Cleaning, Cycling And Stocking An Old 10 Gallon Tank?

FishSmart

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I was thinking about using an old 10 gallon tank to house three Indian dwarf puffers or a 5 gallon to hold 1 Puffer, also known as Carinotetraodon Travancoricus. But the 10 gallon has been used before and it has had some medicine added to it since my last fish and it has a very strong medicine smell to it. I’m not sure how to completely clean this tank out thoroughly without using soap and water, which isn’t acceptable. Should I let it sit with hot water for a night or so? Wanted to make sure the tank is clean enough if I am capable of cycling it again.
And after I clean the 10 gallon I would need to cycle it. I do have a 29 gallon running, which is cycled at the moment and has 2 filters and one of the two filters is a sponge filter with filter media in it. Would removing the sponge filter from my 29 gallon into the 10 gallon help cycle the tank faster? Is there anything else I can do to help the cycle.
The last time I cycled a tank was about two years ago and I can’t quite remember the process. Can someone help walk me through this process for my 10 gallon or 5, whichever one you guys recommend.
 

Iboughtmykidfish

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Hello
For the tank, you can clean it with 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Rinse, rinse, and then rinse again. If you have any sun, you can let it sit for a day or so in that after the bleach process. And then maybe do another rinse just to be sure, lol.

I keep sponge filters in all my established tanks. That way if I'm setting up another one or a QT I have an instant cycle. Taking the sponge filter and putting it in the new tank, with 1 small fish, then working up to more, the tank should be cycled and keep up with the added bioload. Let the sponge stay in the tank for a few weeks with the new filter and it should cycle it so you can move the sponge filter back to your 29.

Edit to add: ive never used the bleach process, its what I see recommended on here all the time. I clean my hospital or medicine tanks with vinegar and water and have never had an issue with new fish added after cleaning.
 

Charlie’s Dad

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I would use a vinegar and water solution to clean the 10 gallon tank. After it’s cleaned and rinsed well, set up as you want it aqua scape that is. Use Tetra Safe start in your filter. Feed the tank daily with a pinch of flakes. Check water values daily and watch for ammonia and nitrites to spike and then will dissipate via the B.B you will have nitrates then. Thus start weekly water changes.


I hope that all makes sense.....
 

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I agree with vinegar and water. Then rinse it very well. If you use bleach, you will have to rinse and make sure no residual is there. The sponge filter will instantly cycle your tank. I have bought two sponge filters that I plan on putting in my 55 gallon to cycle my ten gallons when needed. I also have a sponge filter rated for the 55g. This is like having insurance. You never know when you'll need it. But you have it just in case.
 

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Contrary to popular belief, Dawn dish soap is ok to use in an aquarium, just make sure you rinse well. It does not leave a residue like other soaps.
 
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Iboughtmykidfish said:
Hello
For the tank, you can clean it with 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Rinse, rinse, and then rinse again. If you have any sun, you can let it sit for a day or so in that after the bleach process. And then maybe do another rinse just to be sure, lol.

I keep sponge filters in all my established tanks. That way if I'm setting up another one or a QT I have an instant cycle. Taking the sponge filter and putting it in the new tank, with 1 small fish, then working up to more, the tank should be cycled and keep up with the added bioload. Let the sponge stay in the tank for a few weeks with the new filter and it should cycle it so you can move the sponge filter back to your 29.

Edit to add: ive never used the bleach process, its what I see recommended on here all the time. I clean my hospital or medicine tanks with vinegar and water and have never had an issue with new fish added after cleaning.
So I will use the vinegar and water solution to clean the tank haha I’m not sure about the bleach either, never tried it. How much vinegar should I add to the solution with the water? Like what if I add too much vinegar?
 

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I don't know that you can add too much vinegar.. Maybe, but I use like 1 part V to 2 or 3 parts h20..I never measure precisely. And use warm water, but not too hot to melt the silicone. Idk how hot it would have to be to effect it, but rather safe than sorry. What meds did you have in the tank?
 
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Charlie’s Dad said:
I would use a vinegar and water solution to clean the 10 gallon tank. After it’s cleaned and rinsed well, set up as you want it aqua scape that is. Use Tetra Safe start in your filter. Feed the tank daily with a pinch of flakes. Check water values daily and watch for ammonia and nitrites to spike and then will dissipate via the B.B you will have nitrates then. Thus start weekly water changes.


I hope that all makes sense.....
So once I finish cleaning the tank I should set up the tank with the gravel or sand. I have some extra gravel from when I changed my 29 gallon from gravel to sand. Would that gravel still have some beneficial bacteria on it or would it have all died off cause there was no water touches it for a few months? Should I just clean the gravel, and my artificial plants or will there be beneficial bacteria on them? I have one decoration that I’ve been using in my 29 but I replaced it two days ago when I did a water change.
After I set up my tank and add my sponge filter should I also add my heater and bubbler? I don’t know if I should do a fish in cycle. Is it necessary since I already have a sponge filter?
I will be on the forum a lot considering I’m wanting to start up a new tank. Also when you say adding flakes and water changes who many weeks in should I start doing that. And are you meaning that for a fish in or fish out(I don’t know the technical term) cycle?

Can someone include steps hope that’s too much to ask for.

Iboughtmykidfish said:
I don't know that you can add too much vinegar.. Maybe, but I use like 1 part V to 2 or 3 parts h20..I never measure precisely. And use warm water, but not too hot to melt the silicone. Idk how hot it would have to be to effect it, but rather safe than sorry. What meds did you have in the tank?
The tank had Melafix in it, and would distilled white vinegar work?
 

Iboughtmykidfish

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FishSmart said:
Can someone include steps hope that’s too much to ask for.
Since you have an established sponge filter, you won't need to cycle the new tank at all. Just add a fish in the new tank at the same time you add the filter, so the bacteria has something to feed off (ammonia). I would clean then set up the tank just how you want it, add the heater and sponge filter, and after the tank has come to the temp you want, maybe an hour or so, add the fish. The filter can run for a few hours without the bacteria dying, so give the water a chance to warm up, it will be fine.

Any decor/gravel you had sitting out no longer has bacteria or, so just rinse it and use it like normal.

FishSmart said:
The tank had Melafix in it, and would distilled white vinegar work?
Yes that's what I use.
 
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Iboughtmykidfish said:
Since you have an established sponge filter, you won't need to cycle the new tank at all. Just add a fish in the new tank at the same time you add the filter, so the bacteria has something to feed off (ammonia). I would clean then set up the tank just how you want it, add the heater and sponge filter, and after the tank has come to the temp you want, maybe an hour or so, add the fish. The filter can run for a few hours without the bacteria dying, so give the water a chance to warm up, it will be fine.

Any decor/gravel you had sitting out no longer has bacteria or, so just rinse it and use it like normal.
I have tetras, Gourami, bristle-nose algae eater, and kuhlI loaches. Would it been okay to add one tetras, though they like to school. So would the dwarf GouramI be my best bet?
 

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What kind of tetras? You could either add 2-3 of those or the DG to start with. Your not adding all those fish to the 10 gallon, right? That would be quite overstocked.
 
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Iboughtmykidfish said:
What kind of tetras? You could either add 2-3 of those or the DG to start with. Your not adding all those fish to the 10 gallon, right? That would be quite overstocked.
I will add the dwarf GouramI and no, no, no, I am not adding them to the 10 gallon, the 10 gallon will be stocked with 3 Indian dwarf puffers, aka pea puffers. The *neon tetras and the rest are in a 29 gallon.

Does this sponge filter look like it will do the job?
Image1547917006.381568.jpg
 

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FishSmart said:
I will add the dwarf GouramI and no, no, no, I am not adding them to the 10 gallon, the 10 gallon will be stocked with 3 Indian dwarf puffers, aka pea puffers. The *neon tetras and the rest are in a 29 gallon.
You said that, I remember now, I'm sorry. Yeah I would just add the DG if you think he will be ok with the move. Skip the tetras.. That filter looks like it will be more than enough for a 10 gallon. I have a couple about that size rated for a 35. I wouldnt add an extra bubbler either, the sponge should put out enough for a 10 gallon.
 
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Iboughtmykidfish said:
You said that, I remember now, I'm sorry. Yeah I would just add the DG if you think he will be ok with the move. Skip the tetras.. That filter looks like it will be more than enough for a 10 gallon. I have a couple about that size rated for a 35. I wouldnt add an extra bubbler either, the sponge should put out enough for a 10 gallon.
Haha you’re fine, thanks for the help! One more thing(maybe) haha I have an extra filter that I’ve used before should I just rinse that too? It haven’t been used in like a year.
 

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Melafix is a relatively mild medication. I think it's actually a herbal oil extract with zero antibiotics in it, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Choose either the vinegar or bleach method and scrub it down and rinse well.

If you use the bleach method, rinse it out an towel dry then let it completely air dry. Afterwards fill it to the top with water (not it the tanks final resting place) then add 4-5x the normal amount of dechlorinator you use. This will remove any possible traces of bleach left over.

You can use the same process if you bleach your ornamets/artificial plants. I have done the same method and works for me.

The 1:10 ratio of bleach/water is the CDC's recommendation for sanitizing surfaces contaminated with blood borne pathogens....

I would dilute that ratio down for cleaning an aquarium!

If you're going to reuse the gravel, rinse it thoroughly with a garden hose and let air dry.

Anything that was in a previous tank and had dried out has zero beneficial bacteria on it. Just dead organic matter.

Once the 10 gallon is set up with the heater, substrate and airpump, throw the sponge filter in and connect it to the air line.

That sponge filter will carry over the colonized beneficial bacteria, but it will need an ammonia source.

So add the fish on first day of running the cycled sponge in the new tank, so the bio-load "feeds" the cycled sponge.

The 10 gallon is basically cycled now with the sponge from the 29 gallon and the new fish.
 

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FishSmart said:
Haha you’re fine, thanks for the help! One more thing(maybe) haha I have an extra filter that I’ve used before should I just rinse that too? It haven’t been used in like a year.
Yup, just rinse it and have it ready. Never know when it may come in handy. Might be a good time to take it apart and clean the impeller depending on how long it was in use
 
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Islandvic said:
Melafix is a relatively mild medication. I think it's actually a herbal oil extract with zero antibiotics in it, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Choose either the vinegar or bleach method and scrub it down and rinse well.

If you use the bleach method, rinse it out an towel dry then let it completely air dry. Afterwards fill it to the top with water (not it the tanks final resting place) then add 4-5x the normal amount of dechlorinator you use. This will remove any possible traces of bleach left over.

You can use the same process if you bleach your ornamets/artificial plants. I have done the same method and works for me.

The 1:10 ratio of bleach/water is the CDC's recommendation for sanitizing surfaces contaminated with blood borne pathogens....

I would dilute that ratio down for cleaning an aquarium!

If you're going to reuse the gravel, rinse it thoroughly with a garden hose and let air dry.

Anything that was in a previous tank and had dried out has zero beneficial bacteria on it. Just dead organic matter.

Once the 10 gallon is set up with the heater, substrate and airpump, throw the sponge filter in and connect it to the air line.

That sponge filter will carry over the colonized beneficial bacteria, but it will need an ammonia source.

So add the fish on first day of running the cycled sponge in the new tank, so the bio-load "feeds" the cycled sponge.

The 10 gallon is basically cycled now with the sponge from the 29 gallon and the new fish.
thanks, I’m cleaning the tank with vinegar and water at the moment. And drying it with a towel. Then I’m going to fill it up and place it the stand. Then I will add the heater, filter, and air pump and the sponge filter. I add the normal filter too correct? And then I will add my fish!

should I be letting the tank run for a few weeks then purchase the puffers and put my GouramI back in the 29 gallon
 

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I would add fish soon. That way their bio-load will "feed" the colonized bacteria on the transferred sponge filter.

Otherwise without an ammonia source, the bacteria will start to die off from the sponge.
 
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Islandvic said:
I would add fish soon. That way their bio-load will "feed" the colonized bacteria on the transferred sponge filter.

Otherwise without an ammonia source, the bacteria will start to die off from the sponge.
I will be adding the GouramI today but should I wait till it’s fully cycled to add my puffers
 

Iboughtmykidfish

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FishSmart said:
I will be adding the GouramI today but should I wait till it’s fully cycled to add my puffers
The tank already will be fully cycled. When you get the puffers, just swap them out with the DG. You may have a higher bioload, but just check your water parameters frequently for the week or so after and do water changes as needed. The cycle is there, and as the amount of fish increase or decrease the bacteria will do so as well. It usually takes a few days to catch up, which is why most people add fish slowly, so the beneficial bacteria can grow and catch up with the ammonia the fish are producing.
 

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