Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to Cichlids, I'm looking at stocking my new tank within the week.
I've had the tank and filter cycling for about 3 days "Fishless"

I'd like to know the proper water parameters for them (Temp, PH, etc..) I see conflicting information from all over the place.

Also are there ways to lower or raise these areas if so how.

Thanks
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
How are you fishless cycling? 3 days is not long enough.

What are your water test results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH? Test both your tap water and your aquarium water. Keep a log of the results so you can monitor the progress.

Usually temperature can be between 76F and 78F, no need to keep it any higher.

Most of us try not to chase pH so it would be helpful to know what your tap water parameters. Also take a sample of your tap water in a clean glass container and leave it set out for 24 hours and test that pH again. Depending on where you live and what your water source is, water may outgas and the pH may change so it's helpful to know what you got.

You can also check out the Fishless Cycling article in the C-F Library for suggestions and tips on the proper way to fishless cycle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Deeda said:
How are you fishless cycling? 3 days is not long enough.

What are your water test results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH? Test both your tap water and your aquarium water. Keep a log of the results so you can monitor the progress.

Usually temperature can be between 76F and 78F, no need to keep it any higher.

Most of us try not to chase pH so it would be helpful to know what your tap water parameters. Also take a sample of your tap water in a clean glass container and leave it set out for 24 hours and test that pH again. Depending on where you live and what your water source is, water may outgas and the pH may change so it's helpful to know what you got.

You can also check out the Fishless Cycling article in the C-F Library for suggestions and tips on the proper way to fishless cycle.
I've just been cycling with just the tank. No added chemicals or ammonia

I'm going today to get the test kit.

I've also started getting a Bio Flim on top looks like not enough water movement so I moved my outtake to stir the water more.

I'll post my results tonight
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
I like to suggest the API Master Test Kit as it has most of what you need. You may also consider buying the GH and KH test kits separately as they will test for hardness and alkalinity.

Fishless cycling with ammonia can take up to 6 weeks if you aren't in a hurry and is the method I've used for over 15 years. I've also used Start Smart Complete when in a big hurry but only with fish under 2" long and lightly stocked.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,504 Posts
Everything Deeda said, but this additional factoid. Cycling with no chemicals added produces no results. It is the ammonia added by fish (not recommended) or fishkeeper (recommended) or bacteria added by bottle (Deeda's post is the first time I have ever seen someone have zero ammonia and zero nitrite from day one with bottled bacteria) that causes the tank to START cycling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Deeda said:
I like to suggest the API Master Test Kit as it has most of what you need. You may also consider buying the GH and KH test kits separately as they will test for hardness and alkalinity.

Fishless cycling with ammonia can take up to 6 weeks if you aren't in a hurry and is the method I've used for over 15 years. I've also used Start Smart Complete when in a big hurry but only with fish under 2" long and lightly stocked.
Here are my test results without no chemicals. I don't understand why it's not crazy numbers since it's a new tank. I have driftwood, sand and rock in there nothing fake can that be the reason?

03/26
AMM 0ppm
NITRI 0ppm
NITRA 0ppm
pH 8.0

Photos attached
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
Completely normal to show all zeros except for the pH. It takes awhile to start seeing the numbers change as beneficial bacteria will eventually populate the aquarium.

Did you set aside a sample container of water so you can test the pH tomorrow at around 8 PM?

What type or brand of sand are you using? The reason I ask is that some aquarium brands are labeled as increasing pH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Deeda said:
Completely normal to show all zeros except for the pH. It takes awhile to start seeing the numbers change as beneficial bacteria will eventually populate the aquarium.

Did you set aside a sample container of water so you can test the pH tomorrow at around 8 PM?

What type or brand of sand are you using? The reason I ask is that some aquarium brands are labeled as increasing pH.
Quikrete All Purpose Sand

Yes I've set a glass aside for tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Deeda said:
Completely normal to show all zeros except for the pH. It takes awhile to start seeing the numbers change as beneficial bacteria will eventually populate the aquarium.

Did you set aside a sample container of water so you can test the pH tomorrow at around 8 PM?

What type or brand of sand are you using? The reason I ask is that some aquarium brands are labeled as increasing pH.
What are the next steps you recommend? I'm truly not interested in waiting weeks to do the Ammonia cycling as you stated...But I do properly want to cycle it to be safe.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
Are you even able to go out to buy fish within the next couple weeks due to the current virus shelter in place rules?

There are a couple options using bottled bacteria products but you have to use them exactly as described on the bottle. I've already mentioned Start Smart Complete but there is also Dr.Tim's One and Only which has been tried and true plus another product by Fritz Zyme Turbo Start 700 which I have not ever tried before. The last 2 are refrigerated products and shipped directly to you. Check out their websites for more info and how to order if you are interested.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
DJRansome said:
Everything Deeda said, but this additional factoid. Cycling with no chemicals added produces no results. It is the ammonia added by fish (not recommended) or fishkeeper (recommended) or bacteria added by bottle (Deeda's post is the first time I have ever seen someone have zero ammonia and zero nitrite from day one with bottled bacteria) that causes the tank to START cycling.
DJ, I looked for my old cycling chart records for when I used the Start Smart Complete and could not find them anywhere. :wink: I do know that I used it in at least a couple 40B tanks when I was setting up my fish room and bought a couple bags of fish at local auction and the fish were definitely small and only 6 - 8 fish per tank so really not much of a bio-load. It is possible that I also used Prime to bind any ammonia that may have come up during the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Deeda said:
Are you even able to go out to buy fish within the next couple weeks due to the current virus shelter in place rules?

There are a couple options using bottled bacteria products but you have to use them exactly as described on the bottle. I've already mentioned Start Smart Complete but there is also Dr.Tim's One and Only which has been tried and true plus another product by Fritz Zyme Turbo Start 700 which I have not ever tried before. The last 2 are refrigerated products and shipped directly to you. Check out their websites for more info and how to order if you are interested.
I actually picked up the API Quick Start Freshwater.

Yes the stores are open for Pets, it's deemed as a "must" so I was thinking of doing the API for the time it tells me to then next Friday get the fish if it looks good.

Thoughts?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,504 Posts
Keep in mind with a full stocking and with or without bottled bacteria, you may have ammonia and nitrite at harmful levels for the first six weeks. We would all prefer not to wait six weeks. IMO the alternative is worse.

An alternative would be to change water daily or 2X daily to keep levels below toxic for your fish during the first six weeks until ammonia and nitrate remain at 0 without additional actions on your part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
DJRansome said:
Keep in mind with a full stocking and with or without bottled bacteria, you may have ammonia and nitrite at harmful levels for the first six weeks. We would all prefer not to wait six weeks. IMO the alternative is worse.

An alternative would be to change water daily or 2X daily to keep levels below toxic for your fish during the first six weeks until ammonia and nitrate remain at 0 without additional actions on your part.
So should I start the API Quick Start?

Then do a water change daily, how much out should be taken?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
It's up to you whether to use the API Quick Start since you already bought it.

Water change amount will depend on your daily testing results for ammonia and nitrite. Try to keep both numbers under 0.50 PPM. You will also have to add the bacteria product according to directions whenever you change the water.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,504 Posts
If you are using bottled bacteria, follow instructions on the bottle. Including whether/when to change water.

If you are using ammonia, follow the instructions in the CF Library. Including whether/when to change water.

Daily water changes would be if you add fish and you are in trouble because the toxins are higher than 1ppm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
mdaniel1984 said:
So should I start the API Quick Start?
Then do a water change daily, how much out should be taken?
I used API Quick Start in my fishless cycle, but I also had two very established sponge filters in the tank so I am not sure how much, if at all, it helped.

Once you add fish you will need to do water changes 1-2 times a day like DJ said. Test the water every morning and evening and see how high your ammonia and nitrites are getting (nitrates won't be a concern yet because of the frequency of water changes that will be needed). If you are getting 0.25ppm on either Ammonia or Nitrite then you need to do a 25% change. If you are getting 0.5ppm then you need to do 50% change. If you are getting any higher then you need to increase the frequency of the changes; potentially 3-4 times a day. I would recommend that you start with 1 breed of fish, and VERY few initial stocking (like Deeda said maybe 6-8 fish). If you go overboard you won't be able to keep up with the water changes and may kill the entire tank. If you decide to do the fish cycle, please please please make sure you can commit to the water changes multiple times a day. Killing the entire tank would be a real bummer on your moral as well as your wallet. Also factor in the cost of water, 50% change on a 120g tank is 60 gallons PER DAY for 6 weeks IF you only needed to do it once a day. This obviously won't be an issue if you are on a well, but if you are on city water it can add up fast.

Although the waiting sucks, dosing with Ammonia is the best way to cycle a tank because you can dose to toxic levels and just leave the tank alone to do its thing without worrying about water changes or killing anything. The cycle happens much faster because there is so much ammonia in the tank for the bacteria to feed off of.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top