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I'm a complete beginner to all of this and bought my first tank on monday. I have a 60litre tank with the filter and heater. I treat the tap water before putting it into the tank and added a dosage of the 'cycle' to the water. I was wondering how soon it would be to add my first fish? It has been 2 days, should I wait longer?
 

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I'm no expert on this, but i always let it cycle for over a week and then do a complete test on the water. Someone with more experience will chime in soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I tested using a test strip and everything seems to be okay but I'm not sure whether levels will rise at all and whether it would be unsafe to add fish now or not?
 

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This is how i did it. Go through the hole bottle of cycle & test your water [week 1]. Then weight another 7 days [week 2 ]. During [week 3 ] you could try to put a few starter fish in like guppies. This will give you something to enjoy, until your tank is completely cycled. At that time you can start another bottle of cycle and weight another 2 weeks [week 6]. After that you could put a few [1 or 2] Hardy fish of your choice in. Then every week or so add another fish you like but put your hardy fish in first and your more delicate fish in last. I did it this way and had no problems. JUST remember you will ALSO be doing allot of water changes once you put your first fish in. I did to 2 to 3 water changes at 30% twice a week for 3 months, Then I cut back to 2 changes for the 4th month & now I do 1 change at 50% every week on my 55 Gallon. OH and I only lost 1 Starter fish doing it this way.
 

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I am somewhat confused,, I keep seeing all these complicated ways to start up an aquarium. now I have not had an aquarium in many years, but had several before and never did any of these complicated start up procedures, and lost no more than three fish in 10 start ups.

I would set up the tank, condition the water, wait two days, add a few Tetras or Barbs, and let it run for a couple weeks before adding any more fish.
 

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yes but do u know how much those fish suffer, even if they look healthy when u cycle a tank with them. we have much more humane ways of cycling a tank nowadays. like bacteria colonizers, really good filters, or u could just ask a friend for a piece of filter media and/or established tank gravel. and than of course u could use plants as well.
 

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There is no one right way; However the point is to establish a cycled tank in order to keep your fish healthy and happy. In addition some members buy expensive fish that need a well established tank like GBR,Angels or Discus. You should take some time to search the different methods of cycling a tank. Im sorry if I confused you. Good luck
 

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My suggestion, if you don't want to wait to complete a fishless cycle or if you don't want to stress out/lose fish (not a big concern IMHO) is to find a friend or an LFS that has a tank running on a sponge filter, ensure that the tank is very healthy, then have then squeeze the sponge in a bag of the tank's water a whole bunch of times until the water is completely gross looking, and dump that into your tank. Instant bacterial colony and much more reliable than the store bought stuff (not a good track record). Let it settle for 30 min w/o filter running, then fire it up & let clear, add fish whenever. I did this with fish in the tank and within 10 days Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 and neither went over 0.5ppm ever.
 

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Well, here's my experience:
You can do a fishless cycle (dose with pure ammonia, no surfactant)
or
You can do a cycle with Goldfish, since they eat a lot, poop a lot, and are dirt cheap.

Day0:
Ammonia is present in the tank
After about Day 7, you start seeing nitrites building, and ammonia dropping
After about Day 14, you start seeing nitrates building, with ammonia gone and nitrites dropping
After about Day 21, you see a further building of nitrates, with 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites
Be sure to watch your nitrate levels, and do water changes as appropriate, or just put some nice plants in the tank (I use anacharis during cycling, nicer plants afterward)
I stock _real_ fish after Day 28
 

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I am somewhat confused,, I keep seeing all these complicated ways to start up an aquarium. now I have not had an aquarium in many years, but had several before and never did any of these complicated start up procedures, and lost no more than three fish in 10 start ups.

I would set up the tank, condition the water, wait two days, add a few Tetras or Barbs, and let it run for a couple weeks before adding any more fish.
My process isn't too far from this. My tank has been up for about two weeks now. After week one, I put in some feeder guppies and 5 plant bulbs. . Yesterday went in two Jack Dempseys and two firemouths. Over the last three days, the plants started visibly growing. Even the original feeder guppies are doing well. Some are large enough that they have quite a bit of time before they are feeders.

Before adding fish yesterday, I had the water tested. Everything looked great.
 

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You can cycle a tank several ways. Most of the time it takes 3-4 weeks to complete the cycle.

1.) Add Ammonia (buy it, or pee in the tank)...just don't post pictures! :D
2.) Add 1-2 fish depending on the tank size. Pick ones you want to keep but use the heartiest ones from your fish selection. For instance in my tank with tetras I started with a cory cat. They are pretty resilent and come up to the top to get air ocassionally.
3.) Just put something in the tank that will decompose. Fish food will do.
4.) Get media or gravel from an established tank. This will speed up the process to around 1 week.

If you add fish do 2x weekly water changes, and do not overfeed them. Watch them for signs of stress, and use a dechlorinator that detoxifies ammonia and nitrite (Prime).
 

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Well, here's my experience:
You can do a fishless cycle (dose with pure ammonia, no surfactant)
or
You can do a cycle with Goldfish, since they eat a lot, poop a lot, and are dirt cheap.

Day0:
Ammonia is present in the tank
After about Day 7, you start seeing nitrites building, and ammonia dropping
After about Day 14, you start seeing nitrates building, with ammonia gone and nitrites dropping
After about Day 21, you see a further building of nitrates, with 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites
Be sure to watch your nitrate levels, and do water changes as appropriate, or just put some nice plants in the tank (I use anacharis during cycling, nicer plants afterward)
I stock _real_ fish after Day 28
Cycling with fish no matter how cheap they are, is harmful to the fish. The best ways is to either cycle fishless or do a silent cycle and plant at least 70% of the tank with fast growing plants. Plants will have beneficial bacteria on them and will help uptake a lot of the ammonia to help the bacteria grow on them and on the filter.

If you know someone that has an established tank that is healthy you can ask for some filter material or even some gravel to put into a nylon sock and put into the tank under the intake of your filter.
 
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