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Old 12-08-2013, 11:07 AM   #1
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Question New member and getting very confused!!

Hi All, I'm new to this site and it was recommended on a web link.

There are a few things that is really like some advice on.


I used to have a smallish tropical fish tank many moons ago. Then all I did was set up the tank, add plants get some bog wood and hey presto! Leave for a few weeks then add the fish I wanted.


Is never heard of the nitrite cycle let alone whether to do a fish less or fish cycle when setting up the tank. I've never done any chemical testing or adding ammonia and retesting daily. As you can imagine, it's a lot to take in!!!




I've now got a second hand Juwel vision 180 with an additional pond solutions external 2000 pump. I've set it all up and I just need some plants and bog wood to get the basics done.




I would be very grateful for any advice on which route I should take. As you can imagine, I'd like to do all this correctly.


Many thanks


Chloe

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Old 12-08-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by chloefinn2003 View Post
Hi All, I'm new to this site and it was recommended on a web link. There are a few things that is really like some advice on. I used to have a smallish tropical fish tank many moons ago. Then all I did was set up the tank, add plants get some bog wood and hey presto! Leave for a few weeks then add the fish I wanted. Is never heard of the nitrite cycle let alone whether to do a fish less or fish cycle when setting up the tank. I've never done any chemical testing or adding ammonia and retesting daily. As you can imagine, it's a lot to take in!!! I've now got a second hand Juwel vision 180 with an additional pond solutions external 2000 pump. I've set it all up and I just need some plants and bog wood to get the basics done. I would be very grateful for any advice on which route I should take. As you can imagine, I'd like to do all this correctly. Many thanks Chloe
Welcome to the thread! This site is very helpful when learning!

If you want a simple but scientifically accurate explanation of the nitrogen cycle search "dr Tim's aquatics: nitrogen cycle." He try's to sell you products that may help the process, but I personally wouldn't buy them (too much money). Just listen to the info, it was really helpful for me.

There are also some great articles and threads on here if you want to learn more. Truth is that there is not a guaranteed agreed upon method to cycling. Everyone has there own opinion.

So do your research and decide which method is best for you and your tank. Happy cycling!
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:18 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. I've gotten a lot of good advice here and I'm sure you will too. I would advise doing a fish less cycle and getting yourself a good test kit. I use the API freshwater master test kit for my fw setup. It seems to do a good job. Good luck!
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:17 PM   #4
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Hi
Thank you so much for this. I really appreciate it.

Just a query, how long does it take to get it back to 0 ??
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:48 PM   #5
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Hi Thank you so much for this. I really appreciate it. Just a query, how long does it take to get it back to 0 ??
Depending on your method and available products, anywhere from a few days to a few months
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:13 PM   #6
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Do you have any mates that have a tank. You could ask them to 'lend' you some media from there filter. Alternatively you could ask your local LFS to give you some gravel from there tanks. Bag it(with water) as if they were selling fish. This can then be placed in a pair of tights and placed in with the bio media in your APS filter. I done this with my 55g a few years ago, along with 10 Zebra Danios and have never had to cycle(from scratch) a tank since......
When you plants, do you mean real or fake??
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:19 PM   #7
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Do you have any mates that have a tank. You could ask them to 'lend' you some media from there filter. Alternatively you could ask your local LFS to give you some gravel from there tanks. Bag it(with water) as if they were selling fish. This can then be placed in a pair of tights and placed in with the bio media in your APS filter. I done this with my 55g a few years ago, along with 10 Zebra Danios and have never had to cycle(from scratch) a tank since...... When you plants, do you mean real or fake??


Hi Ian

That's a really good idea. I've got to go to LFS to get my plants. I'll ask if they are willing to do that for me. Would I put it in the large filter I've got to the small one that's integral in the tank.

Do you do the chemical testing? It all seems very complicated ! Much more so than years ago.

I am intending to get real plants. Some floor covered and some tall ones too. I want to make it look pretty life like.

Thanks ever so much for this seems much more straight forward.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:36 PM   #8
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Have you got experience with real plants, aqua ones that is??
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:24 PM   #9
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Have you got experience with real plants, aqua ones that is??
Yes from when I had my old tank. When I brought this new tank second hand, the guy gave me lots of things to grow my own. Maybe do this in the future. First I'd just like to keep the ones I get alive!!!

Have you got any advice ??
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:48 PM   #10
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Yes from when I had my old tank. When I brought this new tank second hand, the guy gave me lots of things to grow my own. Maybe do this in the future. First I'd just like to keep the ones I get alive!!!

Have you got any advice ??
I'm not experienced enough with plants to give advice. Many people here will though. Regarding the gravel from the LFS. Any decent store will give you this. A good handful will be enough but take as much as you can get. If they refuse, tell them you'll be shopping elsewhere!!. Keep it wet until you add it to your filter. DO NOT RINSE IT. Leave it in the filter for at least a month, longer is better. You WILL need a liquid test kit. API is a good one. You need to test the water daily for the first few weeks, any Ammonia above .25ppm and you need to do a large water change 50%+.
Danio's are a very hardy fish to use during the cycle. Although you will have some BB from the gravel, you will still need to do a cycle but having some BB will shorten it greatly.....
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:53 PM   #11
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Yes from when I had my old tank. When I brought this new tank second hand, the guy gave me lots of things to grow my own. Maybe do this in the future. First I'd just like to keep the ones I get alive!!!

Have you got any advice ??
If you're not using co2 you should stick to simple low light plants. Anubias, Java fern, Java moss, Crypts. Stuff like that. Otherwise your plants will probably wilt and die on you.
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:25 PM   #12
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Cheers. Thank you for this. I have masses of info spinning round in my mind! Let's hope some of it makes sense
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:33 PM   #13
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Cheers. Thank you for this. I have masses of info spinning round in my mind! Let's hope some of it makes sense
By the way where did you get the wood for your tank? I would not recommend collecting "wild" wood. Buy mopani, manzanita, or malaysian drift wood from your pet store.

It's all very straightforward . No need to get confused.

1. Set tank up (apply background, put stand together, put tank on stand, rinse gravel/sand and pour in, add water, dechlorinate water, install filter and heater. Wait a little while for heater to adjust to water temperature, then turn filter and heater on. Decorate aquarium. Install plants.

2. Cycle aquarium. Either use ammonia from a bottle or just get some cycled biomedia from somebody else (another forum user who lives nearby, a friend, the fish store) and put it in your filter. Getting cycled media from another tank and putting it in your tank is the easiest way to kickstart a new tank. This way you'll be able to add fish right away whereas if you added ammonia from a bottle it could take a month.

3. Once your tank is cycled, start to add fish

4. Feed fish (not too much)

5. Do an (at least) weekly water change. Vaccuum waste off of the sand/gravel. Dechlorinate new water and add to the tank

You'll need a master test kit. Most people use the API freshwater master test kit. You'll want to monitor your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate.
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:10 AM   #14
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I am new and in the middle of my cycle its best to do a fishless cycle. its less stress on the fish and once its cycled you can add all your fish at once with a fish cycle you have to add a couple here and there and can take forever to properly cycle your tank
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:26 AM   #15
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Here is how I am doing my fishless cycle. I got some media from local guy to help it go faster.

Add enough ammonia to get to abt 4PPM if its a smallish tank 3 PPM will work. Test for start abt every other day as it will take a few days to start up. Do not do anything to the tank until the ammonia drops to 0. When it does, dose the tank again to 2 ppm. You don't need to worry about nitrites or nitrates until the ammonia hits 0 - when it does, test for nitrites. When your nitrites hit 0, test for nitrates. Dose it again to 2 ppm each time the ammonia drops to 0. Continue doing that until you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and are showing nitrates. When you have those readings 24 hours after your last dose of ammonia, your tank is cycled (do the dosing and testing for one more day, just to be sure you're cycled). Do a big water change to get the nitrates to 10 or less and add your fish. If you aren't ready to add fish at that time, just keep up the dosing regimen until you're ready and do the big water change.
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:50 AM   #16
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All good advice so far.

I would like to comment on the "wild" wood. All of the driftwood I use in both of my freshwater planted tanks aside from 2 pieces have been collected from my local river. As long as it's well weathered and not soft or rotting it's fine to use.

There are two schools of thought on cycling a tank and I have links to very nice articles describing both of them. While they both require you to be attentive the fishless cycle seems to be far less stressful, both for the fish and the hobbyist. However the fish in cycle negates that 1 - 2 month period of a tank not having any fish in it.

Fishless:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html

Fish In:
Fish-in Cycling: Step over into the dark side - Aquarium Advice

As for plants what was suggested are some nice guidelines. Anubias, Java moss, Java Fern, bolbitis, some crypts and possibly an amazon sword are all decent choices.
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:15 PM   #17
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Cheers thank you for this info x
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Old 12-10-2013, 03:17 PM   #18
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Hi there. I've been looking into getting some moss balls after reading up on them. They grow quite big from what I've read. Do the fish like eating them? My tank is 180 litres, should I get one or several ??
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:48 PM   #19
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Hi there. I've been looking into getting some moss balls after reading up on them. They grow quite big from what I've read. Do the fish like eating them? My tank is 180 litres, should I get one or several ??
I have one. It is a nice touch of green. My guppies and shrimp love it. They don't really eat it, just the micro organisms that collect on it.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:07 PM   #20
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I have one. It is a nice touch of green. My guppies and shrimp love it. They don't really eat it, just the micro organisms that collect on it.
Cheers thanks for the info
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