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New Aquarium Questions

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New Aquarium Questions
Old 02-02-2012, 04:28 PM   #1
 
New Aquarium Questions

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been out of the freshwater fish keeping hobby for about 10 years so I am what I would call a newbie. Any comments, suggestions, or help would be appreciated.

I have a 20 Gal. High fish tank. Gravel, plastic plants, and rocks. I plan on having a mixture of Corys, Tetras, and maybe a small Gourami. Filtration is an Aqueon 20 filter hanging on the back. Right now the water is 79 degrees. This is what I have done so far....

About 2 weeks ago I added the water and de-chlorinator. About a week ago I started adding fish food for my fishless cycle. This past week I started taking readings with the API Master test kit...here are my results so far...

Day 1.
Ammonia .25ppm
PH 7.6
Nitrite .25ppm
Nitrate 40ppm

Day 2
Ammonia .75ppm
PH 7.6
Nitrite 1.0ppm
Nitrate 20ppm

Day 3
Ammonia 1.00ppm
PH 7.6
Nitrite 2.0ppm
Nitrate 20ppm

Day 4 skipped testing

Day 5 (today)
Ammonia 7.0ppm
PH 7.6
Nitrite 5.0ppm
Nitrate 20ppm

I've been adding a pretty good pinch of fish food flakes every day. Water is slightly cloudy. Doesn't smell. No water changes so far. My question to you. What is my next step? Am I headed in the right direction? Any concerns or comments are much appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Jim
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:13 PM   #2
 
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Looking at the numbers so far, everything seems to be heading in the right direction.

You want the ammonia to spike at a high level and then drop to practically nothing. Then Nitrites to start climbing, peak at a high level and then also suddenly drop, as the nitrites climb, you will see nitrates....once you get zero ammonia and zero nitrite after 2 successive days of dosing the tank with food...you are cycled.

If you can get a pure ammonia solution for a hardware store locally, something that does NOT foam up when shaken, then it would be more beneficial than adding food.

I would however as you seem to be heading in the right direction NOT touch anything and keep monitoring it. Once the ammonia and nitrite are zero, perform a 70% water change and then you can add fish.

Take it slow and let the readings show you what the tank is doing...I can take anywhere up to 6+ weeks to cycle a tank, there is no set time.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:48 PM   #3
 
Add your new fish very slowly......like 2 every couple weeks, I learned the hard way .
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:10 PM   #4
 
So Tazman...I should continue with the daily doses of fish food throughout this whole process? Thank you for your help.

Jim
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:11 PM   #5
 
Chris7...sounds like good advice.....a couple of fish every 2 weeks will ease them and the tank into the whole process. Thanks for your help, I appreciate it.

Jim
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:59 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyvea View Post
Chris7...sounds like good advice.....a couple of fish every 2 weeks will ease them and the tank into the whole process. Thanks for your help, I appreciate it.

Jim
But no fish yet... just making sure you understand that. The cycle must first be established, and you are doing a fishless cycle with the fish food, so follow that through. Fish can only be added--and few of them--when the initial cycle is completed.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:04 PM   #7
 
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Dont worry about ammonia. Just keep feeding the fish food. You're doing good. don't add fish until ammonia and nitrite are BOTH 0.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:03 PM   #8
 
One quick question....After a number of weeks the water in my tank is slowly starting to evaporate. Should I add water to top the tank off? Should I de-chlorinate it? Should I buy a gallon of spring water from the store? Should I just top it off with tap water? It's maybe 2" lower than what I would like to see. So many questions but I appreciate all of your comments....Thank You!

Jim
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:07 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
But no fish yet... just making sure you understand that. The cycle must first be established, and you are doing a fishless cycle with the fish food, so follow that through. Fish can only be added--and few of them--when the initial cycle is completed.

Byron....I totally understand about not adding any fish yet. The thought never entered my mind to add fish this early in the game. Thanks for looking out for me AND the fish. I appreciate it.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:19 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyvea View Post
One quick question....After a number of weeks the water in my tank is slowly starting to evaporate. Should I add water to top the tank off? Should I de-chlorinate it? Should I buy a gallon of spring water from the store? Should I just top it off with tap water? It's maybe 2" lower than what I would like to see. So many questions but I appreciate all of your comments....Thank You!

Jim
I've never done fishless cycling because I have live plants and that eliminates "cycling" per say. But if I were, I would do a water change every week just to freshen up the water. Tap water with dechlorinator is fine, if that is or will be the normal source water for the aquarium. Don't touch the substrate, just siphon out maybe 1/3 of the tank from the top and replace.

Byron.
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