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Old 03-14-2005, 08:51 PM   #1
cJw
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Greetings and Question(s). . .

Hello!

I've been lurking here for a couple weeks now, and I finally thought I'd say, well, hello.

My experience is limited to having tanks around the house I grew up in, but never actually maintaining one myself. I've been looking forward to setting up a 30" long (36" x 18" x 12") that I've inherited from my sister and everything is finally set - she moved it here last wknd and it even had an inch or two of water left as well as the original biowheel - attached to an Emperor 280 - with a handful of plastic plants and 2" of pea sized gravel.

My questions are numerous, but I will limit myself to these:

1. Does anyone forsee any problems I should look out for specifically with this set up?

2. I'm quite decided that I want to try angels and gourami - in a tank this size, how many would you recommend of each?

3. Considering the bacteria 'population' was already present, how long would you give this tank to stabilize?

(I have a few ideas on these three topics, but I'm curious about a more informed opinion than my own.)

Thanks in advance for your time reading this beast of a post; I look forward to your responses!
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30g long planted fw
1 blue gourami
6 rummy nose tetras
6 gold barbs
3 peppered cory cats
1 'maldito' cory cats=
1 yoyo loach
1 clown pleco
6 ghost shrimp


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Old 03-14-2005, 09:59 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA! Glad you decided to join.

I would say Fill it with water as close to 78 - 80 degrees as you can, run the filter and heater, let the temp stabilize for 24 hours, then add a small bioload of fish if everything is working well. You will have a head start on a bio-filter, but you also may have lost quite a bit too. If you don't have any ammonia or nitrite after two weeks, start adding fish slowly in one to two week intervals. Start out with about one inch per 5 gallons, might help to select some hardy types before the angel fish just in case. I would bet that you would be able to get up to full stock in 4 to 6 weeks, but you have to be wary about a minicycle because of the disruption of moving.

Congrats on your first tank of your very own.
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:34 PM   #3
cJw
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Thanks for the prompt reply TomK!

So far, I've pretty much done that. I did plan on waiting on the angels, simply as I do know them to be enviromentally temperamental. As it is right now, I'm trying to get the temp to stabilize; somehow the adjustmest I made this morning got it up to 90+! It's down to 87 now, and slowly falling.

I think it should be ok with the bacteria loss; it was literally a 4 hour drive and there was some water left in the tank/substrate. . . but that is why I'm asking you 'experts'.

By 'add a small bioload' you're referring to getting a handful of "cheap" fish to 'test the waters'; right?

Also, as far as 'hardy' types, I'm thinking oto cats/CAE/rasboras to start; sound reasonable?

One other quick question - which testing kits would you folk recommend?
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30g long planted fw
1 blue gourami
6 rummy nose tetras
6 gold barbs
3 peppered cory cats
1 'maldito' cory cats=
1 yoyo loach
1 clown pleco
6 ghost shrimp


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Old 03-14-2005, 10:46 PM   #4
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I'm not aware of any huge differences among testing kits other than to say you want to avoid the ones that rely on paper strips and use ones that use the liquid reagents and test tubes. (More fun, too!)

If your tank is a 30 long, you probably want to be sure the heater is in the center of the tank--otherwise I fear you might have a temperature gradiant. Another option would be to go for two smaller heaters and put them at opposite ends.

To avoid losing your bacteria, you need to get some ammonia in there fast. That means either adding a few small fish, or else dosing with some straight ammonia. Or else the old, put in a piece of fresh shrimp and let it start to rot. Either way, after 24-48 hours with no ammonia those bacteria are gonna start to die. Plus, if the biowheel actually dried out for 4 hours during the trip over, then you have probably lost a lot of those bacteria already.

Do you like the gravel? If not, now is the time to replace it. I speak from experience--I recently changed out the substrate on my 29 gal tank, and it was not a fun experience, and no way do I feel I could have done it with my fish and ghost shrimp in there. I basically had to net all of them, transfer them temporarily to an empty 10 gal, redo the substrate, get the 29 gal back up to temperature, then transfer the fish back. Not fun. So if you have any doubts about substrate, think long & hard now. (One thing to consider--if you want to ever go to a planted tank, pea-sized gravel is pretty big...probably too big...to be able to hold most plant roots).

As for your hardy fish, I did not think otos were considered hardy but the opposite....but Iv'e never had them so perhaps others will chime in on that point. CAE's have a really bad reputation among many people on this forum due to their aggressiveness--I suspect a search will turn up plenty of threads that reference that. Not sure about rasboras.

Anyways, good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:47 AM   #5
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Platies would be a good hardy cycling fish. Otos aren't a good choice as they are not hard. Not sure about rasboras.
The Aquarium Pharmasuiticals freshwater "master" test kit is what I use. Very very good for "to the point" readings. I wouldn't recommend anything else.
HTH
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:30 AM   #6
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i have to agree with the platies...i am cycling my 5gal tank with 2 of them and so far so good...i also have to agree with the aquarium pharmaceutical freshwater master test kit...just make sure u read the post titled "overcoming test kit frustrations" so you dont get paranoid when u test the water...hehe...good luck!
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:57 AM   #7
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Hi cJw. Welcome ot the forum. There are alot of misconceptions about the nitrifying bacteria that we need in our tanks. This bacteria is extremely fragile and will die off and polute the tank if it doesn't get enough O2. That's why it colonizes best in moving water. I would say that a 4 hours without some circulation is enough time to cause a problem. If you see any cloudiness in the tank, it's likely that this is a result of the dead bacteria.

You definitely need to monitor the tank as though a new cycle were in the works.

HTH
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:03 AM   #8
cJw
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Thanks for the input, people!

I've done some research regarding 'hardy' fish for cycling, and it appears some danios (or rasbora) and corys will help me get things started.

I did worry a little when I read "shocking them with chlorinated water or sudden temperature changes will also set the cycling process back to day one.", as this is basically what I did Sunday when I filled the tank from my faucet. :cringe:

At this point, I suppose it's simply a 'new' tank that will need weeks of stabilization. Lord, grant me patience.
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30g long planted fw
1 blue gourami
6 rummy nose tetras
6 gold barbs
3 peppered cory cats
1 'maldito' cory cats=
1 yoyo loach
1 clown pleco
6 ghost shrimp


† There are no coincidences. †
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Old 03-16-2005, 11:56 AM   #9
cJw
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Update!

I got a 'small bioload' of Pearl Danios last night as well as some water treatment and tossed 'em all in the tank. After a snack and some observation by my 1 year old daughter , they finally settled into the tank.

The temp is stable @ 78 and I have yet to get a test kit, but that's next on the list - at the latest, I'll be getting that this wknd. In the meantime, I'm plotting and scheming about the rest of the 'stock and decor. I even have a couple of (quite unimpressive) pics I'm preparing for my gallery.

Again, thanks for the your info and I'll be keeping you up to date.

(TomK - excellent article @ your 'site about cycling w/ fish! thanks again!)
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30g long planted fw
1 blue gourami
6 rummy nose tetras
6 gold barbs
3 peppered cory cats
1 'maldito' cory cats=
1 yoyo loach
1 clown pleco
6 ghost shrimp


† There are no coincidences. †
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