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Old 11-21-2004, 02:52 AM   #21
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Fish cycling is when you use fish to cycle your tank. Mainly Damsels, but find out if your LFS will take them back first. Because they are aggressive, and will attack most fish you put in your tank.

I had my tank set-up for close to two weeks, and then put in two damsels until my cycle period was over. I tested my water everyday until I was done with my cycling, and everything went fine.
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Old 11-21-2004, 10:00 AM   #22
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Best to do fishless cycling. I think the reason your goldfish died is the way you cleaned the tank. The tank needs bacteria to process fish waste, and by stripping down the tank the way you did, you killed all the bacteria. Generally all that is necessary is vacuuming the substrate (gravel).

The growth of this bacteria allows for the nitrogen cycle to take place. This is called "cycling" a tank. Your goldfish tank was cycled, but when you put the fish back in, the tank was not cycled, and it stressed them out.

In a new tank, you can do a fish cycle (putting in one fish which suffers through the cycle) or fishless cycling, which means putting in some waste directly and waiting for it to be broken down by the bacteria before any fish are introduced. I much prefer fishless cycling. in a SW tank, you can use a piece of raw, fresh shrimp from a grocery store. You can also use fish food, but I think shrimp is better.

Please take your time and read a lot. I don't want to discourage you, but you should have a solid plan before you get started.
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Old 11-21-2004, 12:09 PM   #23
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mle421,

Thanks for asking these questions (and for asking about the kudos, that one had me wondering, too.) We are in the same position in many ways as beginners in the planning stage. I may have done just a little more research. The financial committment involved has me considering two options: one, a marine tank is not for me right now; and, two, gathering the equipment over time as I formulate a plan (so as to distribute the costs and allow me to find bargains where possible). I'm leaning toward the second option. I think there will be a lot of joy to be had in the entire process from initial planning to maturing the tank. In fact, the "project" aspect is what attracts me so much.

I am sorry about your goldfish. In the future, try regular partial water changes, "vacuuming" the stones so as to keep some of the good bacteria around. But, I am not a goldfish person, so others may know better.

Finally, I am definately going to do a fishless cycle. It's just the right thing to do.

Cheers,
Ben
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