Cyling new tank

Cyling new tank

I thought I would make a post under goldfish maintenance, because the fish are doing great after being poisoned by ammonia. I was making some pretty big mistakes with my fish by cleaning the entire tank instead of doing water changes. This either kept the cycle from forming or broke it. The fish were poisoned. It was time to get a decent size tank for them, so now they’re living like rock stars in a 40 gallon and loving every minute of it. I also added a pond pump. Will add a second once its cycled, but right now its in the cycling bucket

Every day I’m removing about 20% of the tank water with a gravel vac and putting it in the bucket with the cycling pump. This is keeping ammonia levels low in the fish tank. So far they’ve reached .5 ppm, but the cycling bucket is closer to 5.ppm. My question is, should I start testing for nitrites yet? I haven’t been using water treatment in the cycling bucket. I hope this is right, but what would be the need. I’m using the single dose Venus recommended in the fish tank with every water change

One of the fish has a lot of black on the fins, top and tail, but the other one seems to have made it through without being hurt. I’ve just finished the second round of aloe remedy which seems to have helped. At least they seem to be happy and eating a lot of food. I’m curious as to how long before the burn marks fade or will they be there forever? Guess it doesn’t matter because they blend well. If you didn’t know the fish, you wouldn’t know it had been burned

Thanks again for all the help


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  1. Venus June 27, 2019 at 6:45 am

    I’m delighted to hear how well things are going. I know how it feels when you dread to look at your fish tank, but now that you’ve done all this work, and know what you’re doing, no more feelings of dread

    Our goldfish came from the rivers of China. These waters are fast moving and cold, and that’s why providing water with similar conditions makes them so happy. This is what they want and need. It’s so much fun to watch their reaction to the pumps. Is it an accident, the fish swimming over the jets? I don’t think so, as most of my fish have flipped for the jets. Some of our members report their fish riding the jets to the surface over and over again, having a blast

    Goldfish like to have fun too

    Thanks for keeping us updated on your progress

  2. JimBean96 June 27, 2019 at 6:27 am

    Happy to report everything is going very well with the fish. No ammonia or nitrite spikes. Nitrate test is 10 ppm. The fish are doing very well too. They love the new pumps. One swims over the jets a lot. I don’t know if he’s just dumb or likes being tossed around. The others seem to be aware of the jets, and avoid it, but they all enjoy the fast moving water. At first I had the action turned down quite a bit, but now that the fish are used to it, I’ve cranked them up so the water is really churning. This really excited the fish in a good way. They’re more active now, and even playing with each other.

    Thanks again for all the help. You saved my fish.

  3. Venus June 12, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Congratulations Jim

    Test aquarium water for ammonia and nitrite regularly over the next few weeks. The cycle is delicate, and will be for some time. If you’re consistent with feeding and routine maintenance, this will help keep the cycle stable. Thanks for performing the Semi live fish free cycle, and keeping us posted on your progress. We really appreciate it

    Don’t be a stranger, Venus

  4. JimBean96 June 12, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    YES!!! Nitrates reading 5.ppm. I’ve installed the pump in the aquarium. Thank you so much for your help everyone

  5. Venus June 11, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Did you test nitrates? If you’re getting any reading at all for nitrates, the pump is cycled, and ready to be installed. If you’re not getting a reading, keep it going until you are. I would say yes. The pump has completed the cycle, but the show of nitrates seals the deal

  6. JimBean96 June 11, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Testing nitrites in the cycling bucket and it says zero, It’s been a few days since I last tested. The readings were 5. ppm. Does this mean my cycle is complete? No ammonia readings in the bucket, but working hard to keep ammonia levels down in the aquarium. I’m exchanging 30% of the water every day. I’m pooped

  7. Venus June 5, 2019 at 5:36 am

    Pumps have a tendency to vibrate on the hard surfaces of our tanks, but placing an aquarium safe sponge under the pump will silence it. Just remember to rinse the sponge regularly. As for the water noise, some love it, but some hate it. The haters are typically the mates of the fish keepers. lol

  8. catlady June 4, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Jim, I’m glad to hear your fish are doing okay. Mine are doing better than ever. They’re so happy with all the water moving. My husband complained about the noise for a few days. He says he feels like he’s out on the river. I think the fish feel the same way

  9. Venus June 2, 2019 at 6:41 am

    My oldest pump is close to 15 years old now, so that means my cycle is well established, but still, it broke when I moved into my old house. I moved the fish first, which was a big mistake. I was at the new house daily for a few hours, and fed the fish twice in that time, but that wasn’t enough. I had a spike in nitrites within a few days. You would think feeding less food wouldn’t injure a cycle

    These little bugs are really delicate

  10. Cricket June 1, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Yes, many strange things happened with my young cycle; weird algae, clouds, clouds due to nitrite spikes if I over cleaned, weird slime, weird creatures. I’m glad that’s all behind me. I’d say it took a good year to mature, maybe a little longer.

  11. Venus June 1, 2019 at 5:14 am

    Yes. I remember the cloud. You told me it was from the cycle, and I couldn’t believe it, but you were right. When bugs are reproducing, good or bad, there’s a cloud. I don’t remember purple algae. I though it was brilliant green, which we decided was caused by the intense lighting. I’m pretty sure that colored algae leans towards the fungus category

    Sometimes I wonder if I know anything at all

    ET was an adorable fish. Anything bad that can happen to a fish happened to him. I hope there’s a such thing as reincarnation, and he comes back as a shark

  12. Cricket June 1, 2019 at 1:02 am

    I remember you semi cycling. Your water clouded easily, like mine had as the cycle was developing and I laughed because you finally understood my frustration. Remember all the weird algae I had?! I think some of it was purple. God it was hard getting rid of that stuff. I don’t remember you scrapping it, but I don’t remember you finishing it either. You did put ET in your stock tank, though. I remember the cute photos and videos of him in there with your orange comet.

  13. Venus May 31, 2019 at 5:22 am

    I’m surprised, but yes. I do remember you having nitrites. I wonder if the pump in the tank had nitrites before you set up the cycling tank. In order for nitrites to show up in Jim’s aquarium, ammonia levels would have to peak. If he keeps up with the water changes, and keeps removing waste, the ammonia levels will remain the same

    I performed this cycling method when ET came on board, but for some reason I can’t remember how it went. It’s a dark void. I don’t think I finished it, or changed my mind or something. I think I decided to add the new fish to the big tank, and scrapped the cycling project. That’s so me

  14. Cricket May 31, 2019 at 2:06 am

    Jim! You’re doing great! So glad your fish are doing so well and It’s exciting that your cycling tub is coming along so nicely. The thing I love about the semi cycle is, as Venus taught me, it will be tailored to your fish.

    Venus, correct me if I’m wrong but I think I had a significant nitrite reading in my main tank when I did the semi cycle. It got up to about 2 ppm as I recall. I had to use a double dose of Prime to protect my fish. I had a lot more fish than you do, Jim and was overstocked, which you are not. That’s probably why I got a nitrite reading. I always tested for it until my cycle was well established in the main tank.

    Anyway, I’m inspired. Maybe I’ll get a new, larger tank and semi cycle again sometime soon.

    Good job, Jim. Keep calm and semi cycle on. lol

  15. Venus May 26, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    When it comes to goldfish, nothing surprises me, so maybe your fish have doubled in size. I’ve noticed the same amazing event after moving fish into a bigger fish house, but then again, it may have been my imagination. lol

    Good to know the fish have fully recovered. Good work Jim. You’re happy. The fish are happy, which makes me happy too

  16. JimBean96 May 26, 2019 at 6:22 am

    Ammonia readings are now at 8.ppm. Starting to get stronger nitrite readings at 1.ppm which is really exciting. In the mean time, ammonia levels in the tank are easy enough to keep below 1.ppm but I’m exchanging water twice a day now

    The black marks on the one fish are still there but the fish is doing very well. No more hiding. No clamped fins. Both are enjoying the bigger tank for sure. I might be crazy but they’ve doubled in size over the past few weeks. Is it possible?

    Thanks everyone. I’m a happy goldfish guy

  17. Venus May 20, 2019 at 5:36 am

    Great news. Most fish aren’t so lucky to survive ammonia poisoning. This post could help save other fish. All too many people have not been enlightened about the nitrogen cycle. Thanks for sharing

    You may have nitrites showing in the cycling bucket. Most ammonia and nitrite tests peak at 5.ppm, however, some peak at 8.ppm. As one toxin peaks the next in line begins forming

    You won’t see nitrites in your fish house, because ammonia will not get a chance to peak and convert into the toxin. After you add the cycled pump to the fish house, nitrates should be present, and hopefully no ammonia or nitrites

    Feed consistently; meaning same amounts; same time (or close to it) daily during and after the cycling the pump

    Don’t forget to rinse cycling bucket’s pump sponge. Watch for the action to slow

    You’re doing great

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