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Old 02-17-2013, 12:53 PM   #1
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Greetings from the Great White North! :)

Greetings!

I am VERY excited to have found this site. We're getting over 5 more inches of snow up here in the Northeast. I hope everyone else is a lot warmer and with less snow


I was asked to introduce myself and my interests in joining. I have owned an 55 gallon tank (see added photo) for around 15 years now. I started out with a community tank, but quickly fell in love with Oscars. I KNOW a 55 gallon is borderline for a fish that large, but I purchased one anyway and owned him for the next 14 years. He passed away this past January. It's amazing how you can get so attached to a fish My entire family felt the loss.


I immediately decided that I'd like to go back to a community tank. I wanted the variety and enjoy "decorating" my tank. I'm no expert, but it's a fun side of the hobby for me. My Oscar wouldn't allow ANY decorations in the tank. Clearly he needed the room any way.


So, here's where my first few questions come in. I'm embarrassed to say that I rarely tested the water in my tank once it had cycled. I watched my fish very carefully. Only had one bout with disease which I immediately dealt with and cured. Other then that, the tank remained disease free. I KNOW that Oscars are fairly hearty fish and highly tolerant of "not so great" conditions, but I really tried to keep things under control. I did weekly 25% water changes and was religious about my two filters (a Magnum 350 canister filter, and a penguin 350 bio wheel filter). Once he passed I am ashamed to admit that when I did test my water, I was NOT thrilled with the readings. I HOPE it didn't contribute to his passing.


So right now I have a fishless cycling tank. I'd LOVE to introduce fish into it in a controlled and humane way to get this started, BUT it's been over 14 years since I did this. Here are the readings in my tank as of yesterday:
Ammonia - 4.0 ppm
pH - 6.6
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Nitrate - 60 ppm


Any advice on what to do next? Since I CLEARLY have ammonia (too much i know!!!) in my tank, can I just let it continue to cycle on it's own, OR can I introduce a small group of fish to help? I have already done my fish plan and wanted to have Tiger Barbs as one of them. Can they tolerate my tank and help the cycling?


I am wanting to do this right so I'm fully ready to be as patient as needed....


Looking forward to being a part of this forum and site. I HOPE to be able to contribute some day as I learn as well. THANKS!!!


Bob
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:42 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!

So is the 4 ppm of ammonia just from the tank itself? Did you add any ammonia or anything to the tank? Do you have ammonia in your tap water?

You can do a fishless cycle; this guide will explain the two types of cycling (fish-in and fishless) so you can decide how you want to proceed: Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice

Just ask if you have any more questions!
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply and the nice welcome! Unfortunately that ammonia is from my tank when I had my Oscar in there. I didn't add any. Not sure if it spiked when he died and was in the tank overnight. Or frankly it could have been my neglect since I hadn't done a water test in a while since he was acting normal right up until he died. That's my fault.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:11 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum community
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:54 AM   #5
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:Welcome: to AA! We hope ya enjoy
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:45 AM   #6
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Welcome to Aquarium Advice! I hope you enjoy yourself here!
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmosher View Post
Thanks for the quick reply and the nice welcome! Unfortunately that ammonia is from my tank when I had my Oscar in there. I didn't add any. Not sure if it spiked when he died and was in the tank overnight. Or frankly it could have been my neglect since I hadn't done a water test in a while since he was acting normal right up until he died. That's my fault.
Well, I would do a full water change with dechlorinator since the water might need to be replenished of nutrients and buffers. Then you can either proceed with a fishless cycle or fish-in. Keep the media in your current filter as it should have some bacteria that will help the cycle along (you can just swish the media out in old tank water when you do the water change just to clean it out a bit).
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:26 PM   #8
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I will do that!! Tested the water this morning. Ammonia is down to 2.0 ppm. So I'm HOPING it's starting to cycle...
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:04 PM   #9
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What's up. Welcome to the forum
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