New Tank and Set Up

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Gman

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I had an enjoyable time shopping for a new 55 gal tank and accessories. I've read the beginners guides and upon receipt of a few more items am ready to start the process. However, after reading several articles I have a few questions. Seems like there are as many article for a procedure as there are against it. Gets confusing the more you read.

1. I will cycle the tank without fish. I have not yet found pure ammonia but will keep looking for it. Assuming I find some should I also add a chemical such as cycle to help establish the beneficial bacteria ?

2. Should I use the carbon filter pack during the cycling process?

3. Would it be beneficial to add some water removed from a gold fish bowl ? I read some where that using gold fish to start a tank was not good unless they were to be the occupants of the tank.



I purchased my tank and stand from Walmart and very much to my surprise it was far better quality than I expected from them. Both items are made by Marineland I've been told. The tank was complete with dual fluoresent hoods, heater, filter, and a few accessory items. The stand has the best finish on it that I have ever seen on a piece of ready to assemble furniture. Assembly was actually enjoyable, instruction were clear, parts were drilled properly, all hardware was included and the only tool needed was a screw driver. Took me less than 30 minutes to assemble it alone.

Can't wait to get started, thank you all for your help.
 

simpleton

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GMAN:

Sounds like alot of fun. As for cycling the tank, I've never used straight amonia so I can't give you much advice on that matter. The most important thing is to be patient. I know it is very hard to do as you want to stock your tank with lots of cool fish. I have a 30 gallon long and it is a little over 2 years old. I bought it brand new and went through the ups and downs (and alot of fish) of cycling the tank. It's OK to use Cycle to help jump start the process. I would set everything up and let the tank run for about a week without any fish. If you can possibly get some substrate/gravel from a friend's tank, this will help you out considerably as that gravel will have some of the good bacteria needed in the tank. It's also OK to add a little fish food to the tank without fish. After about a week, you can go ahead and add some fish. Get some good, hearty fish (like mollies) to help in the cycling process. If you have a good LFS, they will take back any healthy fish for store credit. Some folks will use fish only for cycling purposes and then trade them in for what they really want once the tank is cycled...about a month. Be sure to do frequent water checks and watch the amonia levels as well as the nitrate and nitrite levels. You will most likely need to do frequent water changes to get the tank cycled. I know that it is a somewhat long and tedious process but well worth the weight to have happy and healthy fish prosper in your tank. Best of luck with your new 55 gallon.
 

COBettaCouple

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Cycle isn't quite as effective as it says and creates mini-cycles from what i can tell of using it. If you can find Bio Spira, it costs a bit but should immediately cycle your tank - you can even add your fish with it. Kordon makes a product named Zymbac that can also help, but not as quickly as Bio Spira.

I'm pretty sure that you can leave the carbon in.

The water from the gold fish bowl won't help any since the beneficial bacteria collects in filters and gravel.

Our walmart is always out of them, along with most of the other things.. the manager stinks big at keeping any part of the store stocked & it's the most poorly run walmart that I've seen so congrats on a happy purchase. We'll look forward to your tank pictures.

Have you thought of what fish you want in it?

EDIT: You'll also want the API freshwater master kit, if you haven't already got it. They should be at your LPS/LFS or you can get them at the Dr. Fosters & Smith website, which has great prices & selection: . And a tap water conditioner - Prime is best, then NovAqua+.
 

vin

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You can find pure ammonia at a hardware store. As for the question about adding water from your goldfish, you can try this instead....If the bowl has any bottom substrate such as glass beads or gravel, take a good handfull and pour it into a clean stocking or panty hose (just the toe end) and tie it off. Drop it into your tank. This is called 'seeding' the tank with bacteria....It should help to get the bacteria going. You can use carbon in the filter as the bag it is contained in will help to colonize more beneficial bacteria. I would avoid the fish unless you want to go through them dying during the cycle period...I used a combo of tank gravel and feeder goldfish during my cycle. They cost me .50 cents for 5.....Remarkably, all but one of the feeders survived.....until we gave them back to the LFS when we were ready to add fish.... ;D

Also, if you haven't already done so, you might want to get yourself an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit (petSmart.com typically has the best prices). This will allow you to inexpensively and conveniently monitor your all important water conditions - especially through the cycle stage....I was so anal about it I kept a log to monitor the progress....

Have fun and good luck...And remember, no question is a dumb question!!
 
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Gman

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FLBettaCouple said:
Cycle isn't quite as effective as it says and creates mini-cycles from what i can tell of using it.  If you can find Bio Spira, it costs a bit but should immediately cycle your tank - you can even add your fish with it.  Kordon makes a product named Zymbac that can also help, but not as quickly as Bio Spira.

I'm pretty sure that you can leave the carbon in.

The water from the gold fish bowl won't help any since the beneficial bacteria collects in filters and gravel.

Our walmart is always out of them, along with most of the other things.. the manager stinks big at keeping any part of the store stocked & it's the most poorly run walmart that I've seen so congrats on a happy purchase.   We'll look forward to your tank pictures.

Have you thought of what fish you want in it?

EDIT: You'll also want the API freshwater master kit, if you haven't already got it.  They should be at your LPS/LFS or you can get them at the Dr. Fosters & Smith website, which has great prices & selection: .  And a tap water conditioner - Prime is best, then NovAqua+.

I'm going to have guppies, corys, and neons. I can watch the guppies have fry for hours. There is a LFS not far from me that sells the Bio Spira so I may try it and add the corys to the tank. I'll skip the Cycle product. I already have the API master kit and I'm ready to start the process.
 

COBettaCouple

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Sounds good. The biospira is a cool timesaver & i wish we could find it around us and use it. make sure they don't sell you some expired stuff with dead bacteria. It will be a great tank and i'd love to see pics when you have them all in there. We were just looking at some amazing guppies today.
 
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