Starting my comunity tank

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Starting my comunity tank

Postby greenhorn » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:15 pm

Hi all, New member here just starting a comunity tank. I did have a go as a teenager at keping tropical fish (many moons ago :) ) Though i suppose thinking back my dad did most of the work and i just watched them swim round. Anyway I've got kids of my own now so we've decided that its my turn to do all the work and for my kids to watch them swim lol.
I'm really looking forward to the venture lying ahead. I managed to pick up some used equipment last week - basically all I need to get started (except fish of course).
I have a 110 ltr tank which i cleaned last week along with filter (submersable in tank sort) air pump etc. I did get the Tank filled last week and up to temp with a few plants added and also gravel. a few days later i decided to add some natural slate. afetr the first week my water was still a bit cloudy so I've drained it today and refilled it. I think that maybe i didnt wash the gravel enough before i put it in. It looks much better since i did it, but means I've got to wait another week to add my first fish.
Im sure i'll be asking lots of questions over the next few weeks, I have a couple of guide books but its always good to get other peoples views/experiences.

Here's a quick question - simple i know - Can i switch off the air pump at night and just leave the filter and heater on or is it best to run it all the time?

More questions to follow :roll: :D

Cheers
greenhorn
 
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Re: Starting my comunity tank

Postby Carylnz » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:08 pm

Hi and welcome. A few questions for you...
How did you clean the tank and what did you use?
Why are you waiting a week to add fish?
Have you read anything about cycling a tank? If not, I suggest you do before going further. Our main web pages have a lot of information. Look here for a start.
Why are you wanting to turn the airpump off at night? If the pump is noisy check the diaphragms. What it sits on also has an effect on how loud it is.
What is the airpump being used for?
If it is just to make pretty bubbles with an air diffuser or bubble wall, these are not necessary (although kids, and some adults, like them) and generally speaking it would be safe to turn it off at night but...
Do not use an air diffuser or bubble wall if you plan to inject CO2.
Keep one running if temps are high or you are having to medicate the tank. Higher temps and meds both lower oxygen content.
If you are heavily stocked it pays to have the additional O2.
My home forum is The NZ Fishroom http://www.fnzas.org.nz
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Re: Starting my comunity tank

Postby greenhorn » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:18 am

thanks for info, I cleaned the tank with just plain water and used a peice of clean towel to wipe the sides. Once i filled it i used some de-chlorinator from our local fish shop who told me to wait a week before adding my first fish. was told this was to allow the tank to settle and get to right temp etc. i have done a pH test on the water which is between 7 and 7.5.
I have read up on cycling and have been told that Golden or cherry barbs are a good starter fish (was told to get between 2 and 4 to start) and to also add some bacteria? at the same time to aid the process.
The air pump as far as im aware was just to add something to look at though it may help with temp of the water etc it isn't that noisy i just dont like leaving lots of electrical things running all the time. I'm happy to leave it on if essential. I do have live plants in will they give off O2? I do intend to keep as many fish as permitted for the tank size so will leave it running when i get more fish.
Cheers
greenhorn
 
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Re: Starting my comunity tank

Postby Gary fergusson » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:32 pm

Hi. I used pure ammonia to cycle my tank, which worked very well. Don't think it's right to use fish to cycle a tank. As said above there is lots of good info on fishless cycling on this website.
Good luck however you choose.
Gary
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Re: Starting my comunity tank

Postby Carylnz » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:48 pm

Cycling with fish is easy and not harmful to them if you follow the basic rule - add numbers of fish SLOWLY.
Adding 4 golden barbs to a tank that size is excellent advice. You could add 6 cherry barbs instead if you preferred. Both a good cycling fish, as are danios and harlequins. You then wait 1 month. No need to add bottled bacteria, save your money. If, after a month, all the fish are alive and well, repeat the process. Continue adding 4 - 6 fish each month (depending on their size) until the required stocking level has been reached. The bacteria in the filter will have time to grow and match the fishes' output without the ammonia and nitrites building to harmful levels.
An air pump is unnecessary so if you don't like added electrical things running then don't use it.
The live plants will help with the CO2 and O2.
My home forum is The NZ Fishroom http://www.fnzas.org.nz
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