ice_connoisseur ice_connoisseur
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  • Posted on: 23/11/2014 13:37
On the right track? #1
Hi guys,

I'm gradually getting going with things - after a false start (I was too impatient with the bogwood and turned the water brown :/) tank has been set up and cylcing for two weeks now, using the ammonia method, my ammonia levels have been steadily climbing and I've started to get nitrites now as well. So my question is basically...am I doing the right things with the right equipment thus far? To give you an overview...

Water - From tap pH is 6.5 both fresh and after 24 hours. Water hardness is "soft", which the company website tells me translates to 0 - 3.5 English degrees Clark.

Equipment
Tank - 125l Fluval Roma (older style as I got it second hand)
Filter - Fluval U4
Heater - Deltatherm 150W

Decor is live plants, a couple of pieces of (now boiled and soaked) bogwood and some tank ornaments.

Routine
Daily:
- Test ammonia/nitrites/pH, add ammonia as necessary while still cycling
- Feed fish once they're in!

Weekly:
- 25% water change with treated tap water

Monthly:
- Change filter

Is this all correct? What bits am I missing/not doing? (For example, I don't have an airpump, should I?)

Thanks :)
Emma
suey2 suey2
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  • Posted on: 23/11/2014 15:16
Re: On the right track? #2
Have you decided on what fish you want yet? To a certain degree that will influence the maintenance regime and decor as different species will have different requirements. Some species will benefit from an airpump, but others aren't especially bothered. They're nice to have though and can help circulation of water and prevent dead spots where the circulation is limited by decor etc.

But on the whole, your plan sounds about right

Once the fish are in it's wise to test the water weekly, just before you do a water change; to keep an eye on things change during the week. You'll also be able to judge if the water change needs to be a bit more depending on what's happening with the nitrate level.

If you're in a soft water area it would be a good idea to test for GH and KH and monitor that too. KH (carbonate hardness) is used up during the nitrogen cycle process and lack of carbonate hardness can stall the cycle and prevent the filter bacteria from doing their job. It can also cause a 'PH crash' whereby the water runs out of the ability to keep the PH stable as the buffering capacity is used up, the PH can then 'crash' becoming dangerously low and potentially killing the fish. Not nice, so definitely worth keeping an eye on! There's more info here which gives a nice explanation: http://fins.actwin.com/mirror/begin-chem.html

HTH
It's Not Just A Fish
ice_connoisseur ice_connoisseur
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  • Posted on: 23/11/2014 15:44
Re: On the right track? #3
Thanks for the reply, I'll looking into getting a GH/KH test too.

In terms of fish...you pretty much preempted my next question. I've been nosing round a few local shops and come up with an (ever-changing) list of ones I like - I was hoping you guys would be able to help me put together a good selection.

Favourites at the moment include:
- Rosy barbs
- Cherry barbs
- Six banded barbs
- Tiger barbs/Green tiger barbs
- Ember tetras
- Cardinal tetras
- Rummy nose tetras
- Mollies
- Red-tailed rasboras
- Guppys

I also love bettas, but from reading around my understanding is they wouldn't do so well in combination with some of the above.

Very open to any other suggestions/guidance :)
Bouncinsheep Bouncinsheep
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  • Posted on: 24/11/2014 0:31
Re: On the right track? #4
Quote:


Monthly:
- Change filter


You do not need to change filter media.
The bacteria you are currently cultivating, colonise the media, to throw it away defeats what you are trying to achieve. The manufacturers want us to throw it away so we will line their pockets by buying more.
Ceramics, balls, noodles, tubes...so many names, they can be left alone. Sponges only need to be rinsed, not squeezed, in old tank water, use water removed during water changes.
Media only needs to be replaced when it starts to degrade, can be more than 12 months in the case of sponges!
When you get to that point, replace in stages to allow the bacteria to establish in the new.
Hope this helps.
Good luck.
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james15 james15
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  • Posted on: 24/11/2014 12:04
Re: On the right track? #5
Quote:

Bouncinsheep wrote:
Quote:


Monthly:
- Change filter


You do not need to change filter media.
The bacteria you are currently cultivating, colonise the media, to throw it away defeats what you are trying to achieve. The manufacturers want us to throw it away so we will line their pockets by buying more.
Ceramics, balls, noodles, tubes...so many names, they can be left alone. Sponges only need to be rinsed, not squeezed, in old tank water, use water removed during water changes.
Media only needs to be replaced when it starts to degrade, can be more than 12 months in the case of sponges!
When you get to that point, replace in stages to allow the bacteria to establish in the new.
Hope this helps.
Good luck.


Exactly what I was about to say...longer than 12 months even, you're probably looking at upwards of 10 years. My filter still has the sponges that I transferred across from my old tank, which are now 3 years old and showing no signs of deterioration. Only exception is if you want to use carbon or fine filter wool, these do need to be changed regularly. However carbon is unnecessary most of the time, you only really need it to remove meds after a course of treatment. And filter wool is up to you, it's not of vital importance, just removes any really fine particles from the water. I used it after a substrate change to remove the dust from the water, other than that I don't bother with it.