Re-Starting 63 Gal Tank, many questions! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 2 Old 04-05-2009, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re-Starting 63 Gal Tank, many questions!

Hi!! My Goldfish died after introducing new fish that were sick to the tank and so we are starting over.
What do I need to do in order to set everything up again? Will the "itch" still be in the tank?
I'd like to cycle without fish, since we would like to add african cichlids and I've heard they need pristine water conditions. Any suggestions?

I am also open to other types of colorful fish (just no goldies after what happened).

Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 2 Old 04-05-2009, 08:18 PM
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If the disease was ich (white spot), the parasites must find a host fish within 70 hours (according to Baensch/Rhiel) or they die, so if there are no live fish in the tank, they will be gone in that period. If everything else was OK, you needn't pull the tank apart, just clean the gravel, change most of the water, and let it sit. The biological cycling will have to basically restart as there will probably not be enough ammonia to keep the nitrosomonas bacteria alive, and then not enough nitrite for the nitrobacter bacteria. Think of it as a new tank and cycle accordingly.

African rift lake cichlids do best in basic (alkaline) water with some hardness. If your tap water is alkaline and relatively hard, that's a good start, but the biological processes in the tank will gradually lower the pH depending upon the buffering capabiolity of the water (related to the hardness), so you might want to put some dolomite or crushed coral in the filter to keep the pH and minerals up where the cichlids will prefer it. Its been a while since I maintained African cichlids, but a pH of 8 is ideal, or at any rate in the high 7's.

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 you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re 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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