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cycling help!!!

1611 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  OoglyBoogly
Ok so I bought some fish (12 glofish and one small pleco and a few runaway snails) and a tank. Walmart didn't warn me I needed to cycle a tank at all before putting the fish in. I litterally filled the tank, removed the chlorine, and put the fish in. They seem to be doing fine but the more I look online the more I hear about cycling and how you need to grow certain bacteria before its ok to put fish in the water. I've since then put some stress zyme aquarium start and clean, and easy balance with nitraban in hopes to get the cycle working faster so I don't loose any fish. I've got a air pump and 2 live plant baulbs starting to grow because I read that can help with increased ammonium (which is what builds up in a uncycled tank?) the temp is 78F and small tank pebbles for the base. I'm going out of town tomorrow for 3 days and wanna make sure I don't come home to all dead fish is there anything else I can do to help cycle my tank or have I done something wrong? Please help.... Even if it means starting over completely. I wanted to learn with the easier fresh water in hopes to soon get a salt water tank. So if anyone could also explain how to successfully cycle a tank as well so that I know.
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How large is your aquarium? Unfortunately, as you have learned now, you should do some reading before you make any purchase to avoid making mistakes such as these.

The Pleco will likely outgrow your aquarium, especially if it is a common variety.

Most of the jump start cycle products do not work well, and the ones that do work are usually ineffective.

Unfortunately, if you are leaving your aquarium unattended for 3 days, you may come back to an aquarium of dead fish. When an aquarium is cycling in the manner you have your aquarium, 25% water changes on a daily basis are usually required.
78F is pretty warm for goldfish. Can you reduce that closer to 72F?
Glofish (those genetically altered zebra danios) not Goldfish, Hoppy. 78F is OK for those, though they'd also be OK at a lower temp. :smile:

I strongly recommend that you stop throwing chemcials in your tank. You're going to crash the cycle for sure that way.

What you need to do instead is water changes.

Get a master freshwater test kit (run about $20 at and start monitoring your ammonia and nitrite levels. You need to do however large and frequent water changes it takes to maintain your ammonia and nitrites under 0.25 ppm.

I recommend you do 75% water change right now (get all those chemicals out of the tank), and plan for 75% water changes 2x a day till you can get those kits.

Stick with a good water conditioner product like Prime or Amquel+ and don't use any other chemicals. These two not only will remove chlorine and chloramines, but they'll help detox the ammonia and nitrites in your water in a way that WON'T short-circuit your tank's cycle like most other products will.

Also, adding some fast-growing plants like hygrophila sp, bacopa, najas, rotala, etc can help absorb some of the ammonia.
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There was a post a few months back involving glofish where everyone (myself included) was reading it as goldfish. I wonder what a psychologist could tell us about this?

BTW I run my quarantine tank in this manner as it is never set up before I decide to order something. I do a 50% water change daily on it and haven't had problems. I do fill it initially with 50% tank water though, which helps.

It's possible that ammonia levels will stay low enough for 3 days depending on what size tank it is, but I wouldn't count on it. If you have enough light, you could fill the tank up with floating anacharis, rotala, etc., but if lighting is low, they may not absorb enough ammonia.

Personally, I'd pay a neighbor, or call in a favor to have someone do a daily water change while you're gone. Or return the fish to Walmart for the time being (Easiest, safest course of action).
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My tank is only ten gallons. I've had it going for maybe a week now, and have tested the water everyday but it doesn't test ammonia. But both nitrate and nitrite are zero.... the strip says that's in the "safe" zone but they are also hard to read. I did use the gallon jugs of reverse osmosis water from walmart to start with but all water changes have been with tap water. I use aquasafe to remove chlorine and aquabalance and stress zyme for other chemicals. Should I switch all? I bought those bulbs that grow in 30 days but both have already started growing roots. Should I leave the light on when I leave? Its not close to a window seeing as I live in basement apartment. Its close to the heater and has a heater so I'm not afraid of it getting cold.
Hmm I would move it away from the heater and only use the aquarium heater in the tank. The aquarium heater will turn off if the water temp gets too high, the apartment heater will not.
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