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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have upgraged my old tank got myself a 125 litre tank, at the moment I have a tank which has 6 neon tetras, 2 clown loaches and 1 panda cory, how long should i leave it before adding the fish to the new tank should i do it gradually, i have no plants in their either at the moment, and does anyone have any good tips on establish a new tank?.

All advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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When I upgraded to a new tank what I did was, I took from the old tank:

A load of old rock decorations
Used gravel (and placed inside the new tank inside a stocking)
Old filter media

I did this to get as much established bacteria as possible into the new tank)

I added these to the new tank, along with some old tank water from the already established tank and then stocked slowly keeping a close eye on water parameters.

If you transfer fish from one tank to the other, make sure there isn't a huge difference in pH between the two tanks.

I found it worked for me, and good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When you say you added the filter media how did you do it? and do you think a week is enough to let the tank mature before putting my old fish into it?
 

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Okay, it depends on what type of filter you have. Mine is internal, and what I did was remove dirty sponges from my old tank into the filter in my new tank. I also went to my local fish shop and got some of their mature media - just for some extra. Be careful if you do that though, as there is always the risk of introducing something nasty into your tank - whitespot etc.

After adding the mature media (gravel, ornaments etc) do not leave the aquarium without fish, as the beneficial bacteria will die with nothing to keep it established.

I would also be careful adding clown loaches too early, as I believe they are quite sensitive to water conditions and you may want to wait until the tank is a bit more established.


Out of interest, do you know what your tapwater readings are for nitrate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well i only added the water to the tank yesterday, i tested it tonight and it was about 20, do you think it would be wrong to stick in one neon tetra to try and get it started or is that silly, should i do it in stages?
 

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I hvae heard a lot of different stories on how long it takes to really establish a tank when using old media to seed a tank. I have seen some say it only takes a couple weeks and I have seen some say it still takes at least a month. Plants would help make sure that ammonia doesn't spike too high but if you don't have enough plants then the ammonia can kill the plants also. Is really just a matter of testing your ammonia and nitrite levels to see when they both go to and stay at 0. Not much other ways I can tell you to do it. Adding your fish before that just means you need to make a few more water changes to keep the levels low enough not to harm the fish.

There is always the fishless cycle but that is a whole new process and you won't be moving fish for at least 4 weeks using it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well i was gonna leave it 2 weeks and then realised it is xmas so its gonna be three weeks, would you recommend adding plants now or any ornaments as at the mo its completely empty except gravel, someone told me to add some fish food, is that an idea, any other tips?
 

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You have to add something wether it is fish food, pure ammonia or a piece of a prawn. Something has to be added because it will only take a week without an ammonia source for your bacteria to die and you will have to start all over. If you have sahrimp leppets, you can add 5-6 of them and let them decompose to feed your bacteria and then add some more when they vanish. You can add 1/2 a prawn and let it decay, you can add pure ammonia. Fish food will work and if you add about double what you would feed your fish then that should be enough to seed the tank so you can transfer the fish when you are ready. Just test your ammonia and nitrites and make sure they are 0 or barely readable before adding fish. The loach should be left until you get 0 on both.

If you add plants and fairly lass amount of them, you could speed the process up significantly. Just remeber you still have to fertilize the plants, have addequate lighting and maintain them or they will make the situation worse if they start to decay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How often should I put fish flakes in, unfortunately that is the only thing I have right now? I have bloodworms will they do any good?
 

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Steve said:
How often should I put fish flakes in, unfortunately that is the only thing I have right now? I have bloodworms will they do any good?
Once a day is fine.:) Bloodworms are fine. Just feed the fish once a day with bloodworms and twice on flakes although you'll needt to use other foods in the future.:)
 

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You can alternate with the flakes and bloodworms every other day. If you get more food, then you can add that to the alternate day. You can skip a day of feeding, to help clear the fishes system out.
 

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i have found that as long as the fish you have already have settled in, are eating properly and not stressed then begin adding. just keep a watch on what you have and select healthy fish from the pet shop
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok since yesterday, I have added fish flakes to my empty tank to get the cycle going, its is slightly cloudier than yesterday, I have nothing in the tank other than gravel and water, I have the heater and filter going, is this normal or is there a problem I should be aware of?
 

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Steve said:
Ok since yesterday, I have added fish flakes to my empty tank to get the cycle going, its is slightly cloudier than yesterday, I have nothing in the tank other than gravel and water, I have the heater and filter going, is this normal or is there a problem I should be aware of?
Seems bacterial bloom. Check what is your ammonia. Pls don't do anything yet other than checking the ammonia.
 

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" imho" you can "fast" your fish they are meant to be hunters, foragers, etc. its nice to have an endless feast everyday but they might get used to it and like not finish their left overs. so once aweek maybe or twice fast them. like dont feed them that day or like 1 small meal in the after noon. let them look for some leftovers. but always use your gvc to clean up any food after more then like a week old (ewwww fungus grows on them). keeps ammonia down and less cloudier tank
 

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If you're cycling with fish food and no fish, make sure to add some of the used filter media for bacteria source to eat the food as it breaks down, otherwise all you'll do is manage to raise your ammonia level, and it takes much longer for bacteria to start breeding enough to keep up with it. Just a few flakes every other day is plenty, give it a good 3 - 5 days, then check water quality. If ammonia or nitrite are still present, with no nitrate, keep going for another 2 - 3 days and test again. I ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all showing at once, do a 25% water change and cut back the food to 1 flake, and test again in 2 days. Once you show something for nitrate and ammonia and nitrite are both at zero, you're safe for fish.
The cloudy, if its white cloudy, is probably a bacteria bloom as was stated. Don't change the water, as this will only prolong the bloom. After years of research, I've noticed that 90% of bacteria blooms accompany nitrite spikes. So, once again, check the water quality to see where its at. The test results should be your guide through the cycling process. If you write the results down from the beginning, every time you test it, then when its finished, you'll see the pattern. Ammonia goes up first, converts to nitrite as bacteria break it down. As nitrite spikes ammonia goes down, (provided there's not more waste going in than the tank can handle)and then nitrate starts to go up as nitrite goes down.
I always tell people to keep a notebook of their tank, everything they do, write it down and date it. This is often a lifesaver when something goes wrong, because the answers can usually be found in that notebook.
 
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