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Old 01-13-2017, 10:17 PM   #1
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Setting Up My 20 Gallon Tank

So Im setting up my 20 gallon tank for some guppies, tetras, and platies. You know, common community tank. But anyways I filled it up with tap water and put some water purifier in it to get rid of the chemicals that might be present, and since I got a new filter insert I have been running the filter for two days. How long should I wait before buying fish?
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:29 PM   #2
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You should take time to read and understand the material in the following link: Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium
First and foremost, it covers cycling. Not the two-wheeled kind, but the process of establishing the filter and tank so it will be a more receptive environment for your fish.
Many beginner pitfalls can be avoided.
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Old 01-14-2017, 04:05 PM   #3
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It will likely be a few weeks: you need time to let colonies develop of the bacteria that convert ammonia (fish waste, i.a.)to nitrites and nitrites to nitrates. That can take a while.

Fresh2o pointed you to some good articles. I'd add that you can shorten the cycle by using bacterial additives such as Seachem's Stability or Dr. Tim's "One and Only" (Their sites have good links to articles on how to use their products.), but I still wouldn't add fish until a small amount of ammonia added to the tank cycles from ammonia to nitrite to nitrate in 24 hours.

Oh, and if you don't already have one, you'll need something to test the water. Either the API Master Test Kit for freshwater or Tetra test strips will work fine.
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Old 01-20-2017, 10:33 PM   #4
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it takes about 4-8 weeks for a tank to cycle, but you need either ammonia or a fish for it to cycle. what i do, and are doing right now, is add a couple large feeder goldfish in the tank, add some bacteria, and don't do a water change, or touch the filter until the tank cycles. the goldfish will be able to withstand the cycle, and when you're done return them to your lfs. the point of this is that they will be able to handle the cycle, and you won't put any of the other fish in danger, cause most fish cannot handle it
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Old 01-21-2017, 07:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maybe_gabby View Post
it takes about 4-8 weeks for a tank to cycle, but you need either ammonia or a fish for it to cycle. what i do, and are doing right now, is add a couple large feeder goldfish in the tank, add some bacteria, and don't do a water change, or touch the filter until the tank cycles. the goldfish will be able to withstand the cycle, and when you're done return them to your lfs. the point of this is that they will be able to handle the cycle, and you won't put any of the other fish in danger, cause most fish cannot handle it
Are goldfish resistant to ammonia poisoning? I'm looking for sources to back up your statement but cannot find any.
I can't tell you what you can or cannot do, but recommending the purchase of fish, putting them through horrible (no water changes) conditions, and then returning them sounds like selective cruelty. Also, you omitted the part about testing water parameters.
If you substitute ammonia for the goldfish, then your plan sounds fine.
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Old 01-21-2017, 08:47 AM   #6
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feeder goldfish are perfectly fine going through a cycle, i've done it with every one of my tanks; are doing it now, and i work at a fish store and that's what everyone there recommends. they're not "resistant" to it but aren't as sensitive to it as other fish, for example, neon tetras being extremely sensitive to it. i've had my tank that's cycling up for 5 weeks with a couple large golds in it and haven't done a single water change and they seem perfectly fine.
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Old 01-21-2017, 09:04 AM   #7
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Do you test at all? If so, how high does the ammonia and nitrites get during this process? If not, then how do you know when the cycling is completed?
Returning fish is not always an option (some LFSs do it; the big box stores generally don't).
No one recommends a fishless cycle?
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Old 01-21-2017, 09:25 AM   #8
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Yes i test the water parameters every week
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Old 01-21-2017, 12:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maybe_gabby View Post
Yes i test the water parameters every week
And what kind of results are you getting?
In terms of practicality with your advice, the OP reads this, goes out and buys the fish, performs no water changes, and if the fish survive, brings them back to the big box store only to find that they don't accept trade ins or returns (only dead ones within the 48-72 hour grace period). What then?
Why no water changes? Most folks perform them weekly to keep their fish healthy. What makes it different in this case? Because you are using goldfish? I believe the instructions for a fish-in cycle include regular water changes depending on the test results (e.g. - detectable ammonia and nitrite). If you don't want to do water changes, put a raw cocktail shrimp in a nylon sock and hang it in the tank. That's what the salties do.
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Old 01-21-2017, 02:01 PM   #10
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The point of doing the water changes is to speed the cycling process up, goldfish are a hardy fish, they can handle it. The goldfish will survive it, would you rather put in some other tropical fish in there for the cycle that wouldn't survive it? Would you rather kill a 10 cent goldfish that's going to be eaten in the end as a feeder fish or would you rather kill the expensive fish of your choice that would be that you would want to put in the tank? You call my way being cruel keeping a fish that's can withstand the cycle but you don't call goldfish as feeder fish cruel?
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Old 01-21-2017, 03:55 PM   #11
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So water changes...yeah or nay? You mentioned NO water changes in prior posts. Water changes do not speed up a cycle. They merely dilute the amount of nitrogenous compounds in the tank. In a fish-in cycle they keep toxins at a safe level. Some will perform a water change during a cycle if high nitrites are detected with the belief that the cycle has stalled because of such. Factors that influence the completion of cycling include temperature, an ammonia source, oxygen, pH, and the presence of seeded media.
The point of this discussion is not about the ethics of feeder fish. If I had my way, I'd kill either 50 mL of pure ammonia or a raw cocktail shrimp.
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:48 PM   #12
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Or at least get a bottle of bb. Tss+ or Tims. Im old so I still do flakes or frozen shrimp. But it is a slow process but does work if your patient. There was no mention of plants either?
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