Cycling New 33 gal Tank

  1. Special Initiate Member

    Cycling New 33 gal Tank - UPDATED w Pics!

    So I bought myself an early Christmas present - a 33 gal tank. I am doing a fishless cycle now, I think...

    I have it 75% full of water so far, with substrate and plants mostly in place. Some of the plants were taken from my already established tank. The gravel was used previously but the tank was drained before I got it (I bought it second hand). Should I also put some of the rocks from the established tank in pantyhose and put in my new tank? (I don't want to mix the rock colours, just introduce some good bacteria).

    I have set up the filter (Aquaclear that came with it) and have been running it. I soaked the sponge in my already established 10 gal tank before putting it in my my new filter. I have also added fish food to start the nitrogen cycle. I do not have my master test kit yet (hoping to get that Christmas morning).

    I was thinking of putting the media from my 10 gal tank in the new filter because it should have a healthy colony of bacteria. Do I simply replace the sponge in the 10 gal one when I do this? I do not want to start a mini cycle in the 10 gal tank. There is only a male betta and siamese algae eater in there now.

    I plan on stocking with a siamese algae eater, a few guppies, a shoal of black neon tetras and maybe others eventually.

    I also need to buy a heater for my tank (the previous owner kept that - he upgraded to a 50 gal tank). I live in Canada so it is quite cold here, even in the house. So I am thinking I will need at least a 200 watt heater. Though I found a 400 watt heater that costs only $10 more than the 200 watt one. Would it be better to purchase the 400 watt heater even though it is likely more than I need? Would there be any advantage?

    Thank you in advance. I have already learned so much. I look forward to learning more in your replies!
  2. ynaggo Member Member

    You could put rocks in, it would help the colony grow.

    If you already soaked the sponge let me tell you that not much bacteria is in the water, its all in the substrate, sponges and surfaces so I recommend taking out the sponge and run it in the new filter in the new tank but take substrate and sponges from the established tank and put it in the new tank for it to seed.

    Don't get a 400w because that is for 100+ gal tank and will likely warm the water around it too fast and your fish could go into shock when they swim by it, stick to the recommendations on the packaging. For a 33 gallon tank it wouldn't have a temperature fluctuation that fast anyways for the need of a 200w+ heater.

  3. Special Initiate Member

    Okay, I have cut my used media sponge in half. I kept half of it in the established tank filter and put half in the bottom of my new tank filter. I scooped some of the established tank water and put the sponge in that before cutting it. I had a lot of greenish-brown particles that I assume to be bacteria in it so I also poured that in the bottom of my new filter atop the half used and new sponge.

    The tank is now a little cloudy, which indicates a bacteria bloom yes? It's been about 2-2.5 days since I began cycling it. I used water from the established tank as well as new water. Also I used plants from the used tank.

    I have also added the fizz-bar from the established tank today which should help with gas exchange although the waterfall from the filter is also causing a lot of bubbles, added by the fact that the tank is only 75% full so the water has further to fall.

    I am excited to test my water parameters.

    And thanks Ynaggo - I will go with a small heater. I am currently looking at two 150 watt heaters. Do you think they would be suitable to use together?
  4. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Two heaters can be good for two reasons.
    1. If they are at opposite ends of the tank, the water will heat more evenly across the tank, rather than being warmer on the side with the heater.
    2. If one heater fails (which happened to me recently, luckily no fish were harmed) the other is still providing heat.

  5. Special Initiate Member

    Thanks for your input jdhef! Glad none of your fish were harmed! I am a fan of the two heater idea for the reasons you gave.

    Do you think two 150 heaters would work though, or would two 100 watts be more suitable? Would there be much difference? I know somebody who is selling two 150 watt heaters, that's why I am thinking of getting them.
  6. ynaggo Member Member

    You could go with the 2 150w if your household changes temperatures dramatically, I recommend getting the 150's because it would keep your tank at constant temperature and here in Canada the weather is crazy.
  7. Special Initiate Member

    Sure is! Thirty centimeters of snow one day then melting the next (summary of the last 48 hours). I think I will get those two heaters then. Thanks!

  8. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    I think that the two 150's would be fine. Plus if you ever get a larger tank you may be able to re-use them in it.
  9. Special Initiate Member

    My thoughts exactly! :D

    I will inquire about the two 150 watt heaters soon. As well, I am hoping for a master test kit tomorrow morning.

    Cycle Summary (so far):

    I did a 25% water change on my 15 gal tank and put the old water in my new 33 gal tank along with 2 plants from the established tank then added new water until it was about 75% full. I then dropped fish food in my new tank.

    The second day I seeded my new tank with half of the used media sponge from my already established tank. I also added the dirty water that the sponge was in before I cut it. I added the water and the used sponge under the new sponge, activated carbon and ammonia remover in 33 gal filter.

    The water had a slightly white cloudy tint to it by the end of the second day. I kept adding the fish food so that the bacteria would not starve. Again today there is a slight whitish cloud. This must be a bacterial bloom. Do you think this from the first type of nitrifying bacteria (the ones that change ammonia to nitrite?). Does the second type of bacteria bloom as well?

    Hopefully I will be able to let you know my water parameters soon. I'm afraid that not being able to record them will be a bit confusing because I will not know if there has been any spikes yet or not.

    Once the tank has cycled I think I will add zebra danios to start, then eventually add guppies and others. I will likely need stocking advice, but I'm probably just getting ahead of myself. Although, I do like researching my options!

    Please add your feedback, comments and/or suggestions!

    :animal0068:Hello. I've merged your posts to save some space.
  10. ynaggo Member Member

    After your tank is cycled leave the lights on for 6 hours a day or off the whole day, it will help take away the cloudy water leftover from the cycle. You know its clear when you look through one side of the tank and can see clearly through the other side.

    Oh and you forgot one important thing.

    :;hf Pictures! :;hf

  11. Special Initiate Member

    Sorry it took so long, but I finally have pictures! :D Enjoy!



  12. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Hello Special!:;hi2 Your tank is beautiful! Thanks for sharing the photos!
  13. bolivianbaby Fishlore Legend Member

    That looks fabulous! Very peaceful and calm. Great job!
  14. Special Initiate Member

    Thank you! I'm pretty proud of it! I just hope that the plant in the back straightens out. Also, I thinking about clear tubing instead of the green stuff I have. I want it to look natural.
  15. ynaggo Member Member

    Awesome Gravel.