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Old 10-25-2011, 07:07 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by idavis90 View Post
Alright, so we returned the fish last week and got the API test kit which showed the water was not good for it, but it's back at the store now. I started cycling the tank a few days ago. I have a couple questions though. The guide I read said to pump the heater up but we don't have one. We are thinking of going with tropical type fish that can live in a 10 gallon tank and would love some suggestions. We were thinking either a red, blue, or yellow variety. With that in mind, will we need a heater anyway? Also, for the pwc's should I just use a bucket system or is it worth it to get a python or aqueon water changer? I will let you all know what the levels of my tank are when i get to test it again tonight. Thanks for all the help.
If you want a tropical tank then yes you'll likely need a heater unless you live somewhere where it's warm year-round and can keep the tank at a stable 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit. You don't necessarily need to increase the temperature for a fishless cycle but it will help speed things along a bit.

For a 10 gal I'd just use buckets. The automatic water changers are more for larger tanks.

Good luck with your cycle!
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:25 PM   #22
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Yeah, we live in Vermont and it's starting to get chilly so I'm going to pick up a heater when I'm done with work today. Will a plant help the cycle/be good for the fish as well? I'm going to check the ammonia levels when I get the heater in tonight and will post the results. What levels should my pH be at and how long does it usually take for nitrites/nitrates to start showing up? Again, thanks for all the help even though I've probably made every noobie mistake in the book.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idavis90 View Post
Yeah, we live in Vermont and it's starting to get chilly so I'm going to pick up a heater when I'm done with work today. Will a plant help the cycle/be good for the fish as well? I'm going to check the ammonia levels when I get the heater in tonight and will post the results. What levels should my pH be at and how long does it usually take for nitrites/nitrates to start showing up? Again, thanks for all the help even though I've probably made every noobie mistake in the book.
Every tank is different, it's hard to say. On average it takes about 2 weeks for ammonia to start dropping, nitrites usually show up around week 3 or so. But again everyone's tank is different and since you did have a fish in the tank you may not be totally starting from scratch.

There's no set PH level. Whatever your tap water is is usually what the tank's PH will be. Sometimes cycling affects the PH (causes it to drop if the water is low on buffers), so it's good to check it and if it starts dropping significantly do a water change to get it back up. Fish will adapt to your PH so it should be fine as long as it's stable once fish are in there.

Good luck with your cycle! If you'd like to keep a daily log of tests on here we can keep an eye on it and help you along.
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