New Tropical fish tank setup and keeper - quick questions please.
On the weekend I purchased a aquastart 340 pro tank (40L). I have followed all instructions to the button and it is setup fine. I am in the process of leaving the tank running for a week before introducing the fish. this is my first fish tank and I am going to keep tropical fresh water fish. I just have a few questions.
1. The heater that was supplied with the kit at the shop is a 25w heater. Reading the instructions on the manual which came with the tank recommended a 50w heater. When i get time i will exchange this at the shop. Do i need a heater in and on over the next 7 days while the tank "establishes"? if is the heater only needed to keep the water to 25* for the fish to live healthily?
2. Does the light need to be on for the 7 day period to help establish the good bacteria etc?
Hello, myk3, and welcome to TFK!!!!
I just wanna touch base on something before we jump into your questions. Have you read up on the nitrogen cycle for a fish tank? As you stated, you tank will need to "established" before you can add anyfish. A "cycle" can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. It's basic definition is that your tank needs to build up enough "beneficial bacteria" to convert toxins in your tank to less harmful substances. Toxins(ammonia) in your tank can come from mulitple sources, mostly excess food and fish waste. When you cycle your tank, you'll build up a colony of beneficial bacteria to convert the ammonia to ammonium(a far far less toxic version of ammonia). If you haven't done any reading on that, check out our thread on it :
On to your questions:
I would throw the heater in and just get it going now, this way you won't be throwing your fish into cold water, as it could take 1/2 a day to heat the tank water throughout.
The lighting issue, i've personally never heard one way or another if having a light on matters during a cycle. So someone else may need to touch on that one for you...
Since it's your first fish tank, here are some other crucial items you'll need for weekly maintenance:
- API Master Liquid Test Kit (this will be an absolute neccessity during your cyle)
- Siphon for water changes
- a couple of 5 gallon buckets
- Fish net
- A timer for your lights (fish, just like humans need to sleep also, they like the hours of light and hours of day)
- A good water conditioner (such as PRIME, or Aqumel +)
I'm sure there's other stuff you'll come across.
Hi and welcome to the forum.
For the light, I would turn it off if you were going to do a fishless cycle. I don't know about a fish in cycle, but if you going to do a fish in cycle( Like what I done when I first cycle my 10 gallon), I would add a few hardy fish like platies, but make sure you get 1. From my experience of a fish in cycle, it turned out sucessfull.
Many people here reconmend doing a fishless cycle. You can read about it by the link that JohnnyD44 gave you. :)
Apart from the reason for putting the heater in the tank now that Johnny mentioned (i.e. getting the tank nice and warm for when the fish come) a heated tank will also cycle faster than an unheated one as the bacteria will reproduce faster in warmer water.
just to update you on my situation. I got the 55Wat heater and installed it next to the pump outlet and have also attached a thermometer the opposite side of the tank. This is at a steady reading of 25* which is good.
I have also purchased a fish net, gravel cleaner and a cleaning pad for the glass sides.
The fishery which we purchased all the equipment gave is a guide to follow and we have followed this to the button. They have advised that we let the tank cycle fishless for 1 week then introduce some hardy fish.
They have not advised any of the 5 cycle methods with shrimps, fish and plants etc. It is just water and the de-chlorinator running in the tank for 1 week. Is this ok?
Also another slight off topic question... what are the noodles in the pump and filter section?
Without an ammonia source in the tank, there aren't going to be any of the beneficial bacteria growing which will process your fishes' waste. I honestly don't know why* fish stores recommend letting a tank run for some arbitrary short period of time (I've heard anywhere from 24 hours to the week you mentioned) without any ammonia source. The reason that they suggest getting "hardy" fish is that these fish are better able to survive the aquarium cycle, which won't actually begin until they're added as it's those fish themselves that will serve as the ammonia source. As I mentioned in the article Johnny linked to, cycling fishless is generally a much better idea for a number of reasons:
1) It's more humane, as you don't have to subject any fish to toxic levels of ammonia.
2) It's easier, since you don't have to constantly monitor the water parameters and do frequent large water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite levels down in order to keep your fish alive.
3) It allows you more freedom in your stocking list, as you aren't forced to either keep the "hardy" cycling fish or remove them from the tank and find something to do with them.
*Actually, I do know why: for one thing, customers don't want to buy a fish tank and then have to read about some sort of chemistry they don't care about, and furthermore they don't want to hear that it will be a month or two before they're able to keep fish in the expensive tank they just purchased. Keeping customers happy is important. However, beyond that, if you do have problems once the tank starts cycling and your fish start dying, they can sell you all sorts of stuff to fix your problem! Ammonia removers, nitrite detoxifiers, cycling bacteria in a bottle, fish to replace those that have died from ammonia poisoning, larger tanks, bigger filters...you get the picture.
The noodles you're describing are most likely some sort of biological filter media, which is meant to provide a lot of surface area through a high-flow area, designed to be an ideal environment for those beneficial bacteria cultivated during the aquarium cycle to colonize.
thanks for this,
if I go ahead and use the fish food method can i let this run for the next 5 days before adding the fish to build the good bacteria levels rather than have a running tank with no fish, food or plants etc?
we are hoping to put some hardy fish in on Sunday.
Takes considerably longer than five days for bacteria to develop to a degree that you could put more than three or four small active fish such as guppies or perhaps pristella tetras in the 40 Litre tank.
Even with these three or four (no more) small fish,careful feedings,, perhaps a tiny pinch every other day,and careful testing of water with test kit will be needed to ensure that the fish don't die from toxins(ammonia).
Adding too many fish,too large of fish,or overfeeding the fish, will result in very good probability that fishes will not survive.
Best to use the fish food method that was described at the site recommended above and use the time that it takes for bacteria to develop naturally ,to research the fish that interest you to see that they share similar requirements with respect to pH ,temp, and compatability with others you have selected.
nothing I can think of is more frustrating than finding ones self with a cycling tank full of sick fish.
This requires medications that slow down the cycling process ,or kill the bacteria outright and one must also perform many water changes to keep ammonia levels in check which in turn means after each water change,more medication must be added in efforts to save the possibly sick fish.
Patience during the cycling process is it's own reward.;-)
we will only want to put 2 fish in for the start (for some weeks) and hardy fish at that! before introducing the nicer fish we want.
so is 5 days fish food method cycle still not enough for 2 small and hard fish?
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