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Discussion in 'Fish and Aquarium - all types' started by kb3mgr, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. kb3mgr

    kb3mgr New Member

    I would greatly appreciate any concerns or suggestions.

    Two days ago I purchased a 5 gallon (hexagonal) aquarium. The filter is incorporated into the hood of the tank, pumping water over a blue mesh filter laced with charcoal, then that water rolls a bio-wheel.

    The tank has been running for 48 hours and I have a heater rated for 2 to 5 gallon tanks. The temperature has held steady at about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

    I would like to begin cycling the tank with 5 to 7 Neon Tetras. I figure I'll start out with 5 until the tank is properly cycled. Since this is a heavy load to introduce to an uncycled aquarium, I intend on doing a 15 - 20% water change every day or every other day depending on ammonia levels.

    I have approx. 3 inches of tan gravel at the bottom of the tank. I strained the gravel beforehand to prevent any extra dust and particles.

    The tank has many (also cleaned) artificial silk plants to provide ample cover.

    Concerns:

    Charcoal laced filter - Will this eliminate too much ammonia to allow beneficial bacteria to grow? I'm also worried that it will leach toxins back into my tank once it has reached capacity.

    Fish Load - The end goal of this tank is to have only Neon Tetras (7). Are these fish appropriate for cycling a tank, if not would Guppies be a good substitute?

    Water Change - From what I've read and past experience, during the cycling phase frequent water changes should be performed. Is a 15 - 20% water change every other day too much or too little?

    Temperature: I have also read that Neon Tetras prefer a slightly cooler temperature, between 72 - 78 degrees Fahrenheit. As previously stated, the tank is currently 80F. Should I turn off the heater or will they adapt to this slightly higher then recommended temperature?

    Thank you to anyone who can help me with this!

    73's

    -KB3MGR
     
  2. HDrydr

    HDrydr New Member

    In my opinion it is too early to introduce fish into your tank the biological filter has not had enough time to establish. Why not let it run and get going before you put fish into it you may just end up returning d..d fish..... You can get water test strips to check the water balance.... sounds like your trying to rush into this tank.....
     
  3. kb3mgr

    kb3mgr New Member

    Update: (04 - 22 - 2008)

    Thanks to everyone who provided me with advice! It made a world of difference.

    I let the tank sit for another day, giving it 72 hours total to run and let everything balance out.

    I purchased 4 Zebra Danios and after allowing them to float at the top of the tank in their bag, I placed them in the tank. They seemed to appreciate the heavy planting and for the first day all they did was hide and dart around the plants. I intend to keep them, I don't think it is fair to use them to cycle the tank and then just get rid of them. Plus, they're very pretty fish.

    So far the tank has remained crystal clear, the filter cartridge has a little bit of dirt on the surface, from the food is my guess. There is no oder in the room or when I smell the surface of the water. I still need to purchase a full scale test kit for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, and PH.

    Every day or so I remove 10% of the water and replace it with spring water. I brought one of my samples to the pet store and they said that the ammonia is building up but there is also a small amount of Nitrites so that's good.

    In other news -

    I purchased a Betta fish and currently have him in a 1 gallon tank with an under gravel filter. This is not his permanent home, I'm using it as a quarantine tank since he's from Walmart and... I don't trust them.

    The Bettas final home will be the newest 5 gallon I purchased. This tank I'm going to do a fishless cycle, adding small amounts of ammonia. Perhaps if I tank my time, have a little patience, he will be much happier in the long run! I wasn't going to buy any more tanks, but seeing that poor beautiful Betta laying in a Dixie sized cup with cloudy water broke my heart.

    As always, any input is appreciated!

    73's

    -KB3MGR
     

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