Long Time Lurker Finally Got A Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by thatoneguy99, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. thatoneguy99Valued MemberMember

    I have been here and there on this forum for a little bit. This is my first post and I would like to say that I finally got a tank. Even after reading a bit on here I see that I am lacking quite a bit of info. Not the website, just me. Now that I have my tank I have questions I didn't know I would have.

    So... I bought a Hex8 tank from PS. ( ) The attendant there mentioned to add Prime conditioner and that after about a week my tank would get really cloudy and then clear up within another week. I assumed she was talking about the cycle and that Prime would be all I needed to get it started.

    I do not have a test kit and am going to get one today. Any advice on which kit to get would be appreciated. Well maybe not WHICH kit but what readings do I need to make sure I can take? I got the tank and added the amount of Prime that the bottle says for my size of tank. That was the day after Christmas. My goal is to be able to take some readings today and maybe get some nitrites, maybe even some nitrates?? That would be cool but now that I am reading some more I see that I haven't added anything to start the cycle and that Prime alone won't do it. I'll get some readings today and if no ammonia or nitrites I will add something to start the cycle.

    Looking at my filter it seems that it is a charcoal filter (came with the tank). Will this filter media be where the bacteria live? Is this filter not made for this? There is a small sponge that the water drips over when coming back into the tank. Is that the filter media? There is a picture of the filter insides attached and also the link to the product is above so maybe you can help me gain some insight there.

    One last question/statement. I am a member of a pool owners forum and we generally do not rely on the stores water readings. The ideas taught there at the pool store, and the forum, do not go together. Is there a similar mindset here? Is it highly recommended to not let the store take my water readings? Do they generally not have the same mindset when it comes to the nitrogen cycle? Will I end up adding tons of "magic" chemicals to my water because they don't understand the cycle?

    Thanks again for the information and I am glad to be here. Sorry my initial post is so long and full of questions.Pictures of my tank posted because I think it looks awesome :)

  2. PlatyloverFishlore VIPMember

    Hello and welcome to fishlore! Glad you are here!

    The API master kit is a good way to go, that’s what most of use. Just make sure you get a liquid test for nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, and ph. Those are the primary important things to test for.

    Yes, whatever type of media is in the filter is the media that will grow the bacteria. The sponge may grow some as well if it has constant flow of water, but I wouldn’t expect it to be significant.

    We have a similar mindset indeed. People at the pet/fish stores typically just try to make a buck or don’t know much about fish, so they aren’t trustworthy places of information. This being said there’s no reason not to ask them to test your water parameters if they are the only option, just ensure you get the exact parameters and see what they use to test it with. If they use strips then it’ll not be near as reliable.

    Your avatar is horrifying by the way lol

  3. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    1) I agree, your tank look awesome.

    2) Prime is a water conditioner with the added benefit of detoxing low amounts of ammonia. You are correct, it does nothing to help grow your cycle.

    3) Your cycle needs and ammonia source to get started and to grow. Some folks use fish food but in my humble opinion that is not the best way to do it.

    Personally I add fish and do a fish in cycle. They add the ammonia source but lots of folks frown on my method so the second best way is to add pure ammonia.

    4) I highly recommend the API Master Freshwater test kit. It includes PH (both high and low), ammonia, nitrite and nitrates tests so just about everything you need to keep an eye on what is happening in your tank.

    5) I wouldn't pay much attention to anything the good folks at the store tell you to add. They have to make a living.

  4. thatoneguy99Valued MemberMember

    Thank you both for the information and @mattgirl for the compliment on the tank. I wish I could have gotten a bigger one but money/storage space is why I got this one.

  5. BigheadValued MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore
    Api master test kit will work.
  6. thatoneguy99Valued MemberMember

    Hit the button too soon and I do not see an edit option.....

    @Platylover I just googled fishface and was looking for a closeup fish face but when I saw that actual fish face, I couldn't help myself.
  7. PlatyloverFishlore VIPMember

    Lol, well it’s certainly a unique avatar! XD
  8. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Please don't be too disappointed if a mod removes your avatar. They frown on us using photos we find on the internet :(

    I am glad you came to us to get your answers. You have already seen that the info you get from most pet/fish stores can be a bit off the mark. We will try our best not to give you bad advice.
  9. thatoneguy99Valued MemberMember

    Did I say I found it on the internet? What I meant to say is that I worked really hard in photoshop and made this picture. :)
  10. PlatyloverFishlore VIPMember

    I’m not to certain that always applies to the avatars. #1brownsfan has a photo of Bucky from the Avengers and it hasn’t been removed. I think avatar usage would be included in the free rights, but perhaps I’m wrong.

    But yes, still do keep in mind that it may be removed for copyright infringement.
  11. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    They may have lifted some of their restrictions from back when I first joined the forum. I was used to another forum (not fish related) where any photo could be posted but got my hand slapped a couple of times when I first joined here :D
  12. thatoneguy99Valued MemberMember

    Got my test kit and some ammonia. I do not know the strength as it’s not on the label. I got it from Dollar Tree and it says Clear Ammonia (Brand is LA’s Totally Awesome). I’m going to try and look it up. Any info on that, if someone already has it, would be great. Trying to figure out how much to add.
    Initial readings are:
    Ph- 7.6
    Ammonia - 0.5
    Nitrite and Nitrate- 0

    I also bought a digital thermometer. Temp is 75F. Is there a better place than others to put the probe?

    Thanks again for all the info and help.
  13. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Just be sure there is nothing but ammonia in it. Shake it well and if it foams don't use it. If the bubbles go away almost instantly it should be alright to use.

    you will find that the test kit will end up being one of the best investments you will have made in the health of your fish.
  14. thatoneguy99Valued MemberMember

    That is how I feel about the pool. My test kit has kept me out of the pool store and more than likely has saved me over $500, maybe even $1k.

    Read in another aquarium forum that this particular ammonia is no good. I have an Ace Hardware nearby I’ll go scout that out.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2018
  15. thatoneguy99Valued MemberMember

    Just because I like to give updates.
    Changed out the blue LEDs for white ones. Took out the plastic plants. Just planted anacharis, dwarf sag, a java fern, and an anubias afzelli. Got a moss ball and some driftwood. Got a small heater which brings the temp up to about 78F. Added enough ammonia to bring it up to 4ppm, only now I’ll need to add some more as I had to take some water out to plant.
    Thanks for looking.
    I don’t like my tie job but oh well.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019