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Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:59 pm
Hey folks. New around here and looking for a little in sight. Im in the process of setting up a new 55g for cichlids. Its been about 10 years since I had a tank and im trying a new process for cycling this time around. Last time I used a used filter to start my tank and it worked great. But this time around I am trying tetra safe start plus. I had a question about how I know when its ready. I have had a ph of 7.8 ever since I added a declorinator. And now its been a week since I added the safe start. Within 24 hours of adding the safe start I was reading 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite. But about 5ppm nitrate. And its remained the same for 7 days straight.
Am I still waiting for an ammonia spike? Or if I stays as it has been is it good to go?
Thanks for any input. My kids are clawing at me daily about adding fish
Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:35 pm
Your tank won’t be fully cycled after a week, it can take up to 6 weeks to be fully cycled.
What source of ammonia are you giving the tank..?
ie. do you have fish in there or using bottled ammonia..?
Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:50 pm
Neither. I was trying to just use the Tetra Safe Start.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:53 pm
You need to follow the instructions on the bottle and a quick check shows to add 1 small fish per 10 gallon.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:15 pm
Using bottled bacteria will not give you the type of results that cycling with ammonia provides. Your manufacturer can tell you what test results are realistic.
The fish you add will provide the ammonia.
But you may have ammonia and nitrite in the tank throughout...hopefully at levels that are lower than you would get if you cycled with fish alone but don't look for zeros for a while.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:09 pm
The instructions on the bottle are useless. I did a bunch of reading online and nothing mentioned adding ammonia. I will admit I didnt do a ton of research here. But after some more reading it looks like I will have to pick up a few fish to really get this thing rolling. I think I liked cycling with a used filter better. I dont really want to put the fish through the cycling process but it seems they will help along with the cycling from the Tetra safe start product.
Thanks for the help guys. Off to Neds Fish tomorrow to grab a few fish to help with the start up.
Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:12 pm
Or cycle with ammonia and no fish. See the link in Deeda's signature.
Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:16 am
Lengthy read. But worth it. Off to get some ammonia. Thanks for the help.
Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:11 am
I also like to check the Mfg. website for additional info on a particular product as they usually have more detailed instructions than what is on the bottle or container.
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:31 pm
Deeda wrote:I also like to check the Mfg. website for additional info on a particular product as they usually have more detailed instructions than what is on the bottle or container.
Tried that. Heres their instructions from their website lol.
To start new aquariums, add entire bottle to aquariums up to 100 gallons. Aquarium is then ready for fish. Consult your retailer for advice on type and number of fish appropriate for your aquarium.
Not very extensive as you can see.
Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:22 am
Where you went wrong was not adding a source of ammonia. The bacteria once added need something to feed off - ie ammonia, be that the waste from fish or ammonia added from a bottle
You could find after a week the bacteria you added may have now died off.
With bottled bacteria once added, you need to add fish straight away.
I used Fluvals cycle and added 5 yellow labs. It’s certainly not the best method but will eventually cycle.
If you do go down this route remember to constantly check your water parameters. If the product is doing it’s job your ammonia shouldn’t go above 1ppm same with nitrite.
What’s also worth adding to the tank is a Seachem alert strip. This will only show if ammonia is presented and not ammonium.
After a month or so if everything is ok add another 5 fish and so on.
You will also need to do water changes throughout the process.
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