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My First Tank

This is a discussion on My First Tank within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by mjbn I was looking at buying the Marina S15 for my tank, but since it's pretty new (never heard of it) ...

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Old 01-17-2011, 12:21 AM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by mjbn View Post
I was looking at buying the Marina S15 for my tank, but since it's pretty new (never heard of it) i didn't trust it. I'd sell/return it and either get a aquaclear 30/150 (adjustable flow rate) or a marineland penguin 150B. I'd suggest these for 10gallon tanks and up. If you have anythign under, get the same brand of filter ^^ but downsized. As for the gravel vacs, it's always a pain to vac the gravel completely. It just makes the poop/food fly around rather than clean it. I cannot give advice about that as i changed to sand recently. As for the gunk, try to skim it off with a net or something. If it returns after you remove it, then i'd say it's something in the chemicals you are using that are causing the clumps of "****". I use aqueon water conditioner, which works VERY well. and like RCinAL and I said, forget the pH. Adjust your fish correctly and they'll do fine.
I have used Penguin Bio-wheel hang-on filters for years and have been perfectly happy with them. The filter cartridges are widely available too and cheaper than most. The Bio-wheels must work well since I have never had a problem even with over-stocked tanks. I purchased 2 newer Penguin 150B's for my 33 long tank a couple of months ago and am well satisfied with them too. These newer ones have room for a prefilter too. I just took some filter material and cut it to fit where the optional second filter cartridge can go. This gets most of the solid waste and spares my real filter cartridge adding to it's lifespan. I can just remove the prefilter and rinse and wring it in the sink anytime, thereby removing most of the waste without replacing a cartridge.

The 150B's are silent enough as long as you keep the water topped off. I have never owned a canister of any kind and can't answer for noise, but I know they filter well.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:15 AM   #22
 
The dusty stuff is still on the surface today so I don't think the filter will remove it unless it sinks. I have tried the papertowel method but its only taking up very small amounts at a time.

As the water is clean I am going to try a different method. If I very slowly overflow the tank with fresh water, the oil **** will run off. Hopefully.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:41 AM   #23
 
I managed to remove 80% of it using a cup and a "skimming" technique :D I will skim it again maybe tomorrow or Wednesday.
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:54 PM   #24
 
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dont use aqua one i was told to use prime water conditioner it works great i was coached myself through a cycle there a lot of great people here to help good luck
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:56 PM   #25
 
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i use the aquca clear brand filter i currently have the aquca clear 70 its the best filter brand i think...
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:00 PM   #26
 
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I managed to remove 80% of it using a cup and a "skimming" technique :D I will skim it again maybe tomorrow or Wednesday.
Fish4Andy,

I am still very curious to know exactly what that layer of film is and how it got there. You also mentioned a layer of gray slime or something on the glass when you cleaned the tank. The two might be related. I am of the impression that you only had the tank set up and running for a few days before things went bad and you tore it back down to completely clean it with pure tap water and start over. After doing all that I am unaware of anything "normal" that could be causing a layer of gunk on the surface now. There should be absolutely nothing in that tank right now but gravel and crystal clear water, especially after sitting overnight. I say my two theories - gravel dust and pressure bubbles from the tap - have been proven false by the fact that it is still there some 24 hours later. Dust should have settled on the bottom by now and bubbles should have completely dissipated if you ran the filters. This is all very strange and worrisome if you ask me. What does this stuff smell and feel like?

I guess if all else fails you can acclimate a single Zebra Danio and see what happens. Feed it lightly and if it dies in a day or two I would say that gunk is bad stuff.


Ralph
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:54 PM   #27
 
I have no idea what it was, but most of it has gone with the skimming. The water is crystal clear anyway so thats a good sign.

I don't know how to cycle my tank now, I was told to leave it three days and take a water sample back to the shop. I have read the beginners guide on here but I don't know which option to use. I was tempted to add come Cycle as this is the only thing I have.

Last edited by Fish4Andy; 01-17-2011 at 07:03 PM..
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:09 PM   #28
 
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i would just use prime water condioner with every partial water change thats what worked for me thanks to some good advice from people on this site...
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:23 AM   #29
 
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I have no idea what it was, but most of it has gone with the skimming. The water is crystal clear anyway so thats a good sign.

I don't know how to cycle my tank now, I was told to leave it three days and take a water sample back to the shop. I have read the beginners guide on here but I don't know which option to use. I was tempted to add come Cycle as this is the only thing I have.
I don't want to go against any fish keepers smarter or more experienced than myself here, but I have never waited 3 days to put in a fish. I take a brand new or used aquarium, put in the substrate and decorations, fill it with tap water to about the right temp, dump in the right amount of Stress Coat water conditioner/de-chlorinator (any brand will work), plug in the filters, adjust the heater and watch it work for a couple of hours, then introduce the first starter fish as soon as I know the temp is stable. Been doing it this way for almost 4 decades through maybe 25 or 30 tanks and never had a problem.

I think the key is in choosing the right starter fish in the right quantity and not over-feeding them at all during the break-in period. And like I said, Zebra Danios have served me well for this purpose. They are cheap and hardy. If you don't like them they are usually cheap enough that you can just give them back to the store after they have served their purpose, or work out a trade. They are not my favorite either and I have taken them back many times. For a tank your size I would put in one fish a week for 4 or 5 weeks and feed them sparingly once a day while doing 25% water changes every 3 days or so. After that I would ramp up the number of fish added a week to 2 or 3 of whatever I wanted and continue to feed sparingly until about 6 weeks while continuing the water changes. Then I would go to 2 feedings a day and keep adding a few fish a week till I have what I want. Once I have what I want, I would skin back to weekly or bi-weekly partial water changes and go full tilt with the food, but NEVER over-feed. It generally takes me about 8 weeks to fully cycle and stock a tank, usually without killing a single fish.

Always use a de-chlorinator when re-filling with tap water during the partial changes. I use an old plastic milk jug that has been thoroughly rinsed and kept under the tank for this purpose. A strategically placed hole cut in the top of the handle makes it pour smoother. I put in the right amount of de-chlorinator for every gallon (about 3, maybe 4 drops for Stress Coat brand), fill the jug with tap water to about the right temp by feeling it with my fingers, go dump it into the tank, and repeat till it is topped back off.

25 people will tell you 25 different ways to cycle and maintain a tank, but this exact method, though slow, has worked for me for 38 years without ever testing a drop of water- HOWEVER, our local water supply happens to be above average for use in aquariums I am told. I wouldn't be against you testing yours throughout the process if someone tells you it is a good idea. I just wouldn't recommend fretting over little imperfections too much till the tank is cycled. Like I said, there will be plenty of time to achieve perfection after-wards - slowly and deliberately.

Good luck, and keep us informed.

Ralph
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:35 AM   #30
 
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RCinAL knows his stuff.. I'm more of an aquarist like him, i did not leave either of my tanks empty for more than a couple hours.. You will NOT start a cycle with no fish, because without fish, there is no ammonia source. If you want the fish-in cycle, then add a zebra danio. If it were me though, I'd add two. But like RC said, "25 people will tell you 25 different ways." It's all preferences. I used a commercially bought bacteria to instantly "cycle" my tank and left 2 guppies in right from the start of beginning my tank. Everything's been better than great since then. My tank is overstocked but it is still up and running with no bad signs yet. But since i've only been into fish keeping for a little under a year, and i'm only 16 years old, I'd go with RC's advice, though i am confident in the info i am giving you myself.
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