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Old 08-21-2006, 10:14 AM   #1
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New from Collierville TN

Greetings all. This forum has already helped me muck my way through getting my first aquarium. I bought a used 55 gallon tank that was set up at a LFS. It came with a Marineland Magnum 250H HOB filter and a Powerhead 402 connected to a UG filter, and the gravel. My wife and 7 year old daughter had a blast "accessorizing" the tank.

We filled it up on Saturday (19th), treated the water with Stress Coat, and turned on the pumps. Oops, I quickly realized that you have to prime the 250... I have been running since and have a few questions.

The cloudiness (whitish) has not cleared up yet. Am I violating the number one law of patience here?

I looked in the Magnum filter and it has a basket with a foam type filter on the outside. Is there something else that goes in it? Isn't there supposed to be some sort of carbon filter media?

The chemistry is the following: Nitrate is 20, Nitrite is 0.0, pH is 7.2, temperature is 78, and Ammonia levels started at 0.0, went up to 0.5 and is now 0.25. I read where you can cycle a tank using fish. I thought I would start with a few zebra danios and platies, I read they are very durable and I want these fish as part of my community tank when all the tank is fully cycled.

The big question (I am not sure if this is more from my 7 year old or from me) is when to add the fish?

Thanks to all

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Old 08-21-2006, 11:55 AM   #2
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Hmmmm, I'm not too sure about FW tanks, but I think it is recommended to cycle without fish. This hobby takes a lot of patience. Hopefully a "freshie" will be along to give some great advice. Good luck!

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Old 08-21-2006, 01:28 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA!

Fishless cycling is best, but since you already have the fish, you can carry on with them. Did you ever have any nitrites? I see that they are 0, but you have nitrates. Was the filter running on the tank before you got it? It could be a short cycle if it was (and there was fish in the tank). If ammonia for some reason gets over 1ppm or nitrites gets over 1ppm do a water change, for the fish's sake. It looks like the filter already has some bacteria built up and that you won't see a typical cycle, but I am only assuming.

The cloudiness is most likely a bacterial bloom. It happens alot in newly set up tanks. I'd just do a few water changes and if it doesn't go away then, just give it time.

I wouldn't add any fish until ammonia is 0 and nitrites are 0.

I don't know anything about Magnum filters, so hopefully someone else will come along that has used them. You don't have to use carbon. Some people only use it to remove medications from the water (like me) and some people use it all the time. Its not necessary though.
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Old 08-22-2006, 08:30 AM   #4
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The tank filters and gravel were an operating tank in a fish store. The tank was emptied and sold because the store moved to a smaller space. I was also thinking that the cycle time might be a little less than normal, because it was an established tank. It was idle and empty for a month, so perhaps any beneficial bacteria died off. Do they go into a dormancy?
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Old 08-22-2006, 05:30 PM   #5
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No... if the surfaces that the bateria were living on dried out, then it is gone. The reason you are probably seeing nitrates is due to nitrates in your tap water Take out some tap water and let it sit out over night, do a test on that, and ill bet you have the same reading.

The cloudiness will go away, just takes time.

I have the same filter as you and I do put activated carbon in mine, however sponges, filter floss, or ceramic bio-rings could all be in there too. Just a preference issue.

*edit: and i forgot... welcome to Aquariumadvice!
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:21 AM   #6
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Welcome to AA! I have a Magnum filter and I use filter floss, ceramic rings and bio balls. I personally only use carbon to remove meds from the tank. It's a matter of personal preference, carbon is not necessary, some people prefer to use it.
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Old 08-23-2006, 08:32 AM   #7
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My parents live in Collierville, TN now. I grew up in Germantown, but I've since moved to Kansas. Small world huh?

Good luck on the tank. Posting in the general or getting started area in the freshwater forum may give you some more responses. Most people don't scroll down this far.

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