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My Tank Is Cycled! Hooray!


akk0415

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I actually took pictures of the tests I took this morning of the test tubes all lined up. Ammonia - 0 ppm (yes!) Nitrites - 0 ppm (yes!) Nitrates- 10 ppm (yes! yes! yes!)

Finally!!!

Being a newbie. I am unsure how to clean my tank safely without destroying what has been built. I have done nothing until now except water changes, water changes, and yet more waterchanges. I know, that's probably gross. So, anyone have any good articles? I don't want to make anyone type out all the do's and don'ts. I just want to avoid inadvertantly messing something up.

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Andrea, I was told not to gravel vacuum for the first 6-8 weeks, don't touch your filter unless the media becomes blocked. If it does just gently rinse it in discarded tank water.

Aside from that there is no harm in rinsing ornaments and plastic/silk plants or wiping down the inside of the glass.

A big congratulations on completing your cycle. How long did it take?

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Over 2 very long months. I gravel vaccuumed every time I did a water change though, so maybe that was part of it. I am convinced I would still be in the middle if it weren't for Bio Spira. Within 12 hours of putting it in I showed nitrites. They were a no show until then. That was 2 weeks ago tonight. That stuff is awesome!! ^_^

Now I can relax a bit.

I lost a lot of sleep over ammonia and nitrites and then there was a horrid eggbound episode in there!! I am so relieved.

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Oh no, do the vacuuming just as you did with every water change. If you don't toxins will be up and when you do vacuum they will release and make the fish very sick.

At this point it is very simple to keep the cycle going. I would test every day just for another week to make sure the cycle is in place and do small water changes once a week. Usually of 20-30%, if you are not overstocked. By then you will know how much water needs to be changed by the nitrate readings you get each week.

So basically you test weekly and do a water change with vacuuming and viola done!!!

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Congrats on getting cycled! I know it has been a bear for you. Like Laurie said, the harder part is over. Every week I gravel vac and use a sponge to wipe the inside of the tank. Do your filter stuff when needed and that's it. :)

I don't think I used the gravel vac when I was first cycling either. I just changed out some water, but I probably didn't even know about the gravel vacs yet either.

My memory is not a good thing :blink:

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Thanks. It really was a bear. I am lucky to have a fish with such a tough constitution.

It's cleaning the filter that concerns me. I know not to change the sponge but the cartridges and all the parts, I don't know what to do with those. How do I tell when the filter cartridge needs changing? Can I clean filter parts in tap water or just tank water? To be honest, outside of the intake tube, I don't know what all is in there. :blink: I feel like I have come so far and yet, I still only know just a teeny bit. I need to buy some books I guess. You guys are just so convenient, I haven't made the effort to even look for any.

There is also still salt in the tank. Should I just let those levels drop as I do water changes?

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Andrea we are handy to have around.......huh?? ;) We love to help ppl enjoy their new hobby.

With the salt, I would just let the levels drop off as you do water changes. Should be fine.....make a note of how much you change each week until you get to 100%, then you will no there is no more salt in the tank.

With the "filter" media, you can rinse it in tank water as you do changes to remove the "gunk" that builds up on it. Don't rinse it in tap, this can hurt the bio bugs on it.

Once in a while you will have to replace them, what type of filter do you have?? This will tell us how you should be able to do this safely.

Post back soon.

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You guys sure are!! Saved my fishy several times I'd say. You also give me something to strive for. I want to help, too, someday. I wanna be a goldfish hero, too. :D Once my previous purchases aren't so fresh in hubby's brain I will make a contribution to koko's for all the great advice and camaraderie I have gotten over the last few months. I feel less nerdy around all of you.

It's a cheapie aqua tech brand made for the 10 gallon tank. I bought the whole set up at nnnnnn and snuck it in my house. I walked past my husband with the box and before he asked I just said, "Nothing, it's nothing" :rofl The poor guy. I want to get something with a biowheel eventually though.

What I have now just has thin cartridges with 3 layers: vented plastic, charcoal, and filter material stuff. I know that charcoal isn't effective very long. There is a white sponge in there too that I know not to change. I also added some sort of bio rocks or something. I don't recall the name. But that was my addition to try to get the cycle moving.

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Guest labrat99

Hi Akk -

I'm glad to hear both that your fish pulled through and that your tank has cycled. Here's a tip if you're worried about losing the bio-bugs in the gravel - when you do a water change, vacuum only the left side of the tank. Next time vacuum only the right. That way you never disturb the entire bed at once.

Having said that, in my experience once a tank is cycled it's pretty hard to really mess it up biologically; medicines or chemicals might do it. Otherwise, you should be fine.

FYI - here's my routine. Each Sat. morning I do a 50% water change vacuuming one side of the tank deeply and the other side lightly just to get any poop or whatever laying on top of the gravel. My 50% is a real 50% too. In other words if I'm working on a 30 gallon tank, I remove 15 gallons. That leaves the water level pretty low in a gravelled tank! Then I add the proper dose of Amquel to the tank and refill with a garden hose. While the tank is refilling I usually check and clean the filter media in the power filter if needed.

I do a bigger water change than most, but I feed my fish like crazy and I try to keep the nitrates low in my tanks. Good luck and take care.

Labrat

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Thanks for the advice labrat. I never thought of putting in the amquel first. I always have aged my water which is a pain finding a place to keep it where no one will bother it. How do you match the temp? Do you worry about ph crashes because of CO2 evaporation?

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Akk -

Just to clarify, I'm not advising that you do 50% water changes weekly. I think weekly changes for goldfish are important. The amount that is changed is a variable that depends on how much they are fed and how high you are willing to let the nitrate level in your tank get. They produce a lot more waste than tropicals do. Therefore their water gets cruddy faster.

Pick a nitrate number that you can live with then change enough water each week to keep the nitrate at that level. I think you and your fish will be happy with the results.

I change water the way I do because I believe that it's important that my fish get fresh water each week. If I aged it and or bucket filled each tank, I'd eventually get sick of doing it and start skipping changes. I've been in a situation where keeping fish got to where it wasn't fun. When one of my favorite fish died because I had neglected it, I sold everything and didn't keep fish for over ten years. I think the risk to the fish is lower with me changing straight from the hose than not changing water at all. I know that way ends in death for the fish.

I hope this doesn't sound too heavy, it's not meant to be. The point is, figure out a way that works for you and then stick with it. If you do that, you'll be surprised at how easy and fun goldfish keeping can be. Take care.

Labrat

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Not heavy at all. That is so sad that it got to be an unhappy thing for you since you obviously love it so much. I was just curious. I hear so many things here that often I get scared of miss stepping and harming my little girl. After what I went through with cycling doing often 2 water changes per day(50% total), a weekly water change sounds heavenly. I can see how important they are with all the gook I have vaccuumed daily. I loved the advice about using the gravel vac on only half the tank. The reason I was asking about the hose is I have been curious about the python vacs and those were the same questions I had about them. Aging water is a problem in my small house with a small child and other pets. So you just gave me the opportunity and someone to ask when you talked about how you do your changes. I honestly don't know enough about nitrates to know what would be good so I guess I will just feel my way. I hope I didn't make you feel unappreciated. That certainly wasn't my intention.

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Since I got my big tank setup, I have been refilling the water with a hose and adding the conditioner at the same time. I used to leave it out to get to temp when I only had 2 buckets but that does get old and it would take too many now. I hold a thermometer under the running water and adjust it as needed. As far as the filter, I just check it and change it out when it looks too bad. But if it needs changing, I don't do it on the same day as the water change, so it's not too much new at once. I really don't know if that is right or not, but it has worked for me.

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Guest lenny165

How do you guys check your levels, I've been using the dip sticks and matching the colors to see if they are in the right place. And what is Amquel and Bio Spira. I'm pretty new at this but I test my water alot and all looks ok. Is there a good book that really get to the nitty gritty of taking care of gd fish.

Thanks guy's

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Guest labrat99

I just reread this thread and saw your comment about photographing the test tubes... That's funny! :D I'd love to see the picture.

About your comment that you're worried about a miss-step on your part killing a fish: I'm new here and I really don't want to start a big flame war but a lot of what people post here as "rules" are not really rules at all. My advice is to be careful and mull over what suggestions are given as to a particular problem.

Lets take an example. "Only feed a goldfish every 2 or 3 days". Think that one over for a minute. How well would you feel if your last meal was three days ago? Not so hot, probably. If you want a healthy, growing goldfish - feed him. Goldfish are pigs! They will eat everything you give them. But they are also little ammonia factories so if you are going to feed them a lot, you'll have to give them fresh water a lot or they will croak. Simple.

Now I know you have a small tank so I wouldn't recommend feeding your fish more than once a day just because it's safer for him.

Gotta go. I'll check back later. Take care.

Labrat

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Thank Labrat. I really appreciate you sharing your experience with me.

I'll post the pic once it's developed. I just couldn't help myself. I was so excited I couldn't help myself. :D

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How do you guys check your levels, I've been using  the dip sticks and matching the colors to see if they are in the right place.  And what is Amquel and Bio Spira.  I'm pretty new at this but I test my water alot and all looks ok.  Is there a good book that really get to the nitty gritty of taking care of gd fish. 

Thanks guy's

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Lenny, I check my levels using aquarium pharmamaceuticals test kits. It has test tubes that you add tank water and chemicals to. The color will change based upon the level of the chemical you are testing for in your tank water. I switched when I was having trouble reading dip sticks and the difference between one level and the next was livable or dangerous. Amquel is a water conditioner that binds ammonia and removes chlorine so it is no longer toxic. If your levels are too high though it won't get all of it but anything helps when your tap water has ammonia in it like mine. Bio Spira is a product that contains live bacteria. It helps jump start your cycle. I have yet to buy a book, although I want to. I just use koko's mostly and other websites to find answers to my questions. I print out things that I find important (salt dosage charts, info on the nitrogen cycle, disease info, medication info, etc.) and put them in a binder so I can find them later. I also record my levels so I can spot a trend later if need be. That comes from being a biology nut. This is all a great big interesting puzzle to me. Not to mention, I love my goldfish. :D

I hope this helps. I am really new, too. (If anyone spots anything incorrect here please let me know. I'd hate to mislead someone else. Thanks).

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