Another Newbie

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Jamescarr92

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Hi! I’m Jamie, I live in Great Dunmow, Essex, UK. Me and my partner recently moved into our first home so we finally have the space for our very own aquarium, because three dogs, and a 4 month old wasn’t enough!

when my partner lived with her parents they had a 180 litre tropical tank so we do have SOME knowledge and haven’t walked into this totally blind.

We’ve purchased a 126 litre tank, which is running a Fluval U3 filter and a Fluval M150 heater.

The tank has been cycling for 4 days, we’ve gone for a high foliage set up (not sure of another way to describe having lots of living plants)

I took a water test after 72 hours and 96 hours and both came back completely positive as if I’d been cycling for weeks. I didn’t use any fish or fish food for the cycle. Just the live plants and the correct quantity of API stress coat from day 1.

ive tested using tetra 6 in 1 strips and API master test. So today I decided to add two small amano shrimp, not sure weather I was right or wrong for doing this but they’ve taken well so far!

Tomorrow I have a Fluval Q1 air pump arriving which I will link with my pre installed bubble stones (opposite end to the filter)

Now that you have an idea of my tank setup, I’m after some advice on fish (when I actually come to add them) my end goal is to have a Red tail shark and/or a spotted pleco.

So my questions are
A) have I gone about the setup correctly, tests seem to indicate, yes, I have.
b) do i introduce the larger shark, pleco at the end? If it’s safe to mix them?
C) what other bright/colourful fish can I safely add other than the obvious.

When I say safely, what I mean is I’d prefer for nothing to be eaten or nipped!

Thanks
 

CoryFan

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welcome! Sadly your tank is not cycled, the ammonia and nitrite are 0 ( is that what you mean by positive?) because the water in your tank is just clean water with no ammonia or nitrites to begin with. With just 2 shrimp you will be fine with as they won’t have a high bioload, but I would look into how to cycle a tank.
 

Amazoniantanklvr

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Welcome to fishlore! We use the term 'heavily planted tank' here. Those 2 shrimp will be good for creating an ammonia source for the cycle.
 
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Jamescarr92

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Amazoniantanklvr said:
Welcome to fishlore! We use the term 'heavily planted tank' here. Those 2 shrimp will be good for creating an ammonia source for the cycle.
Thanks for your reply! so when testing the water what exactly am I looking for as an indication of a cycle having taken place?
 
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Jamescarr92

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CoryFan said:
welcome! Sadly your tank is not cycled, the ammonia and nitrite are 0 ( is that what you mean by positive?) because the water in your tank is just clean water with no ammonia or nitrites to begin with. With just 2 shrimp you will be fine with as they won’t have a high bioload, but I would look into how to cycle a tank.
Thanks for you reply!
So when I say positive what I mean is, the test kit came back and showers all the levels as being in the correct parameters. Seems strange that the levels would be this good after just a few days cycling
 
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Jamescarr92

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5DE130C1-2934-4746-8BD4-76A7995381BB.jpeg
Here’s my setup, will be nice when I get a background on and the plants at the rear grow a little to fill the back
 

Blueberrybetta

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You need to add ammonia into the tank to jumpstart the cycle . I highly reccomend Dr Tim's Ammonia . You can order off amazon . Your tank won't be ready till so
 

kered

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When cycling an aquarium you need to produce or add some type of ammonia to the water.
Once you have a reading of ammonia a bacteria will appear and start to eat the ammonia breaking it down to nitrites, then comes another bacteria that easts nitrites and priduces nitrates. As the nitrate level starts to increase you have to either do a parcial water change or use plants to turn it into growth, eithe way it needs to be kept at a minimum level as nitrates together with ammonia and nitrites are all toxic to fish.
Read up on the nitrigen cycle.
The first thing you need is ammonia in the water, it can be in liquid form, rottung food form or produced from fish breathing and pooing in the water.
I prefer using fish but to do this you will need some accurate way to test your water, test strips are not accurate enough for this and i use an Api master test kit as your fishes lives are at stake.
Once you have amonia, nitrites will start to appear then nitrates, all this can be checked for using the Api test kit.
If all goes well your ammonia reading will start to go down for all you are producing more amonia, nitrites will also go down, when you get a 0 reading on Ammonia and nitrites together with a rise in nitrates your tank is cycled, this will take at least 2 weeks.

Once cycled this does not mean you can fill it up with fish, you need to do it slowly, 1 or 2 new fish per week to give the bacteria count a chance to multiply in order to keep the ammonia and nitrite readings at 0 or as close as posible. Patience is the key and a must.
There are ways to help speed things up but I'll leave that for now.
 

CoryFan

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Jamescarr92 said:
Thanks for you reply!
So when I say positive what I mean is, the test kit came back and showers all the levels as being in the correct parameters. Seems strange that the levels would be this good after just a few days cycling
Your tank has not begun cycling yet that’s why everything is “positive” .
 
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