Getting Started Again After Many Years 55 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Bruce Thompson, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Bruce ThompsonNew MemberMember

    and I'm impatient...

    So a little about me, I grew up with fish in the house. My dad had a dozen or so tanks on good old angle-iron shelving in our basement as far back as I can remember. Great way to spend an afternoon, just watching the fish!

    My own experience with keeping a tank is much less ambitious. I started with a 29g, upgraded to a 55g and that was it for a number of years, until I shut it down.

    Fast forward about 12 years....

    For my birthday this year, I decided to get going again. Expensive birthday present! I picked up a 55g which I've got set with gravel, a couple of nice looking rocks and a pair of resin driftwood pieces (should make for nice hidey spots for those that will appreciate them) and started cycling. It's only been up for a couple of days, so no surprise that I can't read any ammonia or nitrite or nitrate.

    But but but I wanna stock it now!! ;-)

    What I've done so far was to use SafeStart, hoping it'll kick start things (I've never done a fishless cycle before), adding a pinch of flakes morning and night so there's a source of ammonia to help the bacteria establish... and did I mention I'm not the most patient person in the world?

    I've been reading voraciously, and I'm considering helping things along with straight ammonia. I want this tank to be ready before I start adding anything, fish or plants, but I'll be the first to admit I'm struggling seeing the tank all empty and lonely.

    In all seriousness, I do plan to go slow and be careful when and how I start stocking. I want a nice collection with plants that will thrive. We're going on a short road trip this coming weekend, so there's absolutely no chance my patience will crack and I rush out to get some danios "just to help the cycling along". The weekend following that... uh... no promises :-D

    What I'm planning on is a moderately planted tank, with a handful of different species. Zebra danios, guppies, Cories, maybe some Mollies, a couple of snails.... not sure beyond that, and also not sure if that's already enough/too much.

    Any suggestions/advise would be greatly appreciated, pretend I'm a noobie because I'm definitely feeling like one!


    P.S.: No pics yet, but soon!
  2. palmtreesNew MemberMember

    "DrTim's Aquatics Ammonium chloride" is on amazon and has great reviews for helping cycle new tanks.

  3. JoeCamaroWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to the forum, Bruce. Also, welcome back to the hobby.

  4. Bruce ThompsonNew MemberMember

    Thanks, I'll take a look for it!

    Thank you!

    Now I just need to keep from visiting the LFS every day..... lol
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2018
  5. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    Keep the lights off...and ignore it as much as you can. If you were to stock now you would need to do a lot of water changes to keep ammonia down and it's a rigorous process and it might actually change your mind about keeping fish.

    You could just add a piece of raw shrimp into the tank and let it rot, as it will feed the bb in the tank. Patience is really what you need right now with a fishless cycle.

  6. JoeCamaroWell Known MemberMember

    I know exactly what you mean ;)
    As a matter of fact I stopped at 3 LFS on my way home from work today.
  7. FishL:))Well Known MemberMember

    Hello @Bruce Thompson!

    Glad you're here, and welcome back to the fish keep hobby!
  8. Bruce ThompsonNew MemberMember

    I work from home Mondays..... tomorrow though!
  9. ASHLEY R COOKWell Known MemberMember

    Omg. I'm still cycling and I have to force myself to not go look at the fish.
  10. danhutchinsWell Known MemberMember

    When it comes to stocking, as long as the fish have room to move around freely and plants out number fish and you have good filtration I don't see numbers causing a problem.
  11. Bruce ThompsonNew MemberMember

    I like this! I'll definitely keep that strategy in mind!


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