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Old 01-20-2013, 07:20 PM   #1
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New 75 Gallon FW Tank

Good evening all, after a 20 year absence I've jumped back into the aquarium hobby. It's amazing the amount of information available today compared to back then. It started off with my 4 year old wanting Santa to bring him a pet fish. He got a basic 10 gallon set up from a big box store. No big deal, I had a 10 and 45 when I was younger.

First, the 10 gallon generated a lot of excitement across the entire family, my wife and I reminisced and next thing you know we're putting together a 75 gallon set up, and the Internet research began to make sure I do it right. Meanwhile the 10 gallon tank was struggling. 20 years ago I didn't know what cycling was, I just did what my uncle or the pet store clerk told me to do. The 10 gallon was overstocked, over fed, had a poor filter, no aeration, and we were losing fish. I bought an API master kit (you don't want to know the first readings). I put a Penguin 100 in and took out the filter that came with the kit (put some of the media from the first into the new) and put an air stone in. Happy to say it's nursing it's way through the cycle, water changes are bringing the levels back down and fish are much better and healthier.

Now on to my question around the 75. I put an Emperor 400 and a Marineland C360 canister, along with two large air stones. The tank has been running for 8 full days now. Against my better judgement and research, I was a little nervous about the amount of fish we put in initially. However, after 8 days the water is amazingly clear, fish are healthy and colorful, ammonia has not gone above .25 ppm, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates. I've only done one 10% water change just for good measure even though the levels have not rose, even today the ammonia appeared closer to zero rather than .25. I used some Top Fin bacteria supplement at the beginning but nothing since. I know a larger tank can be easier but any tank I've ever started usually clouds up by the 2nd or 3rd day and what I now know as the cycle begins.

Should I be concerned? Are there any steps I should take? Sorry for the long post, just wanted to give some background on my first post. Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:31 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome! Did you move the fish from the 10 to the new tank or is the 75 tank a second one? What fish did you add? It sounds like you're monitoring the water and doing water changes as needed, so that alone will go along way with aiding the fish through the cycle. As long as you didn't drop a bunch of fish in there, the ammonia will probably rise slowly and should be fairly easy to keep on top of with water changes (assuming your tap water has 0 ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, which it sounds like it does).

Generally it's advised to do a 50% water change when ammonia or nitrite hit .25, but your probably ok right now. If/when it rises higher, I'd do a larger change than 10%.

I wouldn't worry about the lack of white cloudy water (often labeled as a bacterial bloom); none of my tanks have ever had that. Most tanks do but mine didn't and I never had problems, so I wouldn't worry about it.

In case you haven't seen them, here are two links for you:
I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice
Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice

Good luck and if you have more questions along the way, just ask!
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:13 PM   #3
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I did not transfer any fish from the 10 gallon, didn't want to put any of those fish through a second cycle.

I decided to give Tetra SafeStart a try. Put it in on Monday, highest ammonia level was.5, appears to have a bacteria bloom today, water a little cloudy. Ammonia between 0 and .25, 0 nitrites.

Unfortunately, seeing some signs of ich, upping the temp and will use salt.

10 gallon now at 0 ammonia, still fighting nitrites with daily water changes, starting to get readings on nitrates. Fish are as healthy and as active as when we first got them. Learned some lessons with the 10.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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First Nitrate Readings

Day 6 after I added Tetra SS, .5 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, and first Nitrate reading of 10ppm.

As for the ich, I pushed the temp up to 80 (fish seem happier at that temp?), was a little nervous to push it higher, and added doses of salt over three days. The fish infected are cleared, no new fish appear to have any.

Question - will the salt in the water affect any of the test readings? Could the nitrate reading be false?
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