Hello all. I just bought a 20 gal with all the extras that was preowned. It still has some rock and plants in the bottom of it, and a filter w/ bio-looking things.(?)
My question is, how much do I need to clean it out? The guy said he drained all the water, until he noticed the plants wilting, then added just enough to keep the roots wet. There is some green algea near the bottom. After reading about the water cycle, I was thinking maybe this could be a good jump start having it all still there, but I was worried about disease or what not carrying over from the previous tenants, which were swordtails.
I plan on dividing this tank 2 or 3 ways, and the 2 I have now are in QT, except for the gorgeous half moon I couldn't resist today!
As a complete newbie, I would appreciate any advice from you wonderful betta gurus!
I agree with Pew, overhaul. Don't risk it to avoid doing your own cycle, sometimes cutting corners gets you in more hot water. My large tanks are pre loved, and only one was left as is because the fish that came with it needed to live in it. My 29g was cleaned and re cycled. Pew offers all the steps you need.
Thanks guys. I put more water in it just for tonight for the plants, and it does smell old and dusty. The whole cycle thing just sounds so complicated and I don't want to screw it up. Looks like I'll be a-bleachin' tomorrow!
One more question, I wanted to keep the rock in the bottom. Can I boil it in vinegar water and rinse it and call it good? It looks like natural stone pebbles, but there is white powdery stuff on it, I'm guessing limescale.
I had the same thing. I scalded everything I could, used a mild vinegar solution to rinse out the tank, chucked the cheap looking gravel. And started over with new filter media, sand, etc. I did keep the plants, I didn't do anything more fancy than get rid of as much gravel as I could, rinse, and QTed them for a week.