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New To Tropical Fish- Looking For Reassurance!

Author Topic: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!  (Read 15882 times)

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Offline Lucyc

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New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« on: April 03, 2013, 05:40:22 PM »
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Hi all

Totally new to tropical fish, set up tank last week ( flufal edge 46litres) , added fish on monday(7 neon tetras), reading about the cycle that has to happen just wanted to check that i am doing things right, here goes:
Monday fish in
Tuesday am, amonia less than 0.25
             Pm, amonia 0.25 10 litre water change done, few hours later amonia nil
Wednesday am, amonia less than 0.25
                  Pm amonia 0.25 10 litre water change just done

Questions???

Are the number and amount of water changes ok?
If amonia turns to nitrite, how long before i should start seeing a nitrite reading currently nil?
If i'm doing water changes to keep the amonia less than 0.25 will this stall the filter colonising the bacteria needed for the cycle?

Fish are doing well seem happy and swimming


Thanks. Lucy

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Offline SteveS

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2013, 06:20:52 PM »
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In case you didn't know, you are doing a fish-in cycle.  There is a post in the filtration and cycling section that gives you details (click here).

I think you may have read it, or something similar, because, so far, you seem to be on the right track.  I would have started with fewer fish of a different species but...

In summary, whenever the ammonia or nitrite rises above 0.25, you should do sufficient water changes to bring them below 0.25.  I would suggest a larger change, 15 litres is about 1 standard bucketful!

You should see some nitrite about day 12-14.

Continual water changes may slow the cycle compared to a fishless cycle, but you can't let the ammonia or nitrites rise because it's harmful to your fish.

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Offline ColinB

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 06:32:34 PM »
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Welcome to the forum, Lucy. I'd just written you a post saying just what Steve has said, so I won't post all that again. Keep letting us know how it's all going.

p.s. We like pictures! :)

p.p.s ....of the fish. ;D

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Offline Lucyc

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 06:40:03 PM »
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Thanks both,

We went with the tetras on the advice of the LFS and they were sold in groups of 6, number 7 was a surprise!

Thinking of some different tetras next and guppies I know that the tank needs to cycle before any more are added, and to add slowly

Will let you know how i get on and attach some photos  :) :)


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Offline SteveS

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 06:53:44 PM »
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We went with the tetras on the advice of the LFS and they were sold in groups of 6, number 7 was a surprise!

One further point;  You should treat the advice of your lfs with a (metaphorical) pinch of salt.  Do your own research.  As it is you are trusting the welfare of your fish to a shop that can't count to 6!  :)

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Offline ColinB

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 06:55:07 PM »
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I'd keep off the guppies. I've had a fair few guppies turn up their little fishy toes 'cos they're such a weak fish due to so much in-breeding.

As you have tetras swimming in the mid regions of your tank, you might want to thing about a shoal of one of the dwarf cory catfish (link) which will snuffle around your substrate and rocks/decorations/plants or whatever you have at the bottom of the tank. Just a thought.

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Offline Lucyc

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 07:12:31 PM »
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Thanks for the advice, we are a long way off the next fish but I'm sure I'll be back picking your brains!

Tried to add a photo but can't seem to do it, is this because I'm using an iPhone?

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Offline ColinB

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2013, 07:16:19 PM »
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It depends if you're trying to upload directly, or you're uploading to a hosting site like photobucket or picasa etc. I use picasa and then link to the photo using the [img] tags. Those who upload directly have a bit size limit and I'm not sure what that is - you might well be exceeding it.

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Offline Sue

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2013, 07:28:23 PM »
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I agree with Steve about taking advice from a shop. Very very few ever mention the best way to cycle with fish.

Once the tank is cycled and ready for more fish, don't take advice from a shop there either. Too many of them will sell you totally unsuitable fish, either fish that get far too big for a tank or fish that will eat the ones you already have. Research any fish before you buy, and ask on forums like this - someone will usually have kept the fish you are interested in.

Offline Resa

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 07:49:51 AM »
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Hello Lucy,

Welcome to the fishy forum!  You've made a really good move by joining, everyone on here is so friendly and helpful.  I too, was new to fishkeeping and have had my  fish for just over a month now after doing a fishless cycle with my tank.  The advice and support I got, especially from Colin and Sue, has been much appreciated. Even questions that must to them, have been really stupid, were answered with patience and obviously huge experience.  I would listen to them over any fish shop, if I were you.
Sadly, since getting my fish, 2 have died.  One, a little otocinclus, which both Colin and Sue reassured me, have a bit of a reputation for not making it past the first month.  I still have two and I am hoping that they remain ok.  The other was one of my guppies, I had five to start with.  As Colin said, they too, seem to pop off for no reason.  It was the one that my bully boy fish harassed constantly so I don't know if the stress of that contributed to him giving up, but it was very upsetting, especially when you think that everything is going well with your tank.  Still, (fingers crossed :)) everyone else seems to be doing well, including the fry that my little platys surprised me with last week ;D
I am on countdown until I can get my little panda corys to complete my fishy neighbourhood ;D

I wish you well with your tank, and as Colin said, we all love piccies of other folks set-ups!

Resa
  :)

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Offline Lucyc

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2013, 12:12:48 PM »
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Just looking for more advice, been doing the daily water changes as advised to keep ammonia less than 0.25, it's usually negative 3 hours post waster change, less than 0.25 at 12 hours and usually closer to 0.25 at 24 hours when water change is due, today 24 hours post change it's negative for ammonia, still negative for nitrite also.  Fish really happy, we used nutriafin cycle when setting up tank. Are things still ok, if ammonia is staying negative shouldn't we see nitrite?

Thanks again

Lucy

Ps here is the tank you'll need good eyes to see the little chaps!

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Offline Sue

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2013, 02:36:51 PM »
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You have only a few fish so the amount of ammonia they make will only be small. Doing the water changes as you are might well be enough to keep on top of the ammonia. Keep on doing them while there is ammonia in the tank, and also keep checking for nitrite. 1ppm ammonia makes 2.7ppm nitrite so if/when you do get nitrite it'll go up quite fast.
It is within the bounds of possibilty for a fish-in cycle not to see nitrite. With so few fish and all the water changes it is theoretically possible to keep the nitrite level so low that you don't notice it. But it is also likely that you haven't started to make any yet and it's the water changes that are keeping the ammonia low rather than bacterial growth. If you reach the stage of not needing to do water changes because ammonia stays at zero, and you still don't see any nitrite, then you can assume you are cycled. If this does happen, check your nitrate (and if it's a liquid reagent one, shake the one bottle at least as much as the instructions say to) and see if that increases over a few days.


I've read numerous reports from people using bottled bacteria of various makes. Unfortunately, I've never read of anyone having success with Nutrafin Cycle. You could always be the first!

Offline Lucyc

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2013, 02:51:27 PM »
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Thanks sue

Used the cycle because it came with the tank, I'll leave the tank today and see what the ammonia reading is tomorrow, just a little nervous as this will be the first day without doing a water change! I'm feeding them once a day with one large flake crushed between the 7 neon's I've read so much about over feeding, but is this enough?

Thanks. Lucy :)

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Offline Sue

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2013, 02:55:03 PM »
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Be guided by your ammonia readings. If if it still low tomorrow you could increase the food to 2 flakes and see what happens. It is quite hard to starve fish - you can leave them without food for about 10 days when you are on holiday!

Offline ColinB

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2013, 11:48:00 AM »
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I've left my tank alone for 14 days with no problems, so don't worry about starving them.

You might want to move that bottom heater clip further up the heater, away from the hot part - it can melt on to the glass if it's there..... and perhaps a few more plants or decorations with 'caves' in to give the fish more sense of security. If they've got lots of hiding places they know they can retreat to then they're more likely to come out and play more, and feel 'happier'. Just a thought.

Looking good, tho'.  8)

Here's what someone did with a 46litre 'Edge' (click here), if you click on the 'see gallery' tab then you can see stages of its development. There's no CO2 injection or anything - just easy plants.

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Offline Lucyc

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2013, 01:22:28 PM »
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Thanks Colin

Will move clip on the next water change, didn't think about it melting!  I'll get somemore plants in the week, is it advisable to leave them in a bucket of tank water before adding them to a tank?  Will also get some more stones to make another little cave, they enjoy swimming in and out of the one already there.  At night they all snuggle in between the plant leaves like they are in bunk beds!

Must say this is a very friendly site, have looked at a few others and can't say the same about them, some people come across very rude!


Thanks again. Lucy :) :) :)

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Offline Sue

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2013, 01:53:52 PM »
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Since you do not have shrimps or snails that you want, it is safe to add the plants whenever is convenient.


Some plants, escpecially those imported from the far east, have been treated to kill snails and their eggs. The chemicals also kill shrimps. If you have invertebrates in the tank it is advisable to leave the plants in a bucket of water for several days, changing the water frequently to get rid of the chemical.

Offline jesnon

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2013, 11:18:03 PM »
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Good to see another Fluval Edge owner on here! I've got the smaller one with a tank of endlers in. In terms of feeding it sounds about right to me - I feed my endlers one flake a day (there was 7 of them, I just added an extra one) and it seems enough to me! I think it's a case of trial and error with food.

Good luck with your cycle! Sounds like you're on track with things at the minute

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Offline Lucyc

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2013, 06:40:05 PM »
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Hi All

Well today ammonia and nitrite is still negative, nitrate is reading 5.0 (nil in tap water) Last water change was 15 litres on Friday, also slightly increased feeding, what do you think?

Thanks again for all your help. Lucy

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Offline Sue

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2013, 07:16:14 PM »
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If your ammonia and nitrite are staying at zero without needing to do water changes, you can increase the amount you feed slightly - if you keep up with the testing you'll quickly spot anything wrong.



Going back to the beginning of the thread, you first posted on Wed, 3 April saying you got the fish on Mon (1 April, I assume). It is almost unheard of for a cycle to be complete in just a week, even using bottled bacteria that is known to work. It could be that the amount of food you are giving the fish is so small that the fish are only producing a tiny amount of ammonia. Increasing the amount of food should tell you if you are cycled or not.
To give you some idea, I'm currently doing a fishless cycle without using any bottled bacteria (just to see what happens as I've never done one before). I am on day 29 today. From day 1 to day 12, the ammonia level stayed constant, then it fell slightly and the next day (day 14 which was 13 days after starting, I really should have called the day I set it up day 0 not day 1!) it fell to zero. I have had a nitrite reading since then and it is showing no sign of dropping yet. I realise that a fishless cycle is different from a fish-in as with the latter you have to keep the ammonia level low for the sake of the fish, but it does give some idea of timescales.

Offline Lucyc

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2013, 07:27:36 PM »
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Yes that's right fish went in on April 1st, had ammonia of 0.25 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday so daily water changes of 10litres, Friday ammonia was less than 0.25, 15 litre water change as recommended by Colin.  Just a bit concerned as reading other threads people appear to have more problems with their water, is this the calm before the storm??

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Offline Sue

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2013, 07:43:51 PM »
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That's the danger. The amount of ammonia your fish are making is small because of the amount you are feeding. But 1pm ammonia gets turned into 2.7ppm nitrite so a small bit of ammonia gets turned into a lot more nitrite.
I would increase the amount you are feeding and keep an eye on your water readings. If you run to the same timescale as me, you could well be seeing nitrite at the weekend. If you don't, good!

Offline Lucyc

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2013, 08:07:55 PM »
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Thanks Sue will keep an eye on things  :o

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Offline Lucyc

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2013, 07:26:59 PM »
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Hi All

Still plodding along with the cycle....well we have finally got moving, ammonia is dropping, nitrite rising and nitrate rising, still doing regular water changes, keeping ammonia under 0.25, what should i be trying to keep the nitrite under?

Thanks Lucy

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Offline Sue

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Re: New to tropical fish- looking for reassurance!
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2013, 07:37:40 PM »
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Nitrite should be kept under 0.25, the same as for ammonia. Your nitrite may be rising, but if your nitrate is also rising you must have some nitrite eaters. So it's just a question of waiting for enough of them to grow.

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