Originally Posted by chloefinn2003
Cheers. Thank you for this. I have masses of info spinning round in my mind! Let's hope some of it makes sense
By the way where did you get the wood for your tank? I would not recommend collecting "wild" wood. Buy mopani, manzanita, or malaysian drift wood from your pet store.
It's all very straightforward
. No need to get confused.
1. Set tank up (apply background, put stand together, put tank on stand, rinse gravel/sand and pour in, add water, dechlorinate water, install filter and heater. Wait a little while for heater to adjust to water temperature, then turn filter and heater on. Decorate aquarium. Install plants.
2. Cycle aquarium. Either use ammonia from a bottle or just get some cycled biomedia from somebody else (another forum user who lives nearby, a friend, the fish store) and put it in your filter. Getting cycled media from another tank and putting it in your tank is the easiest way to kickstart a new tank. This way you'll be able to add fish right away whereas if you added ammonia from a bottle it could take a month.
3. Once your tank is cycled, start to add fish
4. Feed fish (not too much)
5. Do an (at least) weekly water change. Vaccuum waste off of the sand/gravel. Dechlorinate new water and add to the tank
You'll need a master test kit. Most people use the API freshwater master test kit. You'll want to monitor your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate.