Cycling 3 weeks with fish

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> http://itunes.apple.com/app/id1227181058 // Android version will be out soon!

mommy2girls!

AC Members
Jul 31, 2022
59
0
6
I’m sure you are probably wondering what happened to me since I have not posted for a couple days with my parameters and what is the stage of my cycle. Unfortunately I am having a family emergency that is preventing me from taking care of my tank. Luckily I was able to find someone to keep my fish. I checked her tank. She had 0 ammonia 0 nitrites but very high nitrates. I helped her change some water. She has 75 gallon with only 2 algae eaters. I spent several hours acclimating my fish to her tank because her ph and temp were much different than mine and then popped them in. They were very stressed from being netted by a novice and the trip. At first Cheeto was diving into the gravel and glass. I turned out the lights and he relaxed. I also took my Java fern and sponge filter and the shipwreck that the neons sleep in. My husband is feeding my empty tank with a pinch of Fish food every day to hopefully keep the bacteria alive. When I can I’m going to vacuum the gravel and clean up and then check to see where I’m at in the cycle and I’ll let you know if it was able to finish without me or I will then do a fish less cycle. I’m trying to get the kids to agree to leave their fish in the big tank because I don’t know if I can catch them in that big of tank and I don’t want to stress them any more. They have been through so much already.
 
Apr 2, 2002
3,403
610
120
New York
OK- Family first and the fish sound safe.

I would have offered a better/easier way re ammonia for the tank had there been time. But flakes will have to do (but not very well).

Using shrimp or fish food

One of the more popular fishless cycling methods is to buy a few dead shrimp at the grocery store, cut them up into chunks and add them to the aquarium. The shrimp decay, which produces ammonia to feed the nitrifying bacteria. There are a few drawbacks with this method, one being that the hobbyist really has no way to know how much ammonia is being produced by the decaying shrimp, and the aquarium does not look very good with dead shrimp laying on the bottom. Also, the organic material of the shrimp can cause bacteria blooms which turn the aquarium water cloudy. This method works but it takes time and patience and you will probably see a spike in ammonia and nitrite if you add a medium to heavy load of fish after the initial cycling. Note that some people use flake fish food instead of shrimp but this is not recommended because flake food does not have much organic material compared to shrimp and so does not add a lot of ammonia to the water, but you can use cut fish instead of shrimp.
Household ammonia unscented can be used as well, but it works on a "drops per 10 gals of water" dosing method or a dose and test method.. This was the old way of doing a fishless before pure ammonia and ammonium chloride replaced it.
 

mommy2girls!

AC Members
Jul 31, 2022
59
0
6
So shrimp like you eat? Raw ez peel? I have that in the freezer. Is that a one and done deal? I have a bag of those in the freezer. I can call him to throw one in. He’d be happy to not have to deal with flakes everyday.
 

mommy2girls!

AC Members
Jul 31, 2022
59
0
6
So shrimp like you eat? Raw ez peel? I have that in the freezer. He could throw some in. He’d be happy not to have to drop flake every day
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
12,152
2,018
200
SF Bay area, CA
mommy, I haven't been following along, 2 tank is very helpful. But I will say I did a fish food fishless cycle "try" 1 time & it was a mess! I had to vacuum out rotting food & start over (with a little head start).

I have fed raw shrimp but it doesn't take much, especially without fish to eat some, to raise ammonia level by some unknown amount (maybe a lot). If your husband is like mine there will be no testing & probably way too much shrimp. If he's not too squeemish (mine is) have him try just a shrimp tail with the meat in it for now. The tank may smell a bit too...or get cloudy, it's ok for now...

I'm sorry you're having a family emergency. As 2tank said, family first, of course! The cycling pressure is off for now. Deal with each issue as you can. When you can get home & take over testing etc, see what's happening. This will take a while but you're not endangering your fish now. I'm releived your friend is fish sitting for now. Good luck!
 
Apr 2, 2002
3,403
610
120
New York
fishorama hit it on the head as did Dr. Hovanec who wrote what I quoted. The ammonia is created when organic matter rots and is broken down by other microorganisms. The shromp is just that. Flak is not that. But Shrimp is still a shot in the dark approach. Ammonia is not controlled. So it is better to have too little than too much.

Too little will only mean it will take a few days longer when you return to your tank to get the cycle caught up. But too much will make a lot of headaches and may still rsult in more time needed to correct a mess.

But let me say again you have move the fish to a safe place. So do not worry about fish, worry about family.
 

mommy2girls!

AC Members
Jul 31, 2022
59
0
6
Well some good news mom is recovering well from her surgeries. She still can’t be left alone but my brother will take over so that I can go home. My kids start school next week. On Tuesday I’ll be able to check the status on my tank. What would be my first steps on cleaning up? If it’s fully cycled 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and some amount of nitrates I think first step would be to remove the shrimp tail, suction gravel, and change 50% water. Am I right? How long to add the fish back? If it’s not cycled would I still clean up the same and start dousing ammonia? I have my sponge filter and shipwreck in the fully cycled tank where my fish are vacationing. I’ll be returning that to my tank to add bb.
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
12,152
2,018
200
SF Bay area, CA
I'm glad your mom is doing better.

I would wait until you're home & can test, maybe after the kids are back in school. That will take the pressure off. I would also test the fish sitter's tank. I'm sure 2tank will soon be back to help you more, I'm late to your thread. I don't want to jump in the middle of things, he's got your back!
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store