Cycling the tank... questions

ebbandflow

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OK so I'm on day two of cycling.  Yesterday I took base readings of everything.  pH was 7.0-7.2 (couldnt tell exactly... I'm partially color blind); ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate all zero.  How often should I be testing the water?  And which tests when?  I am cycling fishless.  I've got a 29g tank.

Also, I picked up a used ten gallon (with a bunch of extras for 25 bucks!) to use as a quarantine tank.  It came with a couple of filters and the guy said he had them going for about six months and none of his fish had been sick.  So I remembered about speeding up the cycling process (god I want fish) and I shook out his sponge in my tank.  Oh man the amount of **** that came out of that!  The tank cleared up in like ten minutes but I was just wondering if I made a mistake or what.

Finally, I got two timers for my two lights and I'd like to set them up on the timer now.  When I get fish I am gonna be getting some danios (havent figured out which kind yet), some clown barbs, and some cories... anybody know how many hours of light they need?  I would really appreciate it.  Tanks (alright it was cute at first but its getting played).

;D > 8) ??? : :-[ :-X :-\ :-* :'( (I'm just confused is all)
 

atmmachine816

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I'm thinking the cories will need a place to hide but lots of light I believe maybe 10 hours. Google is a good friend to find that out. What type of filters did it come with and what type of filter/s are you using?

Austin
 

Butterfly

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Your tank needs to be out of the cycling process before you add the Corys as they are very sensetive to new tanks . Maybe you could add them last and yes ATM is right they appreciate little places to hide and rest.
danios are fantastic first fish to add to your tank but remember to get at least six. They love to zoom around the tank with friends.
Are these the clown barbs your talking about?

They are very pretty, get about 4.5 inches and need at least six of them since they are schooling fish.
sounds like a pretty tank uou're building there.
Carol
 
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ebbandflow

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Hmmm... I think the person at the fish place didnt know what she was talking about. I dont think the "clown barbs" looked like that. Maybe they were something else and she didnt know. They were kind of small and it looked like they had a leopord type pattern (not same colours just same markings.) If that is the same though I didnt realize they got that big! Might not end up fitting in my tank with all the others... what do you think? Can you figure out what fish it was from my feeble description.

As for the corys I was gonna add them last. Danios first, then barbs, then corys. Any suggestions on what type of danios to get? And barbs if what I am describing is not the clown barb? Oh yeah... and anyone have any advice on how often I should test my water while I'm cycling?

My 29 gallon tank has two aquaclear 50 HOB's (right now they only have sponge and biobag in them, no activated carbon). The used ten gallon that I got came with an aquaclear 30 HOB and Whisper Power Filter HOB for 5-15 g aquariums.

As you can (hopefully this works) see I have a cave for my fish and a decent amount of plants for hiding places. Thanks guys... hope you can help me on this one. Haven't failed yet.
 

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0morrokh

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Fish need at least 12 hours of light each day to make enough vitamin D.
Since you are cycling fishless, you can just test every few days or even once a week to keep track of how the cycle is coming along. Testing pH is not really important at this stage.
I would personally recommend Zebra Danios, Cherry Barbs, and then maybe 2 types of Cories. Zebras and Cherries are both fairly small, peaceful, and hardy. But of course you should get whatever you want. With a 29 gallon tank there are a lot of options. Remember to get at least 6 of a kind of barbs/danios and at least 3 of a kind of cories. Sorry if you already know this, I just kinda tell it to everyone.
 
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ebbandflow

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No prob O (easier then spelling your whole name... tell me if it offends you ). What types of cories do you like? And zebra danios and cherry barbs are fairly common right... any less common ones that you know about that are real pretty but still hardy. I probaby wont be able to find them at my lfs but I'd like some suggestions on some that I can maybe get through a breeder.

Whoa that pic came out immense... and that was at max compression. Any suggestions on how to do it better? Thanks everyone.
 

Gunnie

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Zebra danios and cherry barbs are quite common.  You can always ask your lfs to order a special fish for you and add it to their list.  They are gonna order anyway, so why not order your fish too?  This will save you a lot on shipping.  Just make sure they tell you how much these fish will cost before you have them order them.  You will have to check out profiles on different fish sites including this one to get your ideas on what you want to add to the tank.  In addition to FishLore, some sites I sometimes use are:

www.fishprofiles.com

www.aquatic-hobbyist.com

www.liveaquaria.com

www.aquariacentral.com
 
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ebbandflow

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OK, thanks, I'll check out those sites. I had one more question about cycling. I read in another forum that if you cycle a tank then once it is fully cycled you can add an entire bioload of fish all at once, ie fill the tank to capacity with fish. Is this correct? I dont remember reading this here.
 

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That would be if you did a fishless cycle. Once the tank is cycled, you do a massive water change, and you can add a full bio load of fish. If you cycle with fish, then when the tank is cycled, it only has enough bacteria to to maintain zero ammonia and nitrites at that level. If you added more fish to that tank, your bacteria would have to grow to handle the added ammonia produced by the new fish. The fishless cycle is done to actually handle ammonia levels that would probably never happen in a regular tank, so it has plenty of bacteria for the full bio load of fish.
 
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ebbandflow

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I'm cycling by "feeding" the tank, because I couldn't find pure ammonia. I have a 29 gallon tank... if I want to put in a full bioload of fish how much should I be feeding the tank? I know its hard to say amounts but could anyone tell me an amount to feed it so that I can put in a full load of fish right away after the cycling is complete. Thanks.
 

Gunnie

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When you cycle with ammonia, you are raising the ammonia level to 4 or 5 every day or 2. How high are you getting the ammonia level?
 
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ebbandflow

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I must be doing something wrong. As far as I can tell all my levels (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) are all still zero! Am I possibly way underfeeding the tank or would it show up even if I was feeding it a little? Am I reading the test wrong? Help... I want to get fish and this is just taking so long.
 
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ebbandflow

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A second thought... do I have to take water from the bottom of the tank for testing? Does it make a difference? The box didn't mention anything about this but I was just wondering. Thanks.
 

chickadee

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did you look for ammonia in the grocery store among the cleaning supplies? that is where it usually is - as long as you don't get the lemon scented or such.

Rose
 

vin

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To answer your question regarding where to take your water sample from - It makes no difference.

You could try going to the LFS and asking them for a handful of gravel from one or more of their tanks. Don't rinse the gravel and put it in the toe of some panty hose and set it in your tank. This is known as 'seeding' the tank with the beneficial bacteria you need to grow.

It won't speed the process along, but it may jump start it and won't cost you anything.
 

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Try ebay for the amonia - It is a long shot and many places don't stock pure amonia anymore as it is used in the production of crack cocaine If feeding the tank isn't getting it going, I have read somewhere that you can use a rotting prawn - I know it sounds awful, get a prawn and deforst it - a large one, hang it in the tank and let it rot, it should produce enough amonia to get things going - HOWEVER I have not used this method and from what I have been told it produces all sorts of smells! Eeek, so it is one to bare in mind if ALL else fails I imagine

I would try ebay first, then your local hardware stores, remember you need pure amonia - shake the bottle, if it foams it is no use to you
 
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ebbandflow

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Ok thanks guys. So I went to the grocery store and found ammonia. I got the regular kind. The ingredients say soft water, ammonia, surfuctant. The ammonia doesnt foam when i shake it but a few airbubbles stick to the side near the top. Can I use this? Thanks.

PS: I got an eye dropper. If I can use this ammonia how much should I put in... I have a 29 g tank. Thanks.
 

Shorty

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ebbandflow said:
Ok thanks guys.  So I went to the grocery store and found ammonia.  I got the regular kind.  The ingredients say soft water, ammonia, surfuctant.  The ammonia doesnt foam when i shake it but a few airbubbles stick to the side near the top.  Can I use this?  Thanks.

PS:  I got an eye dropper.  If I can  use this ammonia how much should I put in... I have a 29 g tank.  Thanks.
I don't know what surfuctant is, so wait for someone with more amonia knowledge to say if you can use it - air bubbles aren't a problem, they happen to any liquid when shaken

If you can use the amonia you add enough to take the level to 5ppm - I would have to look up the rest for fishless cycling, but i am sure there is a post on here somewhere that can walk you through it all reagrding time and figures Good luck
 

chickadee

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i have used it and it works. you are safe as long as it does not foam like soap when you make a bucket of it.

Rose
 
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