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This is a discussion on First Legit Aquarium within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Big question: I'm eager to add all my new fish at once. I have a very, very well established pond outside. In it is ...

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Old 11-25-2010, 03:42 PM   #11
 
Big question:

I'm eager to add all my new fish at once. I have a very, very well established pond outside. In it is a few pounds of lava rock, which I sold to people a few years ago when I worked in the pond section of a garden centre as an excellent medium for growing bacteria. In fact, we used it in ALL of our fish tanks.

My question is: If I condition the water and throw some of these porous rocks directly from the pond in to the filter/aquarium, can I skip cycling? That is, since there's already an established bacterial culture in the lava rock, can I add fish right away?

If not, I was thinking I'd get the 7 danios and a few shrimp to start off on Sunday. I'll be filling and conditioning the tank tonight.
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:08 PM   #12
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtLoach View Post
Big question:

I'm eager to add all my new fish at once. I have a very, very well established pond outside. In it is a few pounds of lava rock, which I sold to people a few years ago when I worked in the pond section of a garden centre as an excellent medium for growing bacteria. In fact, we used it in ALL of our fish tanks.

My question is: If I condition the water and throw some of these porous rocks directly from the pond in to the filter/aquarium, can I skip cycling? That is, since there's already an established bacterial culture in the lava rock, can I add fish right away?

If not, I was thinking I'd get the 7 danios and a few shrimp to start off on Sunday. I'll be filling and conditioning the tank tonight.
Even if you have some initial BB colony in the tank, I still wouldn't add all the fish at once. There are spikes in ammonia no matter how old your tank is when you introduce new animals. Just gradually add around 3 fish per week, your system will be healthy then. Even if you have plants in the tank already, I still wouldn't add all the fish at once, because there will be a lot of intial shock on the system and bacteria colony. Try to add smaller fish first also.

Being impatient is the worst thing you can do while setting up a new tank, in the long run you'll probably kill fish and waste more money.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-26-2010, 12:17 PM   #13
 
So I got my aquarium set up and filled (ever so carefully) last night. I filled it using 1/4" nylon tubing to siphon it in, to be sure absolutely nothing got disturbed. The problem is that my filter is disturbing the sand at the bottom. This is making the tank a little bit cloudy. I let it sit overnight with the filter off, but when I woke up, it was still cloudy. What now? Should I put a rock under the filter so it doesn't disturb the sand? Should I do some partial water changes even though there's no fish?

It's making tons of nice bubbles though. Pictures in a few hours! (Which is probably before any of you will read this, seeing as I'm off today.)
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Old 11-26-2010, 01:06 PM   #14
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtLoach View Post
So I got my aquarium set up and filled (ever so carefully) last night. I filled it using 1/4" nylon tubing to siphon it in, to be sure absolutely nothing got disturbed. The problem is that my filter is disturbing the sand at the bottom. This is making the tank a little bit cloudy. I let it sit overnight with the filter off, but when I woke up, it was still cloudy. What now? Should I put a rock under the filter so it doesn't disturb the sand? Should I do some partial water changes even though there's no fish?

It's making tons of nice bubbles though. Pictures in a few hours! (Which is probably before any of you will read this, seeing as I'm off today.)
Try to make sure that your intake for the filter isn't too close to the sand bed. I actually made sand bed lower in this area so there is about 8 inches between the intake and the sand bed, this will help.

Also it is nearly impossible to have clear water when you initially put sand in a tank. Just wait a day or two if it's still cloudy, do a 50% water change.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:03 PM   #15
 
You're right. Here's what it looks like now:



pH is around 7.5 (the test only goes to 7.6, but a capful of white vinegar brought it down to about 7.2, so I'm assuming it's at where I want it to be, and not way up there.

No ammonia, either (I thought I'd check, because there's garden soil and some decaying plant matter in there.)

All those plants are real. The sweetgrass is from my pond (Rescued on the last day before the pond froze over)
The crap you see on the sand is duckweed. I took it out after I realized all it was doing is clogging the filter and getting crap all over the tank. The rest of the plants were bought from Petsmart, and I hope to add some java moss or something in there if I can get my hands on some.

A question: Sometimes my filter has a nice uniform "sheet" flow that produces less noise and gets bubbles farther down. Other times (like right now) the flow is broken up and noisy. Is there any tricks to making it stay nice and quiet?

----
And if anyone cares, I modified my light today, too. I gave it a new electronic ballast (it just had an inductor ballast) and installed a timer in to it on the back. So I never have to worry about turning it on or off. Why do it if I can make something that will do it for me?
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:33 PM   #16
 
Uhhh... quick question. Let's say I wanted to paint something on to my snails. What would I use to clean them off safely, and what kind of paint or nail polish or lacquer or something would not harm the aquarium environment?

Also, here are some shots I just took!



The rest are huge, so go here to see the rest:

Aquarium Photos!

There's 2 zebra danios, 2 longfin zebra danios, a leopard danio, and a golden apple snail. Cycling take loooooooooooooooooong. I want more fish!

Last edited by KurtLoach; 11-28-2010 at 08:36 PM..
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:01 PM   #17
 
Painting snails= bad idea, let's just leave it at that.
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:31 PM   #18
 
Okay, here's a better question:

Since I've added the fish (Sunday at 3) until now (Tuesday at 3), I still am unable to detect ammonia. How long should I wait before assuming my tank is pre-cycled and I can add a few more fish? I'm to cheap to buy any nitrite or nitrate tests. There's tons of plants to use up the nitrate, anyway.

My main concern right now is that by waiting, I'm actually reducing the amount of bacteria in the colonies. Like I said, they came from a pond outside, which is a closed system, and contains tons of plants (lilies, hornwort, and irises and some algae) and plenty of goldfish.

Also, my leopard danio is staying near the bottom and hidden behind plants, and when another danio chases him, he swims away to another part of the tank. Does he need some leopard friends?

Current stock: 1 leopard/2 longfin zebra/2 zebra danios, and a golden apple snail.

If readings are still good by the weekend, I'm thinking I'll add two more danios, and two more snails. Or maybe 5 kuhli loaches. Or is that too much, assuming cycling is complete (and possibly over-cycled right now)
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:19 PM   #19
 
Invest in the tests, it's worth it. If you want to be cheap this is NOT the area to be cheap in with an aquarium. You might not see any ammonia spike due to your plants, but that does not mean that you can just add all your fish at once. Your bacteria colony is jump started, but needs to catch up to the fish and snail you have already added. And yes sounds like you need friends for your lonely/scare fish!

Add about 2-3 fish/week, don't go over. Many people stick to this rule, including myself, and have no troubles with the additions.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:25 PM   #20
 
Alright. Sounds good to me.
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