Well, this is slightly amuzing.....
The tank in these two photos is going to be my sump and is now being temporarily used as a freshwater fish tank. I'm moving in 6-9 months....thought I'd put that in there since this seems so weird. lol. ha ha. My husband just deployed and since I can't use my fantastic 120 gallon yet I thought I would put this 40 gallon to good use. I figured the fish could keep me company and give me something to do. Anyways, it's very bare and I'd like to keep it that way because the more I buy the more $ I'm out when I give my fish to the lfs and move about 1,000 miles away and set up my saltwater tank. I have some questions because I've never done freshwater fish before. I told the lfs I would rather not have any gravel or sand and they told me to let the tank sit for 2 days and bring a sample of my water in and they will test it and tell me if I have to get sand or gravel....that it all depends on my water quality. Is this true? I'm hoping to get away with no sand and gravel.....b/c of money and hassle. I want this to be as simple as possible but I also don't want my fish to die. I put 2 handfuls of marble rocks and a teeny tiny plant in there just because I had it from years ago from a very small tank. Also, as you can see in that first pic after I put my water conditioner and PH balancer in the water some of it settled on the bottom and is just sitting there like sugar or sand. Will this go away? Is this bad? These are the chemicals I put in and the equipment I have:
Tetra Aqua - Aqua Safe water conditioner - new with BioExtract and Tetra Easy Balance water treatment with Nitraban. 40 gallon tank, 20-40 Aqua Tech water filtration, heater rated for 30-60 gallon, large air stone with old very small pump, a glass cover and basic lighting, and a thermometer. Any advice would so be appreciated.
Well, this is one post that is very unique. Most setting up new tanks want to do something very elaborate. You on the other hand, are going with the "spartan" look.
After some thought, believe me that is one process that is hard on me, I have come up with some ideas, but I need some more input from you. Firstly, is there a fish that you would favor above the others?
My suggestions would include livebearers. Why? Because they are relatively easy to keep. Secondly, they multiply like rabbits and when it comes time to return them, you should have had a poulation increase. You will have more fish than you started with and should be able to recoup more money.
As far as the substrate, it is dependent on the fish you get. Sand or gravel will both work, but some fish prefer one over the other. One problem with sand, however, is compaction. Make a decision on your fish and then everything else will be relevant to that choice.
As Bob said, gravel will depend on the fish. If you pick certain fish you
won't need a substrate.
And fresh water is a lot easier to maintain then salt. The pH balance is not going to be needed.
I would acutally recommend not using it. It has a tendency to cause more problems than benefits in the long run.
Let us know the fish and we can go from there. Live bearers and danios are good for cycling as they are hardier and can withstand
the cycling process much better.
A fishless cycle is an option but could mean 1-3 months before you could add fish so in your case it may not be the best choice.
That white powdery substance on the bottom I don't think is normal. I use Tetra AquaSafe and have never had that happen. It's a liquid and just mixes right in with the water. Could it be from the PH balancer? Is the PH balancer a powder?
Any ideas, guys?
Here's a substrate suggestion- play sand. You can get a 50 lbs bag at Home Depot for $5, way cheaper than any substrate at the fish store. You can also sometimes get some really cool little river rocks and pebbles at a dollar store- I got some gorgeous little black ones that I'm going use in my puffer tank, and they cost me $5!
Just remember if you use play sand to rinse, rinse, rinse it first otherwise you won't be able to see your fish in the cloudy water!
Herefishy, ok about the fish: I want some African Cichlids and I'm maybe thinking about getting 2 blood parrots but an hour ago I fell head over heals for a Red Devil. He was so cool. He wasn't the prettiest fish in the tank but he WAS SO COOL. He kept coming to the tank and looking at me when the other fish were ignoring me. I was there for 20 minutes and the whole time he was right there watching me. If another fish would come by he would chase them away.....not too aggressivly though. It was cute. I'd put my finger on the tank and move it and he would follow it and he kept opening his mouth and he seemed like the only one in the tank with a real personality. He was so cool. Can you mix these three types of fish together?
no powder.....just some weird bright yellow looking stuff. I think it is the ph stuff b/c i just rubbed some between my two fingers and felt teeny tiny little grains....not anywhere near as big as sand grains though.
hmmm. you're making me wonder if i add sand will the grains get lost in it and not be so much of a problem?
Thanks you guys.
There's a lot of things you can do to make the cycle easier and quicker. "Seeding" the tank with biological matter from an established tank is a good method. I ask my LFS to squeeze a sponge filter into a fish bag for me, and put that into my tank. Also, used filter media, decorations, gravel, etc can be very helpful if you can get them from anywhere.
My friend gave me about 3-5 quarts of water and I put it in my tank. Is that good enough or do I need something else? ....plus I added a small amount of gravel.
How do I know when the tank gets established and when do I do water changes after adding the fish? I think somebody said to wait a month and then do water changes once a week....a 1/4 of the water. Is this correct?
I'm SO MAD at my lfs. I bought that PH stabilizer when my PH is already PERFECT and it caused BIG problems. Sure wish I had consulted you guys before I ran out and bought that doomsday stuff. lol. It's slowed progress down considerably.
If my PH is PERFECT then can I just put some warm water in a bucket and let it sit until it gets to the temperature of the fish's needs (checking with thermometer) for a few minutes to an hour or so....and add water conditioner, stir it up, and then add the water to the tank? Will this be ok?
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