Resurrecting a tank - suggestions/reminders welcome
Hello! Thank you for letting me join your community. I was really into the hobby many years ago until life circumstances changed and the tanks had to go. Life has stabilized and I am ready to start up again. I got my 29 gal tank out of the shed and have dusted it off, and am looking for suggestions for putting an older tank back into use. I don't want to miss anything. I will be checking for leaks before I add fish!
I haven't used any cleansers on the tank, obviously, but is wet paper towels the only thing I can use to clean it up? Thanks!
Welcome to the forum. I'm glad you passed the entrance exam :-)
Wet paper towel is all I've ever used.
In the past when I needed to really clean a used tank I used Apple Vinegar. It did wonders on getting rid of old scum build up and doesn't really leave anything that can hurt your fish.
It's worth it if you can take it outside and hose it down with a garden hose.
EDIT: If you have old gravel in your tank I suggest removing it, throwing it away, and then getting new gravel. I've heard/come across several reports from people who pulled out used tanks, used the existing gravel and ended up with high ammonia/nitrates. Not sure what is going on causing it. It may be there is still stuff left over in the rocks that dried out and as you add water it can soften/decompose putting stuff out into your tank.
doing any plants?
Great question! Previously I did no live plants but I'm kinda considering it this time. What do you think? What considerations do I have when making that decision?
Plants provide so many benefits, the largest initially being that they suck up ammonia immediately, no need for a classic cycle setup as they circumvent the nitrogen cycle. The more plants the better. Add substrate (sand is a good choice) water, plants and fish (in small groups a few weeks apart).
Considerations, lighting and fertilization. If you have an old light hood you can probably get replacement bulbs that are in the 6,000kelvin to 7,000kelvin range (plant friendly lights) and something like seachem's flourish comprehensive (full range fertilizer) for a weekly dosing.
Excellent information, thank you! I'm excited!
So I was planning on seeding my tank with used media from a co-worker, are you saying that is unnecessary if I introduce plants and fish at the same time?
P.S. I am aware of bioloads with fish - does having plants change that at all, i.e., could I eventually support more fish due to having plants? Thank you again, I am so happy to be getting help!
The bioload will be something that you will have to work out for your specific setup but I would agree that it COULD let you go more overload. Once you start adding fish the key is to add them in small groups a few weeks apart to let things balance out. Too many fish too fast will likely result in a nitrite spike. I just added more plants each time I added more fish and only ended up with one case of nitrite spiking for a couple of days.
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
I concur with what has been posted. Next question is, what fish are you planning? The choice of substrate and filter should take the intended fish into account. Also, what are your source water (presumably tap, but could be well) parameters? GH is important for many fish, and pH is related to GH and KH. It is wise to know these for your sourced water, in case they may limit fish choices.
Also, just to be clear, JDM means heavily planted initially, with lot's of fast growing stem plants. Floating plants also help tremendously (water sprite, water lettuce, frogbit, even duckweed).
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