Help Me Do It Right This Time Please

babiimoore

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okay, so. i bought a 15 gallon not too long ago and ive been trying to cycle it, but its just too stocked. i have a male fancy guppy, female guppy, male dalmation molly, female creamsicle molly, male betta. i also have 5 baby guppies that were given to me free, i have in a 4 gallon container at the time being.

i bought a 55 gallon!

im so excited for my mollies to have the space they need and to be able to maybe add some really cool fish in the future. but, i want to do this right. not like last time.
the 55 gallon came with a filter and gravel from an established tank of 6 years. my question is, since this came from someone i dont know (seemed like a nice guy) should i just forget about trying to use the bacteria and clean it throughly with hot water? or can i just fill it up with dechlorinated water and hope theres enough for it to be cycled/cycle faster? the filter is new, he said only two weeks old. if i cant salvage the bacteria or if its a bad idea, how should i go about cycling? should i put all my fish in? any advice?
 

anitazoechang

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I'd probably start from scratch and kick start it with bacteria in a bottle (that way you don't have to go through the whole cycling process), especially if the stuff is coming from someone you don't know personally
 

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Personally I wouldn't use anybody's pre-used substrate, you just never know what it might be harbouring & it's a nightmare to try & clean thoroughly. The tank & filter should be OK with a good clean & disinfect but that means you'll have to start the cycle from scratch & using a bacteria starter or seeding it with some of the filter media from your current tank will help the BB culture establish quicker & you can also use the cycle time to get your aquascaping looking how you want it. Good luck & let us know how it's going.
 

Mom2some

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Congratulations on the bigger tank. That will be a much better fit for your fish.
 
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babiimoore

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should i put all my fish in there for cycle? my 15 is not cycled either
 

emmysjj

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If I were you, I’d keep the betta in the 15 gallon. Also, I’d rehome the female guppy and Molly, because they will breed very quickly
 

Seasoldier

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babiimoore said:
yes. i do water changes, and have added TSS. i believe its too stocked to work, so i bought the 55 gallon. all my fish are happy, including the fry.
If your fish are happy & healthy at the moment I'd advise leaving them where they are & getting your new 55 set up & cycled & then transfer your guppies & mollies into it & leave the 15 for your betta but as @emmysjj says above you'll quickly be overrun by guppies & mollies as they are breeding machines.
 

Mick Frost

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Guppies and Mollies can interbreed, which can cause issues. If you plan to keep all of them, I'd move the Mollies to the larger tank and leave the Guppies in the 15.
If you'd rather keep just one tank going, I'd disinfect the 55 and transfer everything (filter media, substrate, fish, deco, water) from the 15 to boost the cycle. This will result in much more buffer and make your Ammonia/Nitrite lower between water changes.
Either way I advise against using anything seeded from an untrusted source. If you really want to kickstart your cycle, some good LFSs sell seeded media.
 

Hunter1

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I would cycle the 55 using pure ammonia with no additives.

You will need an accurate test kit like the API master test kit. Dose enough ammonia to raise ammonia to 2ppm. Test just ammonia every 3-4 days for a couple of weeks. Each time your ammonia drops below 1ppm, dose the ammonia back up to 2ppm.

Once you have to add ammonia every day or 2, start testing for nitrites and nitrates too.

I would use a bacteria in a bottle although many on here disagree.

Turn the heat up to 82-84 to speed the process.

And test your PH regularly. If it gets below 6.4, you can do a water change or add a alkaline buffer. You cycle will stall if your PH gets around 6.0.

Once your bacteria are converting 2ppm ammonia to 0 in 24 hours, and you have 0 nitrites, you are cycled. Do a big water change to reduce nitrates and add fish.

With bottled bacteria and high temperature, you may be cycled in 4 weeks although it can take 6-8 weeks.

Good luck!

Edit: your initial purchases will just be ammonia, bottled bacteria and the master test kit, $40.00 total to do it right.

NEVER clean your filter with tap water or the chlorine will kill your beneficial bacteria, use water you have removed from your tank during water changes. And if/when you change your filter media/cartridge, put the old one in the filter too for about a month. Your beneficial bacteria live primarily in your filter so you don’t want to mess with that.
 

Mick Frost

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Hunter1 said:
I would cycle the 55 using pure ammonia with no additives.

You will need an accurate test kit like the API master test kit. Dose enough ammonia to raise ammonia to 2ppm. Test just ammonia every 3-4 days for a couple of weeks. Each time your ammonia drops below 1ppm, dose the ammonia back up to 2ppm.

Once you have to add ammonia every day or 2, start testing for nitrites and nitrates too.

I would use a bacteria in a bottle although many on here disagree.

Turn the heat up to 82-84 to speed the process.

And test your PH regularly. If it gets below 6.4, you can do a water change or add a alkaline buffer. You cycle will stall if your PH gets around 6.0.

Once your bacteria are converting 2ppm ammonia to 0 in 24 hours, and you have 0 nitrites, you are cycled. Do a big water change to reduce nitrates and add fish.

With bottled bacteria and high temperature, you may be cycled in 4 weeks although it can take 6-8 weeks.

Good luck!
With 84 degrees, 8.2 PH, dosing 2ppm Ammonia, and one of those gel Tetra weekend feeders (yuck, but they work awesome for this), and a half dose of Sludge Destroyer (Nitrospira) and a single dose of Stability, I'm burning 2ppm Ammonia daily after 5 days in a 55g and waiting for my Nitrite spike to die down. The faster you go, though, the more you have to watch to avoid crashing.
 
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babiimoore

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okay cool! im pretty sure this will hold, plywood is strong, right? its meant for storage so i hope it can hold the 55 gallon, id rather not have it on the floor. anyone know if this will hold?
IMG_0396.jpg
 

Mick Frost

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That's not Plywood, it's OSB (Orientated Strand Board). OSB has stronger tensile strength in one direction (printed on the board), but almost no strength for use as a shelf.
Glass aquariums (except WalMart ones) are perfectly fine as long as they're firmly and evenly supported on two opposing edges.
To be safe, you could lay Plywood over top and put some bracing in underneath.
 
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babiimoore

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Mick Frost said:
That's not Plywood, it's OSB (Orientated Strand Board). OSB has stronger tensile strength in one direction (printed on the board), but almost no strength for use as a shelf.
Glass aquariums (except WalMart ones) are perfectly fine as long as they're firmly and evenly supported on two opposing edges.
To be safe, you could lay Plywood over top and put some bracing in underneath.
so you dont think itll hold? im not very handy so im not quite sure how to do that.
 

Mick Frost

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babiimoore said:
so you dont think itll hold? im not very handy so im not quite sure how to do that.
What are the measurements of the shelf? And how is it braced (underside)?
 
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babiimoore

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it is two panels put together, each one is 41” in length
IMG_0400.jpg
and 32” in width. this is the underside
IMG_0403.jpg
IMG_0405.jpg
 

Mick Frost

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My redneck fix would be to lay a chunk of 3/4" plywood on top (32" deep, 50" long) and put an upright support under the 2x4 brace in the middle (Jackstand)). To properly answer your question, though, I wouldn't trust it.
 
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babiimoore

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ahhh, im not handy like that.. that makes me so sad itll have to be on the floor

this table is nasssty, but would it work?
IMG_0407.jpg


Mick Frost said:
My redneck fix would be to lay a chunk of 3/4" plywood on top (32" deep, 50" long) and put an upright support under the 2x4 brace in the middle (Jackstand)). To properly answer your question, though, I wouldn't trust it.
heres some better pictures
IMG_0414.jpg
IMG_0413.jpg
IMG_0410.jpg

think itll work?
 

jdhef

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It should be strong enough, but my biggest fear would be that the boards are not flat and even. You don't want to have the tank sitting on "high spots". But it is impossible to tell from the photos if the boards are all flat and even with one another.
 
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