New 55 gallon! Where am I at on my cycle? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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New 55 gallon! Where am I at on my cycle?

Hello :D

I got a new 55 gallon today! I'm completely ecstatic, its gorgeous. I have some questions about cycling it. I had an already established 29 gallon and I used the bio pad, gravel, and some of the water from it for the 55 gallon. For the 55 gallon I first added in new gravel, partially filled it, de-chlorinated the water, added in the gravel from the 29, finished filling it with probably 10 or so gallons of water from the 29, added in a bit more aqua-safe, then started up the filter with the bio pad from the 29 gallon. The filter uses two bio pads in 55 gallon so for the new bio pad I rinsed it in water from the 29 gallon. Where should this have me at on the cycle? I'm planning to use tetra safestart, is that still necessary? Sorry I don't have any water test results yet, I have yet to get a test kit. Hopefully I'll be able to pick one up over the weekend.

Also, does anyone have any ideas for stocking? I've never had an aquarium this large to stock! My parrot cichlid from another aquarium will be going in. I know its pretty iffy with them on compatibility. He is around 3 inches in size.

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post #2 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 10:10 PM
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First things first, HOORAY FOR YOUR NEW AQUARIUM!!! Congratulations!

I'd def get a test kit, preferably the API mater kit, as soon as possible. There are variables, but your tank could cycle in a matter of a few days. I would start testing (at least daily) as soon as fish are put in there. Gotta catch those spikes early, before they do damage!

As an example:
I put a few fish in my seeded and planted tank on a Friday. On Monday I started a very small nitrite spike, had to do water changes on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday, and the tank was cycled by Friday. It might have even been sooner, I can't quite remember. My point is, with seeded tanks it can go super quick, so ya gotta stay on top of it. Yanno?

I'm not a fan of Tetra Safestart. In fact, I'm not a fan of Tetra anything. So if it were me, I'd can it. It hasn't been proven to do anything, its just more junk in your tank and money out of your wallet.

Oh, and I don't believe that transferring water will do anything positive. The bacteria you want to transfer lives on surfaces, so all of your other transfers and handling techniques were spot on (the filter pad and substrate).

So, yay! Good luck! Let us know what your tests say when ya get 'em. And, again, CONGRATS!

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!! I will look for it. Unfortunately, where I live there are no good pet/fish stores close by. I got the aquarium from walmart, which I'm not complaining there, the price was much better than what a pet store would of charged. Now as for them having a decent test kit, not a chance. I'm hoping to get to the good pet store tomorrow which is a pretty decent drive. I know I need one, I was just curious as to how much of an affect adding in the old things from the 29 would have. I'm no expert when it comes to cycling.

Alright, I'll stick to no safestart. I've read a lot of reviews on it and it seems to just go both ways, some people had good luck with it and others didn't.

I wasn't quite sure on transferring the water, that was "just in case". I didn't see how it could do any harm so I thought why not. Forgot to mention it but I also added in a few plastic plants from the 29 if that helps at all. I always just stick to plastic plants when it comes to decor.

Will do on the test results!

One more thing, anyone have a suggestion for a water change schedule with a 55? Not quite sure how I should handle this one once cycled. With the 29 I did partial water changes with a gravel vac twice a week. I assume a tank this large doesn't t need to have as frequent water changes.

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post #4 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 11:11 PM
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Certainly everyone can weight in, but... once your tank is stable and barring any abnormalities, the general recommendation around here seems to be 40-50% once a week with a gravel vac (since you don't have plants).

The plastic plant transfer will help, since its a surface. So good idea there!

I didn't realize that you have only fake plants. So this is one of those variables, and will change your cycling experience. I can't say how, I've only done live. Perhaps someone who has done both fake and live can relate their cycling experiences, but each person's cycle is a unique snowflake.

Also, I just thought... In case they don't have the API mater kit when you go, you may want to bring a sample of your tank water for the employees to test. Unless they also use the API, this is an inferior option. But its better than nothing if you can't get your own kit. Be sure to ask for written results.

Do know about ? It has its faults, but its a fun way to play around with different ideas on stocking. I love to pretend I'm setting up and stocking my dream tank. lol

This planning stage is so exciting! I'm happy for you!

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds good!

Yes, I'm not much of a live plant person. Personally, I prefer the look of plastic. I know, odd. To me they just make the aquarium look cleaner in a way and I like the variety of shapes and colors you can find. The stores around here don't have much of a selection when it comes to live. I've tried them before but I never seemed to have good luck. Though if I can hunt down a few moss balls I would like to have some of those.

I will see what they have, but if I remember correctly they do, or did, have API test kits. Its been a while since I was in there, I don't get to go there very often.

Oooo thanks for the website! I will play around with it, looks interesting.

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post #6 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 11:29 PM
If you don't add an ammonia source to that tank shortly your going to loose whatever bacteria you managed to move. Also be careful to not disrupt the 29 gallon by removing too much media.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #7 of 11 Old 10-28-2011, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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I have added in fish food already. No need to worry about the 29 gallon, I've taken it down completely.

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post #8 of 11 Old 10-29-2011, 06:16 PM
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If you meant you will look for the api test kit but have no pet stores around your area, I got mine on and it was significantly cheaper then the petstores sell it for.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-30-2011, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the amazon tip.

Alright, well I wasn't able to find an API master kit. The best they seemed to have was a test strip that checks pH, nitrate, nitrite, hardness, and alkalinity. Its saying nitrate and nitrite are both at 0, hardness is at 75, alkalinity looks to be between the ideal and high range, and the pH is in the alkaline range.

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post #10 of 11 Old 10-30-2011, 06:04 PM
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"Speeding up your cycle" by adding pre-used material like filter pads, substrate, decor and plants is great. However, it does NOT mean you will cycle in a day. I did that with a 20 gallon, and it still took two weeks to cycle fully. Don't overstock quick at all or you'll still have dead fish and end up doing large water changes every day. Still take it slow. Good luck, and congrats on the new tank!

29g Saltwater Reef
10g Freshwater 'vase'
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