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Old 03-22-2012, 09:53 AM   #1
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Greetings to all! I have been reading the amazing information on this site for a few days. I'm an old codger now but back in the college days I had an aquarium and really enjoyed it. Now that my wife and I are empty nesters we felt it was time to get back in to an aquarium. Wow how times have changed! Back in the day I was proud of my under gravel filter. I was one of the first on my dorm floor to have one.

I want to thank each person who has dedicated their time and effort on this forum to give great advice. I have followed the "Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium" by librarygirl and after writing down everything we need, my wife and I are headed to our local fish store (LFS) this weekend to make the purchases, see, I even know some of the abbreviations already!

In short, we have decided to setup a 40 gal freshwater aquarium. I will go in to more specifics when my questions start rolling in after we get it setup. The only thing I'm really struggling with right now is whether to do a fishless or fish-in cycle. Of course back in the day if these terms were used it would cause a blank stare from a hobbyist like myself.

Any questions or comments are welcome so fire away if you have any. Again, thanks for all of the great information that all of you have provided!


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Old 03-22-2012, 10:18 AM   #2
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A lot of people started doing the fishless cycle because its better for the fish and gets your cycle going faster. I personally have never done it never even new about it till I started using this site but it sounds like a better deal

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Old 03-22-2012, 01:08 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome to AA! you will have fun here and we will help you get all the info you need lol well, at least we will be happy to give you our opinions!

I just started up a few tanks myself. so maybe I can help you out with your fish less vs fish in question. I would say either way is fun. if you do the fishless cycle you definitely will be saving water. I would highly recommend the angelsplus filters you see mentioned on here -- it made a huge difference for me. get your test kit and enjoy the fun of seeing the tank cycle. then you are ready to add fish. an easy way to get a tank full of fish with few water changes.

if you want to go fish in you will have your work cut out for you. did a fish in cycle on my 20 gallon (and 5 gallon) and you are in for lots of water changes - sometimes you will have to do more than one per day. most likely you will be on a 50%WC every day for a few months - maybe 2?? definitely for a full month I think. this will of course go faster if you get the angels plus active filter as well, but you don't have to. if you go this route you definitely will need that test kit and you will be very happy with yourself if you just go ahead and invest in the python type water changer now. you don't need the python brand... just a water changer of any type will do I think. got mine from drs foster - the lees gravel vac. works fine for me.
the fun thing about the fish in cycle is that you have your fish now - the hard part is all the water you have to change. 20 gallons a day can add up... just a thought

I look forward to seeing your progress!
20 gallon: black mollies, dwarf gourami, juli cory cats,neon tetra, zebra nerita snail
90 gallon: bosemani and turquoise rainbows, sunburst platys, harlequein rasboras, pleco, ottos, bolivian ram
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:18 PM   #4
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Welcome to AA!
Glad to see you've done your research
Fish in and fishless take roughly the same amount of time. 4-8 weeks usually. I do fish in cycles on my tanks. They do require a little more work but, if done correctly, won't harm any fish. If you start out with just a few small fish for the cycle and don't add anymore until it's complete, fish in cycling can be quite easy. The less fish, the less ammonia. The less ammonia, the better for the fish and less water changes for you!
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