Help me setup my Oceanic Bio-Cube (noob w/pics) - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 36 Old 10-28-2013, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
Well, you know what they say about assuming. (I saw the Cowboys logo on your personal page.)

Are you in the delta region? The water there is kind of funny---high pH, low GH, if I remember coreectly. Check with your water co. and let us know what they say about ammonia, nitrate and hardness (GH and KH).

That tank is ~46" deep. I don't know if affordable LED's can be had that would light the bottom enough to grow plants. You can ask on the "planted tank" section of the forum. A 60W to 90W curly CFL (6500K) in a hanging reflector or desklamp fixture would be enough to grow most anything. I've seen this application and it looks pretty good to my eye.

Any reason you're going with a fishless cycle?
Ok with my master freshwater test kit I tested our drinking water. yes it does look like you were correct, the Ph levels were 7.6 and the high range Ph were 7.4. The ammonia came in clear along with the nitrate levels. I will have to buy a gh and kh test kit later on this week to find out about the hardness of the water, ill post my findings.

I wanna try to keep the same top to the fish tank, there are LED sets that are sold to replace the light bulbs for the top. Im still looking for a decent none expensive set.

I have kids so i do not want them to get attached to whatever fish i decide to keep in the tank in the beginning of the cycle, maybe ill start with one fish and then add as the cycle progresses.
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post #12 of 36 Old 10-31-2013, 05:26 AM
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That's how it's done. The idea of "sacrificial fish" is old-school and out of step with modern attitudes toward fishkeeping. Turns out low-ammonia-input cycles are just as easy as forced, high-ammonia cycles, and don't take that much longer, in my experience.
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post #13 of 36 Old 10-31-2013, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Went out today and grabbed a KG & KH Test kit. Got home and started to finish testing my tap water. After reading the instructions each test tube took 9 drops before the color of the water changed, indicating my tap water ppm of about 161.1.

The sheet that came with the test kit indicates to adjust the GH and PH levels between (50-100 ppm) to keep a community aquarium of tropical fish.

If I want to keep a planted tank with small fish with frequent water changes my tank should be oK? or am I going to need to add water softer to my water to keep the water at a ppm range of 50-100 to keep live plants and most fish.
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post #14 of 36 Old 11-01-2013, 03:47 AM
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Your water is a little hard. Not as hard as mine and many others who keep tropicals. Your pH is also fine. There are only a few fish that won't thrive in your water just the way it is.
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post #15 of 36 Old 12-13-2013, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Iv gotten most everything I need to compete this setup. heater, rocks, light, are already added and ready to go. I have a 20 pound bag of eco complete coming in today. I poured boiling water on all rocks, i have a couple more getting a bath.

Once i get the eco complete, I want to start this tank.

My question is, can i add any of these into the tank to jump start the cycle? then maybe a week later add fish?
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Last edited by jimmyFalcon; 12-13-2013 at 02:32 PM.
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post #16 of 36 Old 12-13-2013, 02:44 PM
No, when using cycling products you need to have a source of ammonia. If you want to do a fishless cycle, go get a bottle of pure ammonia. Make sure when you shake the bottle it does not foam up. You can add the cycling product then keep your ammonia at a level of 3-4ppm.

Ammonia is created by the fish, or in this case, pure ammonia. A second bacteria called nitrites then forms. Now that the tank is teaming with incredibly toxic ammonia and nitrites, a third bacteria colony forms that eats the first two colonies and they produce a final colony called nitrates. Nitrates aren't as bad for your fish in small levels, but once they reach 20ppm, you do a water change to bring them down.
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post #17 of 36 Old 12-13-2013, 03:48 PM
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Jimmy, it looks like your big piece of rock is Texas Holey Rock.
Be aware that this is a type of limestone and will raise the hardness in your tank.
You can verify that it is calcareous by putting a couple drops of vinegar on it, if it fizzes or if you can wipe off some sediment afterwards it is most likely limestone and will affect your chemistry.
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post #18 of 36 Old 12-13-2013, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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it is texas holey rock, iv read and seen videos about this rock. Mostly read about how these rocks help keep the ph high, if i decide to keep it that would mean have to keep fish that are tolerable to high ph levels? I want to make this tank more of a tropical fish tank than anything else.
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post #19 of 36 Old 12-14-2013, 09:37 AM
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Good catch, Ogre. Most tropicals prefer a pH <7.4, although many will tolerate >8.0pH. Most tropical keepers wish they had lower pH. Your pH is perfect, Jimmy. Don't mess with it.

Nutrafin cycle is an older product meant to keep ammonia down when (over)-stocking a new tank like they used to do, and battling "new tank syndrome." Nobody does it that way anymore, so it's mostly useless for modern cycling techniques. Microbe-Lift Special Blend is the same type of product, meant to break up sludge, chelate and sink particulates (for clarifying water) and to keep ammonia down.

The product you want is Microbe-Lift Nite Out II. It contains the actual live nitrifying bacteria (nitrosomonas and nitrospira) that oxidizes ammonia (which produces nitrite), then oxidizes nitrite (which produces nitrate). These bacteria need to be fed ammonia, either by adding pure ammonia (fishless cycle) or by using livestock to provide the ammonia.

Tetra Safestart, API Quickstart, ATM Colony, Dr Tim's One-and-Only all contain the same batceria. All live bacteria products, including Nite Out II, need to be used fresh (check the sell-by date) and never have been frozen or overheated.
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post #20 of 36 Old 12-14-2013, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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The pet smart clerk who works at the fish department told me the special blend bottle is what I needed. He said dump this in first then add your fish, Turns out those aren't even the correct start up bacteria I need to begin my cycle. (thanks for pointing it out you guys) Its a good thing i posted and you guys responded or else i would have made a big mistake.

The other red rock is called lacy agates, will this also raise the ph levels?
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