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Old 04-26-2007, 04:28 PM   #1
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First tank - new setup!

Hey All
We just got ourselves a 10 gallon tank and have been circulating for about 4 days now with no fish. Treated our water (well water) with 3 products recommended by the local pet store.

- Waste Control Organic waste eliminator
- Aquaplus tap water conditioner
- Cycle

Also picked up a "Master Test Kit" today which allows testing of pH, ammonia, hardness and nitrite. Results as follows:

- pH (had a 7.4-8.6 test, and a 6.0 - 7.6 test). I got 7.8 on the high range test, and 7.6ish on the low range.
- Nitrite test - 0
- Ammonia test - 0
- Hardness tests - GH of 120, KH of 120.

We are very very new to this stuff, and would like to make it through with as little death and headaches as possible. We'd like to start off on the cheaper side for fish, incase it is not something we are really into and can't get the hang of, although i am sure this will not be the case.

We like tetras, rainbows and possibly barbs. Also seen danios at the pet store, and a decent selection of them. Don't know much about them but could also be a possibility. What we want is color and lots of movement in the fish. Would also like a pleco?!? (algae eater) that stays nice and small.

How can we move forward - I have been told tetras may not be the way to go due to health problems, inter-breeding issues, etc.

Any advice/path forward/etc would be great - Would love to get some fish in soon. Either way it will probably be Monday before we look at going out and picking up any fish.
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Old 04-26-2007, 04:47 PM   #2
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Don't get fish yet! Your tank needs to be cycled.

You won't start getting ammonia readings until you add a source of ammonia. I can't say enough good things about fishless cycling - just adding a non-living source of ammonia to build up the ammonia eating bacteria. Eventually, you will develop a whole 'ecosystem' of nitrogen fixing bacteria, at which point your tank will be ready to stock. Do some reading up on the fishless cycle - I think there's an article on this site even.

Count on a few weeks at least before you can add fish.

I don't know much about various fishes, but I do know that I had a heckuva time with neon tetras, and had better luck with glowlight tetras (to a point...but that's another story). I think that most plecos get really big so a 10 gallon is not your best bet. Maybe try some Otocinclus -I love the little buggers, but I didn't have great success with them either.

With a 10 gal. tank, tetras are a good choice because they are small, stay small, and aren't messy like goldfish.
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Old 04-26-2007, 04:48 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA!

My first biggest piece of advice is to stop using the product "Cycle" and the Waste Eliminator. All you need is a Dechlorinator. Since you are using well water you probably don't even need to use a Dechlor. I'd still use a product like Prime to remove heavy metals though.

Does the tank have a heater? What kind of filtration do you have?

The first thing you need to do is cycle the tank. Check out the following links and articles, they should give you an idea of how to start:
Common Newbie Pitfalls
Your First Tank
Fishless Cycle
Nitrogen Cycle
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:03 PM   #4
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No heater yet - looking around and will be getting one. I am holding 72F after 4 days.
Just a side filter on it.

Was told by the pet store - add these 3 things, come back in a week with a water sample and we'll see if you are ready for fish or if you need to add something else, haha. Figured if i took a sample in i would be told to add Chemical A B F Y and Z.
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:28 PM   #5
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I recommend a 50W Visi-Therm Stealth for the heater. It's black so it's easy to hide.

I think 99% of the members on AA have been given the "add Chemical A B F Y and Z" speech at one point in time or another. And most follow.....until they come here. We're not here to make money like the lfs so we're not going to recommend you add useless products. When you go back in a week you're going to have 0 Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates. Which they will say is "Perfect". In reality it's not, the tank needs to be cycled.
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:26 PM   #6
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First thing I believe you need to do is not to listen to the pet store people. Most of them have no idea what they are telling you. They are working for the business and could care less they just sell more. I hear this all the time when I am in the stores.
I have learned more from this site and if I need to I will ask the question hear and have a very quick response which I trust. I am still learning every day.
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:18 PM   #7
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I figured it was a sales pitch from the start, so I wasn't completely fooled, but at the same time, I had/still have no clue on this stuff.
I'm hoping to learn as much as I can so that we have a nice healthy tank.

Now to find a step by step on cycling
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Old 04-27-2007, 08:04 AM   #8
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Check the stickies that I posted above. The Fishless cycle is a step by step instruction. The Nitrogen cycle explains what is going on during that Fishless cycle.
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Old 04-28-2007, 06:17 AM   #9
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Was able to get a small bit of 30% pure Ammonia Hydroxide from work - spiked the tank this morning to around 5 or 6 ppm.
This should have me underway!
Will test ammonia and nitrite levels when i wake up!
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Old 04-29-2007, 07:56 PM   #10
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With 10 gallons, the number of fish you're able to have is very limited. I would suggest that you pick one type of schooling, community fish and go with a school of them and an Otocinclus. Small tetras, Guppies, Danios, etc.

There's really no way you're going to be able to have a Pleco in that small of a tank. Plecos are very dirty fish, much like goldfish, and contribute to the bio-load (waste) much more than your "standard" fish does. Also, the smaller varieties (I have a Clown Pleco that is 4-5 inches) are still going to "take up" too much of your available space.

If you "have" to have one it really just creates a high maintenence situation for a fish that you won't see too often and really doesn't swim around or add color to the tank. That's your call. And then I wouldn't be too sure you should even have one, or any fish that big, in a tank that small. Sorry for the bad news.
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:35 PM   #11
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yeh - i was looking around some more, an otto will probably be the way i go.

We are looking at going with a few types of tetras or danios - not sure yet.. most likely a couple diff tetras
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