Originally Posted by Skooter
I just bought a 55gl tank. Sadly it was saltwater but it was so nice and priced even nicer. So it came w/2 Millennium2000 power filters, 2 jets and black caribbean sand and 2 4ft lights (1 for coral and 1 for general lighting. I have run 4 cycles of fresh water through it and feel i have the sand 90% clean. I have scrapped all the build up off the glass that the saltwater is famous of creating. My concern is the filters. They are a mess and need new filters and are noisy. I personally do not care for the black sand and prefer using a very fine white sand instead. I'm currently using this fine sand and understand how to keep it clean w/frequent small water changes and waste removal. I guess my question is once i get my water in and the temp right what is a good time frame for the cycle to become consistent. I have a pretty basic fish set up w/ neon's,pleco,ruby shrimp and a few snails..a few good pieces of wood,porous rocks,live plants/moss
I think were it me,I would purchase a new filter for the 55 gal.and I would be concerned about whether the black sand contained aragonite or minerals that would screw with water parameter's.
I would use plain old play sand or for planted tank ,perhaps onyx sand.
You could test the sand that came with the tank by running a bucket of tapwater and then testing the pH after it has set overnight. Then run a bucket of tapwater with about an inch of the black sand in it and test it after it too has set overnight. If pH remains the same in both buckets after setting all night,then perhaps it would be ok.
Some sand such as Tahitian moon snad is said to be too sharp for bottom dwelling fish like cory's,loaches,and plecos and were it me,,I would just replace the old sand.
For a filter,, i would use a canister such as Eheim 2217 or HOB filter such as Aquaclear110 or emperor 400.
Once the tank is set up and running the way you want..I might borrow some filter material and a cup of substrate placed in mesh bag from your existing tank, and use this to seed the filter on the new tank.
This would allow you to place three or four small fish in the new 55 gal, and perhaps another three or four small fish at ten day intervals and avoid the long cycling process.
Would still test the water after placing the fish in the tank every day and would not try to add too many fish too soon. Hope this helps.