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Old 08-22-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
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I'm new, and my head is just... swimming!

so, I've cleaned and soaked in de-chlorinated water, my artificial plants, lava rock and gravel. I have the 30 gallon aquarium now filled with water. I used the recommended 1tsp/5 gallons water of water conditioner and have a weird tint/fog to the water. I'm told this is normal.

My question is... what do I do now? What does it mean to cycle the tank? More so, how is this accomplished?

Thanks!

oh, and I can't get my hands on materials from an established tank.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:51 PM   #2
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http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...ium/Page1.html

Here is the beginners guide. Give it a read through first. You have two options. Fish-in or fishless cycling. Both are explained in the article.
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:35 PM   #3
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an interesting read. I'll have to read it again tomorrow to process more of it.

It's interesting though, the local aquarium store here said I could add my fish in one week after I ran it. That all I needed was the water conditioner. lol.. maybe they want the fish to die to make more sales??
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:00 PM   #4
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an interesting read. I'll have to read it again tomorrow to process more of it.

It's interesting though, the local aquarium store here said I could add my fish in one week after I ran it. That all I needed was the water conditioner. lol.. maybe they want the fish to die to make more sales??
Local fish stores (lfs) generally have terrible information. Don't listen to them unless you know they are always right. Ask a few test questions that you know the answer to, and see if they what they say. You might say "So for these platys I keep the temperature around 65 right?" and if they say yes, then walk out and don't come back. If they say no, like they should, then ask another more difficult one, like "and I could have 8 of these in my 10 gallon right?", etc., etc.
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:21 PM   #5
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the store is almost exclusively aquarium... there's a small "bug" section and a few birds... but the bulk is aquatic. I would have thought they would know exactly. Just like with any store.. depends on who you talk to.
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:23 PM   #6
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the store is almost exclusively aquarium... there's a small "bug" section and a few birds... but the bulk is aquatic. I would have thought they would know exactly. Just like with any store.. depends on who you talk to.
Oh okay. But still, there is always a chance that you get bad advice, even from the best of stores.
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:28 PM   #7
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I read about finding someone with a healthy tank and taking a handful of gravel or something that would have the healthy bacteria on it. I don't know anyone with an aquarium. Would adding the small amounts of flake food really be enough?
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:06 PM   #8
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I'm a newbie too, with a 40gallon tank. I have the added problem of an over zealous husband who keeps adding fish (the tank is yet to finish a cycle before he adds more. Worse than a child :-( at least the kids get take themselves to the store without an adult). I was helped out by my local aquarium store who took pity on me and squeezed one of their filter sponges (filled with healthy bacteria) into some water for me to put in my tank. The tank looked gross for an hour while the good bacteria went through the filter but it sped up the cycling (my ammonia levels dropped and I started to get nitrates). Maybe your store would be willing to do the same or they may have gravel they can sell you. I'm not sure how but we have yet to loose a fish to ammonia levels. There is a lot of effort on my part testing and doing water exchanges on a daily basis to keep ammonia levels low. I'm going to throw a party when I finally get 0levels for ammonia. I would certainly say ours is NOT the way to get started.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:36 PM   #9
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Sounds like you've had an interesting start to things lol. Yes, the husbands can be a bit like kids with it all. . It will be exciting to start putting fish in there.

We've actually tried to be the DIY people, creating our own bubbler and LED source... But it's not going so well. Bought a strip of "waterproof" lights from I overseas a while back, and they melted. Haha. Money well wasted.

My advise, don't be thrifty... It doesn't work out in the end.
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:46 PM   #10
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So, I'm going with cycling with fish. I'm getting about 5 feeder fish, and then giving when I'm done with them to someone who has a pond.
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:35 AM   #11
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Better off skipping the feeders and going with some fish you plan to keep. Feeders can be extremely unhealthy and can introduce disease into your tank. You don't want that.

Make sure to read the guides on fish-in cycling and use a liquid test kit to keep an eye on the water conditions.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:08 AM   #12
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Oh. I wouldn't have thought the feeder fish would have a high risk of being sick when they're food for others. Yikes!

My local store is around the corner from me and they will test the water for free, plus it's another excuse to go in and admire the fish and accessories. They just have so much in there!!

What would be your choice on a very hardy fish for startup? I really don't want to lose pricy fish for this process.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:41 AM   #13
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Oh. I wouldn't have thought the feeder fish would have a high risk of being sick when they're food for others. Yikes!

My local store is around the corner from me and they will test the water for free, plus it's another excuse to go in and admire the fish and accessories. They just have so much in there!!

What would be your choice on a very hardy fish for startup? I really don't want to lose pricy fish for this process.
Zebra danios are very hardy and are pretty cool and active. Someone's (I think it is platiesareawesome) signature on here is something like this:

Minnows + Monster energy = Zebra danios
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:45 AM   #14
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Zebra danios are very hardy and are pretty cool and active. Someone's (I think it is platiesareawesome) signature on here is something like this:

Minnows + Monster energy = Zebra danios
Oh! There a VERY attractive fish. I've seen them at the store. I'll do some research and see what they get along with in particular. Thanks!

I'm really starting from scratch, trying to learn which fish likes who and whatnot.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:56 AM   #15
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Looks like they pretty much like everyone so long as there are at least 5/6 in the tank to form a school. Here's my question: does the school have to be the same type of danio? Or could I have zebra, long fun blues... Etc.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:24 PM   #16
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They way I(until my husband got inpatient) had intended to cycle out 40g tank was with 1x male Betta (the reason we had got the tank in the first place) and a school of neon tetra (the smallest, inexpensive fish on the shopping list for the tank). As i have said, I can't tell you how that worked for me as there wasn't enough time for the tank to cycle before additions were made by the biggest child in the house. What are the smallest/least expensive fish on your wish list? Go with 1-3 of those to cycle. More educated aquarists please feel free to correct me.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:37 PM   #17
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They way I(until my husband got inpatient) had intended to cycle out 40g tank was with 1x male Betta (the reason we had got the tank in the first place) and a school of neon tetra (the smallest, inexpensive fish on the shopping list for the tank). As i have said, I can't tell you how that worked for me as there wasn't enough time for the tank to cycle before additions were made by the biggest child in the house. What are the smallest/least expensive fish on your wish list? Go with 1-3 of those to cycle. More educated aquarists please feel free to correct me.
Either neon or black neons are probable the smallest. I have even looking at some danios since mentioned earlier. I do actually have bettas I could put in... Well one of them anyway. I wonder of that would be ok? I would think it a tease givin him so much room, then takin it away once I was ready for my actual setup.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:38 PM   #18
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I would think it would take absolutely forever to cycle the tank with only one fish as well.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:53 PM   #19
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Most danio species get on quite well with each other. They do not really school together, they chase each other and tend to spend most of their time in the upper levels of the tank. They are surface feeders by nature, but will take food wherever they find it.

Active, attractive, and I'm quite fond of many of them. Gold zebra danios are very, very pretty, about the brightest colour of any danio species. Hardy and prefer cooler temperatures, so a heater may not be needed for them. They can handle quite cool water, 70 to 76 is just fine for them. They don't like it when it is much warmer than that.

If heat is an issue with your tank, you can use a small fan to cool it, aimed at or across the surface of the water, depending how much cooling you need. Increases evaporation, so you have to top up more often, but worth it for fish health, which is not helped by temperatures that are too high.

Don't get giant danios.. they're pretty when small but get quite large, the largest of the danio species. I am very fond of the ones that look like they have leopard spots.. Kyathit danios. Golden body, black spots that really do look like a spotted cat. They also come in a stripey version, which is not nearly as pretty as the spotted ones are.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:48 PM   #20
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I've seen so many lovely danios on the Internet.... But I am going to start with guppies. I'm told danios can be nippy with long finned slower moving fish, so if I get some, I would definitely get 5ish and get them after I get the more passive fish. Who knows, might even have to get a second tank!!
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