New Tank*water chemistry*comments please
Set up my new 55 gallon tank 4 days ago. It currently has the filter running and heater established. It has pool filter sand as its substrate. It is almost fully decorated with plastic plants and rocks. The only chemicals I put in the tank are Tetra Aqua Safe: tap water conditioner. Tested the water today and these were the results:
Alkalinity/Hardness: 0-80 ppm
Total Hardness: 0-25 ppm
Nitrite and Nitrate both at 0
I've had a 20 gallon tank set up for over 2 years now and I know that my buffering capacity is high because straight from my sink my pH is 6.4 and with proper pH 7.0 nothing changes, EVER, the pH stays at 6.4. There is also calcium build up all over the rear of my previous tank (high hardness).
How much longer should I wait before addiing fish?
I have never cycled a tank before putting my fish in. I do 25% W/C every other day for a week or two, slowly cutting back W/C's to my normal schedule over a month or longer depending on how heavily stocked the tank is.
If you don't have the time right now to commit to frequent W/C's be sure to cycle your tank completely, you'll need to get some ammonia in the water to start the cycling process, fish food, plain ammonia used for cleaning, even urine will suffice in a pinch! Or you can use feeders as the ammonia source.
Adding a bottled bacteria such as Seachem's stability during the process, either method, can help speed things up. Also you can seed the new aquarium with media and substrate from the established tank.
I've already added rock decorations and some plants from my previous tank, and I also put the week old filter (from my established tank to my new tank) into the filter to set up a base.
Is this sufficient?
Should be, just be sure to watch for a mini cycle. Do your W/C in two to three days after you add the fish. keep an eye on them for signs of stress.
Your tank isn't cycled yet, that process takes a minimum of 2 weeks (but most often 4) and can take as long as 8 weeks.
Have a read over this sticky that's on the top of the forum, it will explain the cycle and gives different methods. http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/
A "fish-less" cycle is the best option. You need a source of ammonia, bacteria will form that breaks that down to Nitrite. Another bacteria will form to break that down to Nitrates. Nothing will completely get ride of the Nitrates, but live plants can help. Regardless, partial water changes are necessary to remove/dilute the pollutants that build up. Weekly is a good idea, do at least 25% but can do up to 50%.
You can put some substrate in a mesh bag, or the filter pad from your established tank into your new one near the filter intake to help kick start the process of getting bacteria in there.
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