View Full Version : !!! H E L P !!!

03-29-2007, 04:26 AM
I'm new to the fishing world as i've said earlier and been reading up lots of stuff here. I live in the caribbean. Got my first tank set up (29g) with 2 orandas,1 catfish, and stinky (he cleans the sides of the tank) don't even know his name, 1 live plant, whisper filter 30, coloured gravel, an air blower, some river rocks and got a fluorescent lighting hood.
I didnt even know about cycling before i stumbled on this site. I have a water tank outside and the water basically sits there for days. Do i need to cycle my tank even though i have fishes in it? Hell i've never tested for anything i don't even have a test kit. Do i need an undergravel filter? I do a 20-25% water change weekly.
Can someone guide me in the right direction?

Lady Hobbs
03-29-2007, 05:02 AM
The tank does not cycle without a source of ammonia. That comes from the fish food, gills and waste. When we cycle without fish, we suppliment their ammonia waste for pure ammonia in a bottle.

If you want a quick read for cycling a tank, check out the Tips for Newbies in the Tank setup thread.

03-29-2007, 05:10 AM
How long has the tank been setup? The tank will cycle with the fishes in it but some may not survive the cycling process. You shold download the free aquarium e-book, it has a lot of useful information that will help you understand the cycling process. A test kit will be helpful as it will enable you to see exactly what stage in cycling you are right now and we will be able to tell you how to proceed from there. If you know anyone with an established aquarium you can get some gravel from their tank and add it to yours, this will help to seed the tank with the beneficial bacteria that you need and speed up the cycling process.

03-29-2007, 05:10 AM
Im new myself but i already went through the stages you are in now.

First of all, theres a free E-book on this website, its to the left menu. It has all the details you need. That being said, heres a few tips from my humble experience and readings:

-Avoid the colored gravel (colored gravel probably just poisons the water after a while). if anyone in this forum sees my post I hope they help confirm this issue

-Put as many plants as you can so that the fish can feel at home and hide. You can go for artificial plants, since they are easy to maintain and fish dont eat them.

-Wash everything really well in water (hot water) the first time before putting it into the aquarium. NEVER use detergents and soaps unless you can rinse very VERY thoroughly. If chemicals remain on the items you put in the aquarium, you will poison your fish

-Cycling the tank does require fish (or some cycling products). you cannot cycle an ammonium free tank (a tank without fish waste), since the cycle is about Ammonium turning into Nitrate and then Nitrite, and decomposing or something. It will happen naturally in the tank and filter after a couple of weeks. Just dont wash the filtering material in hot water when you want to clean it and put it back into the tank, use just cool water instead in order not to kill the good bacteria that will help in the cycling process.

-It is advised not to put the weak and expensive fish while cycling. I found that non-expensive goldfish are usually good for cycling a tank. Some people use Danios

-Although it is very advisable to have at least the ammonium and PH test kit, you could go without a test kit. if you dont plan on taking this too seriously, just do 1ce a week 30% water change and keep aquarium population as low as possible. What could happen without kits is that the fish that adapt to your water survive, the other might die, then you can buy the hardy ones only. Again if someone reads this and disagrees please say so.

-Undergravel filters are good i hear, but i also hear that you dont absolutely need them (not to mix with gravel filters, who are also good but not absolutely necessary in all cases)

-As to the type of fish you have, the "sticky" is probably a Pleco, usually a Common Pleco. You can post pictures and ask for help

Again, Download the Free Aquarium Ebook! and read all you can!

I hope i answered some of you questions


03-29-2007, 05:32 AM
They do make bacteria supplements to help speed up the cycling process.

While they do work, I have also heard that they tend to leave the tank a bit unstable.

I personally cycled with fish for a week or so, then added a little supplement.

My tank is doing fine. I lost 2 guppies, but they tend to be a bit sensitive to water.

At this stage of your tank, I'd check out your nitrate levels. If they are really high, you might wanna try some out.

03-29-2007, 06:30 AM
1) How long has the tank been set up? Have any fish died/showed signs of stress?

2) I would recommend you purchase a master test kit and check ammonia and nitrites

3) Colored gravel is perfectly safe, unless you somehow manage to find uncoated colored gravel (which I don't think they even make). It looks like clown puke imo though

4) The process goes ammonia to nitrite to nitrates. Since you do weekly 25% water changes, I wouldn't even bother checking nitrates. You DO however, want to make sure your ammonia and nitrites are both zero.

5) The only cycling product that has been proven to work is Biospira, and it's pretty darn expensive for a one time use thing.

6) Your Whisper filter will work fine by itself, don't touch the substrate or filter until you test the water (or have the LFS test it) Certainly don't add a UGF at this stage.

7) Watch the live plant. If/when it rots, throw it out asap. I would recommend plastic plants for now until you get the hang of things.

8) Lastly, but probably the most important, like the others have said, download and read through the ebook. It is slightly outdated on the specifics, but the key principles are all there.

03-30-2007, 05:49 AM
My tank has been up since march 12 and the fishes are doing ok