My kids got a freshwater tank for christmas and I've been setting it up. I think it has become more my present than theirs. I didn't realize how complex the care and maintence was or how many different species of fish with unique personalities there are out there. I'm already have ideas of setting a saltwater tank when this one is up and safely running. My wife says im becoming obessed with the fish. :)
I filled the 26 gallon tank with 20 gallons of special RO water from the local fish store and 6 gallons of tap water. I added a very tiny amount of prime from seachem for the tap water that was added.
I setup a penguin biofilter wheel filter and a 100watt heater. I have the water steady at 78 degrees.
I have one large fake plastic plant and the standard colored gravel bottom.
I let it run with no fish in it for about 7 days.
I bought a master test kit and tested the water. All levels were 0 or less than the 2nd step on the test cards (within acceptable levels)
Yesterday I added 3 tiger barbs - 2 black striped ones and 1 albino one.
Now for the questions -
I have been reading about 'cycling' but i still dont clearly understand it.
By adding fish I am starting an ammonia cycle that will peak after about 10 days?
Then following that comes a Nitrite Cycle that will peak after about 30 days (20 days after the ammonia peak)?
Does the cycle start again every time a fish is added?
I've recently read that the tiger barbs prefer live plants and like be in packs of at least 6...
Does adding plants make it more difficult to stabilize the tank?
If I wanted to add 3 more tiger barbs, when should i do it?
With a 26 gallon tank, how many fish can I expect to support?
How long will it take to safely add that many fish over time?