Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Trixsta 10-04-2009 12:35 AM

My first fish tank
Hi I bought a fish tank today at pet smart. It is a 55 gallon tank made by Top Fin starter kit. I realize

that this may not me the best brand out on the market, but because this is all new to me I didn't want

want to go crazy. I will upgrade the filter and whatever I need to in the future but my main focus is

getting everything done right. I have done a lot of research on the computer and it can be to much.

So I brought the fish tank home washed the gravel placed in the fish tank and set everything up and

filled with water. I have everything running and added STRESS ZYME and someone told me to add a

little fish food to create bacteria. So i did that so far. Right now there is a lot of bubbles on the side and

bottom of fish tan. I do realize I have to buy a pump or something to add bubbles but what is my next

step or am I doing this all wrong. I also have STRESS COAT and AQUA plus. I dont think i Add this stuff


Twistersmom 10-04-2009 10:28 AM

Hello and welcome to the forum! Congrats on the new tank!

You will need to add the Stress Coat or Aqua Plus to the tank. For fish, you always have to dechlorinate new water.

Is this going to be a heated tank or cold water tank? If heated, plug the heater in and get you temperature dialed in. You will need a thermometer to know the temperature of the tank. Some heaters come with dials with temperature settings marked, but the settings are not reliable.

Have you read up on the aquarium cycle process? This is the process of building up the bacteria to have a stable ammonia and nitrite free tank. New tanks can be cycled with or without fish. If you need more info on the tank cycle, let me know. For a cycling tank, you are going to need a water test kit. If you have not already bought one, The API freshwater liquid test kit is a good one.

Trixsta 10-04-2009 03:41 PM

Yea there is a heater that is set to 78 80 degrees is that bad. Also the light on the heater was working last night dont see that the light is on now. Does this mean its broken or does it shut down when water is at tempature.

Twistersmom 10-04-2009 03:53 PM

78-80 deg is fine. On my heaters, the light is on when the heater turns on to heat up the water. Sounds like all is well.

GOURAMIKEEPER83 10-08-2009 08:08 PM

On the test kit you want to stay clear of test strips most are not accurate. I recommend a liquid type test kit for freshwater. Walmart has two to choose from. I went with the Tetratest Laborett from walmart and this product is excellent for testing your water levels. It also only costs around 15-16 bucks. The only down side is that it can only be purchased online meaning you have to wait for it to ship. It only takes about 5 days to arrive @ the store. I also used the site to store shipping because it is free and wal-mart is right around the corner. I hope this helps.I also would go with the fishless cycle when setting up your new tank. This process uses pure amonia instead of fish flakes or fish. I find it more humane and easier to manage.

MoneyMitch 10-09-2009 03:19 PM

I also bought a liquid test kit from walmart (API brand) 18.00, i went the route of using fish in my cycle never had any problems with mine no illness or fish loss.

stephanieleah 10-31-2009 02:30 PM

How high can your levels get when there are fish in the tank? I don't want them to suffer and I already added a pleco to my pre-cycled tank. What kind of fish did you add when you were cycling?

bearwithfish 10-31-2009 04:14 PM

the key to cycling with fish in is to go slow.. one or two fish to start off with.. wait a week or two then add a few more ... just don't over load it and be sure to keep up with water changes during the process so the fish don't stress.. i have done all of my tanks this way with no issues...

Twistersmom 10-31-2009 05:54 PM


Originally Posted by stephanieleah (Post 266713)
How high can your levels get when there are fish in the tank? I don't want them to suffer and I already added a pleco to my pre-cycled tank. What kind of fish did you add when you were cycling?

When cycling with fish, I always test the water daily, and try to keep both ammonia and nitrites under .25 ppm. Daily water changes are sometimes needed during the cycling stage.

stephanieleah 11-01-2009 01:28 PM

thanks for the responses! I ended up moving my pleco to a temporary container while I do some rapid cycling with 6 skirts and a bottle of live bacteria (the stuff in the it smart start or safe start?) Hopefully I can hurry and cycle it and get my pleco back into his heated domain, while not overwhelming the skirts.

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