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Old 07-09-2012, 02:35 PM   #1
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46 Gallon Bowfront - Fishless Cycle

Hello everyone.

I starting trying to cycle a 46 gallon bow front aquarium to house some of my fish over the winter from a pond on my property. I bought it used and it was advertised as a 35 gallon - so score! It's my first aquarium, so I am a little green to be sure, but have been reading on here and have corrected a couple of newbie errors.

Started the cycle on June 27th by adding way too much ammonia (8+ppm) and corrected that by doing a big water change and getting it down to 4-5 ppm. I cranked up the heat on my heater to about 84 or so, but the actual temperature of the water was 88-90F for a while. Since about three days ago it is now holding steady at 84 or so. Not sure why they even bother putting temperatures on the heater, since it's way off!

I am using the API test kit, along with the Seachem ammonia alert (to save from testing constantly). Prime for a de-chloinator and added a little of media from the pond filter to try and kick start things. I didn't want to add too much from the pond to stop from getting any funky things growing in the tank, even though the pond is very clear - it's still open to animals, insects etc.

So, the readings as they stand now are:

Ammonia - 4-5ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 0ppm

Do you think that the higher temperatures hurt anything and I am basically starting from scratch, or is it just going to take a little longer from this point on?
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:08 PM   #2
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I think your bacteria are fine from the high water temperatures, but to be safe I wouldn't put it up that high again. In discus tanks, the nitrifying bacteria live in 87 degree water.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:34 PM   #3
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If you have some additional media you can spare from your pond filter, I would add it to speed things up. Most creatures are not going to survive 4-5ppm ammonia even if they were transferred from the media. I would just swish it some pond water before adding it. What type of fish do you plan on overwintering from your pond?
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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Just goldfish. Probably bring in 3 or 4 to see if they grow a little quicker inside than in the frozen pond. The rest of the fish do well in the winter, but I am going to take out some mid-size ones.

I brought some rocks in from the pond and put them in my aquarium also, just to see if it speeds things up a little bit more.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:09 PM   #5
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Single tail? For this size tank, I would not move more than two mid-sized ones indoors or you will be changing the water constantly or their growth will be inhibited. If you have any babies, I would choose these instead to try & grow out indoors (2-3). If they are fancies, you can manage 3 (maybe 4) if you stay on top of your water changes.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:32 PM   #6
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Single tail? For this size tank, I would not move more than two mid-sized ones indoors or you will be changing the water constantly or their growth will be inhibited. If you have any babies, I would choose these instead to try & grow out indoors (2-3). If they are fancies, you can manage 3 (maybe 4) if you stay on top of your water changes.
I had some babies this year (last year I guess, but didn't notice). When I say mid size I mean about 2-3" or so. Depends what is happening in the fall really. I just wanted the tank to be ready so that I can catch some before the ice comes! 46 gallons should be good for 3-4 small-mid goldfish, no?

Good news too, I just did a water test and the Nitrites have appeared! Booya!
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:40 PM   #7
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Also, this what the tank looks like right now. Any ideas?
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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Less is always more with goldies! Lets get your tank fully cycled & see how things look in the fall for the fish your considering moving inside. Moving from a pond to a small tank is quite stressful for a fish so its just something to keep in mind. Keep us posted on your cycle!
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rylake View Post
I brought some rocks in from the pond and put them in my aquarium also, just to see if it speeds things up a little bit more.
This will definitley help. The more bacteria you can add the better - it seeds the filter and substrate to speed things up.

Bacteria from your pond will be on the rocks and substrate (if you have any). I would grab a handful of gunk from the pond and put it in your filter media in your new tank.


As for ideas - have you thought about any plants?
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:55 AM   #10
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I haven't really given live plants too much thought. My lighting system doesn't seem capable of making them grow. If there are some low light, low maintenance plants I would definitely consider it. I was going to bring in some plants from the pond, but I doubt they will fit or survive. In the pond there are mostly floating plants (water lettuce/hyacinth + water lillies). I was going to make a innukshuk from rock and glue it together with silicone. Will the silicone be ok in a tank with fish??
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