09-19-2009, 11:14 AM
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All new tanks go through a cycle. The cycle is hard on fish.
What happens in the cycle, you start getting a build up of ammonia in the tank, then nitrites, and then nitrates.
The ammonia and nitrites are both toxic and need to be kept as low as possible for your fish to live through the cycle. Once enough good bacteria is established (nitrates), the ammonia and nitrites will always test zero.
If you move a cycled filter, cycled filter media, or substrate from a cycled tank to a new tank, it can "seed" the new tanks cycle.This can help prevent the new tank from going through the "new tank cycle", and exposing the fish to harmful ammonia and nitrite.
Do you have a water test kit? If not the API freshwater testing kit is a good one to have. Any new tanks, you will want to test for ammonia and nitrite daily. For sensitive fish, you want to keep both ammonia and nitrite well under .25 ppm, through water changes.
Is the 20 gal still setup?