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Old 01-09-2009, 06:31 PM   #1
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Too Good to be True?

I am a new aquarist. Last week I bought a used 55 gal tank. I researched nitro cycling and bought everthing I thought I could need to get started. No fish, like advised.

I started w/ freshwater, added Prime and Cycle, 11 live plants and bought a Hagen AquaClear 70 filer, set it to high. I added several sponges I got from the LPS. I got a very good test kit and took base line level. ammonium was at 1.0 nitrite was at 0 and nirate was at 0-5. I waited 24 hours and tested again. 0, .5 and 5. I read the Cycle instructions wrong and added another full dose. I tested the next day and was at 0,0,10. My water turned a little brown. I believe from tannins from a large Mopani wood I added.

I suspectly went to a LPS and met what I think is a very knowledgable employee. He advised adding some fish. I added 3 red wag platy. Next day I tested: .25, 0, 10. I waited. Next day tested 0,0,5. I waited. Next day tested 0,010. I added 1 red flame gourami. Next day .25,0,5. Wait. Next day 0,0,10. Added 1 Bumblebee Goby and 4 Harlequin Rasboras. I also added 5 tsp of salt to some tank water and mixed it in the tank. Next day. .25,0,10.

Will all my fish die next week? Or do things look OK so far. My goal is 2 Kuhli Loaches, 6-8 more Harlequins, a RT Shark, a crab?, another Goby (definitely) and 3 Bosemani Rainbows.
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:07 PM   #2
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Your water params seem to be good. As long as your NitrItes and Ammonia stay at 0 your fine. They will go up at some points to .25 or .50(very rarely) but should go back down withing an hour or 2. Your fish should live very hapily in there. The only thing i would change if it was me was go with an Aqua Clear 110 instead of 70. I did have an AC110 on my 55 gal and now have a Rena XP3 Canister filter on it.
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:12 PM   #3
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The cycle did not do anything to help your cycle. Most likely it is the live plants you added to the tank that are helping your cycle. You can stop adding salt, esp if you plan on loaches. They are salt intolerant. Just keep an eye on things and you should be fine.
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the voice of hope. As I started reading I got a little worried.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:17 PM   #5
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....I added several sponges I got from the LPS.....
Those must be used sponges, with all the nitrifying bacteria in it. If so, you have seeded your tank & had achieved a quick cycle. Your numbers look good. So just keep checking the levels & stock slowly & you should be fine.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:41 PM   #6
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Yes they were the sponges that the plants were growing in. Very porous with lots of growth.

Now my question is salt or not to salt?

I did not salt in the beginning. But a LFS guy told me to keep about 1 tsp of salt in the tank per 10g. I have done that. My live plants seem fime. But one of you said stop putting in salt. What are the pluses and minuses? I know my Gobi likes salt but will do well without, but I have also read it is really good for the fish and to filter nitrites and I know my Kuhlis are salt sensitive so what are your recommendations?
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:26 PM   #7
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No salt is necessary, IME salt in fw aquariums is not needed unless treating for illness.
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:11 AM   #8
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exactly, no salt! osmotic regulation will become a problem as the total salt concentration in the tank can not accurately be monitored.
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:16 AM   #9
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I dont think your tank is cycled all the way, since you left the tank with no fish in it. If there are no fish, there is no Ammonia, which means the Ammonia eating Nitrifying bacteria die, and when the ammonia isnt Converted into NitrIte, then the NitrIte Nitrifying bacteria die, which means no cycle. I think you should leave the tank the way it is for a couple weeks to make sure it's cycle. The ammonia spikes arent going to do your fish any good. It can burnt eh fish, and suffocate them ( so can the NitrIte).
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:39 PM   #10
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I dont think your tank is cycled all the way, since you left the tank with no fish in it.
No, he has 3 platies & one gourami in the tank now ....

I would say no salt .... although some might argue that a low level of salt is beneficial to the fish's osmo-regulation, (that is up to debate), plants will definitely do better without salt. Although you are using a very low level (~.02%) & the plants are fine at the moment, you might run into trouble with salt creep later on.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:28 PM   #11
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^ But he left it with out fish for several day's, killing any bacteria in the tank.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:31 PM   #12
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Thank you for the help you guys are great. I did a 15% PWC and added no more salt. I will purge it out using weekly changes. I am probably going to add more plants. I added some shrimp and 3 Kuhlis yesterday and evreything is still looking great. Thanks for all the helpful posts.
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