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Newbie running into MAJOR problems...

This is a discussion on Newbie running into MAJOR problems... within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Byron I don't advocate "Cycle" as a miracle cure, it isn't, but in my experience it really does lessen the stress ...

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Newbie running into MAJOR problems...
Old 04-13-2009, 09:04 PM   #21
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I don't advocate "Cycle" as a miracle cure, it isn't, but in my experience it really does lessen the stress on fish that are suddenly placed ina biolobically uncycled setup as yours were. If the damage was not too bad, the fish may recover now that there is some relief. Time will tell.
Token didn't end up making it, and now the remaining glass catfish is showing some clouding in his body and odd swimming behavior. I read that they are very sensitive to both medications and water conditions, so I doubt he will fare too well either now that he's showing symptoms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Your 10g would manage OK with an undergravel, but I wouldn't myself recommend one for the 50g. I would go with an outside canister filter. If anything goes wrong in one of those, the filter is outside the tank and you can disconnect the tubes and fix it.
Great thank you. We are considering using the under-gravel filter temporarily while we are cycling and taking that time to save up money for a new filter like the one you described as well as the new heaters; would this be inadvisable since cycling is such an integral step in the process to getting our group into the larger tank? Could it work?

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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
You can overdose with Cycle, in fact I would if it were me, since you have a biological problem that is hurting the remaining fish. A second capful will do no harm. The nitrite will come down not immediately but it will.
We went ahead and did this. Hopefully I will find time tomorrow evening to drop by and retest the water. If so, I'll post the results up here. Perhaps they will be promising.

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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
It would be useful to know the hardness of this water, as I suspect it probably is very soft or so "pure" it could be distilled; many bottled waters are devoid of anything. The problem then is having to add mineral to it. What is wrong with your tap water? Check the pH and test for ammonia (don't bother with nitrite and nitrate), and we may have some more advice to better handle this.
pH: 7.0
Ammonia: 0
I am unsure of how to test for water hardness, though I suppose I will google it and pick up whatever is necessary to. We went ahead and picked up dechlorinator, though I am unsure of how to use this and what effect it may have on fish (I assume you put it in before any fish are added?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Set it up, substrate, plants, whatever you want in it, fill it with water (we'll look at your tap water when you've answered my earlier questions), and then you need to decide how you are goin to cycle it.
Something that we were considering (as a vaguely noted above) is setting up the 50gallon tank (we have rearranged some furniture in light of the recent deaths and come to terms with the fact that we may not be able to see our television from half of the bed) with nothing really in it aside from the substrate and some decorations that were given to us with the tank itself, then putting in some zebra danios. I was planning on having a 10g zebra danio tank of my own, so these would be used to first cycle the larger tank, then be put into their own tank entirely. Could this be workable? Comments much appreciated :)
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:35 AM   #22
 
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In my view,your tapwater with the use of dechlorinator such as PRIME or AMQUEL+ would be suitable for most species of fish.And being as how you are considering a larger tank than the ten gal,it will be much more economical. The two water conditioners mentioned,detoxify ammonia,chlorine,and chloramines. If the dechlorinator does not address all three,,I would not use it.
I believe that the fish will do much better with the tapwater than the pH you posted with store bought water. I am near certain mollies would. Your plan to use zebra danios for (cycling) or allowing the tank to mature,,.although frowned on by some,will work but the fish will be subjected to considerable damage and or death if too many fish are used or the fish are overfed. For 50 gal I would use no more than six zebra danios (not giant danios) I would leave these six fish in the tank for the duration of the maturing or cycling process. I would NOT add any more fish until the tank 's water parameters read zero=ammonia,zero=nitrites and you have some detectable nitrAtes. These readings should be taken every couple days during the cycling process to ensure that the ammonia and nitrite levels are kept below 0.25 on API freshwater master kit.You can help keep these levels low by feeding the six danios a tiny pinch of food once a day or every other day.The more you feed,,the more they poop,and that food which isn't eaten will surely cause ammonia levels to rise. Were it me,,(and it ain't) I would feed the fish every other day and only what I actually see them eat in one minute. You can increase the feedings after the tank has matured or (cycled)but for now ,very small and few feedings will help keep the fish safe from toxins that are caused by overfeeding and or overstocking.You must test the water as mentioned every couple days. And perform water changes of 20 percent if levels of ammonia,and or nitrites become dangerous. Course this can be avoided by feeding and stocking as suggested.Six zebra danios would not create lethal levels of toxins in 50 gal so long as no more fish are added until tank has matured or cycled,,and fish are not ovefed.To do otherwise,, will mean damage to fish and frequent (maybe daily) water changes to keep the fish alive.I have done what you are contemplating and never worried bout testing the water until nearly three weeks,and then I was testing for Nitrates to indicate that the biological bacteria was being established. But ..Fish were few,feedings were small and every two days. In that way, no frequent water changes or testing was needed. But if it pleases you feel free to test frequently.If you don't start with too many fish,too large of fish,, innappropriate fish, and you don't over feed ,, then you will have few problems.To do otherwise ,invites them.

Last edited by 1077; 04-14-2009 at 04:38 AM..
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:37 AM   #23
 
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I concur with everything 1077 has suggested for cycling the 50g, with one addition. When you add the zebra danios to the new 50g, use Cycle to quickstart the bacteria and lessen the stress on the fish even more.

I also agree there is nothing wrong with your tap water. In my view, it is better than using the other. First, it is readily available and less expensive. Second, it has good parameters for the fish, including (probably) trace minerals that would have to be added to the other water. Just use a good conditioner.

Now to your questions in your last post.

I would not recommend setting up the 50g with an undergravel filter and then disconnecting it later when you get a canister filter. To do that you would have to tear the tank apart and start over; I've done it. I explained previously that bacteria colonize the filter and substrate, and once established they need constant oxygen to survive. If you discontinue that supply of oxygen--which is what would happen if you turned off/disconnected the undergravel filter and stopped the water flow through it--the bacteria will die from oxygen and food starvation and then you have a mess of anaerobic conditions in the gravelbed that would have to be torn up. Do it right from the start to avoid more fish loss and frustration.

I wouldn't worry much about hardness, with a pH of 7 that probably isn't an issue. I was connecting your tap water with the bottled stuff, thinking the tap might be a problem, but its not. However, for your own info, taking a sample of your water to the lfs to test for hardness would be good.

One last thought, I would use caution moving anything from the 10g to the 50g, in light of the disease in the 10g. No point in transferring disease to a new tank and having that problem. And depending upon what it is, pathogens and parasites can be transferred on anything wet from the tank, be it plants, wood, rock, water, or fish.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:16 AM   #24
 
Alrighty, so last night when we got home the second glass cat was doing horribly and ended up not making it. Tests on the water at this point in time revealed my plaguing 5.0 nitrite levels, despite the water change we made earlier. Against advice we did another pwc because we were down to two fish from five in 24 hours and enough was enough, and Meowth (our favorite little spotted catfish) had started to act strangely. A water test after about a 30% water change - being as careful as possible with the gravel and whatnot - still revealed a 5.0 nitrite reading, so either the levels are astronomically higher than the test can react to, or something weird is going on. This was very worrisome and we found Meowth on his deathbed several hours later, only to have him pass before our eyes. It was at this point that we decided there was something horribly wrong in that tank and with the water and that nobody was going to survive it, so we went ahead and set up the smaller tank in which all had been doing relatively well before and spent an hour or so making the transition for DingDong (the angelfish) and Kevin (dwarf frog) smooth. DingDong has been practically symptom free unless I'm not imagining that the silver in his marbling has been subtly tinged (sort of like when you spray acid on copper sheeting). Behaviorally, however, he was and is doing rather well and is the only fish to actually eat. Kevin is similar as far as we can tell, but he hides so often that it's difficult to really know. Would he be far less affected by the water conditions since he is not breathing it?

After finding the glass cat and doing the initial pwc, we set up the 50gal tank with the undergravel filter inside and gravel over it just in case it would be alright to use. We probably jumped the gun by putting in that filter, the gravel, AND the water but we got news of an impending death in the family and really just needed something to do. I don't mind the extra effort it will take to remove any of it later (as long as there are no fish in it yet). Since you really don't suggest using it at all, can its presence in the tank be in any way detrimental since it holds some of the water away from the rest?

We went ahead and bought one heater for now, filled the 50gal with tap water, and treated it appropriately with TopFin Tap Water Dechlorinator which claims to remove chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals. It does not claim to neutralize ammonia in any fashion, but the heavy metals part makes me think that it might be a water conditioner of sorts which was also suggested. After letting that be for a couple of hours (it suggested a minimum of 15 minutes and we figured the tank was huge...) we tested the water for pH and ammonia, not bothering with nitrites and nitrates because I'd forced the boyfriend to test the water for those straight from the tap - both zero - and made the assumption that a dechlorinator couldn't really add either of those (is this wrong?). Ammonia was at zero and pH was closer to 7.0, so we ended up filling the small tank with this when we were getting it set up. The small tank is roughly 3gallons (small, I know), but since we're down to just the angelfish and the frog and it's only temporary I don't think that it will be too much of an issue.

Summary: I messed up pretty much everyone's advice at this point out of panic and while I understand it must be frustrating trying to help me, try to see from my point of view: things were going pretty great for multiple weeks with the exception of some finrot on one fish in the smaller tank. The move to the larger tank brought on crazy toxin levels and killed off not only all of the old fish, but every new one as well with the exception of one. No matter what we tried these toxin levels would NOT go down (After we moved the survivors into the small tank we did about a 50% water change in the 10gal and retested just to see if it was at all salvageable, and in fact there was absolutely no change). Perhaps we'll have to start over in this tiny tank but that's just as well at this point. At least DingDong has had a night without breathing poison.

The larger tank is what confuses me at this point in time...
"Your plan to use zebra danios for (cycling) or allowing the tank to mature,,.although frowned on by some,will work but the fish will be subjected to considerable damage and or death if too many fish are used or the fish are overfed." - 1077

Is it the use of live fish that is frowned upon or the use in particular of the danios? While using the danios would be extremely convenient since I was planning on keeping them anyway, I do not want to mess this larger tank up with fish that cannot get the job done. I simply went with them because I read that they would be alright to cycle with and I had wanted some. With this in mind, would any number of danios be suitable (on their own) in a 10gallon tank? If so, how many? You say no more than 6 should cycle our 50gallon, and I thought that might be an okay number considering their size to have in the 10gallon tank. I am probably wrong in this. Comments?

"I would NOT add any more fish until the tank 's water parameters read zero=ammonia,zero=nitrites and you have some detectable nitrAtes." -1077

For how long should the parameters read this consistently before we can reasonably assume that the tank is fully cycled?


"One last thought, I would use caution moving anything from the 10g to the 50g, in light of the disease in the 10g. No point in transferring disease to a new tank and having that problem. And depending upon what it is, pathogens and parasites can be transferred on anything wet from the tank, be it plants, wood, rock, water, or fish." - Byron

Since we are waiting to actually cycle the larger tank properly, we'll have several weeks to observe both inhabitants of the 10gallon as well as to observe whichever fish we end up with in that 50gallon for cycling. Both will undergo water changes in that time, obviously, that should cut down on any contaminants given they are not multiplying, though it would seem that with fewer inhabitants it will be much easier to keep such things under control.

We did everything we could not to cross contaminate, but considering how tired, both physically and emotionally, we were, there might have been a gallon jug or something to touch water from both. It's hard to keep track of things like that around here. However there most definitely are not plants, wood, rocks, or anything else from the 10gallon that are going anywhere near anything in the near future. That thing scares me. As much as they probably hate it, DingDong and Kevin have nowhere to hide in the small tank for exactly that reason. We just don't have anything else that hasn't been in the water of that tank and I don't want to risk it. Would it be necessary to put in plants and things for the fish that cycle the 50gallon tank? Or could they make due without? Perhaps it seems a bit cruel not to provide anywhere to go but the only plants we've got at the moment are in the death tank or came free from the person we bought the tank from (which I don't trust). Either is going to take copious amounts of cleaning to put my mind at ease.

I hope I addressed everything for you guys and thanks for addressing all of my questions. I understand how frustrating it must be to hear about these things that we're doing, but we're new and doing everything we can in our better judgment, ignorant or not. It might seem like we're not listening (about moving the fish, doing water changes, etc.) but we mostly definitely are and everything is read, understood, considered, and remembered for future reference. The deterioration of conditions here has been so quick though we needed to make some decisions or lose everybody.
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Old 04-14-2009, 11:45 AM   #25
 
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It is indeed the use of live fish that some frown upon. But,,If done correctly as I attempted to describe.the fish don't suffer at all and the tank matures naturally.
Once the ammonia and nitrite levels read zero , and you have readings for nitrAtes, then you will want these readings to remain consistent for at least ten days. You can test every couple days to ensure that this is so. Then you may SLOWLY add fish at a rate of one or two fish per week. It is at this time that you will begin WEEKLY water changes of 20 to 25 percent using a dechlorinator for new water that goes into the tank before you add the new water. Leave the filter alone for the first month that the tank is maturing or cycling for this is where the beneficial bacteria gathers in numbers. If the filter becomes clogged(shouldn't if not overfeeding) then rinse the filter material out in old aquarium water that you take out during water changes and stick it back in but it should not give you cause to bother with this during (cycling). Can't stress the use of good dechlorinator such as the two I mentioned earlier with PRIME being the choice of many.To avoid ammonia, and nitrite poisoning you want no more than six small danios to do the job as described. If done as I have suggested,, they will remain healthy and also be suitable number for the ten gal at some point. You filter will build the needed good bacteria and frequent water changes and testing aren't necessary. Byron mentioned the use of product called CYCLE to help establish this bacteria and I shall let him address the benefit for my own expierience,,has shown that mileage vary's with these products.It certainly won't slow down the process.Patience is the key .

Last edited by 1077; 04-14-2009 at 12:00 PM..
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:52 PM   #26
 
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I can imagine how frustrating this must be for you; I can recall similar episodes years ago. But we're all here to offer advice as best we can from our own experiences. 1077 has been giving very good advice, and we are basically saying the same things.

The trouble in the 10g was in my view the result of not cycling the tank and having too many fish in it during the cycling process. I mentioned in an earlier post that all of the fish might eventually die; ammonia and nitrite poisoning are severe issues, and some fish perish quickly while others "seem" to be able to withstand it for a while, but often not long. The frog will not die from this, amphibians extract oxygen from the air by breathing and also through their moist skins, and the ammonia or nitrite in the water will not affect this.

Cycling a tank takes 2-8 weeks. It takes 5-9 days for the nitrosomonas bacterium to establish itself at a level to handle the available ammonia (its food), and once it starts converting the ammonia to nitrite it takes several days for the nitrobacter bacterium to establish itself at a level to handle its food, nitrite. At some point these levels will be established and the ammonia and nitrite will from then on always be 0 when you test, and you know the tank is then cycled. However, you can throw the wrench into this process by adding more to the bio-load, as more fish, overfeeding, dead fish and plants not immediately removed, etc. Doing any of these things will produce more ammonia than the nitrosomonas can consume and they will start to multiply, and similarly the nitrobacter. Provided the increase is reasonable for the size of tank, the bacteria will be able to reproduce quickly and you won't notice anything. It's only when the extra load on the system is too great at once that a mini-cycle will occur, stress the fish and so forth.

The bacteria always exist at the number needed to consume their food (ammonia or nitrite). Adding a new fish increases the ammonia, and the nitrosomonas multiply to handle it, then the nitrobacter do the same when the extra nitrite appears. As 1077 said, you have to do this slowly and have patience.

I have (since I first was told of it) used "Cycle" in this process, adding it when I put in the first fish in a new setup. I believe it works to significantly reduce the stress on the fish. I have never had a problem when I've used it, never. But as 1077 correctly said, you have to put very few fish in, and six danios in a 50g is OK--6 danios to cycle a 10g is not OK as that is far too much bio-load for the system to adequately handle at the start. When the 10g is fully cycled, 6-8 danios would be fine.

Testing the tap water: ammonia at 0 is good, that means there is no ammonia source in your tap water (this can happen in some places). pH at 7 is good. The ammonia will only appear in the 50g when you put in biological matter that produces it, like the 6 danios. Then you start the cycle process.

Conditioner: I use (and have for over 15 years) Kordon's that removes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals. I have never had a problem. The one you have should be OK as it seems to do the same. I know 1077 suggested one that removes ammonia, but in my personal view I don't think this is necessary unless you had ammonia in your tap water. I would agree that at the very start it may help, but as the cycle process has to start by feeding on ammonia, I would prefer to let it do so naturally from the ammonia the few fish produce and not mess with taking it out of the equation. Once the tank is biologically established (cycled) it should not be necessary to use a conditioner that removes ammonia because the biological filtration is doing its job and in my opinion should not be hampered with.

That brings me to your undergravel filter. I really don't recommend what you're doing. I've previously explained why this is asking for trouble.

Contaminants: If the problem you noticed at the start was due to a parasite or pathogen, without knowing what it was I would caution that it could remain alive in the tank for weeks. Water changes will not affect parasites or pathogens. As you have removed the fish and frog, I would simply pull the 10g apart and clean it--gravel, tank sides, any ornaments. Thoroughly. Let it all dry completely and in my view you will be rid of parasites and pathogens.

I think I've responded to your points. To emphasize one thing--all this occurred because you put fish in a new tank that was not biologically capable of supporting them. Please proceed slowly as 1077 and I have tried to explain, and this can and will be avoided in the 50g.
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:57 PM   #27
 
Alright guys perfect advice :) Thank you. It's exactly the information I needed to start feeling better. Last night I was so frustrated after Meowth died that I just sat down and said "I give up on this crap!" and the boyfriend stood there staring at me like "... we just bought a 50 gallon fish tank, hauled it two towns, carted it down some stairs, spent hours filling it with 1gallon water jugs that had to be carried from the laundry room to here, and spread 30 lb of gravel in it. I'm going to kill you." haha.

Anywho, a couple more questions. (I know, you're probably super sick of this)

The undergravel filter: I don't think I was really clear when I was talking about it simply being in the tank. Since there's quite a bit of gravel on top of it, would it be okay to leave it in the tank, but not actually USE it? If this is not alright then I'll take it out - no issue - but if I could avoid it (I'm only 5' tall and the tank is 25.5" tall, odds are i'd end up submerging my whole upper body to get it out if my boyfriend said no) then I'd prefer to. It's just plastic tubing afterall, yes? My only concern would be that waste somehow makes its way through the gravel and is trapped underneath the grate in that water, which is essentially stagnant (right? no?).

As far as cleaning the 10g and everything in it, what is the preferred/recommended way of cleaning things? I've heard of using really hot water perhaps with some salt, though I wonder if it is at all advisable to find a way of running these things through the dishwasher. Maybe that's really silly or really gross, but hey I'm new.

When is it that we are supposed to add the Cycle to the 50 gallon? Immediately before adding the fish? Some time ahead of that? I've decided that we are no longer allowed to spend more than an hour a night on the fish as we've both fallen behind on some important things dealing with this fiasco, so when we go to pick up our six Danio tonight I'd like to have a game plan in my mind so we can just go go go. The time limit may end up being unrealistic, but it will help us to keep organized.

I think that's all for now... Thanks again everyone :)
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:18 AM   #28
 
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Originally Posted by Cheknnudol View Post
Alright guys perfect advice :) Thank you. It's exactly the information I needed to start feeling better. Last night I was so frustrated after Meowth died that I just sat down and said "I give up on this crap!" and the boyfriend stood there staring at me like "... we just bought a 50 gallon fish tank, hauled it two towns, carted it down some stairs, spent hours filling it with 1gallon water jugs that had to be carried from the laundry room to here, and spread 30 lb of gravel in it. I'm going to kill you." haha.

Anywho, a couple more questions. (I know, you're probably super sick of this)

The undergravel filter: I don't think I was really clear when I was talking about it simply being in the tank. Since there's quite a bit of gravel on top of it, would it be okay to leave it in the tank, but not actually USE it? If this is not alright then I'll take it out - no issue - but if I could avoid it (I'm only 5' tall and the tank is 25.5" tall, odds are i'd end up submerging my whole upper body to get it out if my boyfriend said no) then I'd prefer to. It's just plastic tubing afterall, yes? My only concern would be that waste somehow makes its way through the gravel and is trapped underneath the grate in that water, which is essentially stagnant (right? no?).

As far as cleaning the 10g and everything in it, what is the preferred/recommended way of cleaning things? I've heard of using really hot water perhaps with some salt, though I wonder if it is at all advisable to find a way of running these things through the dishwasher. Maybe that's really silly or really gross, but hey I'm new.

When is it that we are supposed to add the Cycle to the 50 gallon? Immediately before adding the fish? Some time ahead of that? I've decided that we are no longer allowed to spend more than an hour a night on the fish as we've both fallen behind on some important things dealing with this fiasco, so when we go to pick up our six Danio tonight I'd like to have a game plan in my mind so we can just go go go. The time limit may end up being unrealistic, but it will help us to keep organized.

I think that's all for now... Thanks again everyone :)
You've been through the frustration of dying fish in a new tank, and this happens to many people and they do just give up, thinking this is an impossible hobby. It isn't impossible, just takes time and patience and some knowledge, which you are now getting from this forum, and in the end you will have a beautiful aquarium (50g is a nice size tank, lots of potential). Now to the questions.

As long as you do not use the undergravel filter (i.e., connect a pump and pull water through it) it would be OK to leave it in the tank in one sense, but I would wonder why? As there are no fish or plants in the tank, I would take it out. Push the gravel to the front as much as you can, and lift the filter plate up from the back and out. Re-arrange the gravel and the cloudiness will settle out. To be honest, I don't know if the space under the plate could cause problems in the future even though not being used as filtration; bacteria will live there as it would in the substrate. But the plate is taking up some space, and plant roots will grow into it. The water in the substrate is not stagnant, or shouldn't be, and I don't know how much this plate with a heavy load of gravel on top would affect the normal and natural convection currents in the water column. For the minimal amount of work and to be safe, I'd take it out.

There is (or will be) biological action occurring throughout the aquarium, whereever there is water and this includes the substrate. The good aerobic bacteria colonize every surface area in the tank where there is oxygen for them, including in the gravel. There is a natural convection going on in the water column whereby water is slowly but continually moving around the tank, including down into and through the substrate. Oxygen in the water feeds the good bacteria. If that oxygen is suddently not available (as it would be if you used the undergravel filter for a time and then shut it off), the bacteria will die and pollute the tank. In most aquaria there are a few spots where the gravel compacts enough that water can't pass through and it creates anaerobic conditions (= devoid of oxygen). Another group of bacteria called anaerobic bacteria live in these spots, and some of them can produce their own oxygen while others source oxygen from the nitrates in the water. These bacteria produce nitrogen which the plants utilize, but some converts to nitrogen gas that is releasd into the water and into the air at the surface. The anaerobic bacteria can also release hydrogen sulphide which is toxic and can cause plant roots to rot and encourage algae, in addition to harming fish. Kept in moderation, all of these processes are natural and beneficial. As with the bacteria elsewhere, if everything is in balance the aquarium will flourish and be healthy.

Cleaning the 10g: don't use soaps and don't use the diswasher. Water is good enough, although some use bleach diluted in the water, but be sure to rinse very very thoroughly. I would never use bleach on the gravel, as it may be difficult to ensure it is all removed. Water and a thorough drying of everything will suffice.

Use the Cycle just before or when you add the fish. The bacteria that will be initiated by Cycle needs food, i.e., ammonia, and the fish produce it immediately by respiration and then as a result of the other functions. You can't overdose Cycle, so use a bit more rather than less, it won't hurt.

Don't add more than the six danios for three weeks minimum. Test for ammonia daily, and it will rise (spike) and then fall; at that point start testing for nitrite, it will do the same. Feed the danios normally but minimally, once a day is plenty, and only what they will eat in a few minutes. Excess food (and more food) will produce more ammonia, and you want to keep it in balance so you keep it to a minimum. Do a partial water change weekly, about 25-30%, but do not vacuum into the gravel yet (you want the good bacteria to colonize it) and do not clean the filter. Once you see ammonia and nitrite reading 0 for a couple of days, you will know the tank is cycled but remember, only cycled for the bioload it is supporting. Adding more fish or more food will increase the bioload, and this must be done slowly so that the bacteria can multiply and keep up with it. Good luck.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:07 AM   #29
 
Thanks :)

We went shopping around for filters last night and found a Petco that carries Eheims, which I saw that you swore by in another thread. They were next to other filters by Cascade, which an employee at a different store swore by wholeheartedly. Each of these is quite a bit of money, but I'd like to know if it will be worth it to spend that kind of money as opposed to, for example, picking up the Penguin 330 with Biowheel I saw on craigslist for $20. Do you recommend Eheims over Cascades?
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:42 AM   #30
 
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Thanks :)

We went shopping around for filters last night and found a Petco that carries Eheims, which I saw that you swore by in another thread. They were next to other filters by Cascade, which an employee at a different store swore by wholeheartedly. Each of these is quite a bit of money, but I'd like to know if it will be worth it to spend that kind of money as opposed to, for example, picking up the Penguin 330 with Biowheel I saw on craigslist for $20. Do you recommend Eheims over Cascades?
I don't know "Cascades" or how they operate so I can't say how effective they might be. I have had Eheim for almost 15 years now, and no problms. But what is more, they do a super job. Understand, I am talking external canister type filters.

"Eheim" is a brand name and they make several types of filter, some go inside the tank, some hang on the edge outside, and some are what we call canister that sit on the floor or on a shelf under the tank and there are hoses running into the tank. The canister in my view is superior filtering; it contains probably two baskets for different filter media plus one or two types of pads, all of which the water must flow through. Particulate matter is removed and trapped (this is what you rinse out periodically with water from the aquarium, never tap water to avoid killing the good bacteria on the media) and bacteria colonize the media. It is completely outside the tank, so in an emergency or when rinsing the media you aren't crashing about in the tank. You can add other media in the baskets (like peat to soften, dolomite to harden water) if that should one day be wanted. Canister filters cost more, but you have a very efficient and reliable filtration system and peace of mind. Fluval make canisters like Eheim, and there may be others.
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