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Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: So far...

  1. #1

    Default So far...

    0 Not allowed!
    After a lot of shopping around, I got combined 30% off in PetSmart and bought Marineland 55 gallons led kit. I read about fish-less cycling and I was ready to follow the procedure nicely described in this forum, but my children pushed me to take harder and longer option with fish. Sales people in PS encouraged me saying it's really common and it usually works out sooner or later. So I left the tank with de chlorinated water for only little more than 48 hours "working" without fish. Then I took my cloudy water sample to the store and they said that everything is perfect. So I got pair of Mollies, 4 Neons and two Cardinals. Again, people from PS told me it's fine because the water reading was perfect and the tank big enough for some tolerance. I was honestly expecting bad failure, but next day I woke up and water was much clearer and all fish healthy. Two days after that I added pair of Silver Dollars, some plants, changed circa 15% of water and added two more filter cartridges (penguin 350). Tank was clearer and clearer. I just tested water again today (sixth day) and everything is still perfect.
    I don't know is this ok and should I still worry. It seems everything worked out too fast or is it still too early to say.

    first_a_p by PhotoJax®, on Flickr

    second_a_p by PhotoJax®, on Flickr

    My stand is not finished yet and it looks a little rough, but it is very sturdy and it's attached to the studs in the wall for additional stability.

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    as described in "cycling" you can do it with or with out fish. without fish is more humane and dosnt take as long and from personal experience its not right now that you might see trouble it is in about a month. Please read about "cycling" in this forum and as much as you can on the web.
    You will find all of your answers on this site you just have to read read read
    good luck and wishes
    p.s. "Lady Hobbs" is an encyclopedia of information and your tank is cool
    60 gal with 2 tiger oscars
    29 gal with 4 hermit crabs

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I too am currently doing a cycle with fish (day 16) on a 75 gallon tank. I lost 4 TB's a few days in after everything seemed ok too. Do you have a test kit to test the water for ammonia, nitrates and nitrites? If not, go get one. WC weekly if not more often if ammonia gets high. Just keep an eye on things, no need to panic just yet or anything, but don't expect it to necessarily go perfect the entire cycle :-). Good luck! this site has some incredible sources here so ask plenty of questions, but definitely ready Lady Hobbs sticky on cycling with fish.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Ypsilanti, Michigan

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    0 Not allowed!
    are the plants you added live or fake? I ask because silver dollars will eat live plants. They may eat neons too, I'm not sure on that one...
    300 gallon mega tank: sailfin pleco, clown loaches, silver dollars, roseline sharks, congo tetras, new world cichlids
    125 gallon office tank: Africian cichlids, synodontis catfih
    75 gallon community tank: bolivian rams, black skirt tetras, dwarf neon rainbowfish, corys, harlequin rasboras, otos, bristlenose and bulldog plecos, assassin snails, various shrimp
    60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    I live just a 2-3 miles away from PetSmart and they test water for free. I am taking full advantage of it When I notice the PS people starting to hate me, I may buy one test kit and test myself.
    Yes, the plants are live. It looks it's pretty hard to combine things without any compromises. I was aware that semi-aggressive Dollars may eat Neons. The guy I know has them over 10 years. He said he got them very young in fully established tank and they never attacked any other fish. People from PS told me that it should be ok too if there is enough space and places to hide. I will just get another smaller tank for Neons and Cardinals if I see they are in trouble. For now it seems that Dollars are "quiet" in their corner and Neons all over the place day and night. Actually my Mollies, especially the male is sometimes chasing very small, tiny Dollars. They don't bite them, but maybe just act territorial or something.
    This is so cool. I am so glad I started with this and I hope I will be patient enough not to rush things too much. I just don't like the sight behind the tank and wonder if I should keep the back wall open as is and let the plants cover it or to put some kind of a background. I found SeaView BGs and mounting solution online but would really like to see it in person first. Some 3D look also kind of interesting, but they cost more than I want to spend.

    55 gal. freshwater,
    Penguin 350 Bio
    common natural gravel,
    natural plants
    cheesy background - will be removed when the tank is established
    4 Silver Dollars
    8 Tetras

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Just a few issues I noticed - first of all most people on this forum will recommend you NOT rely upon Petsmart to test your water - they use strips which are notoriously not reliable. The Petsmart near me told me that an ammonia level of up to 1.0ppm is OK - it is NOT (it should be 0 once your tank is cycled). Part of being a responsible, informed fishkeeper is maintaining certain water "parameters" which involves making sure your filter goes through the nitrogen cycle - this means your water will eventually show signs of ammonia, then nitrites & finally nitrates. Sustained ammonia and nitrite levels will harm your fish.

    You should really get a liquid testing kit (most of us use API freshwater) so you can keep on top of the readings yourself.

    I hope you are aware of the importance of changing your water regularly to keep your ammonia down to 0.25ppm during cycling with fish while your bacteria are building up. Hopefully your fish will weather the cycling process (neons tend to be sensitive). Lots of people come to this forum after following fish store advice and report their fish are "acting funny", are gasping at the surface, have red gills or begin dying because they aren't testing their water.

    From what I've read here, fish generally feel more secure if the back of the tank is covered - I found a nice poster background that was cut to size at Petsmart for my 46gal.

    Finally, tetras are fish that need school of 6+ each - so once your tank is cycled, it might be a good idea to add to what you've already got.

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    Wow that's really disappointing. I've noticed that PetSmart doesn't always give consistent advice and have more flexible rules for fish keeping, but that they actually measure water incorrectly is kind of shame. Thank you for pointing that out.
    I am going back to the store today
    I guess that very fast clearing up of my water, "perfect" test readings and fish acting happy made me believe that following the strict rules is not THAT critical. Seriously, I am going to get that liquid test kit and be more careful from now on.
    I am still not mad or something because those guys were always very friendly and I believe that if they give me "not entirely correct" info that they don't have personal experience and the most of them learned everything in store training.

    55 gal. freshwater,
    Penguin 350 Bio
    common natural gravel,
    natural plants
    cheesy background - will be removed when the tank is established
    4 Silver Dollars
    8 Tetras

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    I've met fish store employees who own their own tanks and will actually ask whether you've cycled your tank first, but most of the time, they are just there to sell you things. If the fish in the tank aren't producing enough ammonia yet to get a reading on a strip or if the reading is considered "safe" (to their standards), of course they'll tell you the water is fine because they want to sell you fish! I lucked out when I got my tank that the employee knew enough to recommend a liquid test kit because they're more accurate & you get more tests out of it in the long run.

    When I started my tank, I learned from several members here that ANY ammonia in a cycled tank is harmful to the fish - as Lady Hobbs said "how would the employee like to have an ammonia soaked rag over his/her face?"

    I was in a store where a woman was buying a 10gal starter kit and asked the employee about a certain fish she wanted to put in it. I interrupted (nicely) and told her if she put a fish into that tank right away it would probably die. I advised her to look up cycling a fish tank online before buying any fish. Fish stores know customers want to buy fish right away - however, most people are upset when their fish die and wonder what they did wrong.

    Yes, there is no need to be upset with the store - it's just very important to ask questions first - that's why there are so many categories on this forum and people here with years of experience.
    Last edited by Imma24; 06-15-2011 at 03:47 PM.

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    there is a good new sticky about what NOT to expect from the LFS. Lots of opinions on the subject, but great topic and great discussion.

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 with Grangers about reading the sticky!

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