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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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New guy making old mistakes

Hi everybody!

Two weeks ago I set up my first non-goldfish tank, I did some reading here first, it was a lot of help, thank you.

The Good:
20-gal long with moon sand substrate, AH Supply 38-watt light kit (55-watt reflector), rain gutter hood with .75 watts of LED moon lights, 100 watt heater, Aquaclear 50 HOB filter (200 GPH).

15 or so plants of the easier and lower light varieties: anubias, crypto, cabomba, hornwort, java moss and fern, and vals. I've been using regular flourish as a fert, most of the plants aren't in the substrate, they're anchored to driftwood or chiclid caves, they seem to be doing pretty well so far.

The Bad: The tank is not cycled, and my lazy/dumb ass hasn't even opened the test kit.

The Ugly: I couldn't control my trigger finger on aquabid, long story short 7 sterbai corydoras and 1 albino bristlenose pleco will be here tuesday, ready or not.

So please help me make a good home for these corys, besides getting out and using that test kit what do I need to do?

Am I one of those guys that needs to do daily 25% water changes for weeks until the tank is properly cycled?

PS- My eventual plan for this tank includes female bettas and cherry shrimp.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 05:12 AM
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You will have to do daily water changes most likely for weeks until the tank is cycled. Best case scenario and you have enough plants to lessen the cycle or if you are really lucky you might get by without one.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 05:17 AM
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If you have other tanks use some of your used media to give the new tank a jump start.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 06:09 AM
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Or go to a LFS and ask for some filter media or some squished out filter sponge water
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 11:44 AM
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+1 on adding aged media

Start today put in a few snail and give them a little flake food once a day.

Tuesday add as much Hornwort as you can find, afford or can stand to look at as your "safety". Reduce the hornwort over the following two to three weeks.

Don't miss weekly water changes.

Good luck
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 12:48 PM
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I'm gonna go against the grain and admit I've never used a test kit. Yep, never tested my water...ever. I currently have 45 fish in my 65 gallon, medium planted tank. I've lost 3 neons and 2 ottos, all within the first week of adding them. You're gonna lose fish soon after you add them, it's just a fact of life unless you are getting a good stock from a private breeder or something. With that said, I would take it easy until your tank gets more established. Plants certainly help, but I wouldn't go over the 8 small fish you already bought to start with a 20g tank. That might be pushing it, but with good sized weekly water changes I think you'll be just fine. You may end up losing a couple fish, but who is to say you wouldn't lose them anyway. Resist the urge to freak out and buy $20 in plants to help you cycle faster or something. It'll be ok!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 04:08 PM
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I agree that it's probably gonna take daily water changes, not weekly, during the cycle.

And I disagree that losing fish is inevitable.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 04:11 PM
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Get some Seachem purigen and run it in the filter as well. It neutralizes ammonia and nitrites intro harmless substances and still allows the cycle to continue.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 08:08 PM
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Everyone here has very good points above. I would run out and buy live nitrifying bacteria by Dr Tim for the size tank you have...which you only need one small 2 oz bottle. Its called One And Only and use those tests kits or better yet Seachem makes Ammonia Alert which you just stick on the inside of the tank.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
+1 on adding aged media

Start today put in a few snail and give them a little flake food once a day.

Tuesday add as much Hornwort as you can find, afford or can stand to look at as your "safety". Reduce the hornwort over the following two to three weeks.

Don't miss weekly water changes.

Good luck
QFT

Quote:
Originally Posted by devlyyn View Post
I'm gonna go against the grain and admit I've never used a test kit. Yep, never tested my water...ever. I currently have 45 fish in my 65 gallon, medium planted tank. I've lost 3 neons and 2 ottos, all within the first week of adding them. You're gonna lose fish soon after you add them, it's just a fact of life unless you are getting a good stock from a private breeder or something. With that said, I would take it easy until your tank gets more established. Plants certainly help, but I wouldn't go over the 8 small fish you already bought to start with a 20g tank. That might be pushing it, but with good sized weekly water changes I think you'll be just fine. You may end up losing a couple fish, but who is to say you wouldn't lose them anyway. Resist the urge to freak out and buy $20 in plants to help you cycle faster or something. It'll be ok!
I have never lost a fish putting them in a new tank. It is not inevitable. Putting hornwort in the tank will help it cycle faster. And if he can save the fish from death why not spend a couple bucks on the plants to help the cycle along?

OP Load the tank up with plants, test your water and do water changes as needed. I've never added any kind of ammonia liquid or bacteria bottle and have never had a problem. In fact the only chemical (besides ferts/florish) I use is prime with water changes.

Semper Fi
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 03:25 AM Thread Starter
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Wow folks, thanks for all the feedback.

I have dry sponges that came out of my goldfish tank, they have been dry for years, do you think they are of any value?

I do have seasoned filter media I can get, it's in my goldfish pond, on the bottom in 35 degree water, under a thin sheet of ice. Brrrr. This is well past the time of year I mess with the pond and it has snail infestation and some sort of worm lives in that filter, would you bother/risk using that media?

The plants are pretty robust (mikeswetpets on aquabid set me up), they fill maybe 1/10s of the tank so far, the hornwort and multiple cabombas are growing very fast. I don't know if this is good or bad but after 2 weeks of 12/12 lighting there is almost no algae.





I've been watching sterbai clips on youtube, I'm getting pretty stoked to home these fish.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 03:22 PM
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The dry sponges are usless, and I wouldn't add the media from the pond either. You will have to monitor your water VERY closely once you add the fish or you could easily lose them - that is alot of fish to add at one time, and plecos produce alot of waste on their own. You are bound to have ammonia spikes and that is harmful to your fish.

Plants will help alot, but you need to check the water at least once a day and do water changes if needed. I also would recommend the One and Only bacterial additive by Dr. Tim in this case - you should get that now so you have it when the fish arrive.

I don't think you're going to have room for a betta sorority - altho I've seen suggestions that you can house 3 together there is usually alot of aggression at that number - they do much better in larger groups than you can fit in your tank with the fish you already have. One female betta would probably be fine tho and she shouldn't be aggressive to the other fish.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-04-2011, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbarabash View Post
Or go to a LFS and ask for some filter media or some squished out filter sponge water
+1


This is deffinately the first and most important thing he could do.


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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So I got the seven sterbai today, they are juveniles so that will help with bio-load, while the pleco is near full grown.

The pleco made a mess as soon as he hit the tank, moon sand everywhere and beating up plants.

The cories aren't hanging out together, they're in seven different corners, maybe it was a long trip together in that bag.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-13-2011, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Day seven so good so far, no deaths and no ammonia spikes, although the bristlenose pleco is tearing up some of the plants so badly I'm setting up a plant hospital tank to deal with that.

Sterbai cories are the cutest damn things, they're like three year olds, either they're racing around at 100mph, sound asleep, or stuffing face.

Only chemicals used so far are Prime and Excel, and no water changes yet.
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