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Fish In Cycle

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by Chunkyfathead, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. Chunkyfathead

    Chunkyfathead New Member

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    couple years have elapsed and I just bought myself a new tank.... Was gonna do fishless but got chatting to this guy @ MA who  said that was old style and took to long to cycle a tank....
     
    So I set up my tank....planted .... run it for over a week.... then got half dozen cherry barbs and some API startup stuff.... feeding daily and water testing daily and everything seems to be fine.... had ammonia @ 0.25ppm for a couple of days but its now zero along with the Nitrates and Nitrites....
     
    I there anything I need to watch out for .. but fish seem to be feeding and happy
     
  2. fluttermoth

    fluttermoth The current Mrs Treguard ;)
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator

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    Have a read of the stickies at the top of this forum; the ones titled 'Rescuing a Fish-in Cycle Gone Wild'.

    You should find all the information you need there [​IMG]
     
  3. Byron

    Byron Member

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    It's been a while since I read the stickied articles, but to cut to the chase...you should have no problems if your fish stock is low.  Six cherry barbs are not many fish, but I don't know the tank size.  But assuming it is adequate for the species, and given you have live plants which I assume are alive and not dying...you should have no problems.
     
    I agree completely with the advice from the store here, but with conditions.  I have never "cycled" a tank in my 20+ years in the hobby, as I always have it planted (and include floating plants) and I go easy with the first fish.  This is termed a "silent cycle" because the nitrifying bacteria will still establish, but with the live plants it will be "unseen" by you--and more importantly, the fish.
     
    The bacterial supplement (the API start up stuff you mention) can't hurt, and may help.  The plants will do most all of this however, again provided the fish stocking is kept low so that the biological system is not choked.  I tend to use bacterial supplement only in emergencies, such as a QT set up for a sick fish.  But it can't hurt.
     
    You should never see nitrite (I never have had ammonia or nitrite in new tanks) and nitrate may remain zero or in time it may read low.  After a few weeks, my tanks tend to have nitrate in the 0-5 ppm range and they remain there.  This depends upon the stocking, as the more fish the more likely nitrate will appear.  The lower the better long-term; I've had tanks running for five years with no changes.
     
    Be regular (weekly) with your partial water changes, and change 50-60% of the tank.  Nothing beats water changes.  And obviously, if ammonia or nitrite should rise above zero now I would do immediate water changes.  But from what you've told us, I certainly would not expect either to appear now.
     
    Byron.
     
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  4. marnold00

    marnold00 Member

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    Floating plants floating plants floating plants.

    Byron and others pushed for me to get floating plants. Its really bought out the best in my cherry barbs! Its completely transformed their behaviour. All 7 of them are out and about using the entire water column whilst the lights are on now. Theres also less harrassment between the fish.
     
  5. Chunkyfathead

    Chunkyfathead New Member

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    Thanks Byron....Normally when you mention fish in cycle you certain ppl demonize others for letting fish suffer..
     
    But then I do question that why are aquatic places selling these quick start bacteria's, why do there staff who have to look after hundreds of fish ... if not thousands...... why are the manufacturers producing  it in the first place.
     
    Going back to your advise, Im not intending on dumping loads of fish in my 200lt tank.... couple every few weeks....
     
  6. Chad

    Chad Reef Tank, Crustacean, and Puffer Enthusiast
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    Fish in with plants is a method I've used many times and which I do advocate for. The idea is simple, the plants consume exactly what the fish find harmful and the fish produce just what the plants need. It's similar to using live rock and sand in a reef tank. 
     
    The thing to watch for is simply to make sure the plants are sufficient for doing the job by testing for ammonia and nitrite regularly. If it's working right you aren't likely to detect them on a regular test strip. If you do, simply do a water change. If you notice it happening too often then more or different plants might be needed or a change to the photo period. 
     
    A 50 gallon tank is a pretty large tank for only a few fish so you are already at an advantage. 
     
    I still say it's always better to have a fully cycled tank before introducing fish simply because this really is the foolproof way to do it. However, other methods work as well when the fishkeeper is conscious of what could go wrong and makes sure it doesn't. 
     
    The point is...if you are reading zeros then it's going right and you have nothing to worry about. 
     

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