Our First Tank (EDIT: Also just got a 10gal! WOO!)

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shollia

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First off... Howdy all!!
I've been reading through the website and just have a few questions about some things.

Me and my bf got a 28gallon tank this Christmas and right now I'm trying to get as much info as possible before we put any fish in the aquarium.
I've read about the Nitrogen Cycle that tanks need to go through, but I'm not sure if mine is going through it and what I should do when it starts.

The tank has been set up for about a little over a week now. Well my bf drained half of the water out to mess with the decorations and such so I guess I should count it from when he filled it back up.
I added in drops of something called API Stress Zyme Biological Filtration Booster to the tank and 3in1 7.0pH Water conditioner. We also hooked up the heater (water is currently at 75-80degrees) and an air pump
And now the water is extremely cloudy. It's been like this for about 3 days now. First day we noticed it was just slightly cloudy, now it's really bad.
I've been testing the water for a few days now and basically nothing has changed.
These are the readings from the test that I did yesterday using API 5in1 Aquarium Test Strips
GH- 60
KH- 80
pH- 6.5
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- 0

Also did an ammonia test yesterday and that reading came out as 0.25

We did a 15% water change today (I dechlorinated the replacement of course) b/c I thought I had read that that should be done if your water is cloudy but now I'm not so sure.

So yep.. I'm just wondering what is happening to the aquarium right now? Is this normal? Will it clear up on it's own? Is this part of the Nitrogen Cycle? Should we be doing water changes when we don't have any fish yet?
Here is a pic of the aquarium to show how cloudy it is. The water is NOT green as seen in the pic though. Our walls are green so that is the color you're seeing heh. The cloudiness is milky white.
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Also... I've been reading about different fish and the clown loach is one I'd really love to own whenever my tank is ready for fish. Is my tank too small for 2 of these fish?
Edit: Nm... I just read the article about them. I don't think we have the right kind of setup for this type of fish unfortunatly. Specially since they eventually will get so big. Maybe when we move and purchase a larger tank I can get some. We want to get a 55 gallon one of these days
 

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Re: A few Newbie Questions

Welcome to fishlore!

Well, first off, you said you added a booster, OK good but what are you doing to cycle the tank? are you adding ammonia or fish food? your water cloudiness would or could be a bacteria bloom. Your ammonia readings are good will probably rise to .50ppm and then you should get a nitrite reading of about .25ppm in about 2 - 5 days your ammonia will drop then, while doing fishless cycling i do less water changes so the tank cycles faster. The cloudiness could be caused by fish food if thats what you're doing. other wise get a shrimp - human kind and put it into the tank let it rot, that will bring your ammonia levels up to allow the bacteria to develop.

But I'm not 100% sure about the water cloudiness someone else who knows more should be able to help you with that.

Kerry
 
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shollia

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Re: A few Newbie Questions

I haven't added anything to the tank except for the booster.
Should I do the flake food method? I read a comment about that that didn't reccommend that route. I really don't want to go the 100% ammonia to the tank way either AND I REALLY do not want to put in fish to get the cycle going.

With the shrimp you mentioned... how long would you keep the shrimp in there after it starts to rot? Anyone else recommend this method?

Thanks for the reply btw
 

kerryve

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Re: A few Newbie Questions

without something to continue the ammonia the bacteria wont grow and eventually your tank will uncycle - I think it was mike who suggested adding a shrimp on another post. leave it in there until your tank has cycled. Most use flake food but it can cause an algae bloom i think or it could be a bacteria bloom - basically it makes your water cloudy. if you can get some filter media from an already established tank that will help seed the bacteria in your tank. Remember when doing water changes and cleaning your filters, wash your filter sponges (depending on what kind of filter you have) in tank water not tap water. keep your tank at about 27c and then the shrimp will rot after a few days, your ammonia will rise sharply.

You need something to maintain the ammonia levels - bacterial will grow and use it and release nitrite - more bacteria will grow to release nitrAte - that in levels under 40ppm are harmless to your fish but above 20ppm do a 30% water change.
 
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shollia

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Re: A few Newbie Questions

Okedoke.... I'll try the shrimp method then if I can get to the grocery store

Thanks so much for the help

EDIT: Der... I just read back over the different methods to cycle on the fishlore site. I had totally skipped over the part that said you could use raw fish or shrimp heh.

Since I'm gonna be doing this though.... how often should I change the water if at all during the cycle? Or should I just wait til it's completed and I have fish in my tank before I worry about doing water changes?
 
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shollia

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Re: A few Newbie Questions

Well plans have changed it seems.
I took more tests today and nothing has changed. When I told bf this, he decided that he wanted to try getting danios (after I told him those were the recommended ones to use) to try to cycle our tank.

So off to the petstore we went. We went to a really bad one called SuperPets. Every time we go in there half their fish are dead or look like they're gonna die soon. But we (or at least I) were determined to save a few heh
So we got what we thought were 4 Pearl Danios... but when I got home and actually looked at them and saw that they weren't very pearly.. I looked it up and they seem to be Yellow Danios. How we mixed up pearly with yellow color is beyond me heh. I just know we wanted to get out of that store ASAP.

But I am happy with them. I pulled up a chair and watched them enjoy the tank once we finally put them in from their bag (after acclimating them of course). They seem to be doing just fine right now. They've been dashing around looking at everything and exploring.
They're very cute and curious little things. Whenever I put my finger up to the glass, they all have to come and take a look.

So yeah... I hope they all survive. I'm gonna be doing everything I can to make sure of it.
Here's a pic of one (that actually wanted to stay still long enough for me to take a pic of).....
I'll get better pics once the water starts clearing more (it's cleared up a little). I think the cloudiness is messing with the focus on my camera.
Yep.. any advice on whatever anyone could think of would be appreciated
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0morrokh

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Re: Our First Tank

Cute fishy!

Now that you have decided to cycle with fish you are going to have a lot of work on your hands I'm afraid. Ammonia is deadly to fish so you will need to do constant water changes to keep the ammonia down while you wait for the bacteria to grow and eat the ammonia. Unfortunately this also means you will have a much slower cycle since the ammonia can't be allowed to get too high so bacteria won't grow as fast...so you are gonna have to be really patient. Also you need to test the water every day, and watch the fishes' behavior very closely.

I always cycled fishless so I don't know how high the ammonia levels can get before a water change is needed. Anyone?
 
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shollia

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Re: Our First Tank

I figured we'd have to do frequent water changes but wasn't sure how often we should do it?
Is it alright to use the 3in1 7.0pH Water conditioner for the replacement water? I've been trolling around a bit and see quite a few posts that say you shouldn't use chemicals to mess with the pH. Our pH before we used that though was at 7.0, but I got that product thinking that it would help keep it at that or some such nonsense heh. Aso got it b/c it dechlorinates the water.
So yeah.. think we could still use that? Or should we just suck it up and get just a chemical to dechlorinate?

Edit: Here are a few more pics...too bad you can't snorgle fish b/c I so would these lil guys
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kerryve

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Re: Our First Tank

cycling with fish generally takes longer if you care for them properly, doing daily water changes of 10% if ammoina spikes do a 30% then a 10% next day, once nitrites reach above .25ppm do a 30% water change, Ive had fish survive under these circumstances but it took 8 weeks for a 20 gallon instead of 2 weeks fishless. like 0morrokh said it takes longer for bacteria to develop becuase youre constantly keeping the ammonia and nirite low for the fishs' sake.

But they really are such beautiful little things, they look pearly yellow. Are they long finned danios? couldnt really see.
 
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shollia

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Re: Our First Tank

Yeah they look like they have long fins. That's one of the reasons we picked them out. The other danios were cute but when we saw the fins on these lil guys we just had to have them heh.

An update... the water in the tank has cleared up ALOT through the night. Maybe another day or so and it will be completely clear... yay
The fishies seem to be doing great as well. They're very active and look really hungry. I'm gonna feed them later tonight.. that'll be a fun experience.
I'm surprised that they're not shy. One of my hairs fell into their tank and I fished it out with my hand. When I stuck my fingers in the water they all came swimming up to investigate. They're so cute! 
 
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shollia

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Re: Our First Tank

Hmm.. do school fish fight with eachother? We got 4 thinking that it would be best since they are schooling fish, but 2 of them (the first and 3rd largest) seem to love chasing and nipping at the other 2 (2nd and smallest). Is this normal? Are they just doing the whole dominance thing or something?

EDIT: Ok updating some.... I was watching them a while ago and noticed that they all seemed to be chansing eachother now. Doesn't look like in a very friendly sorta manner. Looks like more of a territorial thing... at least with the biggest one it does. I just don't want to find one without it's fins one day when I wake up
 

kerryve

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Re: Our First Tank

Mine do the same I think theyre just having a little spat, they stop and then carry on after a while, I think this is normal Danio behavior. I wouldnt worry.
 
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shollia

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Re: Our First Tank

kerryve said:
Mine do the same I think theyre just having a little spat, they stop and then carry on after a  while, I think this is normal Danio behavior. I wouldnt worry.

Ah ok heh... I'm just so worried that I'm gonna do something wrong or that one of them is gonna die so I worry over everything heh

Anywho! I was planning to change the water today, but the readings are going a bit weird.
I tested everything like usual... gh, ph and all of that is the same.... nitrite and nitrate are still at 0... but the ammonia seems to have disappeared as well ??? I'm gonna test it again tonight, but... I dunno, that's just weird.
The ammonia was at .25 yesterday and now it's at 0.... I guess it might fluctuate or something?
 
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shollia

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Re: Our First Tank

Okedoke... just some updated fishy pics....

Here is one of the tank now. As you can see, the cloudiness is pretty much gone. It's not completely gone yet, it's still very slightly cloudy still, but it looks SO much better than it used it.
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And here is a pic of 3 of the danios.
As you can see on the left.. that is the biggest one chasing another as usual heh
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0morrokh

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Re: Our First Tank

They are just playing around, typical Danios.

As for the ammonia it could be that your water changes are removing the ammonia faster than it is being produced so in that case you may need to do slightly smaller changes. But first double-check the nitrite. It could be that the cycle is already on its way.

Don't use that pH altering water conditioner. Chemicals are bad. These ones actually tend to make the pH fluctuate a ton more than it would normally. Just get a regular, plain dechlorinator. The fish are stressed already from the byble so adding unneeded chemicals is not a good idea. You don't need to worry about your pH anyway, it's much better than my tap water.

BTW nice pictures and very nice fishies. I bet the Danios are super entertaining. Have you named them?
 
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shollia

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Re: Our First Tank

Welp, the thing is is that I didn't change the water today. We've only replaced the water twice. First time was when bf drained half of it to screw around with the decorations and such, then the last time was when the water was extremely cloudy. We changed about 15% of it... this was before we got the fish.

I'll convince bf to go to the petstore tomorrow and I'll grab some regular dechlorinator then I think we have a tiny bottle of some that came with the tank as a starter kit. I'll have to check.

As for naming my fishies... I was thinking about it earlier today.
I know the big one is Bully....not sure what to name the other 3... I was thinking Bink, Bunk and Boink hehe
They really are fearless little guys. When I was testing the ammonia earlier today. I put the little vial (used for the testing) into the water and they all swam up and started nibbling on my finger thinking I was food heh
They also were so interested when I was turning the heater onto it's side... just kinda swam around watching what I was doing.
Also when I fed them, I wanted to see if they would nibble the flakes off of my finger and when they spotted it, they did *squeels* They're so cute!! <3
 

kerryve

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Re: Our First Tank

It is also possible that your tank has uncycled itself your Danios might not be creating enough wastes, it will just take longer. So just be patient keep testing for ammonia and nitrite.
 
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shollia

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Re: Our First Tank

kerryve said:
It is also possible that your tank has uncycled itself your Danios might not be creating enough wastes, it will just take longer.  So just be patient keep testing for ammonia and nitrite. 
Yeah I was thinking that that could be what happened.
We'll see though. Like ya said... I'll just have to be patient and keep testing testing testing
 

kerryve

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Re: Our First Tank

Yeah, When you get an ammonia reading, do a 10% water change, and test next day, if it rises to .50ppm do 50% water change but as soon as you get nitrites your ammonia will decrease, dont do an immediate w/c when you get nitrites, although try to keep them below .50ppm. when you get nitrAtes your nitrites will decrease, and then all harmfull toxins are gone but be aware that your nitrates must not go above 40ppm. but it will take a while cos you only got 4 little danios, try some biospira or something to kick start the process.
 
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shollia

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Re: Our First Tank

Is the biospira safe to use with my fish? I mean well of course it's safe to use since you suggested it... just wondering if it's gonna do anything to them that I'll have to watch for.
 
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