Thanks for the info. I actually have used a gravel cleaner for years and this was the first time I ever used buckets for water changes since I am starting from scratch with no fish. I have been told not to worry about gravel cleaning for now as everything is brand new and to just focus on water changes and testing for a few weeks+ until I can introduce a few hardy fish. Thank you again for the tips!
Quote Originally Posted by Hardy85 View Post
Just a few things from reading the thread over
1. the "yucky" stuff on the filter is actually good (its the beneficial bacteria), only when it is slowly the water flow a lot should you do anything to the filter media (white bag and sponge) and when you do anything, take a bucket of water directly from your fish tank, and shake and clean the filter media in that water ONLY. Try to not do all the media on the same day, space it out to avoid a mini cycle.

2. You really don't need to keep testing PH as much, that isn't the important thing right now.

3. You are going to want to invest in one of these
you can probably find one used, or a DIY to make one using tubing, fittings, and a water bed filler. It hooks to the sink and makes water changes a 1000x easier

4. After you get the tank settled you may want to adjust which type of fish you are keeping, most plecos (algae eaters) even though start small get HUGE, same with Bala Sharks.
This isn't the priority now, but will help for a happy healthy tank in the future. And I'm sure that everyone on here would / could help you pick out a good stock of fish that is geared at what you like