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Old 09-26-2011, 10:37 PM   #1
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New 45 gallon setup

I got this tank second hand together with a Fluval 305, lots of scratches but now its full of water they don't show up to badly. I cobbled together a stand from 6 X 6s and plywood. Removed all the old silicone around the bottom and resealed it. Filled with water let sit for two days with heater and filter (without media) running to let the chlorine breath away. Double checked with the city, only chlorine in our water, no chloramine.

Today I loaded the filter with some carbon, and a small amount of biomax from my existing 20 gallon tank. Filled the rest of the filter with new prefilter and biomax. Also transfered over some ferns, some wisteria and some ornaments.

So can I consider this tank cycled? Can I add fish? Should I add fish. Maybe start small with a couple hardy tetras and gradually introduce more over time. I'm still learning about the nitrogen cycle but for more of the beneficial bacteria to grow and fill the rest of the media they need a food source don't they. Like a little bit of fresh fish waste all the time?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:17 AM   #2
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I'd test it with pure ammonia to be sure. Also I would add a dechlorinator like Prime to be sure all toxins are removed from your water; it's better to be safe than sorry.

If you can get some pure ammonia, dose it up to about 3 on the API kit and test again in 24 hours. Do this for at least a few days. If ammonia and nitrite stay at 0, then I'd say you could add fish slowly. If they don't, then keep up with the fishless cycle until the tank is ready. There's a link in my signature (new empty tank) to the fishless cycling guide if you haven't already seen it.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:33 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response, yes I've read the guide to fishless cycling, pretty technical. I can see though that that's the way to go if you really want to know whats going on with your microbes. I'll have to source some ammonia. I've never had much luck with my test kit, at least I never got any significant readings on anything, always at the low end of the scale. Perhaps I did everything right with my 20 gallon during its break in or I was lucky. I followed the test kit instructions exactly.

Not sure where I'll find the ammonia, in the mean time should I throw in a pinch of fish food to supply ammonia as it breaks down?

Also, the filter output is below the water line and doesn't make any bubbles, will it oxygenate the water enough or will I need to add an airstone?
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