New Tank Setup - Some Questions
I recently purchased a 50L tank (13 gallons). I set the tank up and followed the instructions given to me at purchase.
Since then I have done some reading of this and other forums, and found out that I needed to do a fishless cycle in order to set the tank up, and started that alone with tropical fish food. I did water tests and saw the ammonia level hardly rise. I saw a recommendation to add an uncooked prawn to the water to create some ammonia, and have since seen a rise in the ammonia level.
The water appeared to get cloudy and over the last 24 or so hours most of the cloudiness has disappeared. I read that ammonia causes cloudiness, and that when the cloudiness disappears the ammonia levels have dropped. However doing a water test the level of ammonia doesn't seem to have dropped.
I have tracked levels since we purchased the tank and summarised them in a spreadsheet.
I am sure I haven't done anything wrong, but I'm concerned about whether the cycle has started or not, and what sort of time frame and levels I should expect during the cycle?
Here is the spreadsheet: http://bit.ly/itsb-fish
Also, on the freshwater aquarium section near the top is a read on cycling that will inform you.
Hi Barney and welcome to the forum :wave:
The hardest thing about cycling a tank IMO is the wait. It takes a good 3 - 6 weeks to cycle a new tank without seeding the filter with medium from an existing healthy tank.
If you still have that prawn in the tank, I would take it out. It will seriously foul up the tank at this point and it's possible that you can introduce unwanted types of bacteria into the tank. You started out using Seachem Stability which is a good thing so at this point, I would change out 50% of the water and continue with the Stability.
Here's the link to the Nitrogen Cycle for you. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to along the way. We're here to help.
Agree with Romad. But there is also another quicker and even safer method, and that is live plants. If you have some fast-growing plants, you can put in a few fish and there will be no discernable cycle because the plants use the ammonia fast. The nitrifying bacteria will naturally establish themselves, but secondary to the plants so nitrite is never an issue.
And welcome to the forum, glad to have you with us.:-D
if you dont have plants as byron mentioned, make sure to remove the shrimp! i would say do water changes to keep the amonia below 2ppm... too much amonia will actually slow the cycle. looks like the stability is working though since your are seeing nitrates and no nitrites. thats what i saw in my latest tank using safestart and bioactive substrate :)
I was planning to remove the prawn shortly, but hadn't gotten around to it as yet.
My wife and I weren't planning to have a planted tank given the size of the tank we have bought & being new to freshwater fish. Our next tank will possibly be larger and we may go down the planted tank route.
One question I do have, is that the surface of the tank at the glass seems to have small bubbles forming. The number of bubbles have grown over the last few days, and I'm wondering if I should remove them or not. I saw a website mentioning that it may be a bio-film.
No mention is made of intended fish, but I would point out that most do better with plants. Plants can be simple; as long as you have a decent tank light (fluorescent tube of screw-in CFL bulbs) plants are easy, easier than fish. Their effect on the water stability is amazing.
We have fish and plant profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Data on minimum tank size, number of fish for each species (some are shoaling and need a group), water parameters, etc. is included, along with one or more photos.
Please enlighten those considering using Prawn as source of food for bacteria,as to how it will "seriously foul up the tank ."(evidence)
I and many other's have used this method more than a few times ,and other than possibly smelling after a couple week's which is easily remedied by water change,,I have expierienced no troubles.
Prawn is no different than animal protein's found in food's we offer every day to our fish.
The reason we weren't looking at plants is because of the "small" tank that we have. We haven't got a deep enough substrate to plant anything, is there a way to have a plant in a pot that can sit on the bottom of the tank?
We were looking at filling the tank with Tetra's, Mollies, and Guppies at this stage. There were also the thoughts of adding a Bristlenose Pleco as well. Nothing is definite though.
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