Just setup my 1st Aquarium and need help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Freddy, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. FreddyNew MemberMember

    Hi Guys Gals

    Glad to join this forum as I went through some useful info already

    I just bought my 26 Gal bow front fluval Aquarium and as an old wish I am intending to keep some tropical fish ( 8 or 10)

    I went through the booklet and set up my aquarium with some colored gravel and artificial plants as well as some stones ( I boiled the stones to avoid any harmful bacteria ) these are the stones i found some time ago from a river near my place.

    I then filled the tank with the tap water and then install the heater and the filter , so it has been two days that the my C3 fluval filter is running smoothly and the heater doing a good job to keep the temp at 27-28 . As directed I added some aqua plus and then aqua Cycle ( even thou I heard this is not necessary and is only needed if fresh water is added only )

    I am going to start two fish after 4-5 days and need your expertise and assistance as I need to know if any thing i have not done or need to be done before introducing the fish to the tank .

    Do you guys also recommend any pleco fish for my tank ?

    I thank you in advance :;patty

  2. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    Hi and welcome to the forum. Since this is a new aquarium I would highly suggest you get Tetra Safe Start to add to the water in order to kickstart the nitrogen cycle and keep your fish safe. I don't believe aqua cycle does the same thing, but I could be wrong.

  3. FreddyNew MemberMember

    Thank you dear amber. how about pleco to keep the tank clean . Would i also need a test kit before introducing any fish ? and is it any types of tetra ?

  4. amber0107Well Known MemberMember

    This is a very specific product called Tetra Safe Start and it has the good bacteria needed to cycle your tank quickly. It has instructions on the bottle that will need to be followed precisely. A liquid test kit is very handy but it is not needed before adding any fish. It will be needed to monitor your water parameters to keep the fish safe.

    I do not have any plecos, but I know that the common pleco can grow very large, so I don't think that would be recommended. I'm sure another more experienced member will be along shortly to answer questions about that.

    There are also some helpful links about the nitrogen cycle and using Tetra Safe Start that I will try to post when I can locate them.
  5. Akari_32Fishlore LegendMember

    Pleco's don't clean the tank, they add to the waste and make the tank need to be cleaned more :p However, I love my pleco's, so I don't mind doing so.

    A fishless cycle is the best, and easiest way to go. You should look into that, rather than putting your fish through the cycling process.

    I've never heard of Aqua Cycle, but to my knowledge, there are only two cycling products that actually work; Tetra SafeStart, and Microlift Nite Out (which is actually a series of products, and all must be used. Nite Out is just one part of the series.)

    Also, welcome to FishLore :)
  6. FreddyNew MemberMember

    Thank you akari and Amber again.

    Dear Akari pls excuse my mistake as i meant Nutrafin Cycle and Aqual plus , these are the two products I've so far used. and would i use the Tetra SafeStart before or after introducing the fish to the tank ?
  7. Akari_32Fishlore LegendMember

    You're welcome :)

    TSS is added to the tank at the same time as, or no more than 3 hours before, fish are added to the tank. Then you do nothing but feed for 14 days. You will also need a water conditioner that does not do anything to lock up the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. I honestly would use Tetra AquaSafe, just to be on the safe side. Besides, its not like you'll never use it again ;) After the cycle is done, I'd recommend using a water conditioner like Prime.

    Cycle is a pretty useless product. Some one just wanted your money :p
  8. FreddyNew MemberMember

    thanks again. One thing that always stopped me from getting an Aquarium is the number of products to use ( as one of my friend went through this some time ago and finally gave up and gave his fish tank away for free )

    So as of right now i have

    1- Aqua plus
    2- Nutrafin cycle

    and i will definitely get the Tetra Safe Start

    now what is tetra aqua safe ? is this something different ?
  9. Akari_32Fishlore LegendMember

    Aqua Safe is just a water conditioner, that does nothing but take out chlorine and chloramines.

    Aquariums don't need a bunch of chemicals, some people just like to make their own lives complicated. I would get rid or (or at least stop using) the Nutrafin Cycle. Can you tell me what the Aqua Plus does? Does it take out just chlorine and chloramines, or does it also neutralize ammonia, etc?
  10. FreddyNew MemberMember

  11. Akari_32Fishlore LegendMember

    I think that would be ok to use with the SafeStart.
  12. FreddyNew MemberMember

    thanks Akari, now any suggestion for the fish . i mean I am not going to put 10-15 in one shot , I was told to start 2-3 at a time. any recommendation for a more friendly environment fish to begin with ?
  13. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    It's the fishkeepers job to keep the tank clean. Plecos are huge waste producers and not a good candidate for a new tank.

    Yes, you need the API master kit (liquid) as you will be doing lots of testing during the initial start-up of your tank.

    Go to the store with a pad and pen. Write down the names of the fish species you like and we can help you stock your tank appropriately.
  14. Akari_32Fishlore LegendMember

    I agree with Lynda; go the store, and write down all the fish you like. If you still want a pleco, you will have to leave room for one as you stock the tank.
  15. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    If your not fully familiar with the nitrogen cycle, I high recommend you read up on it, since it is the most important thing to understand when keeping fish.
    If you fully understand the nitrogen cycle the following will make prefect sense:

    You need to be careful with the SafeStart, since you added Cycled to the tank. Cycle (like SafeStart) is a bacterial additive that will convert ammonia into nitrite and nitrite into nitrate. But unlike SafeStart, the bacteria contained in cycle is not self sustaining and dies off after about a week or so. (That is why the directions instruct you to add Cycle with every weekly water change for the life of the tank!)

    SafeStart contains self sustaining bacteria and needs to be added only once. But the cycle bacteria will rob the SafeStart bacteria of it's much needed food (ammonia and nitrite) and the bacteria will starve off, leaving your tank uncycled.

    If it were me, I would do a 100% water change and replace the filter cartridge to remove as much of the Cycle bacteria as possible. Then refill with water treated with Tetra AquaSafe. Wait at least 24 hours, then add some fish and a bottle of SafeStart.

    Good luck!
  16. FreddyNew MemberMember

    Thanks Everyone. Dear Jdhef I have been running the water for the last 2 days and will add the fish on Saturday. since i added the Nutrafin cycle already then i let it go this way to see what happens . I was also told not to feed the fish for 48 hrs from the minute I put them in the tank . is this true ?
  17. Meeps83Well Known MemberMember

    I would strongly recommend doing a 100% water change as mentioned above. Then condition the water with Tetra Aqua Safe Plus, add the TSS, then add some fish. If you try to use the TSS without a large water change, the bacteria in it won't survive and you'll end up doing a fish-in cycle.

    As far as pleco's go, there are smaller ones such as a bristlenose pleco or a clown pleco that could go into your tank. They eat algae and poop and that's about it. One of those would be an appropriate size for your tank as they grow to the 4"-5" range instead of the 18"+ range that common plecos get.
  18. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Hi Freddy, welcome to Fishlore :;hi1

    I've never had any success with Nutrafin Cycle in establishing a true cycle in the tank, and whilst I've never used Tetra Safe Start (can't get it in Aus), most members here swear by it.

    As for not feeding fish for the first 48 hours, well I don't know about 48 hours, but certainly the first 12-24 hours I don't feed. The reason behind this is that the stress of transport often limits the new fishes appetite, and you just end up wasting food and polluting the water.

    It is widely accepted that fish can go 3 days without food, some even 5 days so don't feel like they'll starve. Fish are opportunistic feeders, meaning that they'll eat when there's food, but don't need food everyday. And hopefully, your local shop has kept them fed, and they were probably fed the day you picked them up.

    It can also be a good idea to turn the lights off while the fish establish themselves in their new surroundings (12-24 hours or so). Typically the bright light can add to their stress levels.
    By keeping the tank darker, it allows the fish to get 'comfortable' (fish don't need light to see) and figure out where everything is, find hiding spots etc.

    Welcome again, hope you enjoy the site.
  19. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    I don't know about the poop bit, but certainly most will graze on algae, and left over food etc. And irrespective of the species, a pleco needs driftwood. They'll rasp away at it, and it's good for their digestive system, not to mention it provides a place for them to hide. Cucumber and Zucchini are also a favourite food for plec's.
  20. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Plecos POOP. They are the definition of poop.

    Fred, please wait until you have a grasp on the Nitrogen Cycle (those words should be a link?) and have the supplies for cycling the tank, before adding fish. No need to wait and see, we can tell you what happens if the tank isnt cycled, they get sick, and then die. Many of us have been through it when we were new.

    Nutri cycle imo, is crud, ive never read any good reviews on it. Tetra Safe start is proven time and time again.

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