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Discussion Starter #22
OK very bad news my Oscar was dead today when i woke up so i am starting out right now. What should i do with my tank now to get it cycled right? I keep hearing about a biological filter is this the same as the regular filter? and when will i know if the tank is finished cycling?
 

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OK very bad news my Oscar was dead today when i woke up so i am starting out right now. What should i do with my tank now to get it cycled right? I keep hearing about a biological filter is this the same as the regular filter? and when will i know if the tank is finished cycling?
If you look at the sticky's at the head of this section of the forum, the third one is "Important Topics." Click on it, and part-way down the list you'll find several on cycling. They will give you the background information.

The next question is, do you want a planted tank or non-planted? These are cycled differently. I can explain the planted tank process if that is the way you decide to go. The non-planted tank cycling is covered in the sticky's.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
the tank is non planted. So basically when nitrite starts to showup on test strips and ammonia dissappears than the cycleing process is done?
 

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the tank is non planted. So basically when nitrite starts to showup on test strips and ammonia dissappears than the cycleing process is done?
No, there are three stages to the nitrification cycle.

First, ammonia will show, then as the nitrosomonas bacteria establish and multiply the ammonia (which they "eat" so to speak) will lower to zero over several days, and during this the second stage is reached where nitrite begins to show, and nitrospira bacteria will then establish and multiply to "eat" the nitrite and produce nitrate, the third stage, when you will see nitrate above zero.

Once you have zero ammonia and nitrite for several consecutive days, the tank is cycled for the biological load (the fish, invertebrates, or whatever is producing the ammonia if fishless cycling) it contains at that point in time. If the ammonia continues at the same rate, the bacteria will remain at the same level. If ammonia increases, the bacteria will multiply accordingly; if ammonia decreases, the bacteria will die back accordingly.

Adding new fish at this point must be slow so the bacteria have time to multiply and handle the ammonia and then nitrite.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
OK so i have a couple questions will hardy fish speed up the cycle here is an article i read Hardy fish for new freshwater aquariums. and also i like the Oscars a lot but until i get more experienced and get a bigger tank ill wait. so i know you should allow one inch of fish per gallon so in your suggestion what would be the best set up to put a lot of fish in the tank?? i don't want gold fish thinking of tetras or barbs.
 

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No, Adding fish will not speed up the maturing or(cycling) process. After reviewing the post's in this entire thread thus far,, you should be able to get a grasp on the process .
 

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I echo 1077's response. And rather than me suggesting fish (it is your tank, you should decide what fish you want) I suggest you think about the fish and provide us with a list of what you'd like in the end. You have a 20g so oscars and such large fish are not possible, and you mentioned tetras or barbs. As a guide, fish will be better together (in what we call a community aquarium) if they all share the same basic water parameters and behaviours. For example, putting fast swimming barbs in with sedate pencilfish is asking for disaster because the pencilfish may become too frustrated by the barb's constant activity to eat. In general, I would stick to either tetras (and suitable tankmates like corydoras, some of the smaller loaches, rasbora, etc) or barbs. And there is variation within the tetras; some are quiet, some lively. Do your research and put together a list. We can then comment and suggest good fish to start with from your list. And your 20g will offer plenty of opportunities, but remember that the smaller the adult size of the fish the more fish you can safely house. A group (6 or few more) of active barbs plus a few bottom fish will be the limit; but with quiet fish like some tetras and rasbora you can easily double that.

Byron.
 
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