Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Pea Gravel and Cycling Questions (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-tropical-fish/pea-gravel-cycling-questions-27569/)

British 08-19-2009 08:53 PM

Pea Gravel and Cycling Questions
 
Hello, all. I have a few questions regarding Pea Gravel and Cycling.

Pea Gravel:
Okay. I will be using Pea Gravel for my aquariums as a cheaper alternative to Aquarium Gravel. It is sold for around $4 a bag at my Wal-Mart. I will rinse it very well and let it dry before adding it to my aquarium. I just got money so right now all I have are empty aquariums, filters, lights, stands and food. Here are my questions regarding the gravel.

1.) How many pounds of gravel are in one cubic foot of Pea Gravel?

I have Googled this question, but I cannot seem to find the answer. I am also on an iPod Touch because I currently do not have access to my mum's laptop so it got me a trifle frustrated.

2.) For non-planted aquaria, how many inches of gravel should I have?

I was planning on about an inch. Is this too much, or too little?

Cycling:
These are my 'first' aquaria and I have recently learned about cycling. I have never cycled a tank before and plan on doing a fishless cycle. Here are my questions regarding cycling.

1.) What type of Ammonia source (other than fish food) can I use?

I've heard of pure ammonia, but I would like to know what it does, the dose per gallon, brands, cost, ect.

2.) How long does it take to cycle an aquarium on average?

I have heard anywhere from 3-6 weeks, is this correct?

3.) How often and how large of water changes should I be doing to cycle this aquarium?

I will be using a gravel vaccum to do water changes.

4.) During cycling, when using the gravel vaccum to do water changes, should I be vaccuming the gravel or just performing a water change?

I just do not want to disturb any benificial bacteria. (I get a little overly-worried about my tanks. Sorry.)

5.) How often should I be testing the water?

I have an API Liquid Master Test Kit.

I think that's all of the questions I had. I do have a few odds and end questions as well.

1.) Introducing the least agressive fish first will be the most benificial route to go, correct?

I thought that maybe this way to more aggressive ones wouldn't feel like others were invading their territory. Just a personal theory.

2.) If water changes are kept up, is over-stocking okay?

I'm accuiring these fish from a friend that cannot take proper care of them and cannot find another home for them. He wants to euthinize these fish but I got him to wait until I can get my tank up and cycled and he will be giving them to me. They are the fish listed in my Mixed Community fish tank. My tank is almost three times larger than his 12 gallon. It's not a major size difference, but it's much more room for the fish. We have been seeking out someone to take these fish for three months and after no luck, I have decided to take these fish in and provide them with a home where I can ensure they are well taken care of, even if I do not have the exact tank size this number of fish require. I am willing to keep up with my water changes and try to ensure a happy, healthy life for them.

That's all for now. I apologize for asking so many questions, I just want to do this right for the well-being of these fish.

Sincerely,
British

3.)

Guber 08-19-2009 10:58 PM

I don't know the exact method of pure ammonia to use...but I did the pure ammonia method and I also picked up a API Freshwater Liquid Test kit...i poured in a capful of the cap used on the test tubes in the kit once a day for my cycling and it seemed to work fine. keep in mind this was in a 20 gallon aquarium so it would obviously be more in a larger aquarium. Wait around and someone more experienced with that than i will answer your questions for sure. Another method i may try in a future aquarium is the raw shrimp method which is taking a filter bag or similar bag, putting a raw frozen (obviously unbreaded) shrimp in it and weighting it down in the tank and letting it sit until you see results of a cycle on your test kit. Also No overstocking wouldn't be ok even if water changes are kept up.

Also you wont be needing to change any water during the cycling. And for changing the water once fish are introduced...I do 20-25% water changes once a week. Some may do 50% every couple weeks. Whatever you feel most comfortable with i would say go for.

British 08-19-2009 11:13 PM

Well, I'll definately be doing more water changes due to the amount of fish (like, 45% twice weekly.) I just do not want these fishes lives to end because of a stupid purchase. I am going to do everything I can to help them. What brands of pure ammonia are suggested around here?

Guber 08-19-2009 11:34 PM

Try going to an Ace hardware and ask for Pure Ammonia. or any hardware store i'm sure...generally it'll be called "plumbers strength or janitorial strength" just ask for pure ammonia that has no additives of any sort and they'll know what you need. This isn't a bad site to read up on for the fishless cycling either

Fishless Cycling Made Easy

But yeah, keep your eyes on this thread...someone more experienced then me is bound to come around. I've really only been keeping fish maybe 5 or 6 months now and haven't had the greatest success until this last month and a half. I've begun to think though it wasn't my fault i was losing so many fish. I think my petsmart just isn't the best spot for fish sales.

British 08-19-2009 11:37 PM

Is that cheaper than ammonia purcased at a pet shop? I'm on a pretty low budget here.

Guber 08-20-2009 08:33 AM

I've never heard of pet stores selling pure ammonia no. Your best would be would be a hardware store.

Fishin Pole 08-20-2009 09:19 AM

i have never used this, but some members have cycled their tank with shrimp.....( i dont mean freshwater shrimp either)............a single shrimp from a seafood market put in the water will start to breakdown and release ammonia and help the cycle the same way straight ammonia will..........Its proba bly a little more messy, but some members have done it with success.........Hopefully they chime in and explain it better than i can

British 08-20-2009 09:35 AM

I'd prefer not using something that will break apart. I think I want to use the pure ammonia method but I would like to know more about it. If I were to do a cycle with fish, I'd want to use feeders but i'm too scared to let any diseases into my tank. Plus I wouldn't have anything to do with any fish I used to cycle the tank. Unless I got two feeder goldfish and gave them to my cousin if they survived cycling.

1077 08-20-2009 10:06 AM

It occured to me that perhaps you can speed up the cycling process by borrowing(okay, taking) some filter material from your friends tank that is parting with the fish or your cousin's tank. It is called seeding your tank. The beneficial bacteria needed will already be developed in these tanks and by adding some of the filter material and a cup of substrate from one of these tanks,, you could jumpstart the nitrification process in your own tank. Assuming the fish in the tank you get the filter material or substrate from are healthy,,You would simply need to keep the material you borrow wet in tank water while you transfer it to your tank. The filter material could be stuffed in the filter of your tank and the gravel could be placed in a section of nylon and tied shut . Stuff or push the nylon with gravel into your gravel and leave all material in the tank for three weeks.
If you choose to do this you will indeed need to add a couple to four or five fish depending on tank size the same day you put the seed material in or bacteria will die from lack of food. Or you could simply pretend to feed fish a little each day and monitor water with test kit to observe whether or when ammonia,and nitrite rise and fall, and nitrates appear.

British 08-20-2009 11:30 AM

He has no filter in his tank. No décor, or gravel either. These fish are in bad conditions and I come over daily to do 5 gal water changes.


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