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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For 3 weeks I thought I was cycling my 29/30 Gallon tank (did not realize until reading this forum that I was to add ammonia etc. I have a Aquaclear 50 filter running and 80 degrees temp. I added 2 juvenile peacocks. They survived for less than 2 days. On Monday of this week I replaced the water (100% fresh), and rinsed off the rocks and filter in the old water. So it's been running for 48 hrs with no fish.

Last night the LFS tested the levels. Amonia "0", Nitrite .25 ppm, Ph 7.6. (LFS informed me this reading was much better than the levels I had with the old water.
Tonight I will be adding 2-6 fish along with the sponge and some gravel from a Fluval (established tank with cichlids already - lots of them, different sizes and they breed every sec).

Could someone please let me know what is the best way to add these cichlids tonight (must add them tonight). I will test the levels @ the LFS tonight again and update.

In the meantime what is the best way to transport them and the media (old sponge + gravel) so that the bacteria survives? The drive is 45 mins to 1 hr. The temp is 80 degrees in new tank and 81 in established tank.

What are the steps to take when I get them home? Float them for how long, release with or w/o water, put filter + gravel for an 1 hour before putting fish in, water change, feed them when, etc... ???
- will log on and give readings later tonight after LPS completes it.

Any help will be appreciated as I will check for answers when I bring them home to try to acclamate them to the new tank.

Thanks for your help. I know the levels would help, but any info to give them a better chance of surviving would be appreciated.
 

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I'm a little confused by some aspects of your e-mail, but let me offer a few ideas --

Get your own liquid reagent test kits. You need to be monitoring your own water daily. Your tank is not cycled until it has 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and measurable nitrates. In all likelihood, the fish you are planning on adding are in for a rough ride. It will definitely help to have moved media over from another tank, but limit the number of fish you add initially to avoid having more fish than the bacteria can handle. Also, feed them very lightly, monitor the water daily and do water changes frequently. You can also look into getting Biospira, a refrigerated packet of bacteria that will help your tank cycle very quickly.

You will need to float the fish to acclimate then just as you would normally. With Africans, I float for 15-20 minutes and then net them and put them in the tank. I do not slowly add tank water, etc., as you do with softer water fish. (This is what I've been told and what I've done in the past without incident.) Add the media to your filter first, of course. Do not add the water with the cichlids in it into your tank.

BTW, a 30 gallon is pretty small for most peacocks in the long run. Do you have plans to upgrade in the future?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reponse. I was attempting to cycle the tank, but was not aware that I needed to add ammonia (fishless cycle). Added 2 juvie peacocks - died in 42 hrs. Ammonia was "0" and Nitrate was .25 ppm.

Last night I had to take 2 yellow labs (were in an established tank and had to move them). I would assume tank was not cycled as Ammonia and NitrITE should be "0".

I put the sponge from established tank that they were in and added another smaller filter (Aquaclear) with another established sponge and 3 cups of gravel/rock.

let them float for about 45 mins, did not add the water they were in. They seemed fine (they are the same age, 3-4 months roughly). The larger Lab about 3" with a slight blue shimmer around his gills - he? is the territorial one. The smaller one (about 2 1/2 inch) is the passive one.

The 3" swan behind the smaller Lab (not aggressively) for the first while that they were in the tank. He? staked out all the territory as his later a couple hours later and didnt want her? around anymore. About 3 hrs in the tank they both took shelter under rocks, staying close to the sides of the rocks (separately). Swimming from one shelter to the next. I watched them until 4 a.m to make sure they were ok.

This morning both were still under the rocks chilling. Should they be swimming around or is this a sign of poor levels? Won't know until I get home later.

I did not feed them and did a 10% water change with them in the tank (desperate for them to live as I did not know what else to do) and I did quite a bit of research online but it was too late to get any responses. I watched them until 4 a.m to make sure they were ok.

I will purchase the kit and report levels later this pm.

In the meantime please assist as (I get home late). If my NitrITE is still .50 and Ammonia is still "0" - Is it a good idea to do 50% water change (different suggestions when reading online posts)? I am aware that the cycling process is not complete. I also read not to feed them for a couple of days 3-4 as the waste raises levels and the tank is not cycled. Does this sound correct? What is the best temp (under these circumstances)? Any help would be appreciated. Hope this is more clear.
 

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One question for you. Are you using a water conditioner such as Prime or Amquel on your water? If not that could be a big problem.

Also you should not be doing water changes during a cycle. You may want to buy some cheap fish, such as zebra danios, to do your cycle and then buy some more expensive fish later after your tank is safe and cycled. Also your tank is pretty small for the fish you are attempting to keep.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I use a brand called African Cichlid Conditioner when I change the water.

I am trying to get the 2 Yellow Labs through the process. Therefore, adding cheap fish is not an option (unless they succumb to the levels and I have to start over).

Unable to find Bio-Spira locally.

Can anyone give me a few tips to try to get them through this 1/2 cycled process. I plan to keep the (2) Yellow Labs, maybe add another female later (once their sex is identified (if all goes well). If not I am considering some more Flavescent "Usisya" Peacocks.

Are 2 Yellow Labs (maybe 3 the most) too much for my 30 Gallon?

What is the max amount I can keep of (a) Labs only or (b) "Usisyas" only or
(c) mixture of both?

I would appreciate any tips/suggestions to keep these 2 alive for now.

So no more water changes? If so when should I change and how much until tank cycles if they make it through this.

Thanks for your patience!
 

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If cycling with fish, it's critical to keep up on water changes to keep water parameters within habitable levels.

Fishless cycling is the only time that water doesn't need to be changed.

For that reason fishless cycling is slightly faster that cycling with fish.

I don't believe the "African Cichlid Conditioner" binds chlorine/chloramines, and that could be causing huge problems with your fish. Look into getting something like Prime(one relatively small bottle treats a huge amount of water). You need to be doing water changes, but you could be poisoning your fish with chlorine when you do them without a dechlorinator.
 

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You're in a bit of a tough situation, but I appreciate your concern and desire to do right by your fishies. A few things:

Temp should be 78 or so
Get some Prime water conditioner. This neutralizes ammonia and nitrites. They will still register on most liquid kits, but it will make it easier on the fish. Just squirt some directly into the tank every day or so.

Do water changes when the ammonia and nitrites get too high and unhealthy for the fish. Some say no water changes as it delays your cycle, but you can't let your fish swim around in 2 ppm ammonia, either. What is too high? Good question. For me, I panic at any ammonia so I'd be changing the water at .5 ppm. (Not clear why you have nitrites but no ammonia.)

Do you have reputable local fish store who can help you out with advice? Old filter media? Did you check online about Biospira?

Do feed the fish very lightly (I personally wouldn't fast them for 3 or 4 days as that seems stressful to me, but that's just MHO.) Keep the lights off. Do you have a lot of rocks/cover for them? They are going to feel stressed with the move, the water quality and having just two of them, so hiding might not be a sign of a real issue. Give them a few days to acclimate. I don't know if a 30 gallon is recommended for labs in the long run. You could get away with 3 or 4 labs as juveniles, I would think. BTW, with peacocks, you should have only a single male with 2-3 females or just a male alone. They are not a pairing fish and two males will eventually tangle with each other.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all your suggestions. I will cycle and house appropriate cichlids for tank size.

*Now that the Labs have been removed, can I continue Cycling with no fish? ie. putting ammonia in the tank tonight?

If I can continue the cycle process with no fish, please inform me of the steps to take.

*How much ammonia for a 30 gallon?
*Read levels how often?
*At what levels do I stop adding ammonia?
If I understand corectly no water change is neccessary on a fishless cycle.

If it's best to cycle with starter fish, please throw in some more suggestions as LFS may be limited.

*How long do you estimate it would take to continue cycle a) With Fish (b) Fishless.

*After a fishless cycle and ammonia and NitrITE is both "0", do I have to add the fishes that I wish to house right away (bacteria will die)?

*If with fish, will the bacteria live for 24 hrs until I can buy feeder fishes?*How many feedwers based on the # of adults I can eventually house.

*Once cycle is complete how many peacocks can I house as adults safely. Will start another tank for **** if they breed.
-Love peacocks that are blue or yellow or mixture of those colours - colourful cichlids.
-Easy to breed. What are the peacocks that you find breed easily in a 30 gallon from your experience?

I have read so much info that differs at times, so sorry to ask too many questions. Just want to get this tank up and running as so much time wasted. No Bio-Spria please - I've waited long enough so no more rush.

What is a good kit to buy - from experience with peacoks or one that works for you consistently - easy to read.

Thanks again for all the help. Can't wait for this bad boy to get up and running :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bio-Spira is no longer shipped to Canada due to the bacteria in the product (even the bacteria has restrictions to clear Customs/Border) LOL!

The "African Cichlid" Conditioner - "name of brand". The bottle says -Safely increases GH - Creates optimal aquatic mineral balance for Afr.Cichlid, Goldfish, Livebearers and brackish water species. 1 capful (10 ml) per 20 US gallon = 75.6 Litres. -Each dosage provides 20 mg/L (ppm) as CaCCO3 of GH. It is highly recommended to not change the GH value by more than 20 mg/L per day to limit stress on aquatic inhabitants.

Wow, that means I was raising the General Hardness and not even aware of that (These sites are so useful) as it was the salesperson in our well known LFS (Big Al's) told me that I will need that for the water when I went to purchase a heater - recommended the Eheim 3606 - 40-60 gallon - 200-300 l - 150 W (heater I'm using).

I realize that the LFS (@ least this one - better than Pet Smart) the young sales people have little knowledge on these fishes, other than the basics. I've been there every night since Sat. with all the info I've read throughout these sites and their idea of fishless cycle is to do what I did (no clue about adding pure ammonia). I would of ended up trying to get this tank togeather and in the process a few of these beauties would of secuumb to RIP..

So thank you for all the info in the posts on the site to help educate others as to the care, requirements etc of these fasinating fishes. So please bear with me with all these questions.

Any suggestion is helpful right now, but I will continue to research, just need help in getting this process completed.
 

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*Now that the Labs have been removed, can I continue Cycling with no fish? ie. putting ammonia in the tank tonight?
Yes, that would be the thing to do

*How much ammonia for a 30 gallon?
*Read levels how often?
*At what levels do I stop adding ammonia?
If I understand corectly no water change is neccessary on a fishless cycle.
Add 1/4 tsp to start and test after 10 minutes. Bring it up to 2ppm. You can also do drops if it's easier. Work out and jot down a formula, meaning X number of drops to raise it 1ppm, or tsp or whatever. All ammonia is diluted a bit differently, so it's hard to say exactly what your formula should be. For me, I use Walmart brand and it takes 25 drops to raise 10 gallons to 1ppm. So, if you're using similar, you'd need 75 drops in 30 gallons to raise to 1ppm, so 150 drops total. Rather than do drops, though, just figure how many in a tsp (about 100, I think) and use tsp.

Once you get it to 2ppm, test only every 24 hours. If it has dropped, add enough to bring it back up to 2ppm.

No water change is necessary until both ammonia and nitrite drop to 0. Then a few partial water changes to reduce nitrates would be in order. Some claim water changes during the cycling stalls it, but I don't see any reason that would be true. Regardless, I'd still leave it alone until it's done. Why do the extra work. I've not seen it have any effect.

*How long do you estimate it would take to continue cycle a) With Fish (b) Fishless.
I usually takes about 10 days for ammonia to 0 out and then up to 3 more weeks for nitrite to 0 out.

*After a fishless cycle and ammonia and NitrITE is both "0", do I have to add the fishes that I wish to house right away (bacteria will die)?
Not overnight or anything as some fear. I've gone 48 hours between with no problems. I usually add the last dose of ammonia about 48 hours before I plan to add the fish.

I wouldn't use starter fish. Cruel to the fish. Some lfs will take them back after, but fish can suffer permanent damage from ammonia/nitrite and some unsuspecting hobbyist will end up buying these fish. My personal opinion is that the practice should be stopped.

I've not kept peacocks, so I'll let someone else answer that, but you should be able to fully stock after cycling to 2ppm.

HTH
 

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When i do a fishless cycle by adding ammonia, do i need to turn on the filter? if so, what media should we not put in the filter?
Thanks

sorry, don't mean to hijack the thread :)
 

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live2bet said:
When i do a fishless cycle by adding ammonia, do i need to turn on the filter? if so, what media should we not put in the filter?
Thanks

sorry, don't mean to hijack the thread :)
Yes, turn on the filter. Don't use any kind of ammonia removers in the filter. Carbon isn't needed either, but won't hurt. Some type of biomedia is what's really important preceded by some type of mechanical filtration pad. The mechanical filtration pad traps detritus so it doesn't clog up the biomedia. The biomedia is some type of sponge, rings, etc. that never get replaced and should rarely even need to be rinsed if the mechanical filtration pad is working and rinsed frequently.

HTH
 

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live2bet said:
Thanks prov356.
Guess the ammonia remover media is put in after the fish is in huh?
I wouldn't use that at all unless you were experiencing unusual spikes in a well established tank from an unknown source like a hidden dead fish, etc. No need for it in a typically stocked and fed tank, and you only run the risk of it doing too well and depriving the bacteria colony of ammonia (although that'd be really hard to do, I think, since I doubt it works quite that well). The ones I've looked at have even said not for regular use, but only in circumstances where ammonia spikes occur due to medicating, etc. All you really need on a regular basis are mechanical and biological filtration media. Mechanical catches the big stuff and gets cleaned aggressively and regularly and bio harbors the bacteria that does the ammonia=>nitrite=>nitrate conversion and gets pretty much left alone. If it needs to be rinsed, only lightly in dechlorinated water.

My two cents, anyway. :)
 
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