Newbie Here!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Stacie H., Feb 11, 2006.

  1. Stacie H.New MemberMember


    My husband surprised me today with a 36 gallon tank! We'd been talking about getting a tank for awhile, and have a corner of our living room that needed something in it. I have always loved tropical fish, and had a small tank once before when I was about 11 or 12. We lived in Indonesia at the time, and you could buy the most beautiful tropical fish there at stands on the side of the road. But that was sooo long ago, so I definitely consider myself a newbie! ;D

    So, I have some questions....

    DH got the tank, filter, thermometer, and a book titled "Aquariums for Dummies." I plan to go out tomorrow and get the rock, plants, etc., and get the tank up and running.

    1) He did not buy a pump. Should I get a pump?
    2) or plastic? I like the idea of live plants, but being a newbie, I'm a bit hesitant.
    3) How long to run the tank prior to adding fish? The lady at PetSmart told DH run it for 2 weeks. And that's fine with me. But reading through my book a bit, plus a few info sheets he picked up at the store, I've seen everything from 2 days to one week.


  2. MarcWell Known MemberMember

    1. What kind of filter do you have? A large enough power filter is often enough to aerate a tank if it isn't overstocked.
    2. Live plants are GREAT! They are easy to take care of - try a hardy species like Java Fern. If possible, buy one attached to a piece of driftwood otherwise you will need to put sand in the bottom.

    3. Well, how soon to put fish in depends on how you want to cycle it.

    Using fish is the fastest method and takes as little as 2-3 days. The safe way, however, is to let the bacteria develop and can take amount of time. Live plants will make it a tad safer for fish (but not much)

    Also, if you pick out a few fish you'd like or what you'd like in fish, we can help you pick out what to get :)
  3. JonWell Known MemberMember

    "takes as little as 2-3 days"

    are you sure about this? i have never heard of a tank cycling that fast especially with fish in it.

    i dont think you need to run it for 2 weeks

    if you keep to small enough or few enough fish your filter and possibly live plants will give your fish plenty of air.
  4. MarcWell Known MemberMember

    Well, if you just toss some hardy fish in (cherry barbs, zebra danios...) it can usually cycle fairly quickly and you can expect a bacterial bloom within 2-3 days. Not to say it's entirely cycled; just that it is pretty much almost there and just adjusting to the fish. Just from my own experience, because I accidentally 'un-cycled' it without realizing it until a few weeks later, just before I put my fish in.
  5. JonWell Known MemberMember

    ahh i thought you meant fully cycled... mine took 2 weeks with fish but 2 fish died in the process
  6. newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    PLease don't cycle with fish! it is cruel to the fish and there is a high death rate. The fish will be very stressed and most likely will get sick and might die if you cycle with fish. There are cheap cycling products you can buy to speed the process along if you are impatient (Bio-Spira by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals is the best, or Stress Zyme). And a note: cycling with fish is hardly faster (if faster at all) than fishless cycling. It does NOT take 2 days :-\ And if you fishless cycle without a cycling product you need to add a pinch of fish food (flake) every day until you pick up nitrites on you test kit (If you don't have one...get the Aquarium Pharmacueticals Master) then decrease it a bit until you have no nitrites and no ammonia just nitrates. Then you can add fish. Only add a few (1-2) fish per week to let the bacteria multiply to keep up. Also live plants are HIGHLY recommended. They aerate the water (so you dont need a pump) they are easy to take care of (many people dont fertilize and the plants are just great) and they look awesome! also they can decrease your nitrates.
  7. JonWell Known MemberMember

    im sorry for cycling with fish ive apologized in a different thread to but when i but i didnt know at the time of buying them and my tank is now cycled... i wont do it again ive learned my lesson 2 guppies died but its over sorry i know it angers people to see newbies cycle with fish
  8. newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    hehehe I'm not angry just passionate lol
    we forgive you for cycling with fish ;)  ;) ;) ;)
    We all make mistakes... :)
  9. JonWell Known MemberMember

    thanks lol
  10. newbie101Well Known MemberMember

  11. MarcWell Known MemberMember

    Umm... it did in fact kick-start the cycle in two days for me :S With no mortalities out of the 6 cherry barbs, too. Blah.
  12. newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    :eek: wow you got lucky...2
    my tank I was "forced" to do a fishy cycle lol bcause I was given a bunch of fish (like 12 :eek: ) for my birthday :-\ :-\ :-\ Only 1 of the fish (Blink the pleco) survived and the tank took a month to cycle :(
  13. JonWell Known MemberMember

    im sorry but i dont beleive you cycled the tank in 2 days... not to call you a liar or nething
  14. Stacie H.New MemberMember

    The filter is by Marineland. It's called the BIO-Wheel power filter, and is rated for up to 50 gallons.
  15. newbie101Well Known MemberMember

    well sometimes tank chemistry can do freaky things...
  16. knight fishNew MemberMember

    Filter is alright since it will probably filter 50 gal an hour in your 36 gal tank. I do agree with Marc, you probably won't need an air pump as long you don't overstock your tank since the oxygen exchange happens at the surface to the water, one thing you have to consider is that the bacteria that is responsible for the nitrification process (cycle) is aerobic meaning it needs air to reproduce. Your filter will probably provide the airification needed but having a small air pump won't hurt.
    You can put plastic plants with real plants if you prefer that's your choice. I agree with Emma that Live plants are preferable since will help get rid off nitrates in your tank and will reduce the times you have to change the water in your tank (25% to 30 % water changes) although it does not mean it will replace the water changes.
    And you should run the tank for at least a couple of hours so the water will be filtered and thus remove any impurities your water might have, I run mine for a full week but that was my preference.

    Good luck and enjoy