01-14-2009, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by sammies4787
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.