Any experts willing to help a complete novice get started?

New to fishkeeping? This is the place to find out whatever you need to know!

Any experts willing to help a complete novice get started?

Postby hannibal1987 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:20 pm

I recently set up my first aquarium (which was a gift) and tried to read as much as i can find on setting up, I don't know anyone else who keeps tropical fish and I wanted a few pointers before adding my fish, it's bit long winded, but I am a complete novice and I don't want to kill my fish:

A. My tank has been filled with water, A few items came with the tank 1. Nutrafin aquaplus tap water conditioner, i have put a dose of this in, am I right in assuming I need to put a dose of this in every time I make 10-20% partial water change (once a week)? 2. Nutrafin cycle, which will make the tank ready in 48 hours, when I have read around it would appear I am better off leaving this and letting the tank develop for 3 weeks without it before adding my fish?

B. Is there anything else I should add before adding the fish? I am going to purchase a nutrafin tester kit tomorrow, is this a decent product? there's something else in the shop called nutrafin waste control, is this a product worth having? I will also purchase a algae scraper and a digital thermometer as the stick on thermometer which came with the tank is hard to read and apparently not very accurate.

C. I am going to get 4-5 neon tettra's first then leave them on their own for around a month. At some point I was looking at adding a redtailed black shark, from what I can gather you can put one of these with the tettras, barbs seem to be fish that websites mention can go with the redtails. Can anyone give me any suggestions for which fish would go with neon tettra's and when to add them? from what I can gather the tettras and the redtail are bottom dwellers and I should look into getting some fish that swim round the mid and top levels of the tank.

D. The tank is a 95 litre tank, most people seem to say this tank should stock 15-30 fish, is this accurate?

E.This may seem like a stupid one, but when you perform your partial water change every week with a gravel syphon, you don't need to remove the fish do you? Also, when I put the tap water into a bucket to top the tank up, should I add the dose of aquaplus whilst the water is still in the bucket or after adding the water?

F. the filter that came with my tank is a little noisy for my liking, I am looking into purchasing a Fluval 206 external filter, if and when i get this can I simply switch the filters without doing anything else to the tank?

Thankyou for any help knowledgeable tropical fish enthusiasts can provide this novice.
hannibal1987
Member
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:28 pm

Re: Any experts willing to help a complete novice get starte

Postby san-ho-zay » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:52 pm

hannibal1987 wrote:A. My tank has been filled with water, A few items came with the tank 1. Nutrafin aquaplus tap water conditioner, i have put a dose of this in, am I right in assuming I need to put a dose of this in every time I make 10-20% partial water change (once a week)? 2. Nutrafin cycle, which will make the tank ready in 48 hours, when I have read around it would appear I am better off leaving this and letting the tank develop for 3 weeks without it before adding my fish?

Yes, you need to treat the water you add to remove the chlorine in tap water. So if you have a 10 litre bucket add the required amount for 10 litres to each bucket.

The tank will not cycle without ammonia from fish or added directly. The three weeks would do nothing. Nutrafin Cycle will not make the tank completely ready in 48 hours. It still needs to cycle.

B. Is there anything else I should add before adding the fish? I am going to purchase a nutrafin tester kit tomorrow, is this a decent product? there's something else in the shop called nutrafin waste control, is this a product worth having? I will also purchase a algae scraper and a digital thermometer as the stick on thermometer which came with the tank is hard to read and apparently not very accurate.

Nutrafin kits are fine. Ammonia and nitrite are the most useful during cycling.

Waste control not required. Algae scrapers are good. I use the Tetra bladed one, cheap non-bacterial non-scratch washing up sponges and a cheap toothbrush. Digital or liquid thermometer is good.

C. I am going to get 4-5 neon tettra's first then leave them on their own for around a month. At some point I was looking at adding a redtailed black shark, from what I can gather you can put one of these with the tettras, barbs seem to be fish that websites mention can go with the redtails. Can anyone give me any suggestions for which fish would go with neon tettra's and when to add them? from what I can gather the tettras and the redtail are bottom dwellers and I should look into getting some fish that swim round the mid and top levels of the tank.

Neon tetras go well with neon tetras ;) 4-5 keeps them happy but 10-12 looks better.

Don't know about the RTBS. Always sound like trouble to me. They need space for territories.

Adding fish depends on progress of cycling, which you monitor with the test kits.

D. The tank is a 95 litre tank, most people seem to say this tank should stock 15-30 fish, is this accurate?

Depends on length x width of tank and adult size of fish. What does the tank measure?

E.This may seem like a stupid one, but when you perform your partial water change every week with a gravel syphon, you don't need to remove the fish do you? Also, when I put the tap water into a bucket to top the tank up, should I add the dose of aquaplus whilst the water is still in the bucket or after adding the water?

No, you can leave them in. They usually like it when you add the water back, especially if you can make it "rain".

Easiest to dechlorinate the water in the bucket for me.

F. the filter that came with my tank is a little noisy for my liking, I am looking into purchasing a Fluval 206 external filter, if and when i get this can I simply switch the filters without doing anything else to the tank?

If there are no fish in, it makes no difference. You'll have no bacteria to lose.
Richard
User avatar
san-ho-zay
Member
 
Posts: 3383
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:12 am
Location: Bury, UK

Re: Any experts willing to help a complete novice get starte

Postby hannibal1987 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:00 pm

Yes, you need to treat the water you add to remove the chlorine in tap water. So if you have a 10 litre bucket add the required amount for 10 litres to each bucket.

The tank will not cycle without ammonia from fish or added directly. The three weeks would do nothing. Nutrafin Cycle will not make the tank completely ready in 48 hours. It still needs to cycle.


thankyou for your response, I am trying to get as much info as possible. I have treated the water with Nutrafin aquaplus which says on the bottle removes chlorine and chloramine as well as heavy metals. on the nutrafin cycle it says "powerful and responsive ammonia and nitrate elimination", but from reading on other forums a lot of people were suggesting not to use this, but to just leave the tank with the filter running for 2-3 weeks, let bacteria develop naturally, and then add a couple of 'hardy fish'. Most people seem to be suggesting that the Nutrafin cycle was pointless and costly. Is this wrong?
hannibal1987
Member
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:28 pm

Re: Any experts willing to help a complete novice get starte

Postby san-ho-zay » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:19 pm

The idea is that the Cycle contains a type of bacteria that converts ammonia into nitrite and another bacteria that converts nitrite into nitrate. But without food in the shape of ammonia, any bacteria that are present just die. Results with these cycling products are variable but without ammonia from fish or directly added, they are a waste.

If you add fish and then the Cycle it has at least a chance of working. The Cycle on its own for three weeks won't help. The most reliable source of live bacteria is a fresh squeeze of dirty water from a mature filter but even then you need ammonia to feed the bacteria.
Richard
User avatar
san-ho-zay
Member
 
Posts: 3383
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:12 am
Location: Bury, UK

Re: Any experts willing to help a complete novice get starte

Postby hannibal1987 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:44 pm

One of the websites i read suggested if you want to use the 2-3 weeks natural cycle to add some fish flakes for the bacteria to feed on, I forgot to mention I did this 3 days ago, I need to get my test kit tomorrow in order to check the levels are below 3ppm i think. the other method I haven't tried is this:

Fishless Cycling – Ammonia method
For this you’re going to need a bottle of household ammonia from the supermarket or chemist, a syringe, a calculator and a test kit for testing ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. (Test kits are an essential part of fishkeeping. It’s the only way you can be sure what’s going on in your tank.)

Household ammonia is typically 10% ammonia, the quantities used in the calculator are based on this. Commonly added amounts to the tank are between 2ppm and 5ppm (parts per million). We recommend 3ppm as a good level so all following instructions are based around using 3ppm.

1) First you need to know how many litres of water are in your tank. This is easy – measure the height, width and length in centimetres and multiply those figures together and then divide by 1000 (or use the calculator on the right). For example a tank measuring 100cm by 50cm by 30cm would hold 150 litres. If you have a lot of substrate and décor in your tank you need to take 10-20% off your calculated figure to allow for this.
2) Use the ammonia calculator at the bottom of the page to work out the amount of ammonia in millilitres (ml) to introduce and add it to the tank.
3) The following day use the ammonia test kit to measure the ammonia in the tank.If it’s below 3ppm (parts per million) use the ammonia calculator below to calculate how much ammonia to add to bring the level back to 3ppm. It may take several days before you see a significant drop.
4) Repeat step 3 every day. This process is to start the cycle off (the initial bacterial growth) and keep the bacteria alive by feeding them ammonia at the correct concentrations in the tank water.
5) After about a week you can start to test for nitrite in the water. Ammonia is converted to Nitrite in the first part of the cycle so when you can detect it, it means the cycle has started.
6) Continue testing for ammonia every day. Whenever it drops below 3ppm add enough ammonia to bring the level back up to 3ppm using the calculator to obtain the correct dose. Also test for nitrite every other day. You should see nitrite rise and then start falling after a few weeks.
7) Start testing for Nitrate after a few weeks. Nitrate is the last part of the process where the bacteria convert the nitrite to nitrate. When the test kit starts showing a fall in the nitrites you should see a rise in the nitrates.

Does this sound right?
hannibal1987
Member
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:28 pm

Re: Any experts willing to help a complete novice get starte

Postby san-ho-zay » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:07 pm

If you've added fish food, that will produce ammonia and help cycle the tank.

Fishless cycling with ammonia is a bit more controllable than fish food and I've done that a couple of times (plus helped a few online ones). I'd suggest some adjustments to the recipe you quoted if you want to go down that route. It adds too much ammonia in my experience and relies a lot on the accuracy of the test kit.

Fishless cycling doesn't suit everybody. It needs patience and a willingness to correct it if it goes astray.
Richard
User avatar
san-ho-zay
Member
 
Posts: 3383
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:12 am
Location: Bury, UK


Return to Beginners

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron