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I Was Bad...how Do I Cycle A Tank Really Fast?


Guest Moose

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So, I was on the way to the pet store to get a test kit to begin cycling my tank. But there was a carnival. And people were winning goldfish and klling them. So I ended up with 4 goldfish, but they would have died anyway, and they might atleast have a semi decent life now. They are about an inch long, commons, and I think I lost one already, but he wasn't looking too good to begin with.

But I need to cycle my tank. I don't have an ammonia test kit, the pet store was closed, and wont be open til Tuesday, and I have school so I should have a test kit around 4 that day. nnnnnn doesn't sell test kits. What can I do until then?

I have them in a ten gallon, but I don't have any ten gallon filters, so it's got a red sea nano and some little whisper thing, which I doubt will do much. How often should I do water changes? I read the cycling page, but I'm still a little lost. The one filter was running on my plant tank and was all dirty, so i put that filter on hoping there's some bacteria in it. I paniced and put a bunch of "ammo chips" I found in there. Will they do anything? I put in a whole bunch or gravel from my 55 gallon tropical that's been running for a few months now, but was never really cycled. Was that a mistake?

I have a 29 gallon that I was going to use for a couple fancies, and that has a penguin 350 but it's not cycled or anything. Is there a way I can cycle that really fast? Like the cycle in a bottle or whatever that is?

Is there anything else I need to provide for them? Should I feed them? I have tropical fish food, and 10 year old goldfish food. Which is better? I'll try to get food tomorrow.

Thanks for reading. Sorry it's long but I'm really worried I condemned them to death.

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Guest Orandaa

Well, for starts you need to take them out of the 10 gallon. If you have a 29 or 55 gallon tank, put them in one of those, preferably the 55g. You can buy liquid bacteria, although it may be at your local fish store which you said was closed? If you add some of that to your water it can help with a quick cycle.

Get a filter on your tank as well. If you don't have one, I'd do daily water changes of atleast 25%. You should feed them a little, I'd go with the tropical fish food and not the 10 year old food...

Good luck.

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  • Regular Member

Well, I hate to say this, but I am not quite sure that you CAN cycle a tank really fast : ( I have been running a little test on the bottled bacteria's, and they haven't done much. The only one that seems to have any impact so far on cycling is that One & Only Bacteria. It's hard to find, and it needs to be shipped, sold & stored cold until it's used... It also won't help much when cycling with fish.. I found a post recently explaining that it needs some time to work WITHOUT water changes, but cycling with fish you can't afford to NOT change the water..

I think your best bet here is to put all the fish in as large a space possible. Like the 29 gallon.... And do LARGE water changes each day (I would even go with 50% or more since you don't have a test kit). You need to treat the water with a water conditioner..

If these fish live & grow, they are going to need a MUCH bigger tank! Each common needs 20 gallons, so three commons would eventually need a 60 gallon tank..

For now, you did a good thing though I think... The people at the carnival were horrible, and you are right. These fish have a better chance with you in a tank that is too small for them, than being killed.

The 10 year old food is NO good.. Food losing it's nutrition after being opened, so generally, once food is 6 months old, it needs to be thrown out and replaced..Goldfish need different food than tropicals, so I would suggest you get something else.. I've heard people mention Hikari sinking pellets as a good food that can be found in a lot of stores. If you choose Goldfish flakes, soak them in a cup of tank water for a few minutes before feeding them to the fish.

I hope your fish make it.. Most times the fish at those fairs are already weak, and sick. So please don't be disappointed in yourself if they don't all make it.. You really have given them a better chance than they would have had with anyone else, and we can help give you more information along the way. For now, your #1 priority I think is large water changes, treated with temperature matched water, and a water conditioner. (that is a must!) Good Luck!!

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  • Regular Member

The ammo chips are a fast and easy way to control ammonia buildup, but will starve your bacteria and prevent a cycle from starting up properly. If you are going to keep them all in that small tank, change the water daily (don't forget to dechlorinate!) until you are able to test it. They will need to be moved to a larger home as soon as possible.

Commons are really meant to live in ponds and grow to a large size, so keep that in mind when choosing a tank for them.

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