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Old 10-14-2012, 04:43 PM   #1
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New to this and screwed up already!

Hi! I'm new here and new to aquariums in general.

On Sunday - 10/7 - I bought a 29G tank kit, some gravel and decorations and was told that we needed to wait 48-hours to add the fish. Added the conditioned water, decor (fake plants and large lava rock), and set the heater at 76 (vertical on one side of the tank) and waited.

Tuesday - 10/9 - brought a water sample, she explained what she was testing for briefly and said that it was okay to add fish, though the pH was a bit acidic. She said Brought home 9 fancy guppies: 3 males and 6 females. She advised one inch per gallon and said guppies get up to about 2". So we're supposed to be good at the 29G, right?

We feed a small pinch of flakes in the morning and evening (what they can eat it 20 secs), run the light 10 hours a day and otherwise pretty much leave it alone she said to get the good bacteria.

I don't know what the levels of anything are ATM, I have an API Freshwater Master Test Kit on the way to me. Just a couple of sample strips that don't seem to be worth a ****. Different readings minutes apart.

We want to eventually add a small school of neon tetras. We were told that should be okay.

I want to make sure I'm doing the right things. I have one of the platinum guppies swimming funny when staying in one place and hiding out. It looks like he's gasping a bit. But, he's eating. I called the owner of the store up and she said that he may be getting picked on. So, I'm keeping my eye out for that.

I thought I did my research, read online, checked out some books at the library, talked to the LFS lady, and nothing mentioned the fishless cycle I'm reading about here. I'm going through and reading the pitfalls thread so I hope to get some more info.

I hope I didn't screw up too bad.

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Old 10-14-2012, 05:00 PM   #2
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You did what I did, kinda. Got all the stuff, put the fish in, THEN started learning. I went the fancy guppy route, too, and after six out of eight dying, I am finally getting ahead of the problem.

I'll tell you what I know everyone else is going to tell you (and what no one at the big box PetStore told me: you need to cycle your tank, and no, that doesn't mean run it for 48 hours.

Here's a good read: Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice

You'll likely see a few guppies die off in the next few weeks.

For stocking, I really like to use this: AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor It'll let you know what you can/can't stock and is a good place for starting off.

Also, with both sexes of guppies, you're going to have 100s of them in a matter of months. I'd recommend just males or females if you don't want to deal with 100s of extras.

Oh, and WELCOME! I am pretty new, too, and I love it here!
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:02 PM   #3
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You can do a fish-in cycle (though most people will try and sway you away from it).

Here's a good read on it: Fish-in Cycling: Step over into the dark side - Aquarium Advice

I'm actually doing a fish-in cycle (this time, on purpose). My LFS (local fish store) recommended it.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:11 PM   #4
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I have done both fish in and fishless. The fish in cycle obviously takes a while longer and you may lose a few fish doing this way but you can do it. Best thing is testing your Ammonia and Nitrites and Nitrates daily and do daily water changes when these levels get high. For example .25 ppm Ammonia or higher be sure to do at least 50% water changes daily to get that number down.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:16 PM   #5
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I thought the fish-in cycle took less time?
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:17 PM   #6
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No. Fish in takes a lot longer.

My fish in took 8 weeks, my fishless took 2 weeks.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calypso77
No. Fish in takes a lot longer.

My fish in took 8 weeks, my fishless took 2 weeks.
+1 to this. My fish in on my 10g with two platys started 8/16 and it finished up last week.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:40 PM   #8
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I think fishless can take a long time as well but typically is shorter than fish in. I've been doing a fish in cycle for 2 months now.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:04 PM   #9
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If it was gasping for air then it sounds like your Ammonia is high.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:08 PM   #10
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I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice
That is a good article.

The inch-per-gallon rule is a very highly flawed rule, and really should not be used. For instance, by no stretch of the imagination could you put a 29 inch fish in a 29 gallon! However, you could put 29 one inch fish in there easily. I also saw AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor brought up, that site is much better than the inch-per-gallon rule, but still has some flaws in itself, so whatever numbers you get from aqadvisor, run it by the people on here to make sure it is accurate. Sadly, there is no perfect stocking rule out there, as there are so many things to account for such as bio load, activity level, dwelling level, and aggression.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:35 PM   #11
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Thank you all! I'll check out the links provided.

These are the test results:

pH - 7.6 (tap is 7.0)
Ammonia - .50ppm (tap has 0)
Nitrite - 0-.25ppm (the color was between the two)
Nitrate - 0

So, like animals said, it seems like the Ammonia is high, yeah?

I'll start testing daily. I should also start doing water changes right?
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
The inch-per-gallon rule is a very highly flawed rule, and really should not be used. For instance, by no stretch of the imagination could you put a 29 inch fish in a 29 gallon! However, you could put 29 one inch fish in there easily.
She did explain that to me.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Calypso77 View Post
No. Fish in takes a lot longer.

My fish in took 8 weeks, my fishless took 2 weeks.
I agree with you.......I started my 55g fish-in August 28, 2012 and just in the last 2 days it is zeroing out on ammo and trites ...This coming Tuesday will be 7 weeks since I cannot deem it is cycled for a few days.....I also have a 40B that I started October 4, 2012 doing fish-less cycling and I am seeing high nitrites already (1 week and 3 days) so I can say fish-less seems to be quicker IMO (when I compare my fish-in journal with my 40b fish-less journal).
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:03 PM   #14
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I just saw this thread. The chart that is listed shows that with my tank's pH, temp and ammonia level, that it is considered safe.

Is there any truth to these charts?
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:38 PM   #15
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I just did a 50% change.

Will doing daily changes stress the fish out too much?
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I just did a 50% change.

Will doing daily changes stress the fish out too much?
When I was doing my fish in cycle I rarely took my fish out, because mist of my water changes were small ones, about 25%. only time I did take my fish out was when I did a very large water change, like a 90% change.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:43 PM   #17
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I also saw AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor brought up, that site is much better than the inch-per-gallon rule, but still has some flaws in itself, so whatever numbers you get from aqadvisor, run it by the people on here to make sure it is accurate. Sadly, there is no perfect stocking rule out there, as there are so many things to account for such as bio load, activity level, dwelling level, and aggression.
One thing I do like about that site is that it will show you compatible species for your tank size and will show warnings for fish that shouldn't be put together, recommended temp and other great suggestions. For a noob like myself, it's really useful.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:46 PM   #18
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When I was doing my fish in cycle I rarely took my fish out, because mist of my water changes were small ones, about 25%. only time I did take my fish out was when I did a very large water change, like a 90% change.
I kept the fish in. I didn't know if the water disturbance would upset them more. I think I'm just way over thinking it now.

I'm so glad I found this site. Everyone has been very helpful and the articles are great.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:40 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Coco1019

I kept the fish in. I didn't know if the water disturbance would upset them more. I think I'm just way over thinking it now.

I'm so glad I found this site. Everyone has been very helpful and the articles are great.
There's no need to remove your fish unless you are doing near a 100% water change but you shouldn't need to do that. The fish will learn to stay away from the water pouring in or some will actually "play" in it, just be gentle with it & they'll be fine. Let your test results be your guide as to when to do a water change. My rule was .5 or higher for ammonia or nitrites, 50%+ water change. If either was 1 or higher, 50%+ water change then retest an hour or so later, if still above .5 another water change. The fact you are showing nitrites means your cycling should be towards the end, my 10g fish IN had nitrites for 2 wks & I continued testing daily for a week after to be sure. Be patient & persistent. Also once done cycling if you plan to add more fish do it slowly, only a few at a time so as not to overwhelm your BB.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:51 AM   #20
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You should do a water change every time you see your ammonia get to about .25-.50 ppm do at least 50% when you do. Also make sure to monitor your ph if it drops too low your cycle will stall. You should be ok to add the neons once cycled. As mentioned though you are going to have tons of baby's more than likely before your done cycling. Angelsplus.com sells cycled filter media to help speed the process up if you wanted. Keep us posted.
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