Cycle complete, tank 90% stocked
First off, thanks to Lady, bemgelado, Northern Guy, Skip, Ticklemekevin, Sandz, Cermet, fishn00b, fishlessintx, rich311k, Cliff, funkman262, Jaded Grunt, rtbob, and anyone else I missed who helped me along the way.
After 31-32 days, my fishless cycle completed. Day 32 I removed the carbon bag and loaded another bag of biomax on top of the old one, added some Seachem Flourish Tabs to my tank, as well as several bunches of anacharis. It looked and grew great (like a weed like the wisteria) but you'll see what the fish did to it when you see the pics below. By day 39, pH was 7.6, ammonia would drop to 0 24 hours after dosing it, nitrItes have stayed at 0 for over a week, and trAtes were up to 80. I did 50-60% WC three days consecutively. Each time, there was no cloudiness; I'll take that as a good sign. Anywho, the last WC took the trAtes down to 0-5 and I lowered the temp to mid to upper 70s.
Day 41 (two days ago) I went and got 21 Serpae Tetra (still haven't settled on what SMALL bottom feeders to get, advice and input is appreciated). Put them in a bucket with bagged water from LFS, waited 5 minutes, added tank water to half the volume of what was in there, waited 15 minutes, then added tank water was greater or equal to volume of LFS water. Netted them out on by one, put them in, and lights off for the night. They responded well to flake food the next morning (yesterday) and pellet food at night. Ate VERY well this morning, almost frenzy like that I've read about on-line.
The fish decided to do some redecorating with the anacharis. It was all in one corner of the tank, they've sinced wrapped it around the babmoo, wisteria, and anubis. It is downright hilarious to watch one take off with a piece in their mouth. Since it's spread out, the waife said she didn't like how it looked until she saw the fish playing in it. It's neat with the current the AC70 creates, they are always moving against the flow even when being "stationary." You'll see how they get spooked when I got the camera out and all huddled in the darkest part of the tank. When we are just on the couch, even if the kids are standing right next to the aquarium, the school breaks up and they are darting in every which direction. I'm excited to learn their habits and watch them grow.
I've been testing the water daily since adding them, and will do so for a week to curb my parania. Then it's weekly 50% WC, I've got it down to a 15-20 minute art. I'm hoping to pick the right bottom feeder for algae and poo patrol, since I don't want to vac the sand to much and disturb the roots and floating plants. Again, any input on what SMALL bottom feeder (yoyos, bn plecos, etc) you think would work well, please chime in.
Again, thanks to all who helped me on the cycling journey and all the friendly staff and members.
So here's my amateur photos on our 5 yr old digital camera, I apologize for crappy quality -
27 US gal (20 in w X 20 in h x 18in d)-
Sand, heavily planted with Water Wisteria and Red Ludwigia.
One large piece of driftwood and some artificial caves.
2 female GBR
10 Bloodfin Tetra
Congratulations of your newly stocked tank. Just keep an eye on it for ammonia spikes. Tank looks good and I like it where it is now, too.
Question, is adding 21 tetra a bit much. i keep reading to stock slowly. Im afraid to add 10 neon tetras let alone 21. I have an established 55 gal. current stock is 2 gouramis, 3 neon tetras, 3 spotted corys, 1 pleco, and 1 betta. I want about 12 neons and was going to get another 3 Friday. if I could get them all in one shoot would be great. I also hae and aquatech 30/60 and rena xp1 for filtration. I do 50% wc weekly.
stocking slowly isnt nearly as necessary if you are using a no fish cycle with ammonia, you can just overdose the ammonia a bit toward the end to give yourself a bacteria cushion. THen you can add fish all at once (while still monitoring your chemistry)
+1 And be prepared to do a water change if you do see an ammonia spike.
Originally Posted by Lady Hobbs
When in doubt, do a water change.
"This ain't rocket science!"
I've got six 5 gal buckets, three to empty with, and three to fill with. The three to fill with are filled up with conditioner and water in the laundry room ready to go in case a WC is needed. This is just during my paranoid streak here. I'm looking into a "python" so I don't have to lug buckets around and set them on a table higher than the tank to siphon water back in. Don't like the idea of leaning a bucket against the tank while I fill it so I don't go to fast and disturb anything.
Originally Posted by fishnewbie1
I'll keep you all posted!
Congratulations on the tank!
6 days of keeping fish so far.
First two days, we tried feeding flakes in am and pellets in evening. Fish didn't finish food, but it was always gone by morning. Water got a little cloudy, I'm assuming from over feeding. Day 3 we tried feeding once daily with flakes, and then once with pellets day 4; both times, a little was left on the bottom, but again always gone by morning. Day five we tried soaking the pellets in a little tank water for an hour or so. I picked them out of the tupper ware and dropped them in, and they ate like I've never seen. Today was the same result with the flakes. Both times, they found and ate all the food in under five minutes (that I could keep track of with my eyes). They were scavenging the sand and digging around, picking at the flakes the got caught in the wisteria and anacharis, and checking the surface for extras.
A few females have taken up residence in the two fake caves, and a couple more chill out at the base of the bamboo and wisteria, and some hang around the anacharis bunched up in the anubis. The males run the rest of the tank. Their color and markings have changed (improved IMO) to different shades of red on the males and females, and the fins are terribly bright.
The water parameters have been 76 - 78 degrees F, pH 7.6 all week, Ammonia 0-0.25 all week - it's HARD to distinguish between the 0 and 0.25, and it still tests the same shade as tap water, fresh bottled water, and dechlorinated water, nitrItes constant 0, and nitrAtes were still at 5 which is where they were before I added the fish. This morning I did a 50% WC and lightly vacuumed the gravel. I'm going to wait a month or so after the addition of fish before I rinse my sponge the first time. A bit of a bacteria bloom is happening now, but it has always cleared up after WC on its own, and it is still not as cloudy as the first few days when we were overfeeding them.
Since the school does such a good job scavenging the floor and plants for extra food, I'm questioning whether we're even going to add bottom dwellers. We'll give it a month and see how the aquarium is fairing. There's a bit of brownish dark algae forming on the anubis plant leaves, but nothing dramatic. Still can't decided between some cory cats, loaches or otos; no need or space for a pleco in this tank.
Those are diatoms. Nothing new in recently set up tanks and it will go away in a couple months. PAIN in the neck when it gets on plants, tho. I just cleaned the inside glass with paper towel each week and rubbed off of the plants what I could. I had a terrible problem using sand because I have high phosphates naturally so had to get rid of the sand.
Feed your fish just a bit each morning and each evening. What they can eat within 3 minutes or so only.