Putting fish in a new 36 Gallon tank

  1. m

    momof4 New Member Member

    Hi all,

    I'm new to forums, so be gentle with me.

    I am reestablishing my tank after a couple of years layoff. It has been running for two weeks without fish. I added quickstart a week and a half ago. All my numbers are fine. The water temp is hovering around 72 without a heater (mine blew in the power outage after Sandy).

    My questions are: 1. Can I start adding fish?
    2. How many can I put in to begin with?
    3. Should I get a heater right away or will the fish be fine for now?

    Thanks for all your help.
  2. Anders247

    Anders247 Fishlore Legend Member

    Hello, and welcome to Fish Lore.
    It is probably a good idea to get a heater right away, as 72 is right on the brink of where it should be.
    If you suddenly have the temperature drop then you would have some problems with the fish, as where they come from it usually stays 72-82 degrees. If by quickstart you mean tetra safe start, you waited too long to add the fish. You might want to start with 4 fish, unless you want to get schooling fish.
  3. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    No need to worry about people going easy in you, this is a very friendly forum.

    I haven't heard of many people having success with QuickStart (I believe it does not contain a self sustaining form of the bacteria that cycles your tank), but even if it does, the bacteria has probably starved off. When using a bacteria additive you need to add fish at the same time, since the ammonia the fish produce is the food that the bacteria lives off.

    Of course your water would read as being good, since there have been no fish in the tank producing ammonia yet. And since you did not know all of those things, I'm not filled with confidence that you really understand the nitrogen cycle (words will be link to article aout it). The nitrogen cycle is the most important thing to understand when keeping fish, so I would highly encourage you to read up on it.

    So to answer your questions:
    1. If you add fish now, you will most likely get an ammonia spike due to the bacteria most likely having starved off. This would require you to either do a fish in cycle with a bacteria additive that actually works (i.e Tetra SafeStart) or doing daily partial water changes with Prime until cycled.

    2. The amount of fish kind of depends on what fish they are. But I would thing 4 or 5 danio sized fish should be sufficient to get the tank cycled.

    3. I would get a heater before adding any fish.

    Best of luck and feel free to ask any additional questions you may have.
  4. OP

    momof4 New Member Member

    Thanks for all the information!