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Just barely got a new fish tank! 16 gallon bow front aquarium.. could use advice!

This is a discussion on Just barely got a new fish tank! 16 gallon bow front aquarium.. could use advice! within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> You need an ammonia source in your tank to start the cycle. You can use pure household ammonia for fishless cycling. Make sure it ...

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Just barely got a new fish tank! 16 gallon bow front aquarium.. could use advice!
Old 01-13-2009, 12:41 PM   #11
 
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You need an ammonia source in your tank to start the cycle. You can use pure household ammonia for fishless cycling. Make sure it has no soaps or other additives in it. It's actually a much cleaner way than using fish food or a raw prawn. The fish food or prawn tend to get moldy and can get stinky. And since your not cycling with fish in the tank you won't have to do water changes day after day to keep the fish healthy.

Here's an article on how to do a fishless cycle.
Fishless Cycling - Article at The Age of Aquariums - Tropical Fish

HTH
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:58 AM   #12
 
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So when is the best time to do all of the tests with the water? What should the schedule be like for testing the water? How often should I do a 10% water change, every week? When I do a full water change, should I re acclimate the fish to the new water as I do when they are brand new such as letting the bag with the old water and that's carrying the fish float in the new water? Also, how long do I need to let the brand new fish float in the water before I net them out? And... finally does anyone know where I can get a relatively cheap light strip about 20" long?
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:20 AM   #13
 
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wow that was a really good article. Thanks a lot! I am going to definitely going to do fishless cycling now. Thank you. :)
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:22 AM   #14
 
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so after you do all of the fishless cycling process and you have fish do you just continue to check for nitrite and ammonia every other day or are there other tests you need to do?
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:25 AM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammies4787 View Post
So when is the best time to do all of the tests with the water? What should the schedule be like for testing the water? How often should I do a 10% water change, every week? When I do a full water change, should I re acclimate the fish to the new water as I do when they are brand new such as letting the bag with the old water and that's carrying the fish float in the new water? Also, how long do I need to let the brand new fish float in the water before I net them out? And... finally does anyone know where I can get a relatively cheap light strip about 20" long?
So are you cycling with fish? What kind of fish? Only start with a few fish. Then don't add anymore until your tank is fully cycled. You'll need to test the water daily and watch for ammonia and then nitrites to rise. You'll need to do a water change whenever these get above .5 or so. You want to keep the ammonia and nitrites .25 or less while cycling. You don't need to remove the fish or do a full water change. This would be very stressful for them. Cycling with fish is a lot of work and you will be testing the water daily and probably doing water changes almost every day. Once your ammonia and nitrites drop to 0 and you have some reading for nitrates then you're cycled. Then you'll do weekly water changes of about 25% or so (depending on your stocking/nitrate reading) to keep nitrates low (under 40ppm).

When adding new fish float the bag in your tank for about 20 minutes to allow the bag's water to equal the temp in the tank. Then open the bag and add about a half cup of your tank water to it. Wait about 5-10 minutes and add another 1/2 cup of your tank water to the bag. Do this a few times and then net the fish out of the bag into your tank. Never dump the bag water into your tank. You don't want to introduce any nasties from the LFS water into your tank and it will be full of ammonia.

You sure you don't want to try a fishless cycle? It would not involve so many water changes and you don't have to worry about any fish dying.
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:28 AM   #16
 
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Oops...you must have posted at the same time I did! lol

Glad to hear you're going to do a fishless cycle. Once your tank is cycled you just test once a week for nitrates. You can check ammonia and nitrites once a week also just to make sure nothing has happened to your bacteria. But the ammonia and nitrites should stay at 0 in a healthy tank. You'll have some reading for nitrates but these are diluted by doing weekly water changes.
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:44 AM   #17
 
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oh ok, lol, thank you for helping me. I have a lot of questions. I am excited to start the fish tank. So, I am missing the strip light on my fish tank, is this important?
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:49 AM   #18
 
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By the way, when I test for nitrates, what is the optimal level or reading I want to have for nitrates?
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:27 PM   #19
 
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You don't have to have the light to start the cycle unless you have live plants. You can add the light later. Not sure on where to get one for cheap. Seems like most strip lights start at 24". My 10 gallon is a 20" long tank and it has the full hood with lights in it. Originally it came with incandescent bulbs but I switched the bulbs to compact fluorescents because incandescents put out too much heat and will overheat your tank. I bought my hood at Petsmart for I think like $15. The fluorescent bulbs were about $5 each.

Ideally nitrates should be kept under 40 ppm with under 20 being preferred. Mine are usually around 5-10ppm by water change day. The lower the ppm the cleaner the water.

Do you have an idea of what fish you want? While your tank is cycling is a great time to do lots of research on what fish you want. And don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. That's what the forum is here for.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:40 AM   #20
 
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well I was thinking I did want some mollies, just 3 to start off with; then some bottom feeders, and probably three more fish after that. Do you have any suggestions?

So, do I need to check the PH level? How often do I check the PH level because I am kind of confused about what exactly I need to test the water for when the fish are in the fish tank.

Thanks a lot for answering my questions! :)
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