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A Polynomial 06-06-2007 09:43 PM

Question about 30 gallon cycling.
 
Hello, first of all I'd like to say that I am new to this forum and it seems like this forum is already helping me answer my basic questions.

My parents recently bought me a 30 gallon tank for these 4 Goldfish that my mom bought for me in this small square tank thing (barely enough room for them to move).

After I set up the tank and all, I read a lot about cycling the tank and everything. It has been around 1 week since I set up my tank, and I put in the Goldfish around 28 hours after I first put the dechlorinated water in the tank. I am using a 30 gallon powerfilter. So, I started a Fish cycle I assume.

So at first, all of my levels (ammonia, pH, and nitrite), read normal (pH around 7). And today after I checked the ammonia, it read 1 ppm. Now I read that it is not right to do water changes when cycling a new tank, unless it gets extremely high and toxic. So should I do any water changes?

My second question is about the beneficial bacteria. My teacher at school who has had an aquarium for years says that it grows on nearly everything but it doesn't really grow on gravel. Is this true? If it is, how can I ensure that my bacteria grows properly...as right now I don't have any ornaments or plants in my tank.

My last question is, when do I know that my tank is done cycling? Is it when ammonia drops to 0 and then my nitrites also read 0? Or should I go out and buy a nitrate test kit as well? (Currently I have pH, ammonia, and nitrite test kits).

Thanks for reading! I would appreciate any help!

Lupin 06-06-2007 09:53 PM

Re: Question about 30 gallon cycling.
 
Welcome to the forum.:wave:
Quote:

Originally Posted by A Polynomial
So at first, all of my levels (ammonia, pH, and nitrite), read normal (pH around 7). And today after I checked the ammonia, it read 1 ppm. Now I read that it is not right to do water changes when cycling a new tank, unless it gets extremely high and toxic. So should I do any water changes?

You have to do water changes as ammonia is toxic to your goldfish.
Quote:

My second question is about the beneficial bacteria. My teacher at school who has had an aquarium for years says that it grows on nearly everything but it doesn't really grow on gravel. Is this true? If it is, how can I ensure that my bacteria grows properly...as right now I don't have any ornaments or plants in my tank.
Bacteria is found in everything else including the gravel though the majority is found in your filter.
Quote:

My last question is, when do I know that my tank is done cycling? Is it when ammonia drops to 0 and then my nitrites also read 0? Or should I go out and buy a nitrate test kit as well? (Currently I have pH, ammonia, and nitrite test kits).
Buy the nitrate kit. You need it. In the end, you want zero ammonia and nitrites with detected nitrates not higher than 40 ppm. Higher than that will require water changes to lower it.

4 goldfish will require a 75 gallons. Only one or a couple will fit in a 30 provided the filtration is sufficient. These fish are heavy waste producers hence the reason for a requirement of large tanks and powerful filtration.

Good luck.:)

GW 06-06-2007 10:07 PM

8) Welcome to the Forum 8)
Here's a thread about cycling your tank:
http://www.fishforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=3738

IMHO...water changes will keep more of your fish alive through the cycle period your tank will go through.
Expect the levels of Ammonia to "Spike" or get really high. Allowing your fish to endure these high levels you may end up replacing all if not most of them...Do the regular water changes and you'll risk losing less of them.
The beneficial bacteria will still grow even doing the water changes :wink:
Remember to treat the water, to remove Chlorine And Chloramine, before you add it into the tank each time.
Chloramine, a mixture of ammonia and chlorine, passes (unlike chlorine) through the fish’s tissue directly into the bloodstream. In the blood, just like nitrite, it destroys the oxygen carrying cells. Chloramine can cause all fish to die within 24 hours.

BTW, When you see any word in the color "Blue", like Nitrite, place your mouse over it and it will give you some valuable information 8)

leifthebunny 06-06-2007 10:14 PM

Re: Question about 30 gallon cycling.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by A Polynomial
So at first, all of my levels (ammonia, pH, and nitrite), read normal (pH around 7). And today after I checked the ammonia, it read 1 ppm. Now I read that it is not right to do water changes when cycling a new tank, unless it gets extremely high and toxic. So should I do any water changes?

1ppm for Ammonia is lethal for some fish. Nitrites is typically around 4ppm. The real problem with both of these are not a complete level, but prolonged buildup in the fish. It damages the organs of the fish and though the fish may survive initial cycle, a mini cycle can kill it later. I would recommend a 50% water change as soon as possible. Keep testing daily until the nitrites begin to spike, then continue until it's just nitrates showing. Once the tank is cycled, you will need to continue to monitor closely for a while as even though the tank is established, a mini cycle can readily occur. I had this problem when one of my flame tetras died and I didn't find the corpse.

As Lupin indicated, goldfish require more space, this is due to the fact that goldfish produce an excessive amount of ammonia.

GW 06-06-2007 10:20 PM

Here's another link to help you understand what can happen:
http://www.algone.com/fish_poisoning.php

A Polynomial 06-07-2007 01:33 PM

Thanks for the replies guys, I have a couple of more questions.

My teacher gave me an Aquaclear 500 Filter (for use with tanks up to 150 gallons). And I was wondering, on this website it stated that the Power Consumption is 14 W:

- Maximum Output: 500 U.S. Gal. (1892 l) per hour
- Full Flow Control: 166 U.S. Gal. (630 l) per hour
- Power Consumption: 14 W
- Maximum Aquarium Capacity: 150 U.S. Gal. (567 l)

I obtained that from this page:

http://www.elmersaquarium.com/h112aquaclears.htm (scroll all the way to the bottom).

Now, my question is that, does it consume 14 W in general like how my Microwave Oven consumes 13 W when I actually use it? Because if it consumes 14 W all day, then there is a risk that my fuse might blow out (I live in an old apartment with low tolerance fuses).

--

On to my next question, my tank is near a window, so it receives natural sunlight over 9 hours during the day. Do I have to keep on the hood artificial light or will the natural light do that job? Also, do I keep on the hood light during night or do I keep it off?

Thanks a lot for the help guys, I appreciate it!

A Polynomial 06-07-2007 05:20 PM

Oh, sorry I made a mistake with my last post. I mistaked the Watts with Amps :lol:. So the first question doesn't really need to be answered anymore.

Lupin 06-07-2007 06:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A Polynomial
On to my next question, my tank is near a window, so it receives natural sunlight over 9 hours during the day. Do I have to keep on the hood artificial light or will the natural light do that job? Also, do I keep on the hood light during night or do I keep it off?

Tanks must be kept away from direct sunlight. Constant temperature changes and unwanted algal blooms are the main problems here. It's best to rely on artificial lighting and should be switched on for not more than 10 hours.

A Polynomial 06-07-2007 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lupin
Quote:

Originally Posted by A Polynomial
On to my next question, my tank is near a window, so it receives natural sunlight over 9 hours during the day. Do I have to keep on the hood artificial light or will the natural light do that job? Also, do I keep on the hood light during night or do I keep it off?

Tanks must be kept away from direct sunlight. Constant temperature changes and unwanted algal blooms are the main problems here. It's best to rely on artificial lighting and should be switched on for not more than 10 hours.

Thanks. I have a curtain so if there's too much sunlight for too long of an interval, I'll just let that down.

Stacey 06-07-2007 09:30 PM

Also, turn the light off at night......... fish need their rest too. :)


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