cycling a new tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by zebra, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. zebraValued MemberMember

    I am a beginner!!!!!!!!  I have a 2.5 gallon freshwater tank w/ 2 small zebras and a small angel.  I have got the bug so i am now going to move up to a 20gal. I am ready for a H2O change and have several questions abouut changes and cycling.
    --I have heard that when doing an H2O change that you should change 50% and some say no more than 20%, which one is it?
    --When I do the H2O change can i put the H2O from the 2.5gal. tank into the new 20gal tank to help with cycling?
    --Can I put the old zebras in the new tank or get new ones?  I don't want to shock and kill the old ones, since they are already used to the tank they are in.  I know that it is recomended to have a school of 6, so would it be better if I put 4 new ones in the new tank and then add the other two? 
    --When should the old fish be put into the new tank?  And how much water should be taken out 0f the old tank and put into the new tank when the fish are moved?
    --I want to use the old tank for two betas with a devider, when i get ready to put them in, should i put in one at a time or both at the same time? and how much of the old H2O needs to be kept in the tank and how much new should be added.
    Thank you for all the time and info, it is really appreciated.
  2. fish_r_friendWell Known MemberMember

    ok first before adding any fish to the 20g read this
    also the 2.5 gallon is no able to support the angle fish and the zebra danios b/c its just simply to small so i suggest to move them all to the 20g tank after it has cycled
    when changeing water in the 2.5 since it is so small i would do 50-60% or more b/c its over stocked
    the water form the 2.5 will not gratly improve the time for the tank to cycle what does is the bactiria in the gravel and decorations
    the 2.5 would not be albe to support two bettas it could barly hold one with ou being over stocked so i would just get one

  3. zebraValued MemberMember

    Thank You, The zebras and angle are babies right now and just under one inch, so this is another reason for getting the 20 gal. so they can be moved up before they get to big. for the small tank.
    Thank you as well for the info about the beta. Will make sure to keep only one in the 2.5 gal.
    Appreciate the time and answers.

  4. fish_r_friendWell Known MemberMember

    p.s welcome tto fishlore

  5. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Here are some good articles that will explain alot of your questions about starting a new tank.
    When your new tank is cycled it would be fine to add the two danios you have and add at least four more. They are really happy in groups.
    Even at one inch a 2.5 gallon tank isn't big enough for an angel. It is still growing and any ammonia at all will cause its fins to be deformed, so until the other tank is cycled, at leaset 50-60% water changes every other day are needed in the 2.5 G tank.

    Bettas really do better in 5G or more. They need room to move around also.

    WELCOME TO FISHLORE!!!!!!! :) :) :)
  6. zebraValued MemberMember

    Two more questions.
    --How long do you think it will take for the 20gal. to cycle?
    --When I do H2O changes on the 20gal.
          1)How often should they be done
    2)how much H2O should be removed (%)
    I know that each tank is individual and answers can range, but just as a simple rule of thumb, what would the answers to the above be.
    Thank You again for your time and answers to my questions
  7. EmpPlecoWell Known MemberMember


    It took about 3 wks - month for mine to completely cycle.

    Also, when you do your water changes on the 2o gallon, it really is up to you how much water you change. If you have bad ammonia, nitrite or nitrate readings, it's best to do a daily larger changes like 30% daily. If you are just doing it for precautionary/water movement measures, and your test results, are fine, I would do like 25% a week. If one of your fish has died, (knock on wood), I usually would do two 30% changes in a row. If you have been struck with an infection like ich, (knock on wood again), You would usually have to follow the directions on the back of the package of your medication (if you decide to use any). For example, remove your carbon filter and medicate with one dose of medication. If by the next day, you still see spots, do a 50% water change and add another dose.

    Hope this helps, but again, just use judgement according to what the situation. Everyone generally has their own opinion on these, but there is one thing most of us have in common, and it's the idea that "When in doubt, do a water change!"

  8. zebraValued MemberMember

    Thanks to all of you for the info. Have gotten alot of bad info. from "shops". Very happy for google. Directed me to the right place with the right answers to my questions with alot of great info. (the Fish Lore)
    I know if fish lovers are anything like rose lovers and horticulturists (which I am) you want to give information that will help the "newbie" not only with enjoying the fish but to help the fish florish as well.
    I am sure that alot of the ''Fish stores" like Nurseries are only interested in pushing the stock out the door and don't really care what happens after that, the unfortunate thing about that is that these little guys are living beings.
    So finding ''Fish Lore" has been a god send not only for me but for my fish as well.
    The nice thing is that I get to mix my other love Plants in with my new love fish.
    I guess I get the best of both worlds
    Thank You All Again
  9. EmpPlecoWell Known MemberMember

    You are very welcome!! We have all gotten wrong info before, and luckily we have all ended up here! hehe

    A couple things that I forgot to add though:

    1.) when doing water changes, make sure the new water you add is dechlorinated and also as close to the same exact existing temp of your tank to prevent any shock to your fish. Add the new water slowly ;)

    2.) Also, you are right, danios love to be in schools of at least 5 or more. ( the more the better) Once your 2o gallon is cycled, I would purchase at least 3 more, and adapt your existing 2 into the twenty.
  10. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    If your going to do a fishless cycle you really don't have to do big water changes often. Just let it cycle on through. Of course if you have fish in there you need to test often and do water changes large enough and often enough to keep them comfortable.
  11. EmpPlecoWell Known MemberMember

    Oh thanks for mentioning that Butterfly !

    My post (quoted below) about water changes was meant for after the addition of fish, not during the cycle :)

  12. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

  13. zebraValued MemberMember

    Thanks again, really appreciate it.
  14. zebraValued MemberMember

    another question>regarding zebras.
    --when getting more for the tank is it ok to mix different zebras or should they all be of the same variety.
    example: I have two orange right now, would it be ok to mix the different colors, or do i have to stick with the same kind
    they seem like they are pretty hardy little guys and can withstand alot, but I want to make sure that my tank is fish friendly.
    Thanks again
  15. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    I love danios and have had them mixed before and it didn't seem to make a big difference to them. I had zebras, leopards, blues and long finned blues and they all swam together. was beautiful to see ;)
  16. zebraValued MemberMember

    Thank You Butterfly, (also one of my favorites winged friends from outside) -- (a butterfly that is). It seems like they are easy and very lively, and great for a beginner, so this will make things a little easier, more enjoyable, and alot less intimedating.
    Thanks again, Sharon
  17. vinWell Known MemberMember

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this already but if they have I apologize -

    Take some of the gravel from your 2.5g and add it to the 20 to help jump start the cycle. You can also go to your LFS and get a coulple of plants that are loaded with juicy bacteria just waiting to take hold in fresh water. That will help the cycle along too and will also help balance the pH.

    Good luck and have fun!
  18. zebraValued MemberMember

    --Any idea on type of plant? Right now i have something that resembles springery, which is a very airy ferny sort of plant, in with my 2.5, it seems to be pretty easy, does not seem to be having a problem with the light and is thriving.
    --However I would like to put something in the new tank that has the same ease but with larger and longer foliage, and no real problems with light and easy to care for. Would actually like to mix the two together so can get a nice mix of texture and color. (even though they are green they are different shades gives a nice mix)
    --If I took some of the plant out (which is very healthy and robust) and some of the gravel out and added another plant will this help the tank cycle a little faster?
    --How much gravel should i take out of the tank? I know that a certain amount should be left in the 2.5 for the existing fish, so I want to make sure that I don't take to much, right now i have about 1.5 to 2" of gravel in the 2.5tank.
    People have said to stay away from plants, but i really like living plants, and know they give Oxygen back to the fish, and the angel fish and I know other fish will also use them as a sorce of food.
    Thanks Again, Sharon
  19. EmpPlecoWell Known MemberMember

    All of the anubias varieties are very easy to take care of - and also java fern ( which is what you may already have but not sure )
    you just put them on some driftwood and are good to go. You can go to   and research the low lighting requirement plants, and the stages of difficulty for each one and then find the one you want.

    As for the gravel, You can just cut the "foot" out of some pantyhose and fill it with existing gravel from your established tank, and then tie up the pantyhose, and place it into your tank, maybe behind some ornaments or something, that way you won't have to combine gravels. It won't do a lot for your cycle, you will still have to go through the same process, but it will kickstart it a little :)

    Good Luck
  20. vinWell Known MemberMember

    I would suggest a good handfull of gravel would do it. It helped to finally get my cycle off the ground as it 'seeds' the water with some bacteria.

    The anubias varieties of plants are nice, but are mainly foreground to midground plants. You might want to look for something a but taller for your background.

    Check out this site for some varieties. There are other sites out there, but this one gives you some nice photos.


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