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Old 10-25-2006, 02:06 AM   #1
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Adding fish to new tank

Once I've set up and filled my 50g tank, I plan on adding a bunch of plants, then very slowly add fish. I figure adding one small fish to that amount of water should cycle it slowly enough for the fish to be unharmed - when you add fish to a cycled tank, there's still going to be a mini cycle while the bacteria catches up to the load, regardless, right? So, with this in mind, what order should I add my fish?

I'm looking at a couple bristlenose catfish, one peppermint and one common brown, 3 or 4 yoyo loaches, and a small school each of threadfin rainbows and blue-eye rainbows (either pacific or delicate). I may also get a couple bolivian rams, or another group of small rainbows.
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50gal planted - yoyo loaches, BNs, odessa barbs, giant danios
33gal planted - praecox rainbows, gold ram, bolivian rams, sparkling gouramis, licorice gouramis, lots of shrimp
2 x 5gal planted - bettas
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Old 10-25-2006, 06:26 PM   #2
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If you just go with a fishless cycle, it will go fairly fast, especialy if you can get some seeded media. Theres tons of info on the subject and is the best way to cycle a tank.
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:19 PM   #3
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You can use fish to establish a biofilter without a detectable spike in toxins. You can read my web page on doing this in a non- planted tank at:

http://home.comcast.net/~tomstank/to...s/page0017.htm
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
when you add fish to a cycled tank, there's still going to be a mini cycle while the bacteria catches up to the load, regardless, right
kinda. it wont really be a mini cycle, but you do have to wait about 2 or so weeks in between adding fish (and i dont count stuff like neon tetras and little fish like that....they're just so small) to allow for the bacteria to bounce back.

But if you plant the tank heavily enough, you'll likely not see any cycle at all, and you may not even need a filter. The plants should consume the amonia and nitrates before they even appear and cause damage. But understand, you have to plant pretty heavilly to acheive that.
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:20 PM   #5
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tom, that's just what i was looking for - thank you! did you use biospira on this tank as well, or just start from scratch?

does anyone have any opinions on the order of my fish to be added? which are the most hardy?
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50gal planted - yoyo loaches, BNs, odessa barbs, giant danios
33gal planted - praecox rainbows, gold ram, bolivian rams, sparkling gouramis, licorice gouramis, lots of shrimp
2 x 5gal planted - bettas
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:33 PM   #6
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Just from scratch. No plants, no biospira. Very low fish load, many weeks of patience and waiting, then after about 6 weeks nitrates showed up and the fish load was gradually increased. When the biofilter showed increasing nitrates without ammonia or nitrite, I added fish that I could buy in small numbers first, spaced a week or two apart. At the end I added the schooling fish, since I bought them in greater numbers, I waited until the end so the biofilter was well developed.
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Old 10-27-2006, 12:58 AM   #7
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well, i will have plants, and i'll see if i can get biospira, so that should help set things in motion. i think i'll get half a dozen threadfin rainbows first (from what i've read they sound hardier than the blue-eyes), wait a couple weeks, then possibly half a dozen blue-eyes. that's a little over 1" per 5", but that's all my schooling fish done right there. then i wait another month or so, testing all along, and when i have 0 ammonia/nitrite, add the loaches and the catfish. does that sound good?

*crosses fingers* i hope this works!!
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50gal planted - yoyo loaches, BNs, odessa barbs, giant danios
33gal planted - praecox rainbows, gold ram, bolivian rams, sparkling gouramis, licorice gouramis, lots of shrimp
2 x 5gal planted - bettas
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Old 10-27-2006, 07:43 AM   #8
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Sure, I think that would work. The penalty for being wrong is that your fish get exposed to toxins, or you become the latest "water change king" trying to dilute out the toxins to help your fish. I don't have any experience in judging how much a planted tank can alter ammonia and nitrite spikes if the bioload is increased too fast. I would expect that it would take a moderate or heavily planted tank to really be of benefit. Remember the definition of tank planting? It goes something like this:

A lightly planted tank, people say "nice fish, I like your tank."
A moderately planted tank, people ask "are those plants real?"
A heavily planted tank, people ask "got any fish in there?"

I do know that aquatic plants find it easier to pick up their nitrogen in the form of ammonia, compared to nitrate. But how fast they can do it, and how many plants you need, I do not know.
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