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First timer here, looking to get a few tips

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First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by MartyM on Wed May 27, 2015 5:38 pm

Hey all! Just got my first aquarium. I am attempting a cycle with fish, since im very impatient and didn't really know better at the time. I am under impression that with regular cleanings and light feeding that fish should cycle the tank in 6 weeks? Is there any thing i can do to speed that up? I don't know anyone else with fish tanks to get an old filter or anything off. I did purchase some "bacteria supplement" that im not sure if i should add or not. Any info or tips would be appreciated!


Last edited by MartyMorningwood on Wed May 27, 2015 5:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by MartyM on Wed May 27, 2015 5:39 pm



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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by Tashina on Wed May 27, 2015 5:49 pm

Hi there Marty and welcome!
Im considering myself still a rookie and I did a fishless cycle so I cant help you there! But Im sending best wishes for a speedy and successful cycling Very Happy
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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by Shell on Wed May 27, 2015 5:51 pm

Welcome to the community Smile

Seeded media is a great way to help move things along more safely for the fish, but it sounds like you cannot go that route. I have used the ''bacteria in a bottle' method, in addition to seeded media - not sure how much it helps, but it certainly can't hurt any, so I see no reason not to add it (I have used "Colony " in the past').

To help answer your question about cycling, and since you already have finned-children in there, it might be helpful to know how many fish and what type, as well as the size of the tank. 

Water changes are important for their health, especially at this stage if you are cycling with 'fish in'. How long has the tank been running and how often are you changing water (and how much water are you taking out and replacing, percentage wise)? 

Also, do you have a water test kit?

Welcome again. Looking forward to hearing more...!

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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by MartyM on Wed May 27, 2015 6:04 pm

it's a 29 gallon tank. I have 3 black skirt tetras, and 3 denison barbs (roseline sharks), i started with 1 denison barb, but when i brought him home he seemed to hide a lot, so i did some research and went back to the LFS and bought the last two, absolutely love them now very active since i got him friends and beautiful. The fish got bought on may 25th.

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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by MartyM on Wed May 27, 2015 6:11 pm

i cleaned it today for the first time, took 10 gallons out, threw in treated new water.

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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by Shell on Wed May 27, 2015 6:29 pm

@MartyM wrote:it's a 29 gallon tank. I have 3 black skirt tetras, and 3 denison barbs (roseline sharks), i started with 1 denison barb, but when i brought him home he seemed to hide a lot, so i did some research and went back to the LFS and bought the last two, absolutely love them now very active since i got him friends and beautiful. The fish got bought on may 25th.


Great fish choices - I have both types and love them! 

You may eventually (not now, but once things become more established) want to up the group of black skirts - it wouldn't hurt to also up the group of denisons as well, but I would up black skirts first - they can become either reclusive or aggressive, but with the right number, they are such an awesome, personality-plus, type fish to watch -  this is based on my personal experience!

Also, and someone else may chime in here, but denisons do grow a fair amount, mine are quite large now! I am not sure if they would outgrow a 29g tank or not. As I said, I'll let someone else take the reins there (ps - my first tank was a 10g with 4 black skirts, I quickly learned that they needed a bigger tank and more buddies of their kind!). Smile

I am thinking that, once established, 25% weekly water changes are good for that tank with that stocking level, though you will likely need to up that percentage and the amount of times to change per week if ammonia or nitrites peek. Again, other members may have more to share there. Do you have a water test kit?

New tanks can be tons of fun - glad you joined us, hopefully others will chime in with some input - we all have different levels of experience, stories, and tips!


Last edited by Shell on Wed May 27, 2015 7:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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-220g home to 6 gold barbs, 10 denison barbs, & 2 weather loaches
-55g home to 10 black skirt tetras
-55g home to 1 angelfish, 5 kuhli loaches, & 4 zebra loaches
-36g home to 8 zoogoneticus tequila
-10g home to 2 zoogoneticus tequila
-10g home to 1 panda cory
-10g home to 1 zebra nerite, 1 onion nerite, & 1 leopard ramshorn
-3.5g home to several leopard ramshorn snails
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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by MartyM on Wed May 27, 2015 6:51 pm

thanks for the replys. yes i got a master test kit. the 29gallon tank seemed so large in the store, but already regretting not going larger! If they do get big enough im sure i will have no problem getting a much larger tank. So far i am greatly enjoying learning and setting up this aquarium.

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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by Sbenson11 on Wed May 27, 2015 7:28 pm

Go big or go home I always say Smile

Welcome to the forum, nice looking tank.

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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by CAAIndie on Wed May 27, 2015 9:06 pm

Welcome to Canadaquaria. Glad to have you here. Please let me know if there is anything you need.

I agree that a larger tank will be in order fairly quickly. You are dealing with some fish that are fast moving and can get fairly large. Smile

During cycling I would also keep up with large and frequent changes. As Shell said, significant water changes will also been needed when cycled. Smile.

How long as the tank been running? Sorry if I missed that somewhere.

Also curious about your current filtration Smile. If you have any carbon in the filter, consider replacing with either more sponge (mechanical filtration) or ceramic pieces (biological filtration). Carbon (chemical filtration) is not that useful (unless you are removing medications) and is quickly spent (only lasts a few weeks) and expensive to replace. Just a random bit of advice.


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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by GaryE on Thu May 28, 2015 4:33 am

The big thing is not add any more fish now, and not to clean decor or anything solid in the tank. Keep that filter running and other than maybe losing the carbon, leave it untouched for a few weeks (or more if it doesn't clog).
You're off to a good start. I've been yelled at on a few forums for saying this, but the fishless cycle is only if you are into chemistry, and there is no problem starting with very light stocking and regular water changes (EVERY week)) like you have done. The water holds the results of the cycle, but the water doesn't cycle. It just gets dirty.
If you have no fishkeeping friends to exchange active media with, an old trick is to buy a couple of easy plants. That'll bring bacterial life in. It'll look great too.
When you see a little algae, celebrate. You may soon curse it, but for now, it'll be a sign of life.
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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by Biulu on Thu May 28, 2015 8:13 am

Welcome to the forum Marty! Enjoy the set-up of a new tank, it is always great.

Seems like you are on your way; good luck with the cycling!
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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by fish lady on Thu May 28, 2015 8:18 am

welcome and congrats on the new tank (there will be more lol)
you got great info here so im not going to add they covered it but
"bacteria supplement" you are thinking one using is what kind
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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by Starfish on Thu May 28, 2015 11:26 am

Hi Marty, and welcome to the pond and the hobby. It is a hobby that can be a little frustrating at times but also very rewarding and relaxing.

As others have already said, make sure you keep up the frequent water changes while the tank cycles. Frequent water tests will keep you informed on how it is progressing.

I have also had both black skirts and denison barbs. I just lost my last black skirt two weeks ago. He must have been close to 6 years old. Tough old guy he was. You may find the 29g too small for the denisons. Mine are between 3.5 and 4 inches. They can get up to 4.5 inches and because of their torpedo shape they like to go fast and need a longer tank for swimming. They grow fast, and should be kept in groups so you may be looking at a bigger tank sooner than you think. That's okay, most of us on the forum have multiple tanks. My denisons are in a 75g. They are great community fish; colourful, peaceful and always moving. I also have a 29g which houses my smaller more aggressive barbs.

Good luck with the cycling and don't be afraid to post any questions you may have, no matter how simple they may seem. Very Happy
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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by cephalotus on Thu May 28, 2015 12:16 pm

Yep I'd recommend adding a few types of easy plants as well Smile They will come with some useful bacteria already on them, AND they can help with water quality!
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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by JanesAddiction on Thu May 28, 2015 12:56 pm

Welcome to the tank Smile I sense you suffer from MTS?!?! I suffer hardcore as you can tell by my signature lol
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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by MartyM on Thu May 28, 2015 3:23 pm

wow this forum is great. Lots of nice people quick to chime in! Glad i found it. To answer some questions, the tank was set up and running on the 23rd of may, however didn't add fish until the 25th. It was the 29gallon starter kit from petsmart ( http://www.petsmart.ca/supplies/aquariums/top-fin-29-gallon-aquarium-starter-kit-zid36-17603/cat-36-catid-300065?var_id=36-17603&_t=pfm%3Dsearch ). The filtration is was came with it but was considering maybe an air stone or something or maybe just getting a more powerful one.

this is the bacteria supplement i have, but have yet to put in http://www.petsmart.ca/food-care/cycling-aids-bacteria/top-fin-bacteria-supplement-aquarium-cycling-water-conditioner-zid36-17717/cat-36-catid-300035?var_id=36-17717&_t=pfm%3Dsearch.

i will definitely be adding some real plants shortly, waiting on new stock at the LPS... which is amazing for aquarium supplies, including fish, massive room full with a wide variety of fish... must have atleast 20 types of cichlids alone. Thanks alot for the nice welcome and advice all!

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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by Fores41 on Thu May 28, 2015 4:04 pm

Welcome Marty and like the rest water changes are a must the more often the better. Some people will do them daily for some species, I try to avoid those species for now as I do not have a Python yet.
Jane you still have about 7-9 tanks to go before you catch up to me and about 30+ to get to Gary so get a move on.
Yes I might be an enabler in some cases.
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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by Starfish on Fri May 29, 2015 5:42 am

Filters that come with packaged aquarium sets are the absolute minimum. They say they are for aquariums up to 30g but really are not enough. I had the same when I got mine. I now have an Aqua Clear 70 on my 29g. More filtration is better. It allows for more water flow through the filter and a greater amount of biomedia. Your fish and tank will be much healthier. It also gives a buffer if you have to miss a water change (which I often do Embarassed )

Where are you located to have access to a great LFS?
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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by MartyM on Fri May 29, 2015 4:02 pm

niagara region, ontaro. thanks for the advice.

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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by HappyFish on Sat May 30, 2015 9:10 pm

I have a 29 gallon setup too! Very Happy Im also a newbie but have received great advice from helpful members.

Your aquarium looks awesome by the way! Smile
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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by MartyM on Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:00 pm


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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by CAAIndie on Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:54 pm

Nice tank Marty. Thank you for posting a picture.

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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by fish lady on Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:28 pm

looking good
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Re: First timer here, looking to get a few tips

Post by Sbenson11 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:53 pm

Looking good

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