Tanky's cycling experience..
Yes, I'm another newbie!
Well, I think fishless cycling a tank would have to be one of the most satisfying, frustrating, fun, interesting things I have ever done.. lol I got my 100L tank (Yes, it's name is Tanky ;-)) for Christmas (a couple of days before actually) and I'm pretty sure that it's stable and cycled! I've uploaded an aquarium profile if anyone wants to have a look :-)
I used a product called lysofoss to help cycle the tank, which is a powder form of the bacteria needed to "eat" ammonia and nitrites. I seeded the tank every day for 2 weeks with the lysofoss and added fish food like I was feeding fish nearly every day.
Parameters of my normal tap water: PH - 7.8, GH - 7, KH - 5, Ammonia - 0, Nitrites - 0
I tested the tank water every 2nd or 3rd day (mainly for Ammonia and nitrites) and the day before yesterday the levels were down to 0 or just about in the case of nitrites (the testing kit I have says <0.3mg/L as it's lowest reading). Once a week I tested all parameters with steady results. The PH of the tank water is a bit high at 8, and would appreciate any advice in that regard! GH and KH are well within normal ranges. Temperature wise, I bought a heater, but haven't installed it yet.. Temps are currently hovering around 27-28*C, the highest temp recorded was 30*C, but that was on a day where it was 45*C outside... Lowest temp has been 26.5*C.
I did a 20% water change in week 2, mainly so I could give the filter a gentle rinse to get the excess muck out from the Lysofoss and prevent clogging. Testing of the parameters didn't change other than a small drop in both Ammonia and nitrite levels, as expected. Nitrate levels have hovered around 20-30ppm for the last week and now that ammonia and nitrite levels are 0 (YAY!!) I'm going to do another water change, gravel clean and filter rinse tomorrow or Saturday and get me some fishies!!
Fish.... I've done A LOT of research and have finally (after changing my mind about 15 times) decided to start with Platies.. I ultimately want a community tank with a Betta fish, so thought the Platies would be a good starting point. I'm still undecided on the "bottom-dwellers" but do like Pepper Cories, but we'll see... :demented:
I'm sure there's something I've missed and would love to hear any feedback :-) I've done the majority of my research on here, haven't needed to post much because I've found threads that answered any questions I had! I love this forum and think I'll be spending a bit of time here.. lol
pH, GH, and KH are things that will likely never change. pH can vary a little throughout the day but nothing drastic there.
I assume the numbers for GH and KH are in degrees? A GH of 7 is soft water, barely, but a pH of 8 is quite high for soft water fish. That might go down over time, but I'm not sure how much with a KH of 5 degrees. The Platy is a hard water fish, and 7 dGH is a bit low for them.
As for a Betta ... a Betta and Community do not go together, at all. They are a very aggressive fish. It's not impossible that they will get along with others, but the odds are greatly against it. This is two fold, on one hand the presence alone of the Betta can stress other fish, even if the Betta does not physically attack them. On the other hand, Bettas have really large fins ... which are irresistible to other fish for nipping.
Your first decision will have to be what kind of fish do you want, hard water or soft water, as it is not a good idea to mix them. Then from there we can figure out what to do about your GH (if you want hard water) or your pH (if you want soft water). Whatever you do, never use a chemical to adjust pH, they don't work and will just result in dead/stressed fish.
Of course, after having said that, we have a Betta with a bunch of Cherry Barbs (12) and, so far, no sign of any issues. The Betta came before we had a tank and thoughts of keeping anything else but we understand that it may not work out and will rehome him if needed.
I too would suggest not trying to do a community tank with a Beta. Not to say it isn't possible, but just highly likely to fail.
And I would suggest live plants, lots of them.
I like the look of the tank, and if you replace the fake plants with live ones and add a few more in there, it's going to be a "rockin" tank! :)
Thank you all for your advice and suggestions, I'll definitely take them into consideration :-) With Mr Betta, if he doesn't work out, I'm going to get another tank so I can keep him anyway.. lol I want to put the other fish in first, so it'll be at least 2-4 weeks before I get one.
A staff member at a LFS (not one I normally go to) said that the fish in our area have become accustomed to our water parameters. To some degree I can understand this, if they have been bred in our water.. That's why I thought Platies, because they are readily available here and our water is known to be quite hard. But on testing, with a GH of 7 (and yep it's degrees) that isn't really the case is it? Any thoughts on that? Is he talking complete BS?
And plants.. Yep, I'm planning on getting some at some stage, eventually...! lol
Thanks again for your feedback, much appreciated :-D
It's true that captive bred fish are more adaptable than wild caught, but there are still limits. You can check out the profiles here on the website for the Platy (click the shaded name) and it will give the range of water parameters.
I'm in agreement with what other members have posted in this thread.
First, don't take risks. The fish will be the loser if it doesn't work, and this is not fair to a creature that can't defend itself from whatever we throw at it. It is one thing for an aquarist with 5 or more years experience and who has several tanks running to "try" this or that combo, because if trouble follows they have options to resolve it. But with a single tank, or even two, this remedy is not available. And I would never buy any fish on the basis that another tank is planned; wait until you have the other tank up and running.
Second, on the water parameters and fish "adapting." This is frankly an old wives tale, one of those myths that are still going around. I won't go into all the science here, as I have done so elsewhere (and more times than should be necessary:roll:), but the adaptability of any fish is quite limited. Perhaps you would gain from reading my article on stress, and this issue is a major factor of stress which is the prime and often only cause of sick fish.
You have soft water. If you decide on livebearers, I would increase the GH a bit. This is easy enough to do with a calcareous substance like dolomite, aragonite, etc. Substrate gravels and sands can be bought composed of calcareous substances. But understand this pushes you into hard water fish. If you want soft water fish like tetra, rasbora, etc, then leave things as they are. The pH will likely lower a bit, and the GH (hardness) is more significant anyway.
Check our profiles, many fish included with water parameter data.
Get yourself a TDS meter. I got mine off of eBay for less than $15.
Thank you thank you! Under advisement, I'm not going to get a betta fish anytime soon for the community tank. Better safe than sorry, I'd be too devastated if it didn't work!
I did a water change and gravel clean and tested all parameters this morning. The GH is now up to 10d and I'm pretty sure this is from the bits of shell grit that's in the substrate. PH is around 7.7 It took me about 2 hours today in my preferred LFS and much discussion, changing of minds, more discussion et cetera.. (lol) I ended up getting 6 goregous little Platies and 2 potted crypt plants :-D I'll add a pic to my aquarium profile soon.. :-)
The little guys are settling in well so far, the most exciting part has been when they first swam through the bell! lol
Next up, bristle nosed catfish me thinks :-)
Here's a bit of an update for anyone who's interested.. :-)
The Platies, which turned out to be 5 girls and a boy, are now just 5 girls (At least 3 of which are pregnant.. :roll:) I decided to take the boy back, because I didn't want to get into breeding yet, even though I know I will for at least the next few months..
Last weekend I got 5 x 2.5cm (1in) Bristlenose Catties... :lol: They are an absolute giggle a minute!! It's so funny to watch the Platies wondering what on earth they are.. They seem to be settling in wonderfully, although it's a bit of a challenge making sure they get the algae wafers... The Platies go nuts over them!
The crypt I added a couple of weeks ago seems to have doubled in size.. :-D I've listened to you all and have added more plants, namely Java Moss and Mayaca. My LFS suggested I add a few balls of Duplarit K, so I've done that too. I've also added some driftwood for the Bristlenose.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with how it's looking, and again, feel free to critique, comment or suggest! :-D
There's a couple of videos and quite a few pics of the progress in my Aquarium Profile, but here's the latest pics :-)
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