How am I doing so far on my 10 gallon Aquarium/Riparium?

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dragonspirit1185

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I just wanna see if I'm headed in the right direction.
I don't know much about aquatics and this is my first go. I am more familiar with Herpetology, type stuff like vivariums. I'm well versed with it but have a no pet policy set by my landlords. I talked them into me getting a betta tank and they finally agreed. Well I don't think they thought I had this in mind xD
Since the bettas are known to jump out of the tank I put a hanging planter in the gap of the hood where I'm guessing a bigger hang on the back filter would go.


Okay so first of all I am using gravel cause so many sites say sand doesn't work well with live plants and will kill them but looking around here I see that lots of people are using sand and I think sand would give me a more natural look.
Could I go ahead and use sand? or wait and get more experienced?

Lets go over the hardware and everything....
I bought the Aqua Culture 10 Gallon Aquarium kit from Walmart. It came with LED lights and a Whisper filter. I have Gutted the filter and I'm using my own media.
In the bottom is a sponge, middle some carbon/zeolite, and on top some biomax. They were out of media bags so I used pantyhose (for the carbon/zeolite) lol


For the lighting of the riparium plants I'm using a dimmable fixture and a dimmable LED bulb. Lights are on a timer.


Heater is a Hydor slim heater that I placed under the gravel and it keeps it right at 75°F



Here is some pics of the tank


I got a water test done and the amonia and nitrites are still a little high but have already started dropping. Gonna be a few more days then I'm gonna test it again and see how things are.
From what I understand having the riparium planter it will help with putting C02 in the water.
I'm gonna be adding a couple more plants soon.

So am I heading in the right direction with all this?

Thanks for viewing and your help
-Brandon
 

Teleost

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Looks pretty good so far.

Your profile indicates that you don't know the nitrogen cycle. It would be a terrible shame if you did the good work this far and didn't follow through. Read up on it.
 
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dragonspirit1185

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I actually read it after I clicked no lol. I even mentioned how the levels were high but have started dropping
 
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dragonspirit1185

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just added API Stress Zine earlier today
 
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dragonspirit1185

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How am I doing so far on my 10 gallon aquarium/riparium

I think I posted this thread () in the wrong area. Maybe that's why I'm not getting any responses. Maybe I should have posted it here. I'm a n00b here xD
Updates to the thread, all my readings today have been updated to my profile. They are all at 0 and I added some API Stress Zine to add some bacteria. People at the pet store said I'm ready for fish but I'm gonna wait a little longer.

I just wanna know if I'm on the right track.....

Thanks,
-Brandon
 

Claire Bear

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Hi Brandon and welcome.
Stress {zyme} sp. by API is not for a good bacteria, it is to help fish when stressed to repair/take care of their slime coat.
A bacterial (good bacteria) aid is something like Tetra Safe Start (TSS) and if you use that, you have to add the fish right away.
If all numbers are 0, then no, you are not cycled. Ammonia needs to be at zero and so does Nitrite. However, you need some Nitrates-they should not be at zero.
I would recommend that you read the nitrogen cycle in this forum and read up on it. It is the blue highlight in my post!
Good luck and so nice to have you on board!
 
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dragonspirit1185

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Well it looks like I was mislead by yet another employee :/
So use the TSS when I add the fish then use the API to keep up with maintenance?
I'm pretty sure I should have used API Quick Start but they said this was kinda the same. I guess they were wrong.
I use to use Quick Start back when I had turtles.
 

_Fried_Bettas_

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Looks very nice.

Probably should have posted in the "Aquarium Aquascaping" subforum.
 
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Rivieraneo

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Nice tank!
 
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jdhef

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Welcome to FishLore!

I took a look at your other thread and have to say I'm a little confused. You stated that your ammonia and nitrite levels were elevated but beginning to drop. How did you get elevated ammonia and nitrites? Unless your tap water contains ammonia and nitrites, the only way to get them is by adding ammonia into a tank that has the bacteria that converts ammonia into nitrites (but not enough bacteria to convert all the ammonia).

Basically (assuming tap water with no ammonia, nitrites and nitrates) the cycled tank works like this:
Fish release ammonia into the water.
Bacteria in the filter media consumes ammonia but releases nitrite
A second bacteria in the filter media consumes nitrites and release nitrates

So you task is to develop those two bacteria. One way is through a fishless cycle where you add ammonia to simulate the ammonia fish produce.

The other way is to add a bacteria additive that will set up a bacteria colony in your filter media. But most of those bacteria additives contain the wrong bacteria and do not work. The only two products I can recommend is Tetra SafeStart and Dr. Tims' One & Only.

There is a thrid method of cycling which is to just add fish then do daily partial water changes with Prime until the tank cycles,but this method is not recommended due to it being stressful for the fish and a lot of work. If you do not use a bacteria additive then it will take about 6 weeks to cycle a tank.

But one last caveat. It appears you are using ZeoLite, which I believe removes mmonia from the water. Ammonia is the food that the bacteria lives off of, So if you have an ammonia remover the tank will never cycle. This would not be a problem so long as the ZeoLite keeps ammonia at 0ppm at all times. But at some point it will become saturated and need to be replaced (or maybe recharged, don't know much about ZeoLite). So you would need to keep a close eye on your ammonia levels.
 
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Lucy

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Threads merged
 
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dragonspirit1185

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Thanks Lucy for merging them. I wasn't sure where to put the thread xD

Thanks for the compliments

Yeah I'm pretty sure I understand the cycling process. Maybe the ammonia reading were due to the water or my adding the sword plant and dumping the water out of the bag into my tank that was collected from the tank it came from. That's just what the tester told me.
So should I just discard the Zeolite and just use straight carbon?

So I'm a little confused so one person tells me I shouldn't add Tetra Safe Start until I add fish and most of others are saying I need to add it so the tank will cycle o_O
Which one should I do
I'm about to go pick up some java moss and possibly a fern or some other plant to hide the hanging planter gonna pick up the Tetra Safe Start while I'm there.
 

fishnewbie33

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Tetra SafeStart (TSS) contains the beneficial bacteria (bb) you will need to cycle your tank. TSS is bb in a bottle

BB needs ammonia to feed on, otherwise it will starve and die off. Fish will produce the ammonia. That is why you need to add the TSS, then the fish within an hour. I always add fish within 20 min, after proper acclimation.

Do not add any water from the bag, as this can add parasites or diseases to the tank. We recommend qt first, but as there are no other fish in the tank, qt is not necessary in this case.

Wait 24 hrs after adding water conditioner before adding TSS, as it will disrupt the TSS. Do not do any water changes for 2 weeks, unless ammonia remains over 1.0-1.5 for 24 hrs. TSS makes cycling much less stressful fo fish.

https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/q-a-with-tetra-about-tetra-safestart.58116/
 

hopeful fish

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If you use Tetra SafeStart, add it the same day you add the fish. However, this is not the only way to cycle a tank.

You can also do a "fishless" cycle, where you add pure ammonia every day until the tank cycles. In this method, you don't typically use TSS, but some people have before. I think that a fishless cycle is best because there are no fish at risk. TSS is the second best option, IMO.
 
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dragonspirit1185

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So made a trip to the local petstore and picked up some plants and mosses.
Got a pretty big clump of java moss for like $5 and then got a dwarf java fern for $2 and a Crypt something forgot the name xD Can someone give me the name of it?
Bunched up with the moss is some pennywort. Idk if I should have left it the way it is (with the moss) or not or if it needs to be floating around. Online pics shows it floating around so should I remove it from the moss?
Also there is a tiny piece of hornwort and another tiny dwarf java fern that was in with the moss.
Picked up some Tetra Safe Start as well.

So here is some pics.

Full tank shot

I stuffed some moss under the 2 ends of the wood

Close up of the java moss and pennywort. I stuffed all the extra moss in the back left corner of the tank.

These are the crypt plants...ID please?


Dwarf java fern

Tiny little dwaf java fern. It was hard to get a macro pic of this guy with the camera I have lol


I'm excited about how it is looking. The aponogeton bulbs still have to bloom and I'm gonna put hose in the back.
Most likely gonna get a different heater and bring the temp up around 80°F
Or should I just pull the one I have out from under the gravel, do you think that will make it work more efficiently?
 

tfckmk988

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so a little confused are you going to be adding fish at any point? if so use that bottle of TSS when you do or read up on the fish less cycle in the nitrogen cycle sub forum


i don't think plants care whether a tank is cycled or not but i haven't used live plants before so I don't know really
 
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dragonspirit1185

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Nah not using it yet. I have read about the nitrogen cycle. I'm thinking about getting an otocinclus catfish because there is some algae on some leaves and hopefully the little guy can start the cycle.
I'm honestly not sure what to do at this point whether to add the TSS then feed it ammonia or just add the TSS and put fish in.
I have added some API Stress Zyne on Sat and will be testing the water in the morning and see how things are.
 

Jake98

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Why add stress Zyme you have no ammonia source in the tank, its not going to do anything as it appears stress Zyne is a bacterial additive like Tetra safe start, I had thought it was just an additive to help build up the slime coat on fish. If you add bacteria to your tank you also need to add an energy source for them, otherwise they will die.
 
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dragonspirit1185

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yeah I know lol I was just saying I added it and I wanted to do a test to see if the readings are different. I was mislead by a person at the pet store to think it would start the cycle
 

Teleil

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Hey, welcome to fishlore the cycling question has been answered in few threads here, you chose TSS and thats good.
But i must say NO to oto cycling the tank, i haven't kept any, but i've read (wanted to buy some) and they are very sensitive fish, they also need lots of algae and constant algae growth to feed on, else they would die.
Since your tank is new, you wont see much algae in the start and the ammonia spikes will kill the oto in no time imo.
If this is going to be your betta tank, you can just go and add the betta with the bottle of TSS and the betta will cycle the tank, they are also known to be very hardy fish so you have much better chance with the betta then with the oto.

Best wishes
 
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