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Old 02-05-2014, 11:02 PM   #1 
panthers24
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Question What to do? Cycling?

So I have a 5 gal heated and filtered tank that has been setup a little over a month now. I did a 100% water change about 11 days ago and haven't done one since. I tried to use the siphon I bought at petland yesterday to clean the gravel and drain some of the water but couldn't get it to work. My water was tested by a pet store and everything was good except my ammonia which was 0.25 (not sure what it is measured in). They told me to clean the gravel and change some of the water and had me get API stress Zyme I forget what it is supposed to help I think maybe ammonia? So I tried to use the siphon but forgot how and will try again as soon as I get a chance.

What I want to know is as soon as my tank gets ammonia down can I add a new fish all that is in there is a ghost shrimp?

I have heard a lot about cycling and have read pages on it but still have no clue how to do it or what the point in it is?

Thanks in advance sorry it is kinda long
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:12 AM   #2 
Suresh S
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For sipho, In youtube, search for "Aquarium Maintenance - How to Clean a Fish Tank"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U79bQmIKhuQ
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:05 AM   #3 
isntanything
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panthers24 View Post
I have heard a lot about cycling and have read pages on it but still have no clue how to do it or what the point in it is?
People make cycling seem a lot more complicated than it really is.

Let me try and do a simplified version which will hopefully explain things.

  1. Fish (and other creatures) produce ammonia. This is a bad thing, as it is poisonous to them.
  2. Luckily, there are bacteria which occur naturally that can feed on this ammonia and turn it into less harmful substances which we can then remove with water changes
  3. The bacteria need lots of places to live in the tank. A filter is ideal because it has a very large surface area and all of the water passes through it. If you want to grow enough bacteria to take care of the ammonia, you need a filter.
  4. Cycling is just the process of growing enough bacteria to deal with the ammonia in your tank. If you have a source of ammonia (a fish) and somewhere for lots of bacteria to live (a filter), then your tank will cycle naturally
  5. While your tank cycles, it is important to make sure the ammonia doesn't get too high while you wait for enough bacteria to grow. This is why we test and/or do more frequent water changes while we wait for the tank to cycle
  6. It is important not to kill the bacteria, which is why we don't clean or change the filter material, we just give it a swish in tank water to stop it getting clogged up
  7. The benefit of having a cycled tank is that it deals with its own ammonia. This means better living conditions for your fish and less work for you because you don't have to do so many water changes
Hope this helps.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:01 AM   #4 
Hallyx
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How to (fish-in) cycle a tank ... in one sentence:

Do a 50% water change once a week or whenever ammonia or nitrite rise above 0.25ppm ...whichever comes first.

Cycling provides your livestock with the safest water conditions. Though not as important, it's also easier to maintain.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:27 PM   #5 
panthers24
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So is it ok to add a betta to the tank once I get the ammonia lowered?

I bought API stress Zyme+ and I am confused if it helps with stress or ammonia I read the back but am confused which it helps ? it says use 1tsp per 10 gal and I only have a 5 gal and that little bit doesn't seem like it would help.

And so I need to do a 50% water change weekly for how long?
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:31 PM   #6 
isntanything
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It's ok to add the betta to the tank as long as you keep the ammonia below 0.25ppm with water changes.

If you want to use Stress Zyme in a 5g, just use half the 10g dose. That little bit is all you need.

50% weekly change is your regular schedule for as long as you have the tank.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:44 PM   #7 
panthers24
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I asked the pet store why my plant was dying and they told me it was because it wasn't getting enough light so I can't get any live plants now. But if I was to change the lid to one that gave off more light I could get some then.

So If I do that and live plants will live in my tank what plants are VERY hardy that help with ammonia? I never do good growing anything so the hardier the better
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:32 PM   #8 
cowgirlsue1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isntanything View Post
People make cycling seem a lot more complicated than it really is.

Let me try and do a simplified version which will hopefully explain things.

  1. Fish (and other creatures) produce ammonia. This is a bad thing, as it is poisonous to them.
  2. Luckily, there are bacteria which occur naturally that can feed on this ammonia and turn it into less harmful substances which we can then remove with water changes
  3. The bacteria need lots of places to live in the tank. A filter is ideal because it has a very large surface area and all of the water passes through it. If you want to grow enough bacteria to take care of the ammonia, you need a filter.
  4. Cycling is just the process of growing enough bacteria to deal with the ammonia in your tank. If you have a source of ammonia (a fish) and somewhere for lots of bacteria to live (a filter), then your tank will cycle naturally
  5. While your tank cycles, it is important to make sure the ammonia doesn't get too high while you wait for enough bacteria to grow. This is why we test and/or do more frequent water changes while we wait for the tank to cycle
  6. It is important not to kill the bacteria, which is why we don't clean or change the filter material, we just give it a swish in tank water to stop it getting clogged up
  7. The benefit of having a cycled tank is that it deals with its own ammonia. This means better living conditions for your fish and less work for you because you don't have to do so many water changes
Hope this helps.
Good job explaining. It isn't rocket science but it is important. Don't stress out on this stuff, Panther24. Just try it. Buy an ammonia kit and a nitrate kit. Both good for about 200 tests. Don't let them talk you into those test strips which are unreliable. Easy to do. I test once a week.
Siphoning is frustrating. It works by having water go from high to low. You gotta have water in the tube. If you're really brave, you can suck the water out til it starts running. I get water in the tubing at the sink, cover the end, stick siphon in tank and other end in bucket below the tank. Physics then work.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:41 PM   #9 
isntanything
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I have one of these siphons



You can get them cheap from amazon

All you do is put one end in the tank and squeeze the blue bulb a few times and water will flow into your bucket (as long as it is lower than the tank).

No sucking, no filling it with water, no splashing around in the tank.

So easy, I dunno why everyone doesn't use one.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:57 PM   #10 
panthers24
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I would suck the water through the tube if that's what it will take to get it started and if it saves me the frustration of trying over and over again just to watch it fail.

As for the one in the picture how well does does it vaccum gravel and how easy is it to use and good it be used in a 5 gal aquarium?
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