OK got mixed reviews from reading about cleaning stuff... Consensus was never use soap (a no brainer). Some people said bleach was ok but super rinse the stuff after using it and up the de-chlor (again a no brainer). I sprayed most of my stuff with vinegar and rinsed well under tap water.
I had a sponge filter sitting in my one tank for maybe 2-3 weeks. The tank has mini-cycled a while back but is somewhat stable.
The new 20g I set outside, sprayed with vinegar, wiped out, a 5 gallon bucket to rinse out. To do a leak test I super gravel vacced both of my tanks.... Hitting an area in my one tank that I had let go for a month... I was pulling up swirls from the gravel that looked as dark as storm clouds. I let all that sit in the new 20g tank for a few hours.
I got my trucking 5g draining bucket and placed some used gravel in it. I swirled the gravel around. And then put them on some screen to dry in the sun light.
I had some used plants and a ceramic fish given to me by someone else. I sprayed them with vinegar and rinsed them with tap water.
When I drained the 20g tank (after a few hours) there was a coating of much on the bottom (like I said first time I gravel vac'd the one tank in months (in that area)). Now all the muck came out.
BTW the gravel as I was sorting it had almost... best way to describe it is would be like skin flakes.... Like when you peel from a sun burn.
I put in some gravel and a maybe a few pints of water in the tank. Sorted out some more pink gravel from the natural color (tank is for my daughter, so was getting rid of the pink and giving it to her in her tank).
I placed the fake plants and the ceramic fish, hooked up a new (to me) HOB
filter on the back, set up the sponge filter with an air stone (which was in my old 20g tank).
I de-chlor'd the water and poured it in, between luke warm and shower hot. I poured in enough of the stress enzyme for a 20g tank. I do not have a thermometer, yet.
I am hopen that the "skin flakes", the old decoration, some of the algae in the filter stems I could not reach, and all that along with the stress enzyme will be enough to help jump start the cycle process.
Should I take out the charcoal from the HOB
and give it a dose of Ich Treatment just to be safe?
I have a wad of polyester fluff in both my other tanks. Should I add them in with a mesh bag of gravel from my other established tank?
I have maybe a month or so before I am heading out to give her the tank. I just want to make sure everything is ready.
The only ammonia I can find has the surfanat (sp) or whatever it is in it. I canít find pure ammonia! Maybe do a water change with the one tank I have that has a .25 to.5 ppm
I know some bacteria and viruses can live for years while dormant. I was hoping the skin flakes in the gravel and the using the old decorations might help a little also.
Just wanting some advice from yaíll. Like the song says ďI know a littleĒ, but you folks have a few more years experience than I do so I am just looking for suggestions.
BTW I did post pics of the set up in an album in my profile. It is for a 9 y/o girl so that explains some of the pink/cute factor.
Also hope that this thread might be a help to other people who have to cycle a new tank. I know that seems to be something that newbies donít know about J
. This time I want to do things right so my daughter doesnít have to worry about a ton of stuff.