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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok i have a 150g 60x24x24 tank with 40 malawi juvi fish...

the filter is a 2217 eheim with a normal sponge filter set.

before they were added i had just i medium sized talapia to kick start the bio cycle...

only trouble is that this talapia would probably survive anything thrown at it ..so its no indication of a healthy tank.

so now i am going to hack it down to local petshop tommorow morning....

im thinking to get an ammonia indicator and also nitrate....my ph tap water is way high anyway.

....but what should i get as a matter of course??? because i dont want to waste money on something i do not need.

would i have time to avert any situation that my arise with all these fish so that i dont lose any..

what would you guys do in my situation.

dont get me wrong...i have read all the stuff on this site that i could....but its a case of information overload...

im just thinking of the next step ...thanks...appreciated....and im a bit worried for the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
will do.....thanks :thumb:

what signs to look out for ...i would hope there would be an obvious sign before i came down in the morning to some floating fish...
 

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You didn't say how long that talapia was cycling the tank before you added malawi.

Yes, for sure get an ammonia test kit. If you can get a whole master test kit, that would be best.

Once you get nitrAte the cycle is done (I think). NitrIte comes before nitrAtes and is dangerous too so you should test for it also.

Be prepared to do daily water changes for a while.... that was my experience with cycling my 55g. tank. Oh if you could get some used filter media from the LFS that would help alot. You have to keep it wet with tank water for the move and do it as quickly as possible. Biospira is great for cycling too if you can find it (I can't) but it's expensive.

I recently cycled a 10g. tank using lots of filter media and a couple fish from my 55g. tank and some stuff by API called Stress Zyme biological filtration booster ($19.99 for 16oz. bottle). I didn't test the tank for close to a week but when I did it was cycled.

Good luck :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dewdrop said:
You didn't say how long that talapia was cycling the tank before you added malawi.

Yes, for sure get an ammonia test kit. If you can get a whole master test kit, that would be best.

Once you get nitrAte the cycle is done (I think). NitrIte comes before nitrAtes and is dangerous too so you should test for it also.

Be prepared to do daily water changes for a while.... that was my experience with cycling my 55g. tank. Oh if you could get some used filter media from the LFS that would help alot. You have to keep it wet with tank water for the move and do it as quickly as possible. Biospira is great for cycling too if you can find it (I can't) but it's expensive.

I recently cycled a 10g. tank using lots of filter media and a couple fish from my 55g. tank and some stuff by API called Stress Zyme biological filtration booster ($19.99 for 16oz. bottle). I didn't test the tank for close to a week but when I did it was cycled.

Good luck :thumb:
thanks.....very helpfull...in fact i dumped a bit of that zyme stuff in from an older tanks setup but it was nearly depleated.....so another couple of bottles of that should be great to get things going.,..

the talapia was in there for at least a month if not two so that should have done some good.
 

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Six weeks is average for a (new tank) tank to cycle, the zyme stuff (that you buy) is a waste of money IMO. When you are reading NitrAtes cycle complete. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok...ill get the tests done first.....from the sound of the things i should be ok..... :)
 

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Biospira is another option. It is expensive, but my expierences with it have been awsome. I have manaqged to start new tanks without any ammonia spike, and a very low and short lived nitrite spike. All in all I ahve successfully cycled tanks in a week or two. I suppose if you have a lot of fish you might have a higher spike in nitrite to watch out for though. All in all, it is expensive, but well worth the money IMO.
 

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I'm not sure that the stress zyme stuff did anything for the cycling when I used it in my 10g. tank. It may have been that in that small of a tank the filter media from the 55g. was enough to make it not have much of a cycle.

I have 2 HOB filters on the 55g. they both have 2 store bought filter cartriges in each one of them and one has bio wheels. I also put some polyester fiber fill (pillow stuffing) in the compartments of the filters to help "polish" the water. It was a wad of this used fiber fill that I took out and put in the 10g. tanks filter to cycle.

I'm really not sure what signs to watch for in your fish. I figure if your getting signs something is wrong it's probably to late and their gills are badly damaged (I could be wrong though). Just keep an eye on the ammonia, then nitrItes and do daily water changes if needed.
 

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Once you see signs, the fish are already being permanently damaged. One thing I can tell you is that I once had a nitrite spike of 0.5 in a mature tank, and a couple of the fish were hanging around the surface more than usual.

Did you get the test kit like Dewdrop suggested? What is the pH, Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrate?
 

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The minimum you'll want once your tank is established are test kits for amonia, nitrate and PH imo. A nitrite test would also be good to have for a tank that is still cycling. If getting those 4 is as expensive (or nearly) as getting a master kit, might as well go for the master (providing it has at least those 4, or course).

Note that just because a tank shows a nitrate reading doesn't necessarily guarantee it has finished cycling. The bacteria that convert nitrite to nitrate may only be partially done multiplying to handle the load. Once you have a nitrate reading AND 0 nitrite and 0 amonia readings you're done cycling. If you substantially increase the stock level in a tank that has already cycled per the above, you may experience a mini cycle while the nitrifying and de-nitrifying bacteria populations adjust to handle the icreased bio-load. The tank will have a nitrate reading in such a case, but also a brief cycle of amonia, then nitrite readings.

I haven't tried Biospira but have read good things about it for limiting or avoiding a cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
things are getting interesting....the whole island is out of stock of testing kits for ammonia and nitrates....there was a master kit for saltwater and the charts were for saltwater....do u think that would be better than nothing??

i have done a 33percent water change ...its all going a bit cloudy because of my unusualy high calcium content ..but the malwai shouldnt mind this.

also i bought another bottle of that so called useless zyme (that is all there is) out of desperation and added that.

also my tank is running at 32 degrees centigrade....but this is the temperature that the air is ..and everyone on the island says that they all keep fish without coolers in the open air....

i did however find one fish suddenly dead....now what caused it is not clear but i didnt see any fish that looked ill beforehand.

also i note that the agression level has started to ease up a bit ...but i suppose this might be expected after the novelty of a new tank has worn off and they start to get down to business.

also is it normal for cichlids to kind of go down on the sand do a little sideways twist or flick and then bounce back of it to upright and swim off?? or are they trying to rid themselves of a parasite?

any advice please guys.
 

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Don't buy the saltwater test kit, order the freshwater test kit via the internet express delivery.

The cloudiness may be a bacteria bloom and not high calcium.

I wouldn't add chemicals (Zyme) to the tank until you can test and see if you need it. In general, chemicals can do more harm than good if they are not addressing a specific need.

The temp of 89.6 F is very high, blow a fan across the surface of the water to try to reduce it.

The death could be due to temp or ammonia/nitrites or many other things, but I think you need to fix the temp and cycle first.

The flicking on the sand is called flashing. Fish do it occasionally to show off, but if it is constant then something is irritating their skin. Could be caused by ammonia or nitrites above zero since you may still be cycling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanks....ill look into getting a kit and keep the water changes going...

i tried that fan blowing idea but it put so much dust/insects into the water that the buildup of particles was really bad....and the temperature didnt really go down after all that.

im sort of thinking about a cooler but they dont come cheap.
 

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Is the tank outside? Where are all the dust/bugs coming from?

How long did you have the fan blowing across the surface? Water takes a long time for temperature to change...was it blowing for at least 24 hours?

Can you put the tank in an air conditioned room? I think many find this is cheaper than buying/running a chiller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
the house is made of wood ...windows are open all the time to allow through drafts...certain rooms have got ac but the main heart of the house is a sort of inside out affair...your typical asian house i suppose.

moving a 150g tank full of rocks and fish isnt going to happen.....but if fish start dying because its too hot here then i am going to buy a chiller ....i acctually heard of one guy who bought one because of this but there are a few guys here with tanks outside who do not have any problems so i am hoping the fish get used to it just like i did...but thanks for the brainstorm but im between a rock and a hardplace as far as tempreture is concerned.

any soloution would have to be long term as this 30 degrees plus is all year round.
 
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