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Cycling an Aquarium.

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Comments



  • Ammonia if you can get it, otherwise just fish food that'll rot and produce it




  • Hi all long time reader 1st time poster I have recently took the plunge and bought a Juwel Rekord 600 Tank 2hich is 63L , so if you would not mind trying to help with a couple of questions with regards the cycling process

    firstly I live in a hardwater area does this make any difference
    some website say you should start with adding fish from beginning like Tiger Barbs etc but other say to not add fish my question is which is the best way.

    What chemicals should I look at picking up and also is their any fish I should stay away from as a beginner , any feedback on the tank would also be appreciated




  • I wouldn't cycle with fish, as they will experience quite a bit of stress when the ammonia starts to bruild up and they may well die. I cycle my tanks by feeding the empty tank a pinch of fish food a day. Some people use pure ammonia, but I tend to go for the less fussy option.

    You will need to buy dechlorinator for your water, and a test kit so you can check your water parameters (if you experience any problems the first question you'll be asked is what your parameters are). You want Ammonia at 0, Nitrites at 0, and Nitrates below 20*. Get the test kit with test tubes, not the strips that you dip in the water. You can buy dechloriantor and test kits on Ebay cheaply.

    I know that some fish need different water hardnesses, but I don't know any specifics. If you know exactly how hard your water is most fish info sites give that information for various species.

    What fish you start with really depends on where you are, what you can get, and what you like. I find that aqadvisor.com is good for working out what fish are suitable for tanks. At 63L you're not going to be able to fit in any big fish. You best bet might be a school of tetras and some dwarf gouramis, but get browsing info sites; there are some fantastic fish out there.

    *I hope I haven't gotten nI and nA mixed up again...




  • firstly I live in a hardwater area does this make any difference

    Most fish can happily live in different water types once the water parameters are consistent. Big swings in PH will shock fish and could result in deaths.In saying that, different fish will do better in different types of water. African cichlids would thrive in your water so maybe consider those. I keep them myself and they're great fish to keep.
    some website say you should start with adding fish from beginning like Tiger Barbs etc but other say to not add fish my question is which is the best way.

    This is a contentious issue. I have always used fish to cycle my aquariums and never lost a fish doing so but I understand why people do a fishless cycle. A tank of your size would only need one fish, like a tiger barb. Keep tabs on the ammonia levels and keep it down by doing water changes.
    What chemicals should I look at picking up and also is their any fish I should stay away from as a beginner , any feedback on the tank would also be appreciated

    You will need to get yourself some test kits, these are vital to fish keeping. You'll need a test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH and depending on what type of fish you choose to keep you might need to test for GH and KH, those are basically water hardness tests.




  • Ok here goes, as a complete novice 5 weeks ago, with the help of this board and other web references, this is how I got my Juwel Rekord 600 stocked with 5 fish 4 weeks ago, and touch wood no loss of life yet.

    I cycled my tank for a week before putting fish into it. For the fishless cycle I used Nutrafin Cycle over a 4 day period, and fed the empty tank with a few flakes of food. I also treated the tap water with Nutrafin Aqua Plus.

    Here I am with 3 Danio's & 2 Guppies all happy and content. Measure my ammonia levels every 2 days with a liquid test kit, and test the other water parameters with a Tetra Test Stick. I've seen Ammonia & Nitrite spikes as a cycling tank should produce. I also added an Airstone to help oxygenate the water. Currently Ammonia is 0, Nitrite 0.

    Just my two cents worth and best of luck.


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  • Thanks for all the feedback guys think I will go with TommyHs suggestion and start with a fishless cycle and pick up the test kits etc,
    One final question I plan to stock the tank with small size fish like tetras etc but my question is how many fish should I look at eventually having in the tank




  • As I say I am a complete noob too, but that's what worked for me. I'm open to criticism to the more experienced Aquarium keepers.




  • tommyh1977 wrote: »
    As I say I am a complete noob too, but that's what worked for me. I'm open to criticism to the more experienced Aquarium keepers.


    cheers tommy went with your suggestion as you have the same tank as me and it seems to have worked for you , would love to see a pic of your tank to get a idea how yours looks with fish in etc if it is not too big a ask




  • also bear in mind that it's going to end up costing you more than you think it will and it can become very addictive. :)

    before you know it, you'll have 3 or 4 different tanks and a bunch of mad looking fish and you'll be wondering where all your money went, but not nearly as much as your mrs will! :D




  • vibe666 wrote: »
    also bear in mind that it's going to end up costing you more than you think it will and it can become very addictive. :)

    before you know it, you'll have 3 or 4 different tanks and a bunch of mad looking fish and you'll be wondering where all your money went, but not nearly as much as your mrs will! :D


    Ya i'm waiting patiently for my tank to fully cycle to add another fish or two. Any suggestion's on a breed that would work with my guppies & danios? My small fella want's a fighting fish:eek:


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  • vibe666 wrote: »
    also bear in mind that it's going to end up costing you more than you think it will and it can become very addictive. :)

    before you know it, you'll have 3 or 4 different tanks and a bunch of mad looking fish and you'll be wondering where all your money went, but not nearly as much as your mrs will! :D


    Dont know about that if I was to get more then 1 tank I think the Mrs would use me as the fish food




  • tommyh1977 wrote: »

    Ya i'm waiting patiently for my tank to fully cycle to add another fish or two. Any suggestion's on a breed that would work with my guppies & danios? My small fella want's a fighting fish:eek:
    I love my fighter, he's a sweetie. I wouldn't trust him with anythinwith big fins though, as he'll attack them, and tetras tend to hip his fins, so he's all alone for the time being.

    Maybe look into Dwarf gouramis. They're a nice looking fish. I don't know what they'd be like with guppies though




  • I suspect one of my Dwarf Gourami's of killing a few tank-mates. There's no other obvious cause of death and while I've never witnessed a killing, he's the only one I've seen any level of aggression from.




  • campo wrote: »
    Dont know about that if I was to get more then 1 tank I think the Mrs would use me as the fish food

    I use the 'What tank? That tank? That was always there, are you feeling okay?' defence.




  • Quick question regards when you put the water 1st in the tank should the water be warm or just direct cold water from tap the reason I ask is I have been cycling it now for 4 days and the water is still pretty cold plus the water looks far from clear as the fish food seems to be resting at the bottom of the tank .

    I know I am going wrong somewhere not sure of the heater is not working or if the filter is not working but I just seem to be going backwards




  • you need an in-tank thermometer (either analogue or digital, stuck inside on the glass) to be able to tell exactly what the temperature is, as without that you'll have no idea if it's at the correct temp or not.

    ideally, you'll want around 26-28 degrees celcius for a tropical community tank.

    depending on the size of the tank though, i'd be surprised if it wasn't up to the correct temp after 4 days assuming you have the right sized heater in it.




  • Depending on the temperature of your house, it can be quite difficult to measure temperature by putting your hand in too. I've often gotten in a panic that the heater isn't working because the water feels colder than it should when it's just been a case that the air temperature was warmer in that room than it usually would be!




  • vibe666 wrote: »
    you need an in-tank thermometer (either analogue or digital, stuck inside on the glass) to be able to tell exactly what the temperature is, as without that you'll have no idea if it's at the correct temp or not.

    ideally, you'll want around 26-28 degrees celcius for a tropical community tank.

    depending on the size of the tank though, i'd be surprised if it wasn't up to the correct temp after 4 days assuming you have the right sized heater in it.


    Using the heater that came with that tank set at 26 degrees but water still seems cold ( im only going bu putting my finger in water but I would have thought it would need to be luke warm at least ), tank size is 63L




  • campo wrote: »
    Using the heater that came with that tank set at 26 degrees but water still seems cold ( im only going bu putting my finger in water but I would have thought it would need to be luke warm at least ), tank size is 63L

    You'd be surprised how cold 26 degrees feels. Get a thermometer. They're only a couple of euro.




  • campo wrote: »
    Using the heater that came with that tank set at 26 degrees but water still seems cold ( im only going bu putting my finger in water but I would have thought it would need to be luke warm at least ), tank size is 63L

    I have yet to see an accurate heater thermostat, they never work. A little in-tank thermometer is less than a fiver.


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  • I have yet to see an accurate heater thermostat, they never work. A little in-tank thermometer is less than a fiver.


    back to the pet shop I go and can I ask regards the food resting on the bottom of the tank is this normal I thought by now this would be broken up and gone through filter process .

    I have also tried to test the water but I am doing something wrong here also I have the test tube test kit but when I add the solution it changes colour alright but not a colour that is on the card so have no idea what my Nitrate levels are etc....




  • campo wrote: »
    back to the pet shop I go and can I ask regards the food resting on the bottom of the tank is this normal I thought by now this would be broken up and gone through filter process .

    I have also tried to test the water but I am doing something wrong here also I have the test tube test kit but when I add the solution it changes colour alright but not a colour that is on the card so have no idea what my Nitrate levels are etc....

    Four days does seem a little long to be still sitting there without breaking up. Is there enough water circulation in the tank? and what type of filter do you have?

    With test kits you need to follow the instructions to the letter or else the results will be wrong.




  • Four days does seem a little long to be still sitting there without breaking up. Is there enough water circulation in the tank? and what type of filter do you have?

    With test kits you need to follow the instructions to the letter or else the results will be wrong.


    Thanks for all the help Fred will have to find out the make and model of Filter but regards walter circulation to me it does not look like there is enough as filter is very loud but I dont see much water circulating ,

    Will report back later with make and model etc




  • ok so after attempting to cycle tank for a week with not much look I decided to bring a sample of my water to my local pet shop ( underwater world in Limerick ) who are great, the guy in there Kevin tested my water and results were below

    Amonia 0
    Nitrate 0
    Nitrite 50

    But here was the kicker he asked me if I lived in a hardwater area and when I said I did he told me this is going to be a problem because basically the hardwater in my tap is off the scales when he tested it so I would have to fill my tank with different water, he was good enough to supply me with 60l of water so I can re-cycle my tank

    Also bought some

    Nutrafin Cycle and Aqua plus along with Prime so hopefully in next couple of weeks I can start to add some fish




  • campo wrote: »
    But here was the kicker he asked me if I lived in a hardwater area and when I said I did he told me this is going to be a problem because basically the hardwater in my tap is off the scales when he tested it so I would have to fill my tank with different water

    Thats poor advice. There's plenty of products that soften water without the need for replacing it. The most obvious one being peat in the filter.




  • campo wrote: »
    ok so after attempting to cycle tank for a week with not much look I decided to bring a sample of my water to my local pet shop ( underwater world in Limerick ) who are great, the guy in there Kevin tested my water and results were below

    Amonia 0
    Nitrate 0
    Nitrite 50

    But here was the kicker he asked me if I lived in a hardwater area and when I said I did he told me this is going to be a problem because basically the hardwater in my tap is off the scales when he tested it so I would have to fill my tank with different water, he was good enough to supply me with 60l of water so I can re-cycle my tank

    Also bought some

    Nutrafin Cycle and Aqua plus along with Prime so hopefully in next couple of weeks I can start to add some fish

    I'm confused. Your water hardness shouldn't make a difference to your tanks cycling process. Could he of meant that the fish you wanted to keep required softer water?




  • maybe so I did mention that I was looking to keep tropical fish like

    Neon Tetra
    Tiger Barb
    Gourami
    Clown loach
    Pleco

    thats what I am eventually looking at keeping in my tank




  • If your water is very hard then those fish aren't really suited to those conditions and trying to soften the water might be a bit much of an ongoing effort.

    Have you looked at any African cichlids? They would thrive in your water conditions.




  • If your water is very hard then those fish aren't really suited to those conditions and trying to soften the water might be a bit much of an ongoing effort.

    Have you looked at any African cichlids? They would thrive in your water conditions.


    Looked at them thought they were a bit ugly been honest not too bothered about the water just means when I go and visit friends and family in City to bring a container for water


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  • Also, dont put fish food in the tank as it will rot and effect your levels.
    Wait until you have fish.

    WHat is your Ph level?

    After about 2 weeks of cycling, start with the tetras, they are hardy fish.
    Leave them for a week or 2 before adding anymore fish, as the filter needs time to build up bacteria. Add fish slowly after that, maybe 1 or 2 per 10 days to be safe. Better be safe than over loading to soon, which can affect your amonia and Nitrite levels and cause a problem... You can use filter boost to help cycle the tank.


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