I stumbled on this site, while searching for advice on cycling my first tank in a couple of decades. I thought I would join because AquariumAdvice.com seemed like a rather generous group of aquarium enthusiasts who were willing to share their experiences, good and bad. So
for that! Plus - there are some really informative articles. I figured it couldn't hurt for me to find a place to record all of this new adventure down - so I have something to refer back to later and see what an idiot I was! LOL.
I am currently cycling a new tank, which is intended for some small tropical freshwater fish when complete:
- Fluval Edge 2 (12g/46L) sitting on a fluval nano stand (short)
- Stock aquaclear mini HOB
- stock LED
- 50w Fluval M submersible heater
- 3 to 5mm river rock/gravel substrate
- a few natural river stones
- I cheated and bought fake rocks and driftwood
However, I did spring for real plants:
- 1 anubias nana
- 3 cyperus helferi
- 2 bunches of star grass <<==== which I am certain were responsible for the massive outbreak of snails infesting my tank. 15 snails have been removed manually in the last 24 hours and I suspect there will be more to come
So why a tank now after all these years? Well, I was spring cleaning in October & stumbled across my old 29 gallon tank and unused Aquaclear 500 + a couple of unused ornaments. I remembered all the plans I had to set up an Oranda/Lionhead tank, but I didn't have a stand, couldn't pick a spot to put the tank, couldn't find a stand I liked... blah blah until I abandoned the idea completely. I tested the seals of the 29g - all were fine, but I was still a bit worried about setting up an older tank.
I had a chat with a local fish wholesaler I know a little through a coworker, asking him what LFS
he would recommend in my area - since I didn't feel comfortable asking him for stock (again I don't know him well enough to ask for favors). During the conversation he suggested a tropical freshwater set up would be more interesting and actually easier to keep than a tank full of goldfish. Which kind of contradicted everything I had originally thought about freshwater fish. So why not just go for it!!?
The Fluval Edge 2 seemed to be a good fit space wise for my apartment, I like the sleek aesthetic (even though it means I sacrifice on ease of tank maintenance) and the $160 brand new sale price tag at the LPS
was hard to pass up
and I prefer the double height of the new Edge compared to the original.
I opted for Fishless Cycling, with live plants and raw shrimp because I don't know anyone with established tanks and felt really wrong about throwing living fish in an environment that would likely cause them harm or death - despite what the LFS
said was okay.
The tank has been running with water, plants, decor, heater for 12 days. I finally dropped a raw shrimp in 4 days ago and cranked the heat to 30 degrees yesterday. And wouldn't you know it - today was the first time I had more than trace amounts of Ammonia, NitrIte and NitrAte levels. PH is still good, so I'll continue to check levels and figure am nearly due for a PWC
soon. Seeing NitrAte levels for the first time today was satisfying and exciting... like okay this might actually be working. Time will tell.
Still trying to decide on what types of fish to house when the tank is finally ready - but due to size, my choices are limited. Sadly I don't think I'll be able to include a much coveted pleco - no matter how much I want one. Too bad because the not so local LFS
(recommended by the wholesaler) said that the Edges are really prone to algae - so I guess I'll have to get a few otocinclus & dwarf corys to help manage the green. I could have kept the snails I guess, but pond snails multiply quicky and to me, I don't find them nice to look at.
Anyway - thanks again to all the generous posters at AquariumAdvice.com -I'm sure I'll have my fair share of D'oh
I think I've rambled enough for now. Hoping my tank is in good shape and will successfully cycle without anything too major happening.
Cheers for now - Shea