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Old 05-27-2008, 10:13 PM   #1
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Intro - Hi All

Debbie from Kansas here. Consider myself a rank beginner in the art of freshwater tropical fish keeping even though I had a 20 gallon tank for several years in the 80's. I kept it going until the Angel fish got too big and I had to re-home them with a friend. The tank then became home for the next 10 years to our first tarantula.

I tumbled on to a used 55 gallon with all the gear about a month ago. We just set it up today. It took me that long to obsess over a stand for it. Found a perfect dresser for it at the thift store today, got the gravel, a bottle of stuff called "Prime", some test strips and have just been delighted watching the empty water bubble. I will be using the search function to read until I'm bleary eyed about this "cycling business". Egad.

Have always been an animal person. I turned 51 today and this aquarium was my birthday gift. The kids are grown but my husband & I do not suffer empty nest syndrom. We are the human slaves to six parrots, three dogs, two cats, one tarantula and now this empty bubbling tank!

Am looking forward to the learning while patiently waiting for the time I can do Angel fish again.

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Old 05-27-2008, 10:17 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to AA. Here is one of our articles on how to fishless cycle, here is another. The SW article works the same for FW, you can use pure ammonia instead of shrimp to get things going.

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Old 05-27-2008, 10:20 PM   #3
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Welcome (back) to the addiction! You are among those who understand!

I would recommend being careful using a dresser that wasn't designed to hold an aquarium. If you found an older one that is very heavily built, you'll probably be fine. Many however are not built to hold the all the weight of an aquarium filled with gravel, water, and decor.
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:10 AM   #4
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Welcome to AA, and
In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:20 AM   #5
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Welcome Debby. Thats quite the zoo you've got there. I'm confident you will find this community knowledgable, kind, and tight. (Vote for us on aquarank!).

Cycling is probably the hardest thing in fish keeping b/c it requires the most patience when it is hardest to have. Just keep up with your testing and you should see your parameters sort out in a month or 6 weeks usually. I havent had to cycle a tank from scratch in a while. Some fishstores can give you gravel or filter media to jump start your cycle. I've also heard good things about BioSpira.

Prime is good stuff BTW.

Thank you so much for all your help. I'm back into the hobby with a new vigor!

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Old 05-28-2008, 06:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Capella View Post
The tank then became home for the next 10 years to our first tarantula.
Eeeeek! I never understood some people's fascination with keeping pet spiders. Uuuugggghhhhh! *shivers*

HAPPY BIRTHDAY and congratulations! I can think of nothing better than to get aquarium gear as a birthday present. Welcome to AA and please don't be afraid to ask questions.
Sharon : Melbourne, Australia
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4x4x2 FW planted | 15g FW planted | 3.5g FW planted pico
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Old 05-28-2008, 07:20 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the nice welcome and birthday wishes! Yes, we do kind of have a zoo, but four of the birds and two of the dogs are rescue animals. Not that they are any less of a joy to us, simply that things have a way of find me

Zagz I appriecate the direct links to the articles. The gal I got the tank from has several. I'll bet she would let me have some established gravel. (thought for later, how come your AG shows up and the site keeps telling me the link to my tiny cockatoo pic says "link invalid" I really do know how to link photos?)

Purrbox, I very much appreciate the concern about the dresser, but I really thought this one out. It's long rather than tall (as is the aquarium) and unholy heavy. The aquarium is in the bedroom we use as an office. It replaces a gastly piece of furniture and the six drawers make it very functional to store things in. I looked at in person, and on line, every imaginable aquarium stand. This dresser is made of much more solid construction than the offical furniture type stands I looked at.

neilanh, thank you for the birthday greetings. I always enjoy my birthdays and haven't hit one of those milestone ones that bothered me yet - even the big 50 last year.

pitt420dude, I kept seeing the vote thing. I guess this helps bring the site to the top of Google searches??? Of course I'll be happy to vote. Glad to know the Prime was a good choice. The fish lady recommended it (the seller of the tank).

marchmaxima, come now! You too can keep a tarantula. What else are you going to do with an empty 10 gallon tank??!! You have to work pretty hard to have something go wrong with them unless you spring for a tiny "sling" (baby).

I may have forgotten to mention when I put my fingers on the keyboard, I babble - sorry! Thanks again everyone. I'm on vacation this week and will prowl the threads to up my aquarium/fish keeping IQ. Debbie
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Old 05-28-2008, 08:03 AM   #8
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Happy Birthday

I used my empty tank for mice, spiders give me the creeps
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:34 AM   #9
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Welcome to the site and Happy Birth Day! You know, it's not too late to become a "saltie"! LOL!
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

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Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:35 AM   #10
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If the file is on your local PC you'll need to upload it to the site instead of linking to it. If it's on the web, then it needs to be in a publicly accessible location to link to it. Another tripping point is making sure to link to the file itself and not just a page that it is displayed on.

Glad to hear that the dresser is nice and solid.

Empty 10 gallon aquarium is perfect for a heavily planted aquarium as a home for a shrimp colony. Spiders... ewwwwwww!

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