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i just finish setting up my new 20 gallon tank installed in the tank is a aqueon quiet flow 30 as i was told to buy a filter made for 10 gallons more then what i have i also have a 100 watt submersible heater!

i already added the water and gravel now am trying to figure out what to do next i know i have to cycle it but how long should this be and what is the next step after the cycle and what kind of fish can i keep in a 20 gallon tank with out having to worry about upgrading the tank thanks for all the help in advance
 

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<o:p> </o:p>
Fishless cycling requires using household ammonia and adding good bacteria to initiate the cycle, without any fish in the aquarium. You should use ammonia with no ingredients in the bottle of ammonia that is used for cycling, except ammonia, and/or ammonium hydroxide, and/or water. The liquid should appear clear, and most any good brand will do.<o:p> </o:p>
The next thing you will need to start a fishless cycle is some seed bacteria. If you already have a healthy, cycled aquarium then that is the best place to get some good seed bacteria from. If you dont have a healthy cycled aquarium, you may need borrow some seed bacteria from a friend, who has an already cycled aquarium, or from your Local Fish Store. What you need is some gravel from a healthy aquarium (about a plastic sandwich Ziploc bag full). It is also good to take some used filter material from a running tank, that has already cycled or filter floss or a filter sponge and some water, both from the same aquarium you got the gravel from. <o:p> </o:p>
You will also need a test kit for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.<o:p> </o:p>
During a fishless cycle, the water should not be changed until the cycle is done, and you are getting zero ammonia and zero nitrite readings.<o:p> </o:p>
To do a fishless cycle, add 95% of the seed gravel or other substrate from the healthy aquarium to the gravel or other substrate in your new aquarium. Then take the remaining 5% of the seed substrate material, and put it into a small filter sock . If you are using a hang-on-the-back filter, drop this pouch of seed substrate material into the filter. Make sure the pouch does not stop water flow through the filter completely. Then, add some filter material from the cycled tank into the filter box as well. <o:p> </o:p>
Next, you add ammonia. You will need to put the ammonia into a clean dropper bottle, Simply add drops of ammonia until your ammonia reading goes up to 5.0 ppm, which is pretty high. It took me about 30 minutes of adding ammonia and then testing for ammonia and then adding more drops and then testing for ammonia until I got the 5.0 ppm ammonia reading. Keep track of the total number of drops it took for you to get the desired 5.0 reading. After the first day in which you add ammonia, you should test for ammonia and nitrites every day. Then, every day, after testing for ammonia and nitrite, add the same number of drops of ammonia until you see a nitrite reading. On the first day that you actually see a nitrite reading, add half the number of drops of ammonia that you added on the first day, and keep adding that amount every day until you test and have zero ammonia and zero nitrites. At that point, you will need to do a massive water change. <o:p> </o:p>
I did a 99% water change, and still had to do a few more partial water changes the same day, to get rid of the high nitrates readings in the tank. A fishless cycle uses a lot more ammonia then would normally develop with other methods, and therefore the leftover nitrates can be pretty high. My nitrate reading was 160 ppm when I was done with my first fishless aquarium cycle. Don’t add any fish to the aquarium until your nitrate reading is 10 ppm or less. You can do multiple water changes in the same day, until the desired nitrate reading of 10 or less is achieved. This works because the good bacteria is in the substrate, and in the filter, and remains after the water change. When you have zero ammonia, zero nitrites, and 10 or less nitrates, your aquarium is fully cycled, and ready to house your fish.<o:p> </o:p>
It took me three and a half weeks to do my first fishless cycle. But If you follow the above recipe, and does all the things listed to speed up the cycling process could be able to get it done in 2 weeks. This has already turned into a book so we willtalk fish in the next installment :)
 

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Let me say go ahead and invest in a nice droplet kit instead of those dip stick kits. I have found they are more reliable.
 

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I like planted tank because the plants take care of the tank.

I have a 20g long that has been running for a couple of years now. I use peat moss 1" with 1" of aquarium gravel on top of that for a substrate. I now recommend a middle layer of 1" of play sand.

I planted with 10-15 bunches of anacharis, 8 vals, 4-6 small potted plants, and an amazon sword.

The tank has no filter, no heater (in an air conditioned room), I only replace the water the evaporates with untreated tap water.

Lighting is 3 15w "pig tail" lights in round clip on fixtures. They set on top of a 1/4" egg crate.

The tank currently has 15-20 platies from the cycle fish. Other fish that have thrived in other tanks are guppies, silver hatched fish (jumpers), neon tetras, mollies. As long as you stay away for fish the tear up plants (gold fish, cichlids) they should be fine.

Just something to consider.

Worth at most .02.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for all the advice but all the advice given required more time then i had to set it up for my kids and i followed some advice given to me by the pet store which was cycle fishless for 2 days with the clorine remover liquid and then buy 3-5 hearty fish and do a cycle with the fish ........i followed this advice but now am scared i might have rushed it and the fish might die even though they look healthy now but is there any advice you can give me for this type of start up cycle
 

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If you already have the fish, I think the best option is to buy a quality test kit and monitor the levels o ammonia and nitrite. If they get too high (over .25ppm) then do a water change to cut back their levels. This should help keep the fish as comfortable as possible. Don't oget to remove the chlorine from the new water as well.
 

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yes whatever our members said is perfect.if you still observe that your ammonia and nitrite level fluctuates then you should change 40% of water per 4 days until your tank completes cycle...
 

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Welcome to the forum David.
A fish-in cycle can still be done with success. Since you are in that situation, measure the ammonia and nitrite in your tank daily and, whenever you see levels approaching 0.25 ppm, do a large water change. This should be enough to keep your fish healthy while the filter gradually becomes cycled. The emphasis during a fish-in cycle should be to keep the fish healthy, not to worry about whether the tank cycles in a month or 6 weeks. As it turns out, there is evidence that taking the fish health approach actually gets a tank cycled faster than many other methods.
 

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moreover if you keep 1 biological filter it will be excellant because the biological filter has some bio balls which is necessary for water chemistry...
 

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I like to cycle my taank with fish like minnows or dainios. When the tank is done cycling you should get some schooling fish like tetras.

About the cycling.

Change the water twice a week (take out 40 precent). Check the water everyday. And and read the other posts to find out all the chemmicals you should put in.
 
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