My "new" 3ft/92cm tank

Discussion in 'Members Systems' started by Toxxyc, May 20, 2021.

  1. Shabir

    Shabir

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    Comments in quote
     
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  3. OP
    Toxxyc

    Toxxyc

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    OK I'll take the above into action, thanks!
     
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  4. Whoknows

    Whoknows Comp Coordinator

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    Ohh I know I'm only joking :lol:
     
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  5. Hendrik Bergh

    Hendrik Bergh

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    Hi and welcome to the forum!

    Until you can source an air pump, you can always get one of these...
    Screenshot_20210520-164953_Chrome.jpg
    Then you can run both sponge filters of the pump you have. Your LFS should have them.

    This was a great read. Felt exactly the same, a year ago. Made some poor decisions (Lockdown boredom didnt help with patience) and learned valuable lessons from this forum. The people are great and always willing help.

    Good luck. This is all part of the fun!
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
  6. OP
    Toxxyc

    Toxxyc

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    I'm getting some of these splitters, as well as a lot of new airline next week. I currently have mixed and matched pieces here and there and it's nowhere near ideal. Getting some more airline and splitters and all that will help me power all my filters and airstones with ease, so that's what I'm going to do!
     
  7. OP
    Toxxyc

    Toxxyc

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    OK guys I'll post a new picture or two next week sometime. I'm getting really excited about this. Just glad the fish are happy. I also got some chlorine treatment stuff for the water today. Hopefully that'll help the bacteria in the water also settle in nicely.
     
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  8. OP
    Toxxyc

    Toxxyc

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    OK I got some airline and splitters and joints and things and got the other sponge filter up and running as well (albeit really slowly, the air pumps are not doing well). I'm well aware bacteria aren't settled in yet, but the fish still seem happy. I'm going to do a water change probably this afternoon or tomorrow, to help keep the ammonia/nitrate/nitrite levels down until it's set up and running properly.

    I know I wasn't supposed to, but last week a very kind forum member messaged me and said he has two angels that had to go. He kept and raised them with neon tetras and they're timid toward other fish. I took the chance and grabbed them off him, and introduced them into my tank. Yes I know the water isn't ready, but my wife REALLY wanted angels and I just couldn't say no. They're much bigger than he made me believe so they're really looking fantastic in the tank, and they seem happy. The male is incredibly aggressive toward people outside the tank and his stripes turn pitch black the second you get too close. He specifically HATES my cellphone, for some reason, I guess it's because it's a black thing he sees as a threat. He doesn't mind the smaller fish, including the small neons at all.

    I took some pictures and a video and I'll upload it to YouTube in a bit. The fish all seem really happy, they're eating really well (except for the angels, guessing they're still adapting) and the tank water is still quite clear. Just need to vacuum the gravel a bit with the water change this week to pick up the crap that shouldn't be there and then I'm guessing I'm well on my way. Week 1 is down.
     
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  9. HugBug

    HugBug

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    Looking forward to seeing the new angels.
    I totally understand the *need* to get something when it's available, even when you know you probably shouldn't.
    Glad to hear the fish are all doing well.
     
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  10. Shabir

    Shabir

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    We've all been down this road. Just as long as you're paying attention to them you should be okay.

    If you think the filters are now running too slow I'd suggest using just the bigger one or maybe getting a double pump cheap. You're off to a great start, well done
     
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  11. OP
    Toxxyc

    Toxxyc

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    I had an old broken pump here, which I opened up and bent some things inside to make it pump a bit again. The double pump I have (of which one side is OK, one side is WEAK) is now also running. So now I have it running as follows:

    1. The fixed tiny pump is pumping the corner filter, which clears the water. It's not pumping strong, but it works.
    2. The double pump's weak side is pumping the small sponge filter. It's not pumping strong, but it works.
    3. The double pump's stronger side is pumping the large sponge filter. It's not pumping like it can, but it pumps well enough.

    Then I have two water pumps - one that pumps aerated water from above the corner filter "over" the top of the water in the tank, it's mounted like 1.5cm under the water surface, and another that's in the other end of the tank, pumping water across the tank's substrate. This creates a relatively well-working "circular" current in the tank which the fish seem to love. There are a few dead spots where the water doesn't flow strongly, and that's where the Angels mostly tend to spend their time, and where the neons go at bedtime.

    Pretty cool to see the tank come alive when I switch on the light in the morning. Takes a good 10 minutes or so for the fish to "wake up" before realizing it's light, and then going about their business.
     
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  12. Shabir

    Shabir

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    It sounds to me like you're on the right path honestly. Really excited for you..

    You should witness an African cichlid morning time greeting. My wife sometimes screams with a shock coz they're jumping and making splashes as she enters the lounge. They're just really greedy fish though.

    The angels are really nice fish to have and if they breed they do every 3 weeks and like 200 fry a time. Just a heads up
     
  13. OP
    Toxxyc

    Toxxyc

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    This is apparently a breeding pair, and have bred before. I have a breeding tank and will probably have to split once it gets there, and if it does, I can't wait. Don't think they'll breed in my new tank yet though. We'll have to wait and see!
     
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  14. Shabir

    Shabir

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    Yeah give them a few weeks or upto 2months and they should settle down enough.
     
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  15. OP
    Toxxyc

    Toxxyc

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    OK, so updates.

    I got some more decor and things from a very generous member this week, and added that to the tank (not pictured yet). I also got test kits for pH, Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite. So last night I ran some water tests and it was surprisingly good. I got:

    pH: 7.2
    Ammonia: ~0.10ppm
    Nitrite: ~0.10ppm
    Nitrate: ~25ppm

    So the above tells me the pH of the water is fine, ammonia levels are low (the test sample was just barely, BARELY off colour and I took a liberal reading there, might even be lower than that), nitrite levels are low enough for me to be happy with it, but the nitrate levels are too high. It's apparently not dangerously high yet, but it's too high for my liking.

    I did some research and it seems that water changes are the easiest ways to get rid of the nitrates. I have to vacuum the substrate (I got a vacuum from the aforementioned member as well), so that's going to be Step 1. I'll be doing 15% water changes by vacuuming the substrate until these levels lower, and then maintain those levels with weekly or biweekly water changes. Sound good?

    Another question: I know it takes some time for the bacteria in the tank to build up to a point where it breaks down the ammonia into nitrite, and then the nitrite into nitrate. This tank hasn't been running long, I'm going for Day 10 now, so it's still REALLY fresh. I read up that it takes up to 6 weeks for this to become established enough to properly break down these chemicals, and as such, I expected the ammonia levels to be high, with the nitrite and nitrate being lower. Is it possible that the bacteria just shot up quickly, and are doing their job well enough already?

    I have to also add that I have gone against all better judgement and got more fish when I was told not to, but I couldn't help myself (admitting guilt here). The tank looked empty and sad and I got a few more GMO Widows and also those two Angels mentioned earlier. There's a total of 13 fish in the tank now, so while still far from full or overcrowded, I was expecting very different numbers.

    PS: I'm running the tank heater at 26°C, if that makes a difference.
     
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  16. OP
    Toxxyc

    Toxxyc

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    But anyway, time for a picture and a video (before the added decor):

    [​IMG]

     
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  17. Shabir

    Shabir

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    Well the fact that you showing nitrates say that your bacteria has been through the full cycle. If you're not yet cycled it would have shown zero nitrates. Adding fish to the tank does help speed up the process however you run the risk of killing the fish which in your case you were indeed lucky, or you have really hardy fish.

    Adding the fish this soon could have crashed the cycle and if you tested after adding those fish in then I assume that is why you're showing Ammonia and nitrites. You are correct in saying water changes will help nitrates but remember plants also help in that so I'm pretty sure that together with water changes you're going to be good to go for biweekly maintenance.

    Your set up is looking really nice and I cannot believe how gorgeous that angel is
     
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  18. OP
    Toxxyc

    Toxxyc

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    I've got one plant in there, but I'm definitely moving towards a fully planted tank soon. I want and need to get live plants in there, these plastic plants to me look weird, although my wife loves them, so I'm guessing it'll be a 50/50 split eventually.

    And yes, the Angels were the last additions, and I simply could not pass them up. Wife wanted Angels (or Discus), but with the price of Discus and the fact the Angels were offered to me as a "I don't have space for them, please come collect them" I couldn't pass it up. They haven't eaten in a few days since introducing them (the rest of the fish eat like little monsters), but the female started eating yesterday, so I'm hoping for some feeding from the male soon. He's REALLY aggressive toward anyone approaching the tank, with his stripes turning pitch black in seconds, fins flaring, charges, and him following anything moving in front of the tank as a territorial display. It's really impressive.

    The Pearl Gourami nips on my fingertip when I hold it in the water, it's awesome. He thinks it's food.

    Thanks for the kind words. I feel like I jumped into the deep end with this, but it seems like I might just be keeping my head above water. I'm not adding any more fish for at least a little while now. I ideally want the ammonia levels down to zero, and the nitrites down even more, then I'll add some. I'm thinking of adding some plants though, and that'll apparently also help with the nitrates. Can't wait!
     
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  19. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Hi @Toxxyc i had a very quick squizz as in a hurry, will follow up later.

    yes you’re approaching end of cycling process, seems good. But the tank is not fully cycled yet so don’t add more fish now. Do a 50% wc.

    Attached is a table of ammonia values (Sera liquid). 0.1 too high still, you need it absolute 0. But not an acute risk. Do a wc

    22FFC572-8F5C-4018-89ED-32077F198E46.jpeg
     
  20. HugBug

    HugBug

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    I was going to say pretty much exactly what Shabir said.
    It can take weeks to cycle a tank fully when there are no fish in it, but adding fish in makes the bacteria go "yikes, we need more!" and they go on a massive replication frenzy.
    So having fish in your tank from the start ahs sped up the cycle and that's why the numbers are looking as good as they are.

    Regarding 15% water changes to lower the nitrates, personally I'd do bigger changes. Like 50% even.
    This is a really good thread that explains why: https://www.tropicalaquarium.co.za/threads/ode-to-water-changes.35784/
     
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  21. OP
    Toxxyc

    Toxxyc

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    OK cool, 50% change coming up then. I'll tap off the water into a bucket tonight and add the chlorine treatment, as well as a heater to make sure the water isn't ice cold when I pour it in tomorrow. Then I'll change the water, vacuuming from the bottom, and also wash the filter wool in the corner filter (in the removed water as to not kill the bacteria in there).

    Sound about right?
     
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