a few (more) quick qustions.

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Mar 8, 2006
alrighty. i had recently asked the question about water softeners/tap water thing. come to find out, we had no salt in our water softener, so i don't need to worry about it. thanks a bunch for those that helped me out.

now, here's my main questions.

test kits - strips or the drops?
i ran into petsmart today to grab one, and realized i didn't know which was better.

filter - i bought a 'penguin 350 bio-wheel power filter' which says it's good for up to 75 gallons and filters 350gals/hour. is this good enough on it's own? it's sitting on one side of my tank.. will it be enough to move water on the other side, or should i buy a smaller one for the other side? (i have a 55gallon tank).

sand in the bottom - my dad suprised me with setting my tank up (putting the stand together, cleaning tank, putting sand and water in) while i was gone for the weekend. he said he rinsed the sand (pool filter sand)pretty good before dumping it (all 50lbs of it!) in the bottom and filling it up with water. when i came home today i noticed on the top of the water it looked like oil bubbles or something. it was just a bunch of bubbles at the top that weren't really like bubbles. i'm hoping it wasn't a big deal because i just turned the filter on and now they're all gone.

i put some Aqua Safe in there tonight, which it says to do with all new tanks because it dechlorinates.. but i also picked up this bottle of stuff called 'Cycle'. on the front is says 'more nitrifiers, keeps aquariums healthy, rapidly matures new aquariums'. should i bother with it?

i have a tank already set up (it's been up over a year) should i just take some gravel from there, and put it in the new one to get some bacterias in there and not bother with the Cycle, or both?

i think that's all my questions for now. thanks in advance.
Buy the liquid test kit. The Aquarium Phar master FW kit is very good. The strips are not very accurate once they have been open and exposed to the atmosphere.

The filter should be more than adequate.

The bubbles are no cause for worry.

By all means use gravel from an existing tank. If you dont want to mess up the sand put it in a clean stocking and put it in the filter. If you can, take some of the media out of the older tank and put that in the new filter as well.

I feel that cycle is a waste of money but if you already have it you can use that as well.

Read this http://www.aquariumadvice.com/article_view.php?faq=2&fldAuto=21
and this http://www.aquariumadvice.com/article_view.php?faq=2&fldAuto=15

Welcome to AA!!!
Welcome to AA! And ditto what Rich said, but I'd return the Cycle if you haven't opened it. IMO it is useless for cycling tanks. Also depending on your stocking of fish you may need more filtration. For example african cichlids need a lot of filtration, but a community tank that filter would be great.
liquid test kit. aquarium pharm. is what I get.

return the bottle of Cycle. its nothing special, and if it works at all, will only speed up your cycle by a day or two...which considering a normal cycle is 3-6 weeks, 2 days isn't worth the $6 price tag.

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