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Old 01-23-2021, 02:46 PM   #1
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Cycle questions

Skip the first bit if you dont like the back story....

I had an aquarium a long time ago (when I was single) and was just starting to get hang of it. I had to go out of town to a very remote area for work for a year. I couldnt bring tank and wasn't keeping my apartment so I left it with a friend. The tank broke, fish and plants died. All the equipment been un a tote since.
For christmas my new hubby decided to get me a new 30g tank and a goldfish. he knows nothing about keeping fish. I have goldfish in bowl for now and am scrambling to get new tank set up, test my old equipment and figure it all out with a 60 hour work week and a toddler.

Still need: stand, heater, timer.....

Questions:

Can i fill tank half way to start cycling so I can still move it to stand when it arrives?

Do I need the heater to start cycle?

Lights need to be on strict 8hrs for cycling?

Is it better/easier to add plants now or after tank established?

Thanks for any wisdom!
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:51 PM   #2
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OK, here goes.

It sounds like you are planning on cycling the tank prior to adding your fish. This will take 4 to 6 weeks during which your goldfish will be in an uncycled bowl. Much better to just put it in the tank and do a fish in cycle. Do you know how to do a fish in cycle safely?

Given the above, i would just fill up the tank. When your stand arrives, move the goldfish back into the bowl temporarily, drain the main tank down, lift it onto the stand, get it reset up, and replace the fish in the main tank. You shouldn't disturb the cycle because the beneficial bacteria mostly lives in the filter media not the water.

Goldfish are temperate and dont need a heated aquarium. They should be fine at room temperature, in fact they will prefer it. Having said that the beneficial bacteria will grow quicker in a heated tank. 29c / 85f is optimum for bacteria growth, but your goldfish wont like that.

Ive read that lights can speed up growth of beneficial bacteria, but it somehow doesn't feel right to me as they mostly live in the filter away from the light. Ive cycled tanks with no lights in the past.

If you plan on planting the tank, its easier to plant an unfilled tank as the plants tend to float away as you are trying to get them rooted in the substrate, but ive certainly fully planted a filled tank and regularly add plants to established tanks. Planting up front will help you maintain safe water parameters while it cycles too. You will certainly need the lights on for the plants.
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