07-16-2011, 09:25 AM
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Hi Voodoochild! Welcome to TFK. We're glad you found us, especially while still trying to cycle the tank. Sorry this is long... just want to help.... It will take at least 6-8 weeks to get thru the nitrogen cycle so take your time, and be patient. For now the Pleco will help create the bio load. You can always trade him back to the LFS when you are finally cycled and ready to add new fish. I have a 75 Gallon with a 7-8 inch common Pleco. It has taken 4 years for her to grow to that size and she was in a 55gal until last Oct when we upgraded. So yes they get huge, but in time. You have time to think and make decisions. Only one Gourami esp a blue in the tank at one time as they can also be teritorial/aggressive with certain fish. Do not put any betta's M or F into a tank with a Gourami.
So keep up with your water changes, if any number gets too high it can be rectified with a water change. Remember to match temperatures iwth each bucket full, as well de-chlorinator. Also when you get your Master kit, test your tap water to know your numbers. My water has .25 ammonia right out of the tap.
At the end of the cycle you will have approx 0 Ammonia, 0 NitrIte and 20ish Nitrate but each will spike before that and water changes will bring those numbers down. Keep a little journal or pocket calender near the tank and always write down what you do on what day. July 16, 30% water change. July 19 A xx, NI xx, NA XX, 30% water change. Aug 1 Added XXX fish. etc. It is hard to remember what we did on what day, and when things go wrong you have a reference to discuss with us or the LFS for help.
Go to the LFS to just look around. Come home and research. What does that fish need, how big does it get, and who can it go with/ not go with. Also does it school? i.e. needs same kind tank mates, sometimes 6-8. When you do bring new fish home max 3-4 at a time so that you do not upset your bio load and cause a mini-cycle, float the bag to equalize temperatures for 30-45 minutes and every 5 or 10 minutes dribble in some TANK water to help equalize the PH from the store water to the tank water. Eventually you might invest in a quarantine 10 gallon tank to house new fish for 3-4 weeks before adding them to the big tank to protect your fish from dissease.
Hope this all helps. TA larger tank functions better than the small ones, and a planted tank functions way differently too but that also has it's challenges. This is a wonderful place to learn! Enjoy!!
Good luck... just trying to save you heartache we have all gone thru.