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Old 06-01-2010, 10:23 AM   #1 
BeautifulBettaFish
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Im Stuck ,can someone help please ...

OK Ive never had a fish tank ,so please bear with me ...(always used bowls because they are nice & simple, & complicated get me frustrated, then i want to just give up)

but Im trying ....two weeks ago i set up a 20 gallon tank,i cleaned it right , added water w/ fish store pail,put in filter & air stone & Tropical Fish Start up pack -stress coat & stress zyme (water conditioners) & one decoration ,like a bridge w/ fake plants ,(i did NOT put gravel as i was told the fish are healthier w/o gravel),hood & light (no heater yet,still wondering what kind to get ) I was told the tank would get clouded up , but it still has not ...the tank just sits there running and running w/ no fish ....

here are my two questions.: now im thinking id really like to add some gravel (it just looks so barren w/o any),is it too late ? will my whole tank need to restart the entire cycle if i add gravel now ?

should i add a couple really tiny "feeder' Goldfish just to help cycle the tank ?

i have a betta im getting off of aquabid, he should arrive on Thursday, but i do have a 2 gallon i can keep him in for the time being if need be ...
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:35 AM   #2 
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Yes, add the gravel, the gravel is a great place for some of the good bacteria to colonize in. Lower the water level and remove everything in the tank and add the rinsed gravel and then re-decorate

Don't get goldfish, if you plan on a fishless cycle get some ammonia, or if you plan a fish cycle get some of the fish you plan on stocking the tank with

Do you have a water test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH..... this will help you during the cycle and life of the aquarium

Research-fishless cycle, nitrogen cycle and stocking of a 20g tank...this will help you get started
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:36 PM   #3 
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Never heard of fish being healthier without gravel. only thing I can see is maybe they meant that it's easier to clean cause you can see the poop at the bottom and pick it up. but substrate (gravel) is a great place for bacteria, which is what the cycle is all about.

http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm
This will explain the cycle. If you want to do a TRUE cycle, then thursday is waaaay too early. A proper real cycle is weeks long. But with a betta, and a water test kit, you'll be fine. It'll take a while before he pollutes a 20gal tank anyways.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:43 AM   #4 
BeautifulBettaFish
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i do not have a test kit , but i bring water to the petstore & they test it for me & they keep saying its not ready yet....

maybe im not doing anything wrong & it just takes longer than two weeks for it to get to where it needs to be ....
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:09 PM   #5 
Magzmoir
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If your tanks just freshly set up and you dont have a source of ammonia in it then it wont cycle...the bacteria needs the ammonia to get the cycle started. The bacteria that converts all the bad Tocins fishes produce needs to use the ammonia as food to grow, so basically no ammonia = no bacteria = no nitrogen cycle
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:00 AM   #6 
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well that fish start up kit was supposed to be everything that i need according to pets mart employees ?maybe it has ammonia in it ?
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:39 AM   #7 
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Ammonia can't be in it, it needs to be added. The purpose of ammonia is to re-create the effect of wish waste. Read the link I posted above, it's a very easy explanation of what needs to happen.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:42 AM   #8 
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I doubt that it had ammonia in it, all the kits I see available usually consist of a water conditioner (takes the chlorine and chloramines out of tap water), a bottled bacteria soln, which in my opinion is useless, bacteria is a living organism if kept on the shelf in a store it would die as it would run out of nutrients in the container. Ive heard mixed results from these additives that claim to kick start your tank cycle most people saying it doesnt work. the last thing is normally some sort of additive that is supposed to reduce stress to the fish and promote their health, for example stresszyme which helps the fish slime coating. Ive also seen some that reduce algae etc too. if you have the kits still or at least the bottles you should check the ingredients of anything that claims to promote bacterial growth or is a filter aid, its possible it contains ammonia but I wouldnt hold my breath I dont put much faith in these store bought kits for tank start up, I only use a water conditioner and cycle the tank fishless.

My newest tanks being a pain tho I cant seem to get it cycled as of yet and its been about 3 weeks sitting with ammonia reading 3ppm but not nitrItes or nitrAtes.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:47 AM   #9 
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Magzmoir, from my personal experience, i've successfully used Hagen's Cycle product. I'm not a long time expert or anything but i know enough to understand how to test the water. I've used it on two tanks, a 33 gal community tank (I still stocked it slowly though) and a 5 gal betta tank. No loss, no sick fish. I use that product for a week and then do a final water check, water change and put in some fishies.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:49 AM   #10 
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well thats the problem it dosnt say on the package whats in it...i read about it in that link i also have a book that says the same thing ,but it is too much info for my brain ...i seriously cant figure it out,to me it seems very complex....it frustrates me to no end and makes me wish i just stuck w/ bowls....
my tank ha only been running a little over 2 weeks ...i might just go get a couple small fish & put them in there to cycle the tank better....
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