Goblewarming's 36g bowfront... Reporting for duty before the problems!
Several months back I came here looking for help for a newly (and badly) set up 15g aquarium and received some great advice that led to the saving of a fish planning for tank two. Tank two was slated to be a 20g long and arriving in November ( for my youngest's b'day ... No worries, the grown ups are monitoring/primarily maintaining both kids' tanks), but in the meantime a friend gave us a 36g bowfront set up that was taking up too much space after they upgraded. Now the 20g long will be tank three when it comes.
Wheeee! It's like Christmas :) We gave it a good scrub, and an additional filter and got it set up yesterday for the start of a fishless cycle. And now I am full of questions!
Tank contains: aquaclear 50 and an aqueon quietflow 30 filters, fine gravel, one large slate weighted hunk of driftwood
Set up date Sept. 14 - added conditioned water, and dosed with pure ammonia up to 4ppm. Gravel was much dirtier than we thought ( after much rinsing) but we gave it a day to settle.
Sept. 15 - vacuumed the gravel to get the remains of the settled gunk out. Removed about 5g water. Vacuumed tank one (5g) and added mulm and water to tank two with a chunk of java moss also from tank 1. Am. Dosed back to 4ppm and plan to leave it alone for a while now.
Ph from the tap~8.4
Ph in tank one ~7.3
Ph today in the new 36g ~8.2
The water level is down about 2.5 inches from the top (and from the filters' spillways) so we are getting lots of bubbles. I read that this was good for the cycling process. Yes?
ph in our planted driftwooded 15g hovers around 7.2-7.4 we condition with aqueon water conditioner and do 30% water changes every 7-14 days. Ph in the new tank is falling too, but is the ammonia affecting the ph? Will it be likely to fall more once the ammonia is lower? Do the plants and percentage of driftwood determine the eventual ph? (I plan to keep checking it throughout, but am looking for a general prediction so I can research and dream of eventual fish.)
Do I need to test for ammonia every day? Or should I leave it alone altogether.
Is having two filters too much? I have read that extra filtration is good.
My plan is to run two filters in the 36g and then, when we aquire the 20g, use the smaller cycled filter on it and then add a new small filter to the 36g. Will this cause problems or a mini cycle on the 36g? Will this make the 20g fish ready? Or still in need of an ammonia cycle?
Unrelated to the fishless cycle bit, what sorts of lights would you recommend for plants in this size tank. ( no I am not to the point of having picked them all out, but I like val grass, java fern, and swords...) I have been looking at LED and tubes...advice?
Once we figure out the lights, can we begin to add more plants before the cycle is complete?
... Full of questions! But this will definitely get me started.
Can I just keep adding them here, or should I take eventual fish questions to another location?
Thanks in advance! I am super excited about setting up this tank :)
Ah, and i would like to eventually have a fairly planted tank without co2 if possible.
Now I am chasing my own tail trying to find a starting point for actual stocking! What fish do I really want and then who can live with them, then maybe I can work backwards to what kind of plants they like and what kind of light those need. Only I keep changing my mind about fish. There are so many fish O_o
Oh well, the weasel will pop eventually...
Well, one question answered! The new tank has settled to a nice 7.3 ish ph.
Ammonia dropped to 2ppm, so I dosed it back up to 4ppm (on advice from the forum).
My eyes are starting to cross with all the fish research.
all advice is good.
One problem I see with what you've done, however. You said you have dosed 2 times now with ammonia up to 4 ppm. Reread the fishless cycle instructions (stickie in my sig line) and you will see it states that after your initial dose of ammonia, do not dose again until ammonia has dropped to 0 AND you have a nitrite reading.
So - I'd check your ammonia now. If it's above 4ppm, I'd do enough of a water change to get it back to 4ppm. Also check nitrites after you do the water change. If they are 0, then wait a few days. Don't touch the tank, don't vac, don't clean, don't make any water changes. Then check ammonia again. If it's anything but 0, do nothing - even if you see nitrites. Ammonia needs to drop to 0 AND you have to have nitrites before you dose again. When that happens, dose to half of your original dose - in your case to 2ppm - and let it drop back to 0 as those nitrites rise. On the day that both ammonia and nitrites are 0, your tank is cycled. Then and only then make a huge water change to get rid of any nitrates and stock your fish.
It will help things along also if you set your temp at around 82.
hope that helped
30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
90 Gal Journal: http://bit.ly/1vC7gVX
fishless cycling: http://bit.ly/1DARf3T
fish in cycling: http://bit.ly/1ILvcfp
Imma24 and fishmommie, thanks for the responses! I have gotten conflicting info regarding allowing ammonia to drop to 0 during a fishless cycle. More than half the tutorials I read say you must never let it get to 0 unless you are ready to add fish within hours and at least one suggest that that is one of the potential pitfalls of fishless cycling- that the tank can be cycled and ready, but the ammonia is allowed to drop to 0 and fish aren't added quickly enough and the whole thing crashes because the bacteria starve. Meanwhile you think you have a cycled tank. What is your reasoning behind allowing it to drop to 0 before adding again?
I just tested again and my ammonia has dropped again to 2ppm -within 24 hours this time. Nitrites are still at 0.
Taurus, why? Because it seemed like a good thing to learn how to do and I am not ready to stock this tank. I haven't settled on fish, but most of the ones that I am looking at like hidey holes and lots of plants, both of which still need to be acquired! meep! There is media from the healthy tank moving things along in the new one. I heard it would help speed up the fishless cycle, but wasn't thinking it could take the place of a cycle without doing something like taking the old filter cartridge and putting it in the identical pump on the new tank ( then would the gravel and plant bacteria be enough for the old tank to deal with a new filter cartridge? I didn't see as much info on this at any rate and I wuz chicken. ... and not in a hurry). The established tank is a 15, the new one 36 and it didn't seem that partial media from the little one would be enough to jump right in to stocking the new one even if I did want to.
However, I do plan to taking one of these filters directly over to tank three in November, provided everything is healthy,(and putting a new one of two on the 36) now that people have told me that it will work. That tank is a birthday present and will be limited to easy, readily available fish, and once it is here someone will be twitching to stock it super fast!