New Tropical fish tank setup and keeper - quick questions please. - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 19 Old 06-22-2010, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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It's a start, Test kit results will tell you when water changes must take place. You want to keep ammonia levels and nitrite levels no higher than .25 throughout the cycling process .

ok cool, ill go ahead and do this and get a testing kit. a little more research tells me that it will take 60 - 60 days to become fully established?
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post #12 of 19 Old 06-22-2010, 08:52 AM
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ok cool, ill go ahead and do this and get a testing kit. a little more research tells me that it will take 60 - 60 days to become fully established?
Sounds about right. more than a few species of fish do much better in tanks that have been set up or established for a couple months.Far less chance of fluctuations with water parameters by this time.
After the intial two fish you start with have been in the tank for ten to fourteen days,you can introduce another couple SMALL fish, wait another ten days and perhaps a couple more small fish until you have reached the stocking level that your tank can support. In this way, the bacteria will continue to grow along with the SLOW stocking of fish .
Is extremely important not to add too many fish too soon and to stay on top of test results . Best to test the water before a water change.
Feed the fish half a dime size amount of food once every other day until the tank has cycled and once the tank has cycled,,then twice a day feedings can be the norm along with one weekly water change of 25 percent or roughly two gallons in your case (40 litre tank)

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #13 of 19 Old 06-22-2010, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds about right. more than a few species of fish do much better in tanks that have been set up or established for a couple months.Far less chance of fluctuations with water parameters by this time.
After the intial two fish you start with have been in the tank for ten to fourteen days,you can introduce another couple SMALL fish, wait another ten days and perhaps a couple more small fish until you have reached the stocking level that your tank can support. In this way, the bacteria will continue to grow along with the SLOW stocking of fish .
Is extremely important not to add too many fish too soon and to stay on top of test results . Best to test the water before a water change.
Feed the fish half a dime size amount of food once every other day until the tank has cycled and once the tank has cycled,,then twice a day feedings can be the norm along with one weekly water change of 25 percent or roughly two gallons in your case (40 litre tank)
ok thanks for all the relies so far. So after speaking with you guys and doing some research i have this summary and a question to follow...

when fish food, fish, plants or creatures such as shrimps etc are introduced to a aquarium, ammonia will start to grow.

As these ammonia levels grow a bacteria consumes and converts this in to nitrite which is toxic but not as toxic as ammonia. the ammonia levels drop and the nitrite levels rise.

As the nitrite levels rise another type of bacteria forms which consumes and converts the nitrite to nitrate which is somewhat harmless.

once these 2 bacteriaís are living in the tank the tank becomes established and a stable home for all fish.

.................................................. ..

now here is my question... the shop said "set the tank up as per our instructions, let it run for 1 week. come back after with a water sample which we will then test for you to check to see if its suitable for fish."

If Iím not putting fish, plants fish food or shrimps in the tank to encourage ammonia how will there be able nitrate?

also if I use the fish food method for the next 5 days to build up ammonia, when i add the 2 hardy fish will i not get an even larger spike in ammonia which he bacteria may not be able to handle and convert to nitrite?

I guess what I am trying to say is, is there any advantage in running it for another 5 days without fish, fish food plants or shrimps as this isnít going to build ammonia and instead just get the 2 hardy fish NOW to start the cycle as i feel that doing the fish food cycle for the next 5 days then adding the hardy fish could be worse than just adding the fish right away?

please advise as i would like to start a fish food cycle if you guys still think itís best to do it before getting 2 hardy fish on Sunday.

that was a mouth full so I hope you guys can understand what Iím saying ;)

best
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post #14 of 19 Old 06-22-2010, 10:37 AM
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ok thanks for all the relies so far. So after speaking with you guys and doing some research i have this summary and a question to follow...

when fish food, fish, plants or creatures such as shrimps etc are introduced to a aquarium, ammonia will start to grow.

As these ammonia levels grow a bacteria consumes and converts this in to nitrite which is toxic but not as toxic as ammonia. the ammonia levels drop and the nitrite levels rise.

As the nitrite levels rise another type of bacteria forms which consumes and converts the nitrite to nitrate which is somewhat harmless.

once these 2 bacteria’s are living in the tank the tank becomes established and a stable home for all fish.

.................................................. ..

now here is my question... the shop said "set the tank up as per our instructions, let it run for 1 week. come back after with a water sample which we will then test for you to check to see if its suitable for fish."

If I’m not putting fish, plants fish food or shrimps in the tank to encourage ammonia how will there be able nitrate?

also if I use the fish food method for the next 5 days to build up ammonia, when i add the 2 hardy fish will i not get an even larger spike in ammonia which he bacteria may not be able to handle and convert to nitrite?

I guess what I am trying to say is, is there any advantage in running it for another 5 days without fish, fish food plants or shrimps as this isn’t going to build ammonia and instead just get the 2 hardy fish NOW to start the cycle as i feel that doing the fish food cycle for the next 5 days then adding the hardy fish could be worse than just adding the fish right away?

please advise as i would like to start a fish food cycle if you guys still think it’s best to do it before getting 2 hardy fish on Sunday.

that was a mouth full so I hope you guys can understand what I’m saying ;)

best
Yes starting with just the two fish would be preferable over placing food in the tank for five days and then adding fish. Food method is fishless method and preferred over the fish in method by most.

You really will need a test kit and the API freshwater master kit is what many (myself included use).
Do also note that nitrites are just as toxic as ammonia for the fish.
NitrAtes are the least harmful and are kept in check through weekly water changes once your tank has matured.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.

Last edited by 1077; 06-22-2010 at 10:39 AM.
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post #15 of 19 Old 06-22-2010, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Yes starting with just the two fish would be preferable over placing food in the tank for five days and then adding fish. Food method is fishless method and preferred over the fish in method by most.

You really will need a test kit and the API freshwater master kit is what many (myself included use).
great,

that is fine i will get one of these. Learnt a lot so far and glad i started the thread.

one thing we would like to do over time once the tank is fully established is to have a crab also with the fish. I understand that the crabs do leave the fish alone so they are compatible together. your comments on this will be great.

thanks
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post #16 of 19 Old 06-22-2010, 10:57 AM
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great,

that is fine i will get one of these. Learnt a lot so far and glad i started the thread.

one thing we would like to do over time once the tank is fully established is to have a crab also with the fish. I understand that the crabs do leave the fish alone so they are compatible together. your comments on this will be great.

thanks
Some species of crabs will need someplace to haul themselves out of the water and some require brackish water. I'm not very familiar with them so others may have more information.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #17 of 19 Old 06-22-2010, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Some species of crabs will need someplace to haul themselves out of the water and some require brackish water. I'm not very familiar with them so others may have more information.

i beleve the red claw crab does not need to ever reach land.
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post #18 of 19 Old 06-22-2010, 12:16 PM
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I strongly recommend you read the article on cycling at the head of this section, what we refer to as a "sticky" for some background info that will hopefully make more sense of all this. Here's a direct link:

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/

If you are going to put any fish, however hardy, in to cycle the tank, I also recommend you get a bottle of bacteria to jump-start the cycling. The best I have used is Seachem's "Stability." A small bottle will suffice. It contains live bacteria, I have used it and it does work. I don't normally suggest adding "stuff" to tanks, but in this case for the good of your fish I do.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #19 of 19 Old 06-23-2010, 03:00 AM
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As stated in that sticky, I much prefer the shrimp method to the fish food method. It's easier to "dose," doesn't require daily upkeep (not that adding a pinch of food is difficult, but still) and most of all it doesn't make a big mess in your tank.

To answer one of your questions, there really isn't much of a reason to run your tank without an ammonia source. I second the recommendation to get a test kit, as otherwise you really have no idea how far along the cycle is. After two weeks, you might have nothing going on, you might be in the middle of a huge ammonia or nitrite spike, or the tank might be cycled; being able to monitor the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels is really the only way to know for sure where you are. Also, to clear something up, plants in your tank (provided they're alive and healthy and not rotting or something) will aid in the cycle by taking up ammonia. They don't give off ammonia like fish and other animals do.

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