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Author Topic: How to cycle a new tank with fish  (Read 3722 times)
sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #120 on: May 21, 2012, 03:41:02 PM »

Have you tried planting a money tree by your future pond?  Wink

I thought tanks were money pits.....that pond adventure could be another thing. Lucky is lucky if gets what you're dreaming about.
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Skwishee
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #121 on: May 21, 2012, 04:20:22 PM »

Haha my pond is planned to be low budget, I will probably go with a net, but just ensure it's very tight so no exploring cats can fit under it Wink

My idea is to have the 'portable' pond while I'm renting, then when I settle down I intend to build a pond.
A simple pond of digging a hole and lining it with pond liner is actually rather cheap! You'd be surprised how much cheaper a pond can be to set up initially compared to a tank Smiley (I'm not sure in terms of running costs which one is cheaper)

My pond tub for example is going to cost around 199, seems a lot, but its a 6ft x 4 ft x 2ft giant tub, which can hold around 1300 litres. A tank of a similar size will be far more expensive, in fact I did see a plain tank, for the same price, 6ft x 2ft x2ft and it was 700 litres, so half the size for the same price!

However if I had a garden of my own, I could dig a hole myself to a similar size/volume and a liner would only cost 49.44 (+18 for the under lay).

Sorry to go off on a slight ramble there, but you can see what I mean! Cheesy
Of course I haven't mentioned filters or any equipment either, but that's a whole other ramble  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 04:23:29 PM by Skwishee » Logged
sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #122 on: May 21, 2012, 07:54:57 PM »

Sorry to steal my thread back Skwishee.

I need a bit of help. High ammonia today (.5). I did a 25% water change with prime. No change in ammonia levels...still .5.

Bertie is not acting right.  Can I do another water change?
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scrivens345
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #123 on: May 21, 2012, 11:17:29 PM »

How are you testing for the Ammonia? Prime will often skew the readings...I should be looking to do 50% water-changes as the norm. If Bertie is not acting right, then he is asking you to change some more of his water Wink

My golden Rule: IF IN DOUBT PERFORM A LARGE WATER CHANGE Grin
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Skwishee
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #124 on: May 22, 2012, 03:07:21 AM »

Hey Sajacobs, sorry I did wander a bit off topic there didn't I!

I completely agree with Scrivens Smiley Hope the little guys okay!
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #125 on: May 22, 2012, 08:08:17 AM »

Thanks guys....being new at this....I'm second guessing myself. At 9pm I did another small water change with a small amount of prime. Bertie picked up and this morning he's himself.  Im still scared to do a large change at one time as my ph crashes.  All in all I did 40% change yesterday.

I think what's frustrating is all the variables.  I was hoping to get to every other day WC but that's a no go! This is an art.  

Everyday I hope for nitrites.....come on nitrites....but nope nothing.  I figure I have another month before I lose my sanity Tongue

Skwishee....I was enjoying our pond conversation. Please feel free to bump back in.  Are you sure you want to cycle a big pond? I think I would go crackers! Undecided
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 11:26:26 AM by sajacobs » Logged
sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #126 on: May 22, 2012, 11:24:25 AM »

My second fish passed away. Sad

Last couple days it hasn't been eating.  Yesterday it was listless. I added salt but it passed away. Sad

Well I don't have to worry about adding it to the tank.

And old Bertie keeps on ticking.  God bless Bertie....he's a tough fish.
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Nossie
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #127 on: May 22, 2012, 01:10:58 PM »

Really sorry to hear that Sad You kept him in Bertie's old tank, right? And from what I remember, there was constant ammonia present there. Might have been a bit too stressful for the little guy simply. Maybe you should concentrate on stabilizing Bertie's tank for now and get him a buddy later when it's all in order Smiley

Why do you want nitrites by the way? I thought you said there were already some nitrates visible?
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #128 on: May 22, 2012, 01:32:25 PM »

I agree....no more fish until bertie's tank is stable. 

My nitrites and nitrates went away Angry

I have no clue why....two days later....gone.  I'm hoping the spike in ammonia will kick start something.

I keep having cloudy water...then it goes away.  Then comes back....and keep hoping the bacteria will settle and start doing their job.

My first plant will be coming out of quarantine on friday.  Maybe that will help with the environment.  Plus the snail is the happiest customer.....worse case scenario.... I have a tank with a snail and a plant Wink

I will keep doing what I'm doing....one day the miracle will happen. Tongue

I bought 3 more plants....they will being going into quarantine tomorrow.  I hope I dont kill them either.
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scrivens345
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #129 on: May 22, 2012, 02:43:32 PM »

The cloudy water is most probably bacterial in origin, quite common in a newly cycling tank
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Nossie
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #130 on: May 22, 2012, 03:46:22 PM »

Well, patience is a virtue... Smiley
Honestly, I never "actively" cycled a tank until I got this one, I've set up tanks 4-5 times before now and no fish have ever died during the process... I sort of went with the "change water every week and not know about water testing"-approach Tongue
It should settle down on its own sooner or later... Smiley
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #131 on: May 22, 2012, 08:01:56 PM »

thanks nossie......even at 43yrs old....I"m still learning patience. 

You know the old saying....ignorance is bliss.....in someways I wish I knew nothing.  Of course if that was the case, poor bertie would be in a bowl and I wouldn't have met some nice people who enjoy goldfish too. Cheesy

thanks all, I appreciate the support.
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Skwishee
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #132 on: May 23, 2012, 03:07:13 PM »

Sorry to hear about the fish Sad

Have you phoned your water company? Maybe they've been doing things lately to explain all this crazy water-ness?

As for the pond.... yes of course I'm going to cycle it Grin
I am going to try fish less cycling with house hold ammonia and I could probably give my filter sponges a good squeeze in the pond too. It should be fine. My aim is to set it up around January - March time, so that I can cycle it and add fish in May or June when the weather is nice and warm.

Hope the tank sorts itself out for you soon.
You may have already done this, but have you checked to see if the PH of your tank and tap water match?
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #133 on: May 25, 2012, 01:38:44 PM »

Well my tank continues its journey. Bertie is healthy and happy. He's back to being a piggy for food. So I keep to my water changes and testing water and waiting.....

Finally developing patience for this Grin

Skwishee.
It's too cold in the winter to start a pond project?  I think your in England?  Winters there more warm? Just lots of rain Wink

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scrivens345
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #134 on: May 25, 2012, 02:08:16 PM »

Fish metabolism slows right down in cold conditions. At colder temperatures the oxygen content of water actually increases. In an outdoor pond or water garden, they may even survive for brief periods if ice forms on the surface, as long as there is enough oxygen remaining in the water and the pond does not freeze solid.Small to large ponds are fine though the depth should be at least 80 centimeters (31 in) to avoid freezing
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Nossie
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #135 on: May 25, 2012, 03:13:05 PM »

Starting a pond project in winters might also be a bad idea because of the weather, I don't know how it is in England in winters, but up here the ground freezes completely solid. Ain't nothing you can do to break through it, and I imagine that would be pretty unpleasant to work with... Smiley
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #136 on: May 26, 2012, 06:54:36 PM »

Question: I notice my silk plants are developing brown spots. Some sort algae? Isn't brown algae not a good sign?
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Skwishee
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #137 on: May 27, 2012, 06:16:32 AM »

There's nothing to say you can't build a pond in winter, but the weather would make it difficult Wink
It's quite cold and I'd rather be in doors nice and toasty, than out side with a shovel Cheesy

You certainly would never add a fish to a pond in winter, so I'd rather try and get it done in January, so I know it'd be ready in time for Spring Smiley

Brown spots? Yes that's probably brown algae, I wouldn't worry too much about it Smiley It's common I believe, for brown algae to appear in new tanks, you can just clean it off the plants in old tank water. Lucky's tank had a mixture of brown and green algae, it's mostly green now and she quite often eats it, so I tend to always leave a patch for her to munch on!
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Nossie
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #138 on: May 27, 2012, 09:04:57 AM »

Brown algae isn't bad, but it's pretty common, as Skwishee says, that they appear when there's too much nitrite or ammonia in the water. You can just scrub it off since they're silk plants... Smiley
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #139 on: June 01, 2012, 09:42:11 AM »

Today is day 39 of my tank......I'm happy to report I'm cycling!!!!!

Last couple of days ammonia has been .5. Water changes didn't bring it down nor did prime.  Bertie seemed fine.  Yesterday morning nitrites where .5 and nitrates 0.  When I got home ammonia was .25, nitrites 1 and nitrates were .25. Did a water change. 

Today ammonia 0-.25, nitrites 1 and nitrates .25. So another water change. I'm noticing Bertie is flashing so I'm going to retest and do water change.  Grin

The hard part of this is my ph.  It still drops after a water change, so I can only make small water changes.  Otherwise I'm very excited. I've moved to the next stage.  Grin
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scrivens345
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #140 on: June 01, 2012, 10:14:23 AM »

well of course the pH will drop after a water change, you have   ammonia being produced  NH3 +2H20= NH4OH +H20...
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Nossie
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #141 on: June 01, 2012, 11:16:35 AM »

How great! Cheesy So excited for you! It'll soon be all settled down Smiley
As Scrivens says, the pH will be fluctuating while ammonia etc are still in the water, it's a natural part of the process. In some cases pH crashes may also happen during nights when the plants are absorbing oxygen instead of releasing it.

I'd add more info if I'd get to my fancy goldfish book... xD It has a few lovely, long chapters on water quality and how it works.. Smiley
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Skwishee
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #142 on: June 01, 2012, 04:15:46 PM »

If Bertie is flashing, keep up with those water changes Smiley

Lucky went absolutely mental when I had nitrites in the tank, she started swimming head first into the filter current, was rather alarming!
I had to do daily water changes for a week and then it went Smiley Good luck!
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scrivens345
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #143 on: June 01, 2012, 04:38:49 PM »

yeah, know all about fish swimming up the waterfall
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sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #144 on: June 02, 2012, 08:06:40 AM »

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yeah, know all about fish swimming up the waterfall

Ok...there's a story in that statement.

How low should I try to keep nitrites?  My afternoon testing was .5. Five hours later it was 2 Shocked
I was blown away how fast that happened.

So on the ph topic...still learning. My ph out of the tap is 7.4. Tank ph is 8.4. When i do a large water change the tank ph drops to 7.4 and lead to bertie getting shocked  I can't figure out what in the tank is raising it.  I've been using epsom salt to bring up my GH. So rather than GH being 2 drops its now 7 drops. Using the salt it brought my ph down to 8.2.  Today ph was 8...so I guess things are still influencing it. Grrrr...it makes a big water change hard.

Nossie....what book do you have that's informative?  I love reading and want to get a goldfish book.
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Skwishee
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #145 on: June 02, 2012, 08:41:12 AM »

In all honesty with the nitrites, I just tested the water each day and just found every day a water change was needed. My nitrites sky rocketed, they were literally off the chart, so I just did one large water change each day of 50% or so. The nitrite went down of it's own accord.

As for what's changing your ph in the tank? That's rather odd... what substrate/decor do you have in there?
It might settle once the tank's done cycling?
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 09:06:45 AM by Skwishee » Logged
sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #146 on: June 02, 2012, 09:55:35 AM »

I have pebble gravel.  I'm thinking that's what doing it.  Otherwise it's the filter stuff, which I doubt would do it.  I just keep to my small but frequent water changes. That way Bertie stays happy. 

I was think of you and lucky.....watched an episode of house hunters....the lady rented a house with a beautiful fish pond in the front of the house. It was very pretty pond with plants and fish. Lucky would have enjoyed a lounge there. Cheesy
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Skwishee
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #147 on: June 02, 2012, 09:59:42 AM »

Aww no way! I'd love to find a rented place that already had a pond. Don't think there are rented properties like that here in Wales!
Landlords are a bit useless here!

I've not had any ph changes because of my gravel? I guess it depends what type of rocks etc were used? I don't really know I'm afraid >.<
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 10:03:26 AM by Skwishee » Logged
sajacobs
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #148 on: June 02, 2012, 10:33:14 AM »

This house was in Asia. Of course hot and humid weather....maybe not great weather for a goldfish?  Yeah it's tough not owning your own home and wanting to do a project like a pond.  Sad. I live with my mom currently, so my land lord is a bit more flexible.  It helps she thinks Bertie (mom named him....BTW my parents are British....so Bertie got his after queen Victoria's husband....how British is that Wink We love the royal family.) is the best fish. Grin

Yeah...ph mystery continues....
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Nossie
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Re: How to cycle a new tank with fish
« Reply #149 on: June 02, 2012, 11:50:03 AM »

You could try taking a bit of gravel and pouring a few drops of vinegar on it, if it fizzes, it might contain limestone which raises the pH in the water.

So the book I mentioned is called Fancy Goldfish written by Erik L. Johnson and Richard E. Hess, it's one of the best ones I have... Smiley

About pH, it says that the bacteria that are handling ammonia produce hydrogen ions by taking them out of it to create nitrite, which lowers the pH. Wood pieces, decaying leaves etc will bind the ions and also contribute to lower pH, plants will raise it during the day while they're exposed to light.
The nitrosomonas (nitrifying bacteria) are really picky about their environment, too little oxygen, too cold/warm water or chemicals will make them stop working, including salt! In case you're adding anything except water conditioner and beneficial bacteria, this might be what is slowing the cycling process down and keeping the pH so high.

My nitrite test kit suggests a water change when it reaches a level of 1.6ppm or above. This is still not a very dangerous level, but can have an impact on your fishes' immune system.
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