New Tank Set Up (need some help) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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New Tank Set Up (need some help)

I was given a 29 gallon aquarium with seven fish. I'm trying to set up the tank in my office as quickly as possible so the fish have somewhere to live besides a plastic bucket. The problem is that practically everything in the tank is new, so it really needs to be cycled. The tank originally had teal blue gravel and garish plastic plants, which absolutely had to be thrown away and replaced with proper substrate (gravel and flourite capped with sand), driftwood and eventually, plants. I couldn't keep any of the gravel for seeding because it was filthy and hideous. The inside of the tank was also dirty and had to be scraped and cleaned. It did come with a HOB filter with a very well used (i.e., filthy) filter cartridge that I am installing as is to provide some bacteria. The fish are living in about half a gallon of the original water that I will add when I add them. I also added the contents of my desk top tank, which was a scrap of wood with java moss and fern and water. Is there anything else I can do to make the tank habitable as soon as possible? I don't think these fish are going to last long in a bucket even if I add an airstone.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 05:41 PM
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Add lots of fast growing plants. They will gladly take up ammonia and nitrates. Depends a bit on the size of the fish and their metabolism rate, but sounds like it should work for a 29gal tank with established filter.

Examples for fast growers are Watersprite (Ceratopteris), Water Wisteria (Hygrophila), other Hygros, Ludwigias, Rotalas (most stem plants)... Riccia & Pellia and others.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 05:43 PM
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Try the Tetra Safe Start and add fish. Many people use with success. I would rather have them in the tank then a bucket.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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I do have some stem plants from my home tank that I can add, but I don't know how long they will last with the lousy lighting. The fish are three harlequin rasboras, three of what might be gold line rasboras and one tetra-type fish with a round body. (I'm going to post pictures and ask for ID help when I get them in the tank.) They aren't fish that can live for long in a bucket, I don't think. I guess I can try adding plants from my other tank and see if I can find some of the Tetra Safe Start and see if it works. If I do that, how soon do you think I can add them? A day? Should I feed them, or wait?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 06:33 PM
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As long as you add some plants and add some light (perhaps place the tank close to a window for now?) I wouldn't worry about seven small fish in a 29gal tank. The whole cycling thing applies to non-planted tanks, and situations where you want to throw a lot of livestock into a new tank at the same time. Since the fish you are adding are small, and have an established filter, I don't see any reason to way more than a couple of hours to give the water some time to settle and off-gas. They will be much better off in a 20+ gal tank compared to a bucket. I'd wait with feeding for a couple days, won't hurt them.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 06:49 PM
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+1 for tetra safe start with bio-spira
and fast growing plants

add the fish same day


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 06:51 PM
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dont forget the dechlorinate the water first


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 07:39 PM
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Yea if you already have a seeded filter that's been kept wet I wouldn't worry anything about putting in 7 fish in a 29 gallon. Fill the water, add some dechlor, then throw on the filter and put the fish and some safe start in and I think you'd be just fine
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