Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

New To Fishkeeping, Out Here In Sunny Phoenix, Az!

Discussion in 'Welcome: Introduce Yourself & Learn More About TFF' started by ech0o, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. ech0o

    ech0o Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    US
    Hello everyone!!!!!  New to the forum, recently helped my girlfriends brother with some fishkeeping tasks, cleaning the tanks, learned a little about the process, and found myself quite intrigued.  I have never kept an aquarium before and found myself oddly gravitating towards the idea of starting my own tank.
     
    I am known to delve in over my head in new fun things, only to kill the joy by having too much on my plate, so I figured I would start small.   Purchased a Fluval Chi 5g unit as I envisioned a nice sleek tank to match my black and glass desk.  I have found both pros and cons with this tank, but it really is a pretty tank compared to most!!
     
    My girlfriends brother informed me very slightly on the differences between fish-in and fishless cycling, although had I checked forums first, I would have probably opted for a fishless cycle.   I was also informed that a puffer will not do well during a tank cycle as he found out the hard way with some figure 8 puffers, and to purchase some feeder or cheap fish to get the cycle going.
     
    The fluval chi came with Nutrafin Cycle (garbage), and a Dechlorinator, which I put into the water 2 days before adding fish.  I thought everything was perfect and ready to go with no experience, went down to Ocean Floor and picked up six of the cheapest fish they had(3 cherry 3 tiger barb) for .50 cents each, some gorgeous black glass pebble substrate, coarse sand substrate, some real wood, and some plants which I am unsure of what they are (will include pictures as I am very curious!!).   Got home, decorated the tank, planted my plants, and added the fish.  All appears well.
     
    I awake the next morning to milky white water and begin the panic.  I start flying through forums and websites looking for answers and help.  Well I am fairly intelligent and it didn't take me long to realize I had absolutely no idea what I was doing before LOL!!   After a day of cruising forums, it was off to Petsmart to buy some Seachem Prime to replace the Nutrafin decholrinator, as I had read it would be far more protective for the fish in dealing with nitrites and ammonia.  I also picked up both an Ammonia drip test and Nitrite drip test, figuring that I should be able to successfully monitor the cycle with just those 2, and will bring my water to the LFS for other readings.
     
    Return home, add Seachem Prime to the tank as per directions, and take an Ammonia test which reads pretty green, I think it was around 2ppm if I remember correctly, and my nitrites at that point were reading around 1ppm so as per instruction I had found, I began do steady partial water changes of around 50% daily to lower the levels.  At this point I had no nitrates for at least a week, and clearly had established NO bacteria, even while dosing supposed Nutrafin Cycle bacterias.
     
    This is when my research about filter seeding began, and the nitrogen cycle in general.  I also found a forum post in which people SWORE that Seachem Stability was the absolute best bacteria spore product that didn't require refrigeration.  So it was back to Petsmart for a bottle of stability!!!  By the time I added the first dose of stability there was already .5 - 1ppm readings of Nitrites daily even with waterchanges, but here we are 3 days later and my Ammonia is GONE, Nitrites down to about .25ppm, NItrates are rising, up to about 15ppm (my tap water has far less).  GOOD STUFF!!  I didn;t even do a waterchange today as I don't want to slow this down any further and which the levels they have dealt with, this water must seem wonderful to them, they are very happy again.
     
    So that is where I am at in this first endeavor now, still dosing Stability until nitrites are unreadable, then I am going to figure this tank is properly cycled!  I am nearly 2 weeks in total approximately, with readings on 0ppm ammonia, .25ppm nitrites, 15-20ppm nitrates, was doing partial water changes daily to keep the nitrites under .5, but over the past few days adding stability it has hung at .25 on its own which makes me believe its taking up the slack of the bioload as I was spiking to over 1 every day.
     
    Also, my fish did deal with a lot of toxins for about a week there, and showed very little symptoms of either nitrite or ammonia poisoning, I am going to attribute this in my head to the Prime, seems to do a decent job detoxifying those chemicals.  I do notice some very slight pinkish/red areas on the gill plates of all 3 cherry barbs, but looking through pictures of healthy barbs, I seem to see it on most of them, so am not sure if this was caused by Ammonia or just natural coloring coming i'n, as they were nearly clear when I first got them, and have darkened up quite a bit.
     
     
    THERES MY LONG A** STORY I'M STICKING TO IT!!!!  Anyways I am going to attach attempted pics of the barbs for tips on the redness, and also the plants that Ocean Floor could not give me a name for when they sold them to me(for the cheapest priced plant in their because he had no clue what they were called LOL)  These fish are all going to a new home when this tank is cycled, and I am going to stick a dwarf puffer and maybe some kind of other tank mate, see if he will tolerate anything else in there!!
     
     
    --Echoing
     
     
    http://tinypic.com/r/6h0qyg/5
    http://tinypic.com/r/rc22pd/5   
    http://tinypic.com/r/b7064m/5  <--unkown plant 
    http://tinypic.com/r/2q1scj6/5  <---cherry barb
     
  2. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    12,881
    Likes Received:
    361
    Location:
    US
    :hi:
     
    I'd recommend NOT going with anything else besides the puffer in the 5, personally.  
     
    I'd also suggest you return the tigers now.  They aren't suitable for a 5 gallon ever, and can be quite persnickety when kept in improper numbers (less than 6 is commonly discussed, but I think 12 is more appropriate).  The cherry barbs will probably be fine in that tank for the short term.
     
     
    When the time to rehome them comes, you might want to look into the local fish clubs.  I know that there's an Arizona fishkeeping club.  Just not sure how close it is to Phoenix.  (Our admin, Chad "tcamos", is a member of the club.)  
     
     
    As for the cycle... I wouldn't call it "cycled" until the tank can handle ALL the ammonia and nitrite without the addition of Stability or anything else for a full week.  
     
  3. ech0o

    ech0o Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    US
    Thanks for that information, although the home I was referring to was my gf's brother's community tank, all small fish still, and there are 5 tigers already in there that would LOVE the extra company.  Yea they are pretty aggressive little fish in the small tank, had i known a little more i would have gone for some danios as well and the cherrys, they were on sale for 50 cents as well. 
     
    I was under the impression that stability colonized just like regular bacteria, i guess a good way to check that, presuming that it ever helped in the first place, is stop dosing the stability as soon as the nitrites hit 0 and continue to take readings and see if it ever spikes back up at all.  
     
    Out of curiosity, with my filters acclimating these 6 fish in here, and the tank nearing cycled, is it a bioload issue with keeping something with the DP in the tank, or merely a size/territory issue?  I guess I could do shrimp to clean the bottom, I've heard if you keep them around contantly eventually the DP's will leave them alone unless they are REALLY hungry.
     
  4. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    12,881
    Likes Received:
    361
    Location:
    US
    The issue was size/territory.  I think puffers are best alone in 5 gallon tanks.  And I'd not go with the shrimp either...  
     
     
    This might help you with the DP.
     
     
     
    That's what Stability claims, but I have not found that to be the case.
     

Share This Page