New Tank, No Fish Yet, CLOUDY water

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by alessia55, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. alessia55New MemberMember

    I'm setting up my first FW 10 gallon tank :) It has no fish in it yet, since I've read the tank should cycle (?) before I do so. I rinsed the sand 3 times before adding it to the tank, and washed the decor with warm water before adding it. I made the newcomer mistake of adding water first and then sand, so I immediately got very cloudy, sandy water. I waited overnight and it settled. This morning the water wasn't crystal clear yet. I added the decor, which kicked up the sand again. I also did a 10% water change hoping that would help. It's been about 12 hours and this is what the tank looks like now...
    (When I put the decor in, I couldn't see through the water, so pardon the spotty job!)


    I have the filter running smoothly, and the water seems to be clearing up slowly but surely.

    My questions are-
    1. what else should I be doing to make sure my water is safe for fish?
    2. what kind of fish can I have? I would prefer lots of small fish rather than fewer big fish.
    3. should I add more plant decor?
  2. klogue2Valued MemberMember

    I think your tank looks nice!

    Did you use water conditioner after adding the water? You didn't mention it so I just wanted to be sure. Prime is the most recommended and probably the best water conditioner out there, it also gives the most bang for your buck because you use so little.

    Every week (after cycling the tank) you'll want to do a partial water change because nitrates accumulate over time. Water changes help reduce them to tolerable levels. I'd do maybe 25-30% water changes every week. When you do water changes, make sure you stir up the sand to get rid of any possible gas pockets that might form. This is just a small precaution but it's always possible something could happen under there.

    Some fish I'd recommend are:
    celestial pearl danios
    scarlet badis
    3-4 guppies (might be able to do more but not sure)
    dwarf gourami

    these are just some of the smaller fish because a lot of fish just can't live in a 10 gallon their whole lives.

    If this were my tank, I'd do a school of 6-8 celestial pearl danios and some red cherry shrimp for the bottom :) I think that would be a pretty neat tank!

    Forgive me if someone has already posted before me the same thing, I tend to take a while to type lol and didn't refresh to check for new posts.

    Edit: also are sparkling gouramis! Could do 2-3 sparkling gouramis and maybe 6 celestial pearl danios, but don't quote me on that.

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  3. luke355027355027Well Known MemberMember

    Well i must say that is a very good looking tank. With a 10 gallon you are have some options for fish but first you have to know about the nitrogen cycle. Basically there is bacteria that lives in your filter. This bacteria is what keeps your water clean. I would really read up on the nitrogen cycle and than figure out how you are going to cycle your tank

    1 you can do a fishless cycle. This is when you take something like raw shrimp and let it give off ammonia to start the cycle. This can take 6-8 weeks from what ive heard.
    2. You can do a live fish cycle. This is where you put the fish in the tank and let the cycle. WARNING you have an extremely high chance of having your fish die. This is not recommenced.
    3 depending on your filter you can get some old filter media like a used filter pad or bio rings and put them in you're filter. Assuming you have a filter that hangs off the back you will probably use an old filter pad.
    4. You can add pure ammonia which is like the fishless cycle but doesn't take as long.
    5 you can use a product like tetra safe start which is you add some fish add the product and your tank is cycled. I have never done this but have heard that it works but you may lose a fish or two

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  4. kellyiswickedValued MemberMember

    I second that your tank is quite nice and you need to get water conditioner if you haven't already.

    I also second the guppies or endlers livebearers suggestions. They're super pretty small fish that shouldn't give you too many troubles.

    You could also look into sparkling gourami (Trichopsis pumila). They stay very small and can be kept in small aquariums. I don't know much about their care otherwise, but it seems they are fairly hardy. I saw them in a store the other day and they are very pretty!

  5. John14Valued MemberMember

    To help get the nitrogen cycle started you can do a couple things, you could add some filter media from an established tank, you could also use a combination of stress zyme and stress coat to prepare the water for fish and get the bacteria colony alive and feeding on lethal ammonia (should put some type of water conditioner in regardless), you can also use rocks or ornaments from a tank with an established bacteria colony as well, you could also use a feeder goldfish from your local pets store to create beneficial waste which will also help condition your water but this is risky because cheap feeder goldfish are often kept in horrible conditions and very likely to carry diseases and parasites like ich which can infect your tank! If you decide to go with the goldfish make sure you have a plan for it after the cycling process! A ten gallon isn't big enough for a gold fish btw, they can get 10-12 inches in some cases! It'll be fine for 3-4 weeks though as long as its relatively small.
  6. klogue2Valued MemberMember

    Cycling with fish tends to take longer than cycling without fish, IME. My cycle has had fish in it for two months and not even half way done. Plus you have to do daily water changes, unlike a fishless cycle where you only need to do one at the end. Just thought I'd let you know :)
  7. SiggiWell Known MemberMember

    Very :sign0016: to fishlore!!
    Before answering your questions, let me say :;perfect
    Yes! Exceedingly good aesthetics/aquascaping for a beginner (if you are not aquainted with cycling a tank, I presume you are a 'beginner'/'novice', no offence intended...

    1. You need to cycle the tank and filter. What filtermedia are you working with? i.e. what is inside the filter and, what kind of filter is it, in the first place? Get some filterfleece and some bioballs, or take out the sponge from the filter, cut it down to one third and fill the (remaining) filter space with bioballs - your local fish shop (LFS...) will know what that is!
    2. The fish are up to you, and the temperature you have in the tank ( = get a heater, to maintain a stable temperature: stability is important in your tank - regarding temp, acidity, hardness, everything!!). You are the one, who's going to live with the fish, so choose whatever you like best; study them through research and buy them, if your tank is adequate.
    3. Not more plant decor, but change out the plastic with real plants - slowly, one plant at a time. It looks very nice as it is, so do that slowly, so the real plants can get time to grow and fill the spaces where you take out the plastic. Real plant are much healthier for the water, and hence for the fish, than plastic plants. So consider that change.

    See these pages for useful info: - I prefer the fishless option, it's more 'humane', using fish is harsh on the little guys...
    Good luck
  8. GordinianWell Known MemberMember

    Looks like I've got a recruit! lol. Welcome to fishlore!

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  9. alessia55New MemberMember

    Thank you for all your help so far!
    I will look into getting a conditioner, since I did not get that yet.

    How long will the "cycle" take before I can put fish in?

    I will look into the balls too.

    I don't know how to answer the question about what kind of filter I have. I got a TopFin 10 gallon set up. It came with the filter, heater, etc. I just set it up as per the instructions.

  10. alessia55New MemberMember

    I'm sorry, one more question. The tank came with a 50W heater, but I have no clue how or where to install it. Some guidance in that respect would be much appreciated too. Thanks in advance :)
  11. ghardinValued MemberMember

    place it on the back wall of the tank near the filter and just plug it in! :)
  12. alessia55New MemberMember

    I can do that. I'll look into it tomorrow morning.

    The setup also came with a strip that appears to measure temperature. Where do I put that?
  13. GordinianWell Known MemberMember

    Every cycle is different. It can take a couple days (ex.- if using seeded media) to a couple months. Normally it takes a couple weeks to a month or so.

    The strip should just stick to the glass, though I'm not sure how reliable it would be. I'd use the kind with the suction cup.
  14. escapayWell Known MemberMember

    Technically you should let it sit in the tank (where you place it) for I believe it is 30 minutes before plugging it in. From what I remember reading about the heaters installation, if you plug it in without having it acclimate to the new temperature - it can possibly damage the heater. :/

    Some cool fish I was originally looking at for my tank was Ember Tetras and Honey Gourami. Even Pygmy Cory Cats would work. There are some other small nano fish that stay really small. The Celestial Pearl Danios, as previously mentioned, are very nice looking too. Just depends on what you like and whether it will happily live in a 10 gallon.
  15. Adambull1990New MemberMember

    My heater has a thermometer built into it. Basically, you set the temp at what you want and then the heater will keep the water at that heat the best it can. It will also display what temp the water is in at that present moment and also advises you if you have a poor flow quality of the water.

    I am unsure if they are available across the pond. They are not too expensive either, around 30% or so more expensive than your standard heater.
  16. ZiabisWell Known MemberMember

    Yes Welcome and I 2nd or 3rd or 4th, that you have great creativity with your tank setup.. Very nice... I bought a thermometer (bought a big one) from the dollar store and use that to test tank water and to get a proper temperature when I do water changes so I don't shock the fish.
  17. oscarsbudWell Known MemberMember

    Hello and Welcome!

    Very nice setup. When you get fish they are going to love it.

    Excellent advice given above. Can't add anything to what has already been said. I use sand in all my tanks and it took about 3 days each time for the water to clear completely. I had to learn to move s-l-o-w-l-y when moving stuff around in there.

    Make sure your heater is completely submersible before you put it into the tank. If it is, put it at an angle in the middle of the back wall, If it's not, hang it at clse to the middle as you can to evenly disperse the heat. I don't use the strip. I don't think they are super accurate. I use one of those little digital thermometers. They suction cup to the outside of the tank and have a sensor that drops into the water. I place it so the sensor is at the opposite end or as far away from the heater as possible. I got mine on eBay for about $3.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  18. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    In the trash! Those stick on thermometers are notorious for being inaccurate. A good internal thermometer should only cost a few dollars.

    Note that some heaters are fully submersable, while other require the top to be out of the water. Also, all the heaters that I am familiar with have a line showing the minimum amount that has to be below the water line.

    Lastly...Welcome to FishLore!
  19. LorenHuskyValued MemberMember

    You can get a Coralife temperature probe for about 6 dollars on amazon. It's the one I use and it seems pretty nice! Had it for several years and only replaced the battery once.
  20. SiggiWell Known MemberMember

    The filter you show in the picture is called a hang-on-back (or just 'HOB'). Its fairly practical, but has a limited filtering capacity - but then, it's only 10 gallons...
    The fastest way to cycle your system is without fish, by adding a drop of ammonia per gallon, every day.
    You'll need to buy a measuring kit for nitrites (others will be useful in the future, but nitrites, you'll need now). After ten days adding ammonia, measure nitrite concentration daily. When it reaches zero after a period of higher values, your system is ready to receive fish ('cycled'...) - make a complete water change (wc), your first one - and slowly add fish.

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