Just set up my tank...? Cycling help needed. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-09-2007, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
Just set up my tank...? Cycling help needed.

I just set up my 20 gallon long tank. gravel, plastic plants, little caves etc.
I have a standard filter running that came with it in the box, the filter pad does have little carbon pieces in it.
My question is, is this tank going to cycle properly with no fish? I would rather not get any little fish and make them go through the struggle of the first ammonia spikes, and if they did live I might not want them in my tank so Id rather try fishless.
I plan on getting a few corys and some other little community fish to swim in the middle/top.

Im not to educated on the whole cycling thing but i heard if it doesnt cycle right your fish will instantly die off because of the instant ammonia spike.
Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!
Firebelly girrl is offline  
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-09-2007, 05:03 PM
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grats on your tank! first of all, let the tank cycle for a couple weeks from when you first added the water and started the filter.

after the tank has cycled a couple weeks you can start adding fish, a school of 3 or 4 peppered corys or 5 or 6 small corys (like panda corys), would go nicely on the bottom of the tank. after you get some corys, wait a week then add another fish. I would reccomend a DG(dwarf gourami). these stay right around the 2" to 3" mark, are relatively friendly to smaller fish, spend most of their time at the surface, and are entertaining to watch. betas are similar to a DG as far as to where they hang out in the tank, but they may bully tetras as they are fairly territorial. it's hit and miss with betas as some are sweet and others will kill tetras. now, for the middle of the tank, ember tetras if you can get them! if not, neon or cardinal tetras or another small variety that stays around 1" are good. buy a school of 5 and you are good to go!

as far as carbon goes, its only usefull if your tap water is so bad that Aquasafe(tm) or another tap water cleaning agent wont take all the junk out. its also usefull for removing medicine after treating the fish if one gets sick. otherwise, if your tank is well balanced, you shouldnt need it.

dont forget to change 25% of the water a week! buy yourself a 5 gallon bucket and a gravel vacuum!
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-09-2007, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
K i have the bucket and the vaccuum already =) So I should just leave the tank as it be right now for a few weeks and it will get the bacteria needed?
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-09-2007, 05:28 PM
Earlier today I posted this link in another thread.
It may be of significant help.


jones57742 is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 04-09-2007, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
OK thanks for all the help.

I plan on getting 4-6 corys, a school of some type of tetras (suggestions)
Then I would like to get 1 or 2 larger fish. I like dwarf gouramis, but I keep reading they get pretty agressive sometimes so Id rather not put them in there even though i think they are gorgeous!
Then i was thinking silver dollars...but they get to big even though the tank is a long.
Any ideas?? I hope them 2 examples give you an idea on what im talking about, just a larger bodied fish.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-11-2007, 11:25 AM
The fish which you are proposing for cycling I believe to be appropriate but I believe that you are proposing too many for a twenty gallon tank.

I believe that 11 neon or glowlight tetras
5 Sterbai cories would be appropriate.

If you tank is 24" deep ultimately three angels may look nice for your larger body fish.

jones57742 is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 04-16-2007, 07:36 PM
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In reading this thread, I've noticed one thing wasn't mentioned- please make sure you cycle your tank before adding fish. Cycling doesn't meant mean just running the tank filter without fish (or another source of ammonia)- that is not cycling. Also when your tank is done cycling add fish slowly. A couple here and couple there, otherwise you will end up in a mini-cycle each time you increase the number of fish.

Read up about cycling in the starting and maintaining section. Lots of info and help there!!

Be careful how many fish you add. I think you'd be overstocked if you added all of those fish. A small school of tetras, a few corys and a couple of large fish would be all a 20 gallon could handle. Maybe add a snail or a shrimp. Follow the 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon. It also helps that the corys will stick to the bottom.

Have fun and keep planning!


Pardon the pun, but I'm hooked!
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-19-2007, 09:58 PM
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Hi Firebelly girrl, if you have an existing tank the next time you clean the filter take it and wash it in the new tank! It will give you a kick start on the new tank! Just remember to do you test to see if it is cycled and do as Andyandsue has already said! Add the fish slowly!
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