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Old 03-20-2018, 08:29 AM   #1
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Question Beginner 30 Gallon Tank

I received a Nano (useless 1 gallon) tank for Christmas and quickly learned that I have no idea what I am doing. Not surprising (to people with way more experience), within a few days, all five fish (placed in one at a time) were all dead. Since then I have been doing a lot of research. Although the experts do not all agree on how to start, they do all agree that a larger tank is better for a beginner like me. I purchased a 30 gallon tank and now want to start the cycling process. I have decided it would be better for me to cycle fishless.

The questions I have are:

1. Where do I find the bacteria to start the cycle with? Is it commercially available? I did not keep the Nano tank, I gave it to a neighbor's daughter for use as a terrarium for her two geckos.
2. Where do I get the ammonia? What kind of ammonia should I look for?
3. How long can I expect the cycling to take?
4. I have a list of fish that I would like to keep (once the cycle is complete):
Trinidad Plecostomus, Opaline Gourami, Shubunkin Goldfish,
Turquoise Rainbowfish, Scarlet Gem Badis, Micro Tiger Rasbora and
Indian Dwarf Puffer
Are these fish compatible?

I plan to have artificial plants, artificial coral, a rock-like multi opening cave/hidey holes and a live sand (Nature's Ocean) substrate.

Thank you,
atrip8414
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:40 AM   #2
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Things you will need.
1. API Freshwater Master Test Kit - $22.00 on Amazon. Petco & Petsmart and most lfs sell these at a higher price.

2. Ammonia source.
Ace Hardware Janitorial Strength Ammonia (need to get an eye dropper)

Dr Tim's ammonia + bacteria starter (heard good results with this combo)

You can throw in a raw shrimp in a mesh bag from pet store or use fresh clean pantyhose, cut the foot off and put shrimp inside to contain the mess.

You can feed the tank with fish food as it breaks down it makes ammonia.

3. A water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramines. Seachem PRIME is amazing.

4. You can also do a fish-in cycle which is more intensive because you must monitor the ammonia levels like a hawk and be ready to do water changes quite often.

Most cycles take a month to 6 weeks it really varies. What is important for the community (and yourself) to know is your water parameters out of the tap. (API Test Kit). It tests for Amonnia, Nitrites, Nitrates and Ph.

Here is an explanation of the Nitrogen cycle. https://www.thespruce.com/aquarium-n...-cycle-1378370
Hope this helps, keep asking questions. Other will chime in with their experiences and advice as well. Great community here.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:58 AM   #3
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Trinidad Plecostomus - Gets way to big for 30 gallons
Opaline Gourami - Possible depending on tankmates
Shubunkin Goldfish - Gets too big for 30 gallons and requires cool water.
Turquoise Rainbowfish - Gets about 5 inches
Scarlet Gem Badis- Could work someone may know more about these.
Micro Tiger Rasbora - Could also work depending on tank mates.
Indian Dwarf Puffer - Not the best for beginners
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:38 AM   #4
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Thumbs up Coralocean

Coralocean,

I have the API Master Test kit and I will test the "baseline" (untreated tap water). I was thinking of using distilled or spring water. What do you think? I have Fluval Aqua+ Water Conditioner and Jungle Start Zyme. I have Topfin Tropical Flakes, Tetra Freeze Dried Shrimp and Bloodworms. I have a 1ml and a 12ml air syringe. During my research I found that same article about the nitrogen cycle. So I hope that means I am ahead of the curve.

Thanks for your advice.

Atrip8414
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Old 03-20-2018, 12:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atrip8414 View Post
Coralocean,

I have the API Master Test kit and I will test the "baseline" (untreated tap water). I was thinking of using distilled or spring water. What do you think? I have Fluval Aqua+ Water Conditioner and Jungle Start Zyme. I have Topfin Tropical Flakes, Tetra Freeze Dried Shrimp and Bloodworms. I have a 1ml and a 12ml air syringe. During my research I found that same article about the nitrogen cycle. So I hope that means I am ahead of the curve.

Thanks for your advice.

Atrip8414
Great you have the test kit. If you use distilled water you are going to have to add a buffer as it has no minerals in it at all. Spring water is fine but i would still use the dechlorinator. 30 gallons is a lot of water so you will need to keep lots of jugs around at all times for water changes and it will need to match the temperature of the tank water. 74-82F depending on fish.
I am hoping someone else will talk about using distilled water, not sure about that one. If you choose to use spring water just test it before use for your baseline. If your tap water is acceptable it saves you from having to haul jugs & bottles around.
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:02 PM   #6
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Honestly unless you have insane water levels in your tap, it's easier (and cheaper) to just use treated tap water.

Puffers shouldn't be mixed with other fish, they're kept species only for a reason.

The badis and rasbora are nano fish, which because of their size can be kept in larger numbers than the average community fish, but can be harder to keep due to special food requirements (I believe badis need more live and frozen foods).

As for plecos, clown, pitbull, rubbernose and bristlenose plecos are all smaller species that can got better in a smaller tank. That being said, even small plecos create a ton of waste, so get one because you like the fish, not because you think you need a 'cleaner' fish.

For picking fish, I usually recommend going to your local stores and seeing what types and species catch your eye, take a photo or write the name down, and then go home and research tank size, compatibility, temperature and food requirements etcetera. Talk to people who keep or have kept them, they can give you the pros and cons and tips they've learned too.
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Old 03-21-2018, 12:34 PM   #7
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Toad is right! But I also wanted to add. Just say no to goldfish!
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:34 PM   #8
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Question What is the next step?

Finally have the live sand, the filter, heater, hood, and oxygenator (bubbler). I did the test for my untreated water and got the following values:
PH=7.6 Ammonia=0.25ppm Nitrites=0ppm Nitrates=0ppm.

I have Fluval Aqua+ Water Conditioner. The instructions say to use 5ml per 10gal for chlorine treatment and 10ml per 10 gal for chloramine treatment.

Do I use 15ml per 10gal when I don't know which one to treat for?

I am SUCH A NEWBIE!!!!

Thank you Adrienne
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Old 03-22-2018, 07:26 PM   #9
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You have ammonia in your tap water? Bummer! I do not know much about the Fluval water conditioner. I read it to say 15ml to remove both chlorine and chloramines. Seachem Prime may be a better choice because it converts ammonia into a non toxic form for 48 hours - for future water changes anyway. Prime takes care of ammonia, chlorine, chloramines etc.. all in one bottle.
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Old 03-22-2018, 07:29 PM   #10
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Found this on a website. "In order to have the extra protection however, you will need to double the dose of 5ml per 40L to 10ml per 40L "
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