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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to keep 4-5 neon tetras in my 5.5g planted tank, it has been running 4 days with plants. Is it ok for me to add some neon tetras or will they die because the tank is not cycled yet?
 

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I use neon tetra's to help cycle my tanks. they are cheap and quite tough. but 4-5 days is not enough time to cycle a tank. You need some kind of BIO waste products to get the tank cycling some people add ammonia directly to a tank to give the nitrifying bacteria something to munch on. I have never done this, i do the following:

if started totally from scratch, aka new everything. I run the new filter in one of my established tanks for a week or two so the bacteria can build up in the filter media. then transfer the filter and everything in it to the new tank. then add some cheap fish and and run that config for at least a month, all the time watching the ammonia levels. Then after a month i start adding more fish.

If I want/need to speed the process up i take substrate from an established tank and use that for the new tanks substrate. I take the substrate and all of the gunk that was in it that's the good stuff!.

if this is your first tank put the tetras in and keep an eye on the ammonia levels. If they get too high do a partial water change[10%-25%] otherwise just let it spike. do yourself a favor and get a test kit that has Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia, and PH tests in it. Test Strips are more expensive but are much easier to use.

Here is a white paper on the nitrogen cycle, it salt water based but the basis is the same.
http://www.reefscapes.net/articles/articles/2002/nitrogencycle.html

is this you first tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yes and no. It is my 3rd freshwater tank but first planted tank. So its all kinda of new to me.

btw all my equipment is brand new, and I don't have any more FW setups to get some bacteria "seeds" from.

I need to get a test kit tomorrow.
 

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you should completely cycle your tank before adding any fish.
if you add fish now, you will be in a "fish-in cycle". this will require daily WC (maybe twice daily) to keep the ammonia levels at a controllable level.
please read up on cycling (both fishless and fish-in) before moving forward with your tank
 

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Four small neon tetras should be fine. Do NOT over feed however.
It would be better to keep them a bit hungry for a week than to over feed once. Next week you can feed them a bit more. No more fish for a month.

If you have a test kit monitor the water a few hours after feeding. If you can't afford a test kit, buy one less fish and an ammonia test kit.

Others have posted about doing massive water changes.
That can be over done while you are cycling a tank. Keep the numbers of fish low and relax.
 

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Im lucky, I found an old master test kit and tested the ammonia.

Right now the ammonia level is at .6
I would do a partial water change to get those ammonia levels down before it harms your fish (further).
 

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I agree with Darkblade48. Partial water change is suggested. Probably every day, but not a massive change.

If you can afford it, I would suggest adding Purigen or PolyFilter to help suck out the ammonia and excess nitrates and nitrites while you wait for the tank to cycle. Excess being the key word.
 

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If I'm correct in my understanding that there are no fish in the tank at all yet, then you shouldn't be doing water changes or adding chemical media (Purigen etc) to the tank until after the tank has cycled (if you're doing a fishless cycle).

If you add fish now, you'll need to do daily water changes to keep the water safe for them. Probably for 2-4 weeks. Personally, I'd finish cycling the tank before adding any fish.
 

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.2 ppm of NH3 can kill fish/inverts, but you also have to watch out for NO2 (NItrite), which will spike after the NH3 drops down.

I would say throw some of you new filter media in an established tank, throw some established tank water in your new tank... and wait 3-4 weeks.

YOu have to remember that the more planted your tank is, the more bacteria/nitrogen reducing organisms you have in your tank...plants have bacteria already on them...they also eat the NH3 and NO3...

Nitrite, however, is BAD.

Don't rush the process...
 

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If I'm correct in my understanding that there are no fish in the tank at all yet, then you shouldn't be doing water changes or adding chemical media (Purigen etc) to the tank until after the tank has cycled (if you're doing a fishless cycle).

If you add fish now, you'll need to do daily water changes to keep the water safe for them. Probably for 2-4 weeks. Personally, I'd finish cycling the tank before adding any fish.

I totally agree.
 
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