New tank checklist

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Ryank, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. RyankNew MemberMember

    Hello fishlore, this is my first post here but i've been reading around and you guys are really helpful! I know it must be kind of annoying to always answer beginner questions but I have a couple things that my LFS guy didnt really explain well enough and online there's so much conflicting information about just about everything involving aquariums lol. Bear with me through these "noobish" questions!

    So right now I have a Ten Gallon tank, it has two filters in it, the Topfin power 10 filter, which pushes 80 gallons of water per hour. However I read that a ten gallon tank needs at least 100 GPH. Just to be sure, and to hopefully keep my tank a bit cleaner, I went and spent another 15 bucks on the tetra whisper 10i which pushes another 90 gallons per hour (total 170GPH). Additionally i can service one filter while the other keeps its bacteria. Both have brand new filter cartridges in. I also have a airpump with a Air-stone set up along with a small piece of Malaysian driftwood and 6 fake plants. Oh and gravel of course! My water has been treated with SeaChems prime. I'm also using a topfin bacteria product because my local fish store would not sell me gravel from a established healthy tank, which was a huge bummer and could have saved me time. Any opinions/advice on the TOP FIN bacterial supplement would be great, I know alot of people think it does nothing, whilst others say it helps a little but its certainly not going to cycle a tank. Nor do I expect it to. I just wanted to use it when I put my fish into the tank, but I've been using it in half doses lately.

    So now that you know my setup, heres a couple problems/questions i have. I know with new tank syndrome it is normal for the water to become clouded with bacteria, which happened. I can see right through the aquarium, its just very whitish and clouded. Right now i'm doing 1 gal water changes everyday and constantly running the duel filters. I run my air-stone from 8am to 12pm. I run my lights from 8am to 12pm. I've been putting a small *VERY* small amount of fish flakes in everyday to begin to add some ammonia into the tank so my good bacteria can start to grow. I'm assuming this caused the bacterial cloud. My question is should i be doing something to get rid of this bacterial cloud or should i simply leave it be? My fish guy told me to drain half of the water everyday but that seems like it might throw off my bacterial growth? To be fair i know in simplicity how the nitrogen process works, but im unsure what i can personally do to make it establish the fastest without hurting fish in the process. Speaking of fish, when should i buy and put my fish in? Should i wait for the bacterial cloud to pass? Should I do a complete fish-less cycle and then buy the fish I want? Is there anything i should keep in mind, or do, to make this process as easy as possible? Any help would be greatly appreciated, as this is a very confusing time for any new aquarium owner(as im sure you remember).

    The fish i want to buy are 3 to 4 White cloud minnows to start, and later get it to about 7 to 9 white clouds in my tank. I like white clouds because i wont need a heater, they fit in a ten gallon nice, they are beautiful fish, and they are apparently hardy.

    Additionally, I'm buying a API masters test kit tomorrow and checking water quality since knowing the numbers will be the most helpful right now. I will answer anybody's questions if they need to know anything else to answer some of my questions. Thank's for taking the time to read/respond to this, i really appreciate it! Cheers :)
  2. BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    Having an over filtered tank is better than an underfiltered, I've heard that adding fish will start the cycle
  3. RyankNew MemberMember

    Yeah i totally agree on the over filtered, i think that 170 GPH should help as far as tank cleanliness. As far as the fish starting the cycle, i was curious to know about things regarding the good and bad bacteria, (refer above) and if i should add fish yet and start the cycle now.
  4. scarlett4410Valued MemberMember

    I agree having an over filtered tanks is by far the bet option. Yes adding fish will start the cycle but the chances of loosing fish will be high and its not reccomended.I think you should get a pure bottle of ammonia , you can get it from Wilkinson , roberdyas etc. it will be better as you can control the amount of ammonia going in.

    I wouldn't change the water daily unless the ammonia gets to high and stalls the cycle. It will extend the amount of time you will have to cycle it.

    Cloudy water never happened for me... whats your substrate? If its sand then thats to be expected. How long has it been set up ?

    I would test for ammonia & possibly nitrites but there will not be nitrAtes present yet.


    EDIT - Dont add fish to speed up the cycle. Its cruel and there going to die and if anything slow the cycle.
  5. Tigress HillWell Known MemberMember

  6. RyankNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the response! :)

    So if i add the pure ammonia the bacterial cloud will decimate? I guess that sounds like the best option because I don't want to harm my fish when i can just add the ammonia and save them the cycle process. How long after i add ammonia should i wait to add any fish?
  7. BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    Or that I didn't know you get a bottle of pure from wilkinsons that would be a better option, (also cheaper) as I've found myself you seem prepared more than me I thought it was as easy as by a set up and put this fish in, wasn't I wrong !! Haha
    EDIT, when the levels seem safe enough, api freshwater master test kits are good
  8. soarlValued MemberMember

    The biggest thing with cycling your tank is having patience and not making any drastic changes...It took me 6.5 weeks to cycle my 20 long tank using flakes. The down side to using flakes to start your cycle is the mess it leaves behind. With a gravel substrate there are tons of nooks and crannies for all that "funk" to hide in. If you can find some pure ammonia I would deffintly second that suggestion. It's much cleaner and easier to control. I'll also second the no water changes unless your ammonia levels are too high and your cycle stalls (this did happen to me) There will be no way to know the progress of your cycle until you get that test kit and get some numbers.

    Just be patient and stay the course and you'll cycle your tank. Don't put fish in until you can add your ammonia and the ammonia and nitrite levels drop to 0 within 24 hours. Then to a large water change to clear out the built up nitrates and you should be good to add fish slowly. As someone stated above adding fish during the cycle is cruel and can end up being a waste of your hard earned money!

    As far as your bacteria is generally lives in your filter media. Gravel from an established tank wouldn't really help your cycle any. If you had someone who could donate a used filter cartridge from an established tank that would speed things up. The whisper 10i you bought may have came with a sponge thingy in it. aside from some small amount of mechanical filtration this sponge give's your BB a home and allows you to change your filter cartridge without causing a mini cycle. I don't' change my filter media until it's falling apart lol.

    Good luck and welcome to Fishlore!

    Edit: If you do have to have fish in during your cycle I've heard great things about Seachem Prime. It's a daily thing with large water changes. Also, the only product i've ever heard of working to start your cycle with bacteria is Tetra Safe Start. I believe you can find a few how to's here in the forums regarding peoples experiences with TSS. I've never used it but from what I hear you have to follow the instructions to the T.
  9. scarlett4410Valued MemberMember

    You will need to wait until the nitrogen cycle is complete , maybe a few weeks it varies tank to tank mine took 1.5 weeks but some takes 8 weeks. If you could get some beneficial bacteria that would help. Ammonia bassically burns the fish and kills them ... i guess its like someone throwing acid over us :) As soon as nitriAtes appear your on your way and as soon as the readings are
    Ammonia - 0ppm
    NitrItes - 0ppm
    NitrAtes - Under 20ppm
    You can add fish !!!

    I have never had a bacterial cloud. Whats your substrate?

    Agreed use a liquid tester , API isn't compulsory however most people use them and i swear by mine.

    Borngemini - I got mine from Wilkos/Wilkinsons for £2 its a massive bottle but DONT smell it , i opened it and thought i wonder what it smells like! I swear my ability to smell will never be the same lol.
  10. BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    I have fish in my tank, I had started from fresh and added fish not understanding also not knowing you grow a bond with fish I cried when my Molly died if I had known about the whole cycle in the first place I wouldn't have done things the way I did, recently found out that my tank is half way through the cycle thank to scarlett and Ive added seachem prime which is brilliant and my fish have finally stopped dying, it's hard to get set up but once you do it's great if only I had joined before setting up and not to find out what I'd done wrong, that way you can keep it cheap and it won't take as long
    Haha that comment made me laugh I will defo not attempt to smell it
    Good luck
    My advice I'd also make sure when your reading the api kit you use some decent lighting and white paper to get the best reading
  11. scarlett4410Valued MemberMember

    Haha probably wise, sometimes though knowing you shouldn't makes you!

    I lost fish at the start as well its hard but ive learnt alot. The way i look at it is if i hadn't lost those fish i wouldn't have my current fish :)
  12. RyankNew MemberMember

    Awesome posts guys thanks so much! I found some ammonia online at my local home hardware and im going to get the API tester kit! I found a great step by step guide on the forums here too so im all set, again thanks everybody
  13. RyankNew MemberMember

    Just premium gravel
  14. BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    Good luck :)
  15. soarlValued MemberMember

    Any time you need reassurance your on the right track just post it up in here! I know I made several posts during my first cycle. It helps to have people that have been through it tell you your on the right path.
  16. BorngeminiValued MemberMember

    I agree sometimes it's also nice to know your on the right track even if the levels are all good, I found a really good website explaining the cycle have a read you may like it  
    That helped me quite a bit :) I dont know how you feel about it