Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Jmalone 07-13-2010 11:25 PM

just a few general questions
Hey everybody!
So I put a piece of driftwood in my tank the other day, but not before soaking it for a while first in hot water, I put it in my tank, and it is still slightly changing the color of my water, I would imagine that after a few water changes the color will go back to normal, but my main concern is that I dont want it to harm my fish- thoughts? comments?

question number two-
I recently went to the aquarium center near my house with a water sample, just to make sure that my numbers matched theirs (after all, they are professionals lol) they matched up to mine just right, but when speaking to the guy and telling him that my tank was in cycle (fish in, 5 barbs) he said that judging by the levels of the ammonia,nitrate,nitrites, that itd be best for me to avoid water changes for about 3-7 days, depending on test levels, because by changing the water, im slowing down the cycle. Now my question is from what ive learned the bacteria forming all form on the substrate, plants etc...right? so what would the water change have to do with the cycle, maybe im wrong but i thought that the water changes were good because they lowered the ammonia levels and improved over all health of the pretty confused. Once again, comments, suggestions etc are always welcome and helpful. Thanks--
Joe :-)

p.s. my tank has been cycling for about 12 days now, and other than the driftwood, the only other thing possibly affecting any of the levels is the one real plant I have in the tank.

aunt kymmie 07-13-2010 11:29 PM

After a few water changes the tannins from the wood will lesson, it will not harm your fish. As for the LFS advice? I do not agree. Water changes are needed to keep your fish comfortable and to reduce any stress on them. Your cycle will not be slowed. The bacteria, as you have already stated, do not live in the water column.

PS. Live plants do not hinder your water parameters. If anything they do nothing but help.

Jmalone 07-13-2010 11:35 PM

Thank you for the advice! now one more question as well, just because I want to be sure. How can I be sure that the cycle in my tank is complete, ive read the sticky note about it , but Id feel more confident with some first hand input

aunt kymmie 07-13-2010 11:38 PM

You will have to test your water (preferably with a liquid test kit, I use API) and first you'll see an amonia reading, followed by a nitrite spike, after that a nitrate reading. Once you have a reading for nitrates this indicates that your tank is cycled. Do you have a test kit on hand? I find it a valuable resource.

Jmalone 07-13-2010 11:41 PM

yes, I use the API kits as well, ive been keeping track of the levels of everything since day one, the ammonia levels as of yesterday were starting to drop off, but I dont think the nitrite has spiked yet

aunt kymmie 07-13-2010 11:44 PM

You've got the right test kit, which is a good thing. You should be seeing nitrites shortly. What size tank is this? If it was a 100 gl with only 5 fish in it, it could take awhile for the cycle to complete itself.

Jmalone 07-13-2010 11:48 PM

Its a 20 high, kinda figured itd be a good sized first tank, and once im more knowlegeable about the hobby ill move up to a bigger tank

aunt kymmie 07-13-2010 11:52 PM

What type of barbs? You may find that you'll have to upgrade sooner than you think! But don't worry, upgrading to a larger thank is always fun. :-)

Jmalone 07-13-2010 11:55 PM

right now I have two golden barbs and 3 cherry barbs, and believe me...Im already thinking about ideas for a bigger tank haha

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