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Beginner trying to cycle first fish-only tank


Chris Bode
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Hi all

 

I am relatively new to the aquarium hobby.  Currently I have a 75 gallon tank with an aquatic turtle in it that I have managed to do great with, but turtles are heartier than fish and I didn't need to worry about cycling the water too much in the beginning

My question today deals with a new tank that I just started 9 days ago.  It is a 40g breeder and there is no fish in it yet as it is not cycled.

My setup is as follows:

-Crushed coral substrate

-2x sponge filter with fluval air pump (both had been used in previous tanks, but were not taken directly from one tank to another so IDK if they had any live bacteria when I started using them).

-fluval nano wave maker

-seachem tidal 55 filter with seachem matrix and fluval peat (to lower the PH because of the crushed coral substrate)

-6x aquarium co-op easy planters with some various java fern and amazon sword.

-A small piece of driftwood for lowering PH

-Fluval Plant light 3.0, 36 inch

Products I have used

-Seachem flourish tabs under each plant

-seachem flourish (realized later this may not be the best for the plants I am using)

-fluval plant care iron+

-aquavitro seed bacteria

-seachem prime for dichlorination

I have been adding pinches of fish food for around 4 or 5 days trying to get some ammonia in the water.  I have also taken a big lava rock and a few small live plants and easy planters from my other tank in an effort to speed up the cycling process.

My water readings currently are as follows: (taken using API master test kit)

Water temp: around 77

PH: Around 7.6

ammonia: Around .25 or .5 PPM

Nitrites and Nitrates: basically none yet.

I understand the basics of wanting to see a spike in ammonia and then some nitrites and nitrates, but none of my readings have moved in the past 3 or 4 days.  I am just wondering if I am doing something wrong or if I just need to be more patient.  My eventual goal for this tank is to have various types of guppies in it and I am getting a little impatient waiting for the tank to cycle.

A basic picture of the tank is attached.

 

204203129_347063546877086_4717939561993946516_n.jpg

Edited by Chris Bode
typos
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On 7/12/2021 at 4:45 PM, Patrick_G said:

I think you’re on the right track by adding some decorations from your turtle tank. I like to add some cycled media to the new filter and add a few fish, but not to many. The bacteria will multiply quickly and you should start to see Nitrates when you test. 

I have been thinking about taking some bio rings out of my canister filter on my other tank and swapping them with the new matrix media I have in the new filter.  Ill do that now.

When you suggest adding fish, how can I expect them to do if the tank is not cycled yet?  I have been leery about adding fish to an uncycled tank as I am inexperienced.  I don't want it to be a death sentence for the fish.

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On 7/12/2021 at 4:52 PM, Taco Playz said:

WELCOME TO THE FORUM! I agree with @Patrick_GYou should add fish slowly. I heard from someone else before to add the fish to your tank that you love the most. Hope your aquarium goes well!

Thank you.  Apparently I was under a false misconception that I should not add fish to a tank that was not cycled as they may die, but it sounds like doing so gradually is a good way to get it to cycle efficiently.

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On 7/12/2021 at 2:54 PM, Chris Bode said:

Thank you.  Apparently I was under a false misconception that I should not add fish to a tank that was not cycled as they may die, but it sounds like doing so gradually is a good way to get it to cycle efficiently.

I wouldn’t do it without the pre cycled media, but you have some so you should be ok. 

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Definitely swap out your cycled media if you can - my brother in law gave me a full tray of cycled media and a few plants and it basically instantly cycled my 29g tank...the plants/easy planters from your other tank will help with beneficial bacteria as well

I added 8 small Embers and then a week later added another 10...so far, the media is holding strong...hoping to add 9 CPDs next week and then another 9 the following week 🙂

I think you're on the right track, just make sure to take it slow, only add a couple of fish at first and monitor your levels closely

Good luck!! The tank looks really nice!

 

PS - make sure you are testing the Nitrates correctly, I managed to do it wrong two different ways, and never saw any nitrates (false reading) thanks to the forum, I was finally corrected and instantly saw nitrates after that 😐 

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