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Old 05-01-2009, 05:56 AM   #1 
Clarke
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New Tank Questions...

Just a few tank questions...

1. Should I leave the filter on all the time?

2. If I got the tank on Thursday, on Sunday will it be okay to put in 1 or 2 bigger Danios? I've read that they do fine with them and about the nitrogen cycle, and how you need a fish to start.

3. What do you think would be the best "starter" fish to get the nitrogen cycle going? I was thinking Danios because they're hardy and when my tank is finally settled I can add more so they can school up.

4. When will it be safe after I add the starter fish to add the betta?


Thanks everyone!
Clarke
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:38 AM   #2 
Twistersmom
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What size tank?
Danios are the recommened starter fish.
Once the tank has a source of ammonia, such as fish, you will want the filter running 24/7. The filter is where most of the beneficial bacteria will grow, that will help with the cycle process.
How many and what fish to add depends on the tank size.
Be sure to buy an API liquid test kit if you do not have one, so you will know your ammonia and nitrite levels. This will help you to determine how much water to change out durring the cycle process, so the fish are not exposed to deadly amounts of toxins.
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:03 AM   #3 
Nataku
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1. Should I leave the filter on all the time?
Yes. It stays on once you start the cycle. It doesn't get turned off unless you are taking it apart to clean it.

2. If I got the tank on Thursday, on Sunday will it be okay to put in 1 or 2 bigger Danios? I've read that they do fine with them and about the nitrogen cycle, and how you need a fish to start.
If you are going the route of cycling a tank with fish, you can add them as soon as the tank is set up. After all, it's not the initial new water that's going to kill the fish (provided of course you've used proper water conditioner) its the cycle that will. Danios are fairly hardy fish, and also cheap, hence why they are often used. They are not immune to the effects of the cycle, and can be killed off by the ammonia and/or nitrite spikes.

3. What do you think would be the best "starter" fish to get the nitrogen cycle going? I was thinking Danios because they're hardy and when my tank is finally settled I can add more so they can school up.
I prefer fishless cycling with pure aqeous ammonia.
You can try the danios, although realize that after the cycle if the danios live that long, they will probably not get along with a betta.

4. When will it be safe after I add the starter fish to add the betta?
When you know the tank is cycled. How do you know? Buy and API liquid test kit, and start testing. You will be able to follow the steps of the nitrogen cycle as it is progressing through your tank by the readings you will get.
You will start out with an ammonia spike, which will then drop down to basically zero, and you will get a nitrite spike. Eventually the nitrites will drop down to zero, and you will get nitrate readings.
Once the ammonia and nitrites are reading a zero and you have nitrates, your tank is cycled. This will take weeks though, so have patience, and be diligent in your monitoring and testing.
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:12 PM   #4 
Clarke
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Yep. I've taken AP Biology and know about different types of bacteria, it's just new to me in tank-form. Fish makes ammonia, bacteria settles in, eats ammonia, little to no ammonia but instead nitrites. New bacteria settle in, eat nitrites, little to no nitrites but instead nitrates. Nitrates = good.

So, basically, I can't get a betta until the tank is pretty much all nitrates. That's cool, I'm patient.

Also, I have read that danios are fine with bettas if the tank is planted which I plan on doing. We'll see. I might get one or two danios today along with a thermometer and that testing kit. That way I can get this cycle started. If they live, great. If the betta eats them when I add him in later... Oh well.

Thanks!
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:23 PM   #5 
dramaqueen
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Clarke, I like the way you explained the nitrogen cycle. Easy for dummies like me to understand it. lol
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