weeks Smiley

I find with the recent algae growth in my tank, I only have to feed Lucky once a day, she literally spends all day foraging and eating algae! She sure loves algae! Goldfish may also nibble on live plants if you have them in the tank. (Please note to quarantine any plants before adding them, if you decide to get some later on) I've had some success with elodea, it's grown so much, there's no way Lucky could eat it all, so her nibbling habits cause it no harm unlike what she's done with other plants!

Good luck with things and let us know how you get on  Smiley
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Christina90
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2012, 06:45:47 PM »

I've been meaning to try live plants in my goldfish aquarium for a while now. So far, the only planted tank I have is the 10 gallon my neon tetras are using. I've heard duckweed was supposedly good for goldfish. Have you tried it?

Also, do you generally leave your plants potted? I tried unpotting the ones I put in my 10-gallon tank, and it was a nightmare getting all of the plants out of the brown paper it was potted in, since the roots were wrapped tightly in the paper material.
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2012, 08:12:19 PM »

Thanks everyone  Smiley

I'm waiting for the stand.  Once it arrives I plan to get it assembled and fill the tank with water.  I cleaned the gravel and put it in the tank....the thing weights a ton.  So water addition has to wait.

I'm glad I'm not the only person who sees the "feed me" eyes.  I didn't realize how greedy goldfish are.

I am interested in getting plants but I figure it might be enough to get a big tank going.  So it's a future plan.

Off the tank topic:
I did own a goldfish 25 years ago.  Ernie was with me for 7 years.  I got him the first year of college.  He was an amazing goldfish.  He was a friendly one.  Won ernie at a fair.  You know that silly game where you through a ping pong ball into a tiny fish bowl and you get the fish.  I left the fair and brought him a bowl, then a small tank and then a bigger small tank.  I wish the internet had been around back then.    I now know why he passed.....too small tank.  He was beautiful and BIG.  I am humbled.  He could have been around longer.

I'm not making this mistake again.  Thanks you folks I'm on the right track.  I hope to have bertie for a ton of years..

I've enjoyed looking at the pic of other's goldfish...and some of the tanks are amazing. 

It's nice to be back in the goldfish world.
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Nossie
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2012, 03:27:22 AM »

I feed my fish three times a day, but really small meals Wink I suggest you buy some freeze-dried tubifex to feed him with as well, he's probably a little baby goldfish still so he needs the protein Smiley Mine also enjoy blood worms, gammarus and brine shrimp, so that would be useful to try whenever!

Live plants are really easy to care for, provided that you choose the right ones, I'd suggest Java fern as a first plant, these taste horrible to the goldfish so they won't be eaten Wink They're also really cheap, relatively fast growing and not picky at all about their surroundings. I keep these in all my tanks, and they're very nice... c:

[image]
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2012, 11:13:07 AM »

Thank you Nossie,
I appreciate the info.

Today has been the day from goldfish heck.  I'm very upset because I highly doubt bertie will live.  If he makes it, I'll be surprised.

Last night I noticed he had a white spot on his fins.  I think it's ick.  I read the articles on treating ick and I would go to the pet store in the morning. 

I woke up last nite to a terrible noise.  The fish tank filter was whining.  I went to investigate and the tank was half full.  Shocked

I got my reserved and treated water and filled the tank.  This morning I checked the tank and it's still leaking.  So I headed to the pet store, got a 3 gallon tank and used the filter from my new tank.

I got it set up, completely bummed because this poor fish is sick and now has to get used to a new tank with mostly non aged water. Angry

I went to check him a bit ago and the filter had sucked him up. Shocked  I pulled him out but I'm so dam mad at myself....I forgot to attach the tube. Angry

Now bertie has ick and his fins are a mess.  I could just cry.  I take very good care of my pets.  I take their care very seriously....I've botched this up so badly.

Any chance bertie will make it? 
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Skwishee
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2012, 12:12:20 PM »

Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear his not doing well.

Are the white spots just on his fins or other places on his body?
I have heard of people treating ick with salt, maybe you should check out this article that provides information on ick; (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)

More detail on white spots and possible illnesses here; (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
The article mentions that spots on the pectoral fins, being breeding stars, means the fish is male. Could it possibly be that?

Hopefully Bertie will be okay Smiley
The tank water should be alright if you used the old filter and shouldn't need to cycle, but a mini-cycle may occur. Generally as long as you keep the water quality good, he will heal over time, but do keep an eye out for secondary infections where his fins have been hurt.

Don't beat yourself up too much over it, things like this can happen. Plus it will be something that you'll always remember to check for next time  Smiley
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scrivens345
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2012, 01:45:35 PM »

you can buy tank sealant quite cheaply at the petstore....the leak will be at the level the water in the tank settles to....just appply sealant to all joints at that level and refill the tank

best of luck, and hope your fish gets better soon
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2012, 04:29:22 PM »

Thanks so much for the moral support.  

I think I'm nuts....it's fish....how can I get attached in one week???  Such a friendly little guy Smiley

I can't find the crack.  I'm stumped to how it's leaking.  The tank is by tetra the hood and pump are one unit and the water was collecting by the electric wiring.  It's going back.  At least I can get my money back from the store.  

I'll read the articles.  The spot is on the big rear fin (gee....that's real technical term Wink).  It wasn't there tuesday.  About 8pm wednesday night, I noticed it.  It had grown bigger by this morning.

When I left to come to work, the poor guy was sitting at the bottom - doing nothing.  He's got some damaged scales but his fins looked ok after a second examination.  The one fin that didn't seem to work...is now working.
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Christina90
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2012, 10:53:42 PM »

Poor Bertie! I'm so sorry he's sick.

I've heard that ich is pretty common in new aquariums, but since you caught it early, he should have a good chance of making it through. Hopefully he gets better!
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Nossie
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2012, 06:12:27 AM »

So sorry! Sad Hopefully he'll get better though!
You're talking about "the spot" as in ONE spot? then it can't be ich, ich is making the fish look almost peppered with salt grains, just one spot is more likely to be a sort of tumor or cyst simply. Could you post photos of the spot?
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2012, 09:16:58 AM »

Yeah you are right. I went to the pet store and saw some fish with ick. I had forgotten that its more than one spot. Bertie is doing good today. Swimming around and responded to a bit of food.  Today the spot has shrunken. But maybe being sucked into the filter pulled part of it off? Or medication working? Or what ever it was is disappearing?  Since I don't have a light for the tank - its too dark to take pics.

Im feeding Bertie once a day since I can't change the water until Monday according to the medication.  Should I continue with the medication cycle?  He gets another dose tomorrow.

Man I'm clueless. Believe or not I run my own business which does well for its self. Goldfish - I'm clueless. Good thing clients aren't goldfish. I don't think my business would do so well Wink

I had forgotten how difficult taking care of goldfish is. 

My stand is coming today. I'll have everything set up for tonight and start the cycling. How long should I keep Bertie in his temporary home? A week? His life in this pathetic tank is horrible. What's my next step?

Thanks for guiding me I appreciate it.
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cdale
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2012, 10:30:19 AM »

Sorry to hear you are having so many troubles, don't worry once Bertie is in his new tank hopefully he should be on the straight and narrow! Smiley 
I'm confused as you say its one spot and some of it could have been pulled off in the accident, if it is ick it would be loads of little white spots covering the body, however one white spot which is a little bigger could be a fungal infection?...

Ive posted some pictures just to make sure it is Smiley Does it look like the first photo ...or the second one? Smiley
You are probably right I just thought Id check because what you're describing sounds a little different?
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2012, 10:34:22 AM »

Thanks for the pics....that helps.

I would say more like fugal. 

I bought API super ick cure which also combats "secondary bacterial infections". Am I cover? 
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cdale
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2012, 11:33:37 AM »

Yeah I thought what you were describing was more fungal...does this medication contain gentian violet or methylene blue, these are the common ingredients for the treatment of fungal infections. Im not sure but I think the medication you have is just for ick and secondary infection from this cause?
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cdale
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2012, 11:47:35 AM »

I have a product called 'Tetra Goldmed' this covers a few goldfish diseases such as ick, finrot, fungal infections etc...
I had a fish with ick once and this medication cleared it up right away so if you're unsure about the medication you have or what disease Bertie has you could purchase this and it will then cover everything Smiley
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Skwishee
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2012, 12:02:53 PM »

Sajacobs, I'm not sure how useful this information will be. But I moved my fish into her larger tank right away, it was imperative in my mind to get her out of the stupidly small tank. However Lucky had no health problems, so when I had issues with ammonia, it wasn't too much of a problem.

I am not sure if this technique would be appropriate given that Bertie is currently sick and if his moved into a new tank, that has complications with the water quality it may not help him. But you never know, he may get better before you have the new tank set up, so I wanted to share this information anyway.

What I did with Lucky was the following;
Set up and filled the larger tank, waited for the temperature and PH to match Lucky's current tank.
I temporarily moved Lucky into a bucket half filled with old tank water and an air stone, occasionally adding the new tank water every 10 minutes or so, to acclimatize her. While she was in the bucket, I then moved the established filter, into the larger tank as well as put all the gravel into bags made from some old tights.
I then moved her into the tank as well as adding in the air stone, technically the tank should have been instantly cycled because I was using gravel and the filter from the old tank -the set up was 5 months old- so it should have been capable of dealing with her bio load. Giving the external filter chance to play catch up. I did as already mentioned have issues with ammonia.

Just remember, it may not be appropriate to do this, if he is still a sick fish, as you wouldn't want to stress him out further Smiley But good luck with Bertie's treatment, I hope he gets better soon!
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Nossie
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2012, 06:32:02 AM »

I would let the new tank stand for a week. But take some water from the current system and add that to it, take as much as you can out of the small tank Smiley

I would also completely avoid feeding him while you have the medication in there, it's just that much more dirt in the water that way. Generally, avoid adding any medicine in the future, but use sea salt instead Smiley It helps with a lot of different things, parasites, small wounds, torn fins... Smiley
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2012, 12:02:56 PM »

Thanks everyone

I greatly appreciate the insight.  I"m getting the tetra gold.  I feel a bit nervous about salt.  But I'm going to research the site and learn more so I can use it the next time around. 

Well Goldfish Drama here....

My stand (which requires me to put it together) arrived heavily damaged.  So I have another one shipping out today with arrival for monday or tuesday.  The rep asked me why such a rush...I told about bertie's sad story...getting sick...then the leaking tank....the poor fish stuck in a tiny tank.  The rep felt so bad for bertie she gave me 2 day delivery so bertie can get into his new home. Grin

I did set up the tank.  I figured that I can transfer the water to a bucket, get the tank on the stand and transfer the water back.  I"m going to keep bertie as long as I can in his 3 gallon tank.

After I got my tank set up.....it's beautiful.  What the heck was I thinking when buying a 2 gallon tank?Huh?  The big tank is wonderful - the silk plants look wonderful and the expansive size will making viewing enjoyable.

Thanks again for guiding me Cheesy
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Nossie
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2012, 03:34:44 AM »

Glad to hear it all turned out okay! Smiley Be careful with the big tank though, you'd better keep it still on a level surface until the stand arrives, it's a bit risky since you're not used to larger tanks yet Smiley

But I definitely agree! They can look really scary when they're standing empty on the floor, but once you get the gravel and decorations in, large tanks are absolutely gorgeous Smiley And it's so lovely watching the fish have so much space! Cheesy
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2012, 09:12:53 AM »

Cdale thank you so much for the recommendation.  I couldn't find the medication u posted but got a fungal version.  The white spot today has really improved. Plus I'm hoping it will help with the bit of fin rot that has started.

Nossie I'm keeping the tank on a bay window shelf. It can support the weight and appears to be level (or as level as an old house can get Wink.

What's the best water testing kit to get?  Is there a kit or buy individual tests?

Thanks for all your help Cheesy
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Skwishee
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2012, 03:23:24 PM »

The kit I use is the API Freshwater Master Test Kit.

[image]


The liquid tests are more cost effective, as they last longer than a pack of strip tests. I've had mine for about 6 or 7 months now and it's none run out yet!

I'm sure there are other good brands of liquid tests out there as well, this is just the only one I could get my hands on in local shops!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 03:28:16 PM by Skwishee » Logged
Nossie
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2012, 03:24:59 PM »

Well in that case there's nothing to worry about! Grin

About the tests, it's usually a better idea economically to buy a kit and later buy some individual tests if you run out of some since they need different amounts of the test liquid (in lack of a better word...).
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