fish, fishless cycling, a new tank..... ???

  1. rae64 Well Known Member Member

    YAY! im excited.... ok, so i have some plans for a new tank.... 29 gallons! :)
    I have had so many troubles trying to get my 10 gallon all cycled and stuff (i tried fish in) and havev lost a lot of fish. SO im planning on using the fishless cycling method with pure ammonia. Alright... new setup will have a Marineland Penguin 350 BIO-Wheel, some kind of heater (depends on whats avaliable at the lfs and a few live plants (not many) I think i want to go with stacked granite for decorations. Stocking will be platys, albino cory cats, maybe some mollys, and one other fish (mentioned later) So, i have a few questions.

    1) for my "mystery fish" i either want to go with an angelfish, or a betta. Now, if i got a betta fish, then could i also get a gold nugget pleco? or is the tank too small?

    2) do betta's even get along in peacful tropical fish tanks?

    3)IF i got a gold nugget pleco, how reliable are the online fish stores? which are the best? (m lfs doesnt carry gold nugget plecos :()

    4) is it a bad idea to cycle the tank without decor or plants? could i just have filter, heater, airstone, and gravel? do i even have to have gravel to cycle? (it will be going in after though. I'm asking because of certain budget restrictions...)

    FINALLY: if anyone has any other suggestions about anything, advice is much appreciated! THANKS SO MUCH! :;cr
  2. click Well Known Member Member

    Congrats on the new tank and the fish less cycle. I can only help you with the last question, but I'm sure other members will help you with the remaining.

    It is a very good idea to cycle your tank with gravel, decor and plants. First of all, there is more surface for the media to grow on. It's true that the majority of your bacteria will be in the filter but they also grow on gravel, decor and plants. Second, the plants you buy from the store might come with some bacteria on their leaves and help speed up the cycle.

    I'm don't think you need the airstone for the cycle, and if you plan to keep live plants, you might not need the airstone at all, the plants will oxygenate your water.

    Good luck with your cycle. remember to also buy some patience, it's needed when doing a fishless cycle. :giggle:

  3. rae64 Well Known Member Member

    alright! thanks :) i forgot to add one thing... i'm not quite sure where to get the granite. is it safe to take it out of my backyard if i clean it well? we have LOTS of granite here, and i think that the natural rocks would look great in the tank.
  4. iloveengl Well Known Member Member

    Yay for new tanks and fishless cycling! :;rocker

    1) I don't know enough about angelfish to say anything about them, BUT please, please, please don't add a betta, neither male nor female; bettas just do not belong in community tanks.

    2) From so many terrible anecdotes and my own awful experience with danios (supposed good tank mates) and bettas in one tank, I can safely say I would never recommend a betta in a community tank. The closest would be one betta and a shoal of otos. I'm not sure if the corydoras would be okay or not.

    3) I've heard lots of good reports about and some sellers on are really great (can't remember specific sellers, but others may know), and I've had great personal experience with Something to think about is shipping time and the weather in the area you are purchasing from and where you live. Sometimes heat packs don't last with regular shipping and you're much more likely to have your new fish arrive alive if you ship 1-2 days/overnight.

    4) If you can't afford the gravel and decor, add extra filter media (just toss it in the tank if there's no more room in the filter). The filter media will gather extra bacteria for you and make a better cycle for when you do add fish, gravel, etc. Be sure to keep the extra filter media in there for a couple weeks until the bacteria has time to grow on the new gravel and decor.

    *Higher heat seems to make the cycle go faster. :) Good luck!

  5. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Congrats on the fish less cycle.
    1) A Gold Nugget pleco would get too big for a 29g tank.

    2) It depends on the Betta. Some people have luck with them in community tanks. Many times it will work for a little for a little while before someone is seriously hurt or killed. Most don't make good community fish. Imo, not worth the health or life of my fish.

    3) Not sure, never ordered fish on line.

    4) You don't need any of the deco to cycle. However, Adding gravel after the water can be messy. Also the bacteria grows on surfaces so the less stuff in your tank, the less places for bacteria to colonize.
  6. namehater Well Known Member Member

    some betta's are ok in community tanks, most people would advise against tho.

    you can cycle with just a filter and a heater, i would wait to cycle until after you get substrate, if you intend to use it so that you dont have to add it to a populated tank later.

    if you want a cheap substrate, have you thought about sand from a home supply store? its much cheaper than buying gravel from a LFS
  7. rae64 Well Known Member Member

    alright :) i think ill go ahead an get the gravel (not that expensive, really) and try to cycle this thing. no bettas. i think ill just do an angelfish. BUT i still have the rocks questions. can i just take them from outside?

  8. iloveengl Well Known Member Member

    This is a great suggestion. Cories love to play in sand. Also sand is SO much easier to keep clean because you can just suck the waste right off the top, whereas poop and fish food likes to get stuck and rot under gravel. I purchased a huge bag of play sand for $4. It was enough to do my 55g and my 20g with extra left over. Just rinse it really well first. :)

    Edit: Rocks from the backyard can be problematic because they may contain harmful metals or have pesticides and fertilizers seeped into them. :-\ If you do decide to use them, boil them first.
  9. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    About the rocks...
    I came across this a while ago, maybe it'll be helpful:
    Aquarium Safe Rocks
  10. Nate McFin Well Known Member Member

    Great advice above... WELCOME TO FISHLORE!

  11. namehater Well Known Member Member

    for rocks, you might check around your area to see if you have any 'hardscape' stores. these stores specialize in rockwork for yards and such, i can buy texas holey rock at my local store for $.10/lb, at a fish store its more like $3/lb.
  12. crazedACD Member Member

    I have a betta in a 10g with 3 gold tetras and two rummynoses...they do fabulous. I've heard people say the red bettas are the most aggressive, not sure if that is true or not. I would advise against bettas going in with platies (or anything colorful like that).

    I agree a gold nugget will get too big for the 29g (8" or so). If you want to keep a pleco, try for a bristlenose or clown (about 4").

    I use pool filter sand for my 55g..I've used regular aquarium sand for my smaller tanks, and I much prefer the pool filter sand. The granules are a tiny bit larger and they settle very quickly if disturbed...the sand is inert and IMO cleaner than playsand. You can get a 50lb bag at a pool supply store for like $10. I will NEVER use gravel again.
  13. rae64 Well Known Member Member

    :p alright! thanks! i'm so excited! i am hopeful i will be able to get some supplies this weekend... i really want to buy my filter off ebay... i think i can get one wayyyy cheaper than the 50 dollar price tag on one at the lfs... as for the tank ill have to do some reaserch. i might end up purchasing it online too. we have a sand and rock place like 5 min from my house where im hoping to purchase some coarse sand and maybe some rocks to stack. i've featured a picture below of what im planning on doing for the tank... im hopeing that the gravel and sand place will also have some larger rock that i can use.... the stocking will be (i think) 1 angelfish, 5 albino cory cats, 5 platys and one ballon molly (i cant resist.. he is so pretty, and has been in the lfs forever (like several months)... has BIG black polka dots and a beautiful sail fin. i kinda feel bad for him so im going to rescue him :) the plants.. well i think its anubias they have for sale at the lfs but whatever it is, its pretty. so yeah. here it is! (without any fish... they are too hard to draw in paint...) :p i kinda borrowed the idea from seaclear's tank.. haha :) i modified it tho.

    Attached Files:

  14. callichma Well Known Member Member

    Very nice. Will you use silicone to hold the rocks together? Wish I'd known about sand before I put gravel in my tank.
  15. rae64 Well Known Member Member

    Ummm well I was just going to stack them. Is that a problem???
  16. iloveengl Well Known Member Member

    It's be much safer to glue them together with aquarium safe 100% silicone, otherwise fish can knock them over when darting by or squeezing through and get smashed or trapped. Plus, water vacs will be easier if you're not worried about knocking it over. :)
  17. rae64 Well Known Member Member

    alright :) thanks i had no idea that i should silicone the rocks.... haha that why i love this forum! hopefully the tank will be up by christmas, and i can get some pics in. maybe sooner, depends on how generous my parents are feeling... haha :)
  18. rae64 Well Known Member Member

    did some more reaserch on the angels... i found out they like plants to swim in, so... here is the revised plan! haha :) one last question... do i have to "feed" the plants? and are they compatible? (i think they are anubias, java fern (or amazon sword, not sure what they have at the lfs) and some java moss. i cant seem to find the name for the grass-like plants that reach the surface... oh well :p

    Attached Files:

  19. click Well Known Member Member

    You will need to add some plant supplement every now and then. There are liquid supplements that you can add with your water changes and there are gravel pellets that you bury close to the roots of your plant every few weeks or months (depending on size i think). I have most of the plants you listed and I add Iron and Magnesium liquid supplement every other day (a few drops). But that's because I'm too lazy to buy a Iron tester to see when and how much to add. So far my plants are doing OK, growing, so I don't worry too much.

    Since you plan to have live plants you need to consider light for your plants. The plants you listed are low light plants so I believe you need max 2 WPG. Amazon swords grow really big, so make sure you put them in the back of your tank. Java fern can get pretty big too but it's slow growing compared to Amazon sword. You could consider some Hornwort too, another low light plant that can either float or be anchored to decor.

    Good luck with your setting. Make sure to post pics.
  20. callichma Well Known Member Member

    I agree. I had stacked some small pond rocks in the corner of my tank. One of my cories went missing. I finally decided to carefully unpile the rocks, and out he popped. Happy ending: he was OK. Don't know if he was trapped or just hiding. But I fixed the rocks so it couldn't happen again.