how to cycle my tank
Im new to this and dont really know how to cycle my tank. Can someone help?
In the sticky Freshwater Information there's a lot of great information to refer to. Here's one of them that's very useful and better than me trying to explain it :) http://www.fishforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=343
I read it but since Im new to this I really dont understand all the big words. So your saying to start out with starter fish to cycle the tank? what would be some good starter fish?
I prefer the fishless method - much kinder on the fish. However if you did decide to use fish then guppies or danios often have higher survival rates than other fish in a cycle.
You get used to the big words eventually :) But yes, start with some Danios and go from there. If you don't want the Danios after cycling see if the store will buy them back from you. However, I personally think they're funny to watch. Just get 5 or more or they will pick on the other fish once you get them in there. btw, how many gallons does your tank hold?
I would advise you to purchase a liquid water testing kit while you're there....API or Red Sea work just fine. Testing strips don't always work so well.
Ive got a 29 gallon now. bought used, and im getting a 75 gallon in a week or so, going to set them both up. How much is the liquid water testing kit? So decorate my tank and throw some danios in for a week and go from there?
The testing kits are about $20-30 at PetSmart, it's a very useful thing to have. You also need water conditioner if you have any kind of chlorine or chloramines in your water. As for the fish, you'll want a heater and thermometer (one that goes inside the tank) for those because without one it's not as easy for the tank to get up into the comfortable range they and other tropical fish need (however if you're planning for a goldfish or two forget the danios and heater and just throw in a few flakes of food every few days). You'll also want enough plants and decor for them, they like darting around in that stuff. Obviously good filters are a must and a few magnet cleaners for the sides of the tanks.
And it takes longer than a week to cycle a tank unless you can manage to get some "seed" from another tank, that speeds it up. You're looking at about 1-3 months before you have 0 ammonia and nitrite and the ideal range of 5-20 nitrate. I'd also suggest conditioning some water right out the tap and then testing that too, to see where your water's natural levels are (more for the pH's sake but some people have weird stuff in their water).
I know it seems like a lot and non-fish people would be like "Are you crazy?" but it's worth it when you finally have the tank going.
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