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Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought a 55 gallon tank with filter, heater, 2 aerators, etc. I am going to let my tank cycle. Can anyone give me some ideas how long it will take. It has the original gravel that has been in the tank for 4 years so i believe that will help it speed up. I would like to stock the tank with some large beautiful fish. This is my list so far.

2 Angel Fish
3-4 Discus

What else can I put in here? I would like to add colorful fish. Can I add a few more angel fish or discus because I really like them. What are some more color fish like these. I also don't like those fish with large lumps above there eyes. Give me some ideas.

Thanks
 

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I dont want to preach to you but i would clean that gravel before i started using it there is no way to tell what all is in it. As far as cycling the tank take your time angels and discus arent cheap so you wont want to be losing many if any. i cycled my tanks with goldfish(except for salt water). i would recommend getting say 6 or so goldfish and throwing them in. they will introduce the bacteria your looking for and if you lose any they wont be $15 or $20 dollar fish
 

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I agree, dont skip out on cycling when setting up for angels and discus, i have never kept them ,but i hear they are very sensitive. If you dont want to use goldfish and want to use a fish that you can use to cycle and keep in the tank, look for a very hardy fish that you like and can keep in that tank. I have used Tiger barbs before to cycle, they are very hardy and are pretty cool fish, but i wouldnt advise them with angels.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well for now I am using the Fishless cycle. I am completely new to this cycle thing... I am using this Beneficial Bacteria Mixture I bought at the pet store. I believe its the Top Fin Brand. I also went ahead and bought the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master that measures pH, High Range pH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrates. I also plan on going out next weekend to a tropical fish store and looking at fish and purchasing some Java Moss and such. Whats the best way, Fish food, Raw Shrimp/Fish, or 100% Pure ammonia if that Beneficial Bacteria Mixture wont do it. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

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WF
 

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I'm just going to throw this out so you know it
if you have a lot of live plants your probably going to need a Co2 injection system
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have just measured my Ammonia level. it was .50PPM Nitrates 0PPM and nitrites are 0PPM. Im going out to buy a eye dropper and a bottle of 100% Pure Ammonia. I read online that if I put 5 Drops of Ammonia per 10 gallons everyday and the Ammonia will rise to 5 ppm and higher. As soon as nitrites are measurable, reduce the ammonia input to 3 drops per day. Nitrites will rise to similar levels. Keep adding 2-3 drops until the measurements of ammonia and nitrites come out with 0 ppm. Then tank has then completely cycled. Is this true? Im running out to find pure ammonia and try this method. Any comments would be appreciated.

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yup its true. for other colorful fish, i would suggest cardinal tetras and german ram cichlids. if u just have hardy, low-light plants a CO2 system is unecessary. if u do plants like anubia, java moss, java fern u will be OK with no CO2 system.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just found out that they don't really sell Pure 100% Ammonia... Is that what I'm suppose to use or what...? I have no clue because they say you'll never really find it. I looked on the Janitor Cleaning Ammonia and its 10%. Is that alright?
 

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u could do raw fish instead if u can't find pure ammonia.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oops, sorry in the cichlid form I posted that I went to a local pet shop and they gave me a few used filters and water that I poured in and I squeezed the bacteria out of the filter. Now what should I do? Just leave it alone to cycle? Do I have to add anything, etc?
 

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You will still need a source of ammonia for the tank to cycle. The bacteria added from the used filter media will help the bacterial to establish more rapidly. 10% ammonia is fine as long as it doesn't have any laundry scents added or anything like that. It needs to be just ammonia in solution, and 10% solution is okay. I remember it being hard to find regular old ammonia the last time I looked, but it can be found.

I'll just add that when you have your tank cycled and the test kit readings show all is good, still add fish slowly and really keep an eye on things.

There is an ongoing debate about mixing angelfish and discus. Some people feel the angels are a little aggressive and rambunctious for the more mild mannered discus. I never kept them together myself, so I can't say with personal experience. I have had good luck with Harlequin Rasboras as a companion fish to the discus. They are Asian fish, though, so you may not fins the combination to your liking if you want to stick with Amazonian species. Cardinal Tetras are often kept with discus, and they certainly meet your criteria for colorful! :)
 

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Is this your first mid sized tank? If so, I would be vary wary about starting with Discus. These fish like really clean water, low pH, low hardness, and higher temps than most people keep their tanks and at $25-$100 a fish it would be bad fish to start with. I would start with a shoal of tetras (cardinals, neons...etc) see how they do for a month, then start adding the higher end fish. Another good fish that go well with Discus are Cory cats. These are also good fish to start with.

Angels and Discus are fine together, the Discus are actually more aggressive towards the angel from what I have seen first hand. They live together in nature, but the only reason some are against having angels and discus together is that angels can carry disease that Discus can get from them easier. I think Hole-in-the-head is one.

As far as a planted tank, CO2 is not necessary but it depends on your lighting (wpg) and type of plants you plan to keep. However, you might want to consider additional substrate if you want a planted tank.

For ammonia, just use fish food and let it decompose. If you really need ammonia, pee in the tank...lol. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've actually been posting in the Cichlid Part of this Forum and I've decided to go with the African ones. Thanks for the answer on the Discus and Angel Fish. Just wondering but Dmaaaaax, do you live near Raleigh? I live near there and I haven't really found any really nice tropical fish stores that carry cichlids and other color fish. Do you know of any within 30-45 minutes of there?

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I've actually been posting in the Cichlid Part of this Forum and I've decided to go with the African ones. Thanks for the answer on the Discus and Angel Fish. Just wondering but Dmaaaaax, do you live near Raleigh? I live near there and I haven't really found any really nice tropical fish stores that carry cichlids and other color fish. Do you know of any within 30-45 minutes of there?

Thanks
Yeah, I live in Durham and just joined the Raleigh Aquarium Society. Feel free to check it out and join: Raleigh Aquarium Society

I saw your wolfpack name and thought you might be from this area. ;) I have 3 stores I would recommend: Triangle Tropical Fish in Durham, Aquacade in Raleigh, and Aquarium Outfitters in Wake forest (nice store).

Just do a google map search of the 3 to find their locations and websites. The last one may not have a website but is a nice sized fish store.

As far as African cichlids go, most like higher pH and harder water. Our water here is extremely soft (GH 1-2) and neutral (7.0). Keep that in mind.
 
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