I did fish-in when I started too but because I didn't know about fishless cycling. My filter totally matured in around 6-8 weeks and it was hard work until then with all the water changes and taking corpses out with the net
Once you've got a mature filter though it'll be much easier, depending on the size of it, to start another tank because you'll have mature media to start with.
Keep at it, it's hard work to begin with and you'll get through a lot of "tap safe" type stuff (buy a litre of it online for not-much-more than 100ml in a pet shop) so make sure you don't run out of that and it'll be worth it in the end.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed a small white growth on one of my neons' mouth on its bottom lip. I gave a course of Esha 2000 but the growth hasn't gone and it's got bigger, it's white and about the size of a pin head now but a few days ago I noticed the fish was swimming a bit funny and was trying to keep itself vertical with a couple of flicks of the tail. Now it's constantly swimming vertically, it'll swim to around 1/3 of the way to the top of the tank and then come back down again and then swim back up. It does this with no let-up and is a long way from the others which just sit a few inches from the bottom and hardly move.
The thing is I don't know if I should euthenase it. In every other way the fish seems healthy and is far more active than the others but I don't want it to be so active that it ends up wearing itself out and I hae to euthenase it anyway because it won't leave the bottom of the gravel.
Any ideas? It does seem healthy but it has the lip blob and it is swimming in a very funny manner. I left it a few days but it's not getting any better.
Thanks, Fishlady, Very reassuring that the remaining few will be happier having had all their lives in the same tank with no major changes in all that time. In fact, they're so chilled they hardly move, the seem to be happy amongst the plants and always have been so thanks for that
Violet, I live in London and as you may know the water's like granite down here but I keep the temperature within their boundaries. I have about 8 glowlights left and around 10 neons. I have a few other small fish but I'm really trying to get my stock level down as I'm thinking I'd like to try another type of species. Not 100% sure which yet though.
Right now I'm thinking cichlids, killifish or puffers but each have their own advantages/disadvantages.
Amongst other things, I've had about a dozen Glowlight tetras for a couple of years and one-by-one they're slowly dying off; I've probably lost five in the last couple of months. All water stats are good and my other fish are all in good health and I'm putting the tetras down to old age.
Thing is, what do you do when there are only four or three or two or one left? I don't want any more but only having a very small amount may stress the ones that are left and I don't want to give them to a LFS because of their age and I don't really want to euthanase them because the remaining few are healthy.
Right then. What I'm going to do is give my EF a clean tomorrow, put the bio-balls back but take out an old piece of foam (there's a few bit of odd-and-misshapen pieces in there)as well as the new piece, cut the new piece in half and use an old piece for the other half so that I'll have a good basis to start with with cleaning the water. Then once it's been running for a couple of months I can put the other half of the new piece in.
Yes, it's just snails and a bit of java fern on some bog wood.
Thanks for the reply, I didn't know that's what I wanted to do until I read that so cheers!
To put a fresh piece of sponge in my external filter to seed it for a new IF?
OK, I've decided to start breeding some snails to keep the carnivores in my tank well-fed and I'm doing it with a 10litre tank, a tiny 200lph internal filter and a 25w heater.
I appreciate that snails probably give off their fair share of ammonia and other nasties so to get the ball rolling, I took the sponge out of the new filter, stuck it in with the other filter media in my external filter for my other tank and took a couple of bio-balls out of the external to put in the internal to get things moving while I seeded the new foam with friendly bacteria from the external.
Thing is, how long do I need to keep the new foam in with the old? I honestly don't think I've cleaned my external filter for about a year, it still has good flow and I thought by keeping it nice and mucky then the inhabitants of that tank would be much happier and indeed, they seem to be.
So, I put the new foam in about 8 hours ago. Being that the external filter is really manky (but still healthy) inside, can I assume that by 24 hours the new foam will be seeded sufficiently for me to put it back into my new 200lph internal filter for the raising of my snails? I've only got a couple of bio-balls in the new one and when I tested the water earlier it was showing 0.25 ammonia. I've changed the water several times since yesterday but obviously this isn't ideal and I want to get off to a flying start.