This may be answered some where else on here but I don't know how long i should cycle my tank? Until it is set. A day? A week? 2 weeks? Can i use water conditioner from tetra or something? i've run one ten gallon tank many years ago and cycled it for a day after adding conditioner and then just let it go for a week before putting fish in simple because i counldn't drive to get any at that point. I have a 75 gallon tank as mentioned in a previous post and well water which isn't to hard and isn't to soft and in generally neutral. I know the numbers are important but from past experience what do you think?
There is no set time to cycle a tank but it would take roughly 6-8 weeks to fully cycle a 75g tank.
If you have not seen it, look here. I would strongly advise to not cycle with fish in unless you plan on having a live planted tank.
I would advise you to get Seachem Prime Water conditioner, it is one, if not, the best you can get.
What fish do you intend on keeping, do you have a test kit (if not you will absolutely need one).
Do indeed need number's with respect to the water you have from the tap after it has set overnight.
While GH and Kh would be helpful,, A pH reading would give a fair idea as to what type of water you have.
It is possible to cycle the 75 gal while still enjoying fish but it requires very few ,very small fish, with small feeding's every couple day's to prevent harm to the fishes.
Method I have used for setting up numerous classroom tanks, where children were not inclined to wait on empty tank to mature, does not work well with large fish,or too many fish,or too much food being introduced too often.
For a nice community tank of 75 gallons, I would first set up the tank,plug the heater in and set it for around 76 degrees and also place the filter in the tank as well, and let the tank run with no fish for a week to ten days.
I would then purchase four or five small active fish such as Pristella tetra's,Blood fin tetra's,Silver tipped tetra's or small danios.(not giant)
These are small active fish, and would represent small bioload for 75 gal tank. I would feed these four or five small fish a tiny amount of food ,about half a dime size amount of flake evry other day and no more.
After ten day's , I would purchase another four or five of these same fish to make a nice school and would leave these now eight to ten fish in the tank for another ten day's while feeding same small amount of food every other day.
I might then purchase three or four cory's and leave these fish for another ten day's while still feeding same small amount, and after the ten day's,,purchase another three or four cory's and leave them for ten day's while still feeding small amount like before.
Tank will now have been running for approx three weeks and i would perform at this time a 30 to 40 percent water change with fresh dechlorinated water treated with water conditioner such as PRIME and I would do this each week on same day from this time forward.
you have not been overfeeding so the filter material should be relatively clean and a healthy bacterial population is maturing there as well as on the surfaces in the tank such as the gravel,decor, wood,rocks,etc.
I might then select a centerpiece fish such as pearl Gourami,honey gourami, or four or five platy's and begin feeding the fishes once each day no more than you actually see them eat in a minute or two.
in this way the tank will naturally mature(cycle) and there is little risk to the fishes for they have been introduced over a period of time, with chance for biological filter to mature between new additions of small fish.
There is no need for daily testing ,or frequent water changes if done as I described and fishes will not have been placed in toxic to lehtal condition's.
Any deviation from that I described, and all bet's are off with regards to the health of the fishes if too many fish ,too large of fish,too much food,or inappropriate fishes, are placed in this galss box of water.
Deviations are likely to result in sick ,dead fishes and toxic condition's which will affect all fishes added to the tank for weeks ,possibly month's.
Hope this helps.
P.S. You could add live plant's to the tank at any time during the process i described but adding them from the get go would be extra benefit to fishes and water qualtiy.
Another member here,Byron,,, would be the person I would contact about all thing's plant /fish related.
I wouldnt cycle with the fish in it either. Try doing the fish food method.
Fill the tank and get it to the right temp for what you want in there. And also get the filter running. Also go out and buy an Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate testing kit.
Add a few pinches of food depending on size of tank
Leave for a week or so and test with the Ammonia testing kit (API brand works ok)
Keep testing till the ammonia spikes high and then starts to fall thats when the Nitrites kick in so then.....
Test for the Nitrites, when that spikes high and then starts to fall thats when the Nitrates kick in so then....
Test for Nitrates
Keep testing for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. When the first two have gone down to 0 and the last one is at about 10-20ppm then your tank is cycled. This can take up to a month or more espcially if all the equipment is brand new such as the filter media.
Please check with others though as I am still faitly new to fish keeping, you might still have to do water changes while cycling....some do some dont.
Or if you are going to have a heavily planted tank do what I did, just chuck it all in (with water conditioner of course) because the plants will eat up all the nasty stuff before it will affect anything else. Leave for about 2 weeks with just plants (and the fish food) and keep testing during those two weeks just in case. If its all at 0 start to introduce your fish a few at a time over a month or so.
You should be safe to add them quite quickly in a heavily planted tank as the plants will eat up all the nastys they produce. A lot quicker than a non planted tank anwyay.
I never had a cycle doing it this way and my ammonia, nitrite and nitrate were all trace.
Hope this helps
What kinds of live plants would help? I saw banana plants and Anubis Plants, and Amazon Sword Plants. I have my aquarium full of artificial plants and would be willing to try live plants if their are any that very easy to care for requiring very little on my part for them to thrive but I am willing to give them the best possible chance. They make the environment look better and help my filter out as well.
On a second note i have a Emperor 400 with 4 slots for filter media. I have just the carbon in now and I'm wondering what is the best set up to keep things easy on the fist and on the filter.
The carbon just removes medication and things like that. Take that out if you havnt been putting any chemicals in and such and put some fine filter wool and some sponges in there. Normally sponges and filter wool is what people have.
As far as plants go, if you have a low tech tank start with java fern and amazon sword, maybe some water sprite if you like floating plants. Also a few Anubias would go well. You can tie Anubias and Java fern to Bog Wood....getting a nice peice or two of that will make the tank look very natural. Go from there and also check out
Tropica Aquarium Plants - Plant list A-Z
That will give you a good idea of what starter plants to get with easy to read guides.
Oh also if you are going to have live plants I would get some decent substrate. There are plenty out there that help to feed the plants rather than just plain gravel which is intert. I went with JBL Manado because it does a good job and is a LOT cheaper than ECO complete and ADA Amazonia and all those overpriced ones. (lil dig there, sorry)
I hope this helps you :)
I want to get a few plants just to start out with which plants are slow growers and require little care? I've read the profiles on here for many if not all the plants and as well as some information on other sites. Which plants are small and could be used in the foreground or are tall and kind of leafy. I will post pictures of my aquarium as I know pictures are way better than anything i could type. I will post those of my aquarium with and with out the live plants just for others to see a comparison and so I can get suggestion on what to get. Also for those giving suggestion. This tank is at my parents and needs these easy to care for plants as I hope I will not be here for many more years to help them take care of it =P
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