Just need someone to double check what Im doing...
Well, its been a while since Ive had this tank but after many months I finally moved out and found a spot for my 55g tank.
Last Sunday, the 18th, I filled up my tank with tap water, tossed in a couple of dead shrimp and added in some NovAqua+ and AmQuel+ in the correct amounts.
Im attempting a fishless cycle and apart from the gravel I added in, about 60lbs, thats all I have done. I want to be sure that everything is correct so far, so if someone could let me know, thatd be great.
Now for some questions.
1 - About how long will the cycle take?
2 - I really want clown loaches and balla sharks, probably 3 and 2, what other fish are colorful that will go well with those two?
3 - What type of diet should I feed the fish? I dont mind using flakes but I want to have some sort of supplement with it.
Ill post more if I think of anymore later.
1. We dont know how long it will take to cycle. It takes everyone different amount of times. I you are using established gravel, then it wil be shorter than most. It will take anwhere from 2-12 weeks.
2. I'm afraid Clown Loaches and Bala Sharks will get too big for this tank long term. Clowns should be in groups of at least 4 (if not, 6), and Balas in at least 3, but that is th bare minimum for both. Clown loaches will reach 12-14" long, and I have seen Balas reach 16". You are looking at least a 125G for young fish, and an even bigger tank to keep them long-term.
3. Flakes should be a staple, unless your getting cics in which a pellet is better. You should also feed sinking algea/shrimp wafers, and occasionally freezedried/frozen food.
Your cycle is over when you have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites of course. How it takes depends on a lot of things and none of them are set in stone. Even with the best intentions as far as seeding a tank and trying to jump start it with boosters it can take 8-12 weeks. Just be patient and make sure that you have an ammonia source all the way up to the day before you are ready to add the fish.
As for the fish, the sharks will need a much bigger tank. The main reason is they need room to turn around. They are not like a Clown Loach which can turn around on a small tube. The sharks need to move around and be able to swim like a shark. In a 55 they won't be able to do that when they are adults and it can lead to spinal problems as well as internal problems.
6 clowns could be kept in a 55 gallon if you are diligent about the water quality. Regular large water changes and lots of places for them to play and hide will keep them happy. As for tank mates, some sort of schooling fish for the middle parts of the tank will work. Anything else on the bottom would become a target of aggression because the loaches won't have a lot of area to call their own.
Size wise, they get from 6-12 inches long depending on the size of the tank. If you really want to treat them right, they need a bigger tank but there are many keepers who have kept in tanks from 45-80 gallons in groups moderate groups and had them live a long time and be very healthy.
Is like any other time you technically overstock. More water changes must be done and you will need better filtration to make sure the tank stays clean enough for the fish to be healthy.
Long-term, I plan on getting a bigger tank, what other sort of middle schooling fish would be suitable? Ive been looking around and having a tough time finding a list or something.
Ive noticed swordtails seem to swim up and down and im a little unsure about tetras, any suggestions would be great.
It kind of sucks about the bala sharks but thank you for the heads up, Ill just have to get them later when I have a bigger tank.
Oh, what about hatchet fish?
I forgot, I noticed my pH went from about 8.5 to around 7.5. Besides a nice piece of driftwood, is that a decent area for my pH?
Also just noticed my kit doesn't test for nitrates, should I pick one up that does or is it unnecessary?
Rasboras, hets, danios, hatchets, killifish, platties, swords and pothers fit the middle to top level fish categories.
Remember though, if oyu go with that many clown loaches and add even more fish tne it will mean even harder work to keep the nitrates down and to keep the water clean enough for all the fish to thrive.
Yea, I figure I have a lot of time to find out what I want since my tank has at least another week to 10 weeks until cycled. Would 3 or 4 clowns be ok? Theyre kind of the first fish I really liked so I want to try to stick with them if possible.
What other kinds of fish play and act like the clowns?
Clown what? Plecos? Loaches?
As for other fish that act like them that get about the same size, there are not many that will be suitable for a 55. Really not much other option for a fish that will get along on the bottom and act the same way that doesn't eventually eat any fish that will fit in it's mouth.
If you go with the Clown loaches then I would not look for anything else top put on the bottom. IMHO anyway.
Yea I agree, thanks for all of the advice and tips. I have plenty of time to think about it all.
What about the nitrate question? Do I need a test kit for it or am I good with the nitrites and ammonia/ammonium
Test you want to have on hand:
No one should be without them in any age tank.
Good ones to have:
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