Newbie questions about my tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-09-2010, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Newbie questions about my tank

I just finished setting up my first aquarium. I had a few questions I was looking for answers to...

Here is how my tank presently looks:
Part 1 (58 seconds):
Part 2 (53 seconds):

I used a Marineland 10 Gallon bio-wheel deluxe kit and got a Tetra Whisper 10 air pump. I had the filter and heater running for 1 day and I added a few small live plants and started the air pump too. I obviously dont have any fish in there yet.

Question 1: If you look at the videos above, especially video 2, I see the bubbles from the air pump to be very big and disrupting the water at the surface. Is this normal? Will fish like it? The air pump is for 10 gallon tank which is what I have. If we look at the plants they arent moving too much, so I am mainly concerned about water speed at the surface.

Question 2: It's about the nitrogen cycle. I have the whole system running. When I talked to a rep at PetSmart, he told me that to start a nitrogen cycle I can buy a few plants and plant them and wait for 1week to 10 days before adding any fish. So I bought a few live plants and installed them. Is this a good way to kick off the nitrogen cycle? If not, what else should I do? I have not added any aquarium starter bacteria like Tetra SafeStart or added any fish food to the tank.
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-09-2010, 12:34 AM
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If you get fish that like fast-running water, they won't mind the disturbance from the air pump, but fish that like little current won't like it. For a 10-gallon tank, your options are limited, so read up on the fish you might want to get to see what conditions they prefer. My fish don't swim much at the surface anyway, so if your setup isn't producing a current lower down in the tank, it may not worry your fish too much.

To start the nitrogen cycle, you need a source of ammonia, either fish (their waste produces ammonia), ammonia itself (fishless cycle), or a dead prawn or something (fishless cycle). If you are going to cycle with fish, your cycle won't start until you get a fish or two. The plants help by helping to process the ammonia that the fish produce, so you shouldn't get as high ammonia spikes as you would if you had no plants. Your plants are quite small, so I don't think they'll be processing much waste for you until they grow. You need to decide if you'll cycle with fish or without. If you want to do a fishless cycle, read up on it. If you want to cycle with fish, buy a fish or two after researching what fish can be kept in a 10-gallon tank and whether those fish will suit your setup and water parameters.

Whichever you choose, it is a good idea to buy a test kit to test ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Although the fish shop might test your water for you, it is helpful to be able to find out what's happening straight away at home so that you can do any necessary water changes straight away and know when the cycle has finished.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-09-2010, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Tanker. Where can I research water speed needs of fish and where in the water column do they live? I mostly find compatibility charts but nothing like list of all fish are fast moving.. etc
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-09-2010, 01:01 AM
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The profiles here include information about where fish are found naturally and what conditions they like. Second tab from the left at the top of the forum.

Do you know whether your water is soft or hard? If not, that's a good place to start researching which fish to get. Your local fish shop might test it for you.
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