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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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new tank setup, no fish, cloudy water?

so i've had this 10 gal up and running for 24 hours now. 2 plastic plants, 2 big rocks with holes in them, one anchored driftwood piece. the water has slowly gotten cloudier. it's not opaque or anything, but it's foggy looking. 1. what's caused it.....2. do i have to fix it....3. how do i fix it??

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 08:11 PM
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Did you wash everything first? What are you using for substrate?

I would give it a little more time...it'll probably settle on it's own .




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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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the substrate is blue pebbly things. i rinsed everything good with hot water first, cause it was dusty. i'm sure im just being impatient, but im dying to know if it'll fix itself or if i should do a water change, partial water change...i've never siphoned before...lol lord knows i'll end up drinking some

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 10:13 PM
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It should fix itself on it's own but you might want to do a partial water change .

And hehe, you don't have to suck on the tube to siphon. Actually, I wouldn't recommend that . I know with mine you just move it up and down. Or you can submerge the whole gravel vac...letting it fill with the water. Then plug the end with your finger to keep the water in and start the siphon by unplugging it in the bucket.

Or you could go buy a Python No Spill Clean N' Fill .




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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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okay thanks what i'll do is sleep on it, and tomorrow if it's worse, i'll do a partial change. if it's the same i'll do a partial....(something to do lol), and if it's even a smidge better i'll leave it. i read in my handy helper booklet that fishfood affects this cycle. if i add a teensy sprinkle will it benefit or be counterproductive? also i don't have a vacuum thingy. we're on welfare (the canadian equivalent) so i don't have budget room to go get one. plus if i can just siphon with a bucket and a hose, well i'll do just that lol. it hasn't gotten worse the past half a day, for what that's worth

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 10:57 PM
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If you aren't using filter media from a mature aquarium or Bio-Spira then you should fishless cycle and yes, fish food is often used . You add a small amount every day or so and keep testing the water. At first you'll get an ammonia spike. Then the ammonia will start to lower and nitrites appear. The nitrites will stick around for a while and you'll probably start to lose hope, lol. But then suddenly they'll go down to almost zero . At that point your nitrates will have built up a bit and you should do a partial water change. Keep testing for the next couple of days and if your water parameters stay stable you can add the first few fish.

Resist the temptation to add fish before the tank is cycled. The tank is not safe for fish until ammonia and nitrites are at zero.

If you can get gravel and/or water from your friend's tank that will help speed up the cycling process. Getting live plants helps as well. Otherwise it'll take about a month or so (but some tanks cycle really fast so it's hard to say).

Here are some articles you can check out:

Tropical Fish - New Tank (aquarium) Syndrome and Cycling
Fishless Cycling - Article at The Age of Aquariums - Tropical Fish

Many articles you'll find will say to use pure ammonia. While that probably works the best using fish food is fine too.

I know it can be difficult to wait to get fish until the tank is done cycling but it's really for the best. You will have much better luck and healthier fish. Dealing with ammonia and nitrites really takes it's toll on fish and the ones that survive often suffer permanent damage. And hey, this gives you time to research and decide exactly what fish you want .

Oh, and gravel vacs are only a few dollars in case you ever have the money . Mine was like...$3 . That's less then the costs of a lot of fish :p. You don't need a fancy one or anything...sure, they tend to be easier to use but you definitely don't need one. I've been using the same cheapo one for years without any problems...on both my freshwater and marine tanks .




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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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wow thank you SO much, i'm SO lost with this. i failed chem twice for a reason. bio i rock at, but chem is my nemesis. i think i need to get better or newer testing kits. mine (being from a garage sale) didn't come with instructions, so i played with the chems and the water to see what happens, sort of figuring it out myself. don't worry i won't get a fish yet, i don't want to kill it. i'll totally look into a gravel vac and bio spira stuff. i really am interested in this neat hobby, it's so different from fuzzies, and so very beautiful. i fear i also my need new activated black stuff (dont' remember the name). i'm using what came with the tank and god knows how old it is. does it have a life expectancy? i might look into a heater but i doubt i'll get one, i'd rather use that money for cycling stuff and a gravel vac. i'll do anything, i just don't want to spend mucho moola or empty the tank and wash all and start over lol i like how i have it. *sigh* patience i know

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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oh, i didn't mean i experimented by putting chems into the water, i meant i took a water sample and experiemnted with that. the water is tap water, with a drop of the dechlorinating stuff, i added a teensy flake or two to the water. so then you say i should expect an ammonia spike, then a nitrite spike, then they both go down and i'm safe? i want to make sure i totally get it lol

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 11:15 PM
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No problem . I remember feeling pretty lost when I started too. Do you know what brand of test kits you have? 'Cause if it's the one I have I can give you the instructions.

Beware...it's an addicting hobby . Just like rodents, lol. Soon you'll be infected with MTS (Multiple Tank Syndrome) .

Hmm. I don't think the activated carbon has an expiration date if it's never been opened. But I'm not entirely sure. It's cheap anyways. You can get a pack of three for a few dollars...that's what I do. I have the same exact filter on one of my 10-gallons .

You don't need a heater if you keep coldwater fish like the minnows I mentioned. But definitely get a thermometer so you can keep track of the temperature. You don't need a fancy digital one...a $2 floating one is perfectly fine . Just avoid the stick-on ones...they are inaccurate.




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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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it came with a thermometer with a suction cup, but it never stays so i let it float around. the carbon wasn't brand new, i washed it with water but i can see there's old green dried algae stuff on it, i'll get a new one tomorrow. i got a ph test kit, it's for freshwater, says its' by aquarium pharmaceuticals inc. and i have an ammonia test kit by the same company. both kits caem with this little glass vial with a plastic topper. both boxes have german, english, french and spanish writing on them

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 11:23 PM
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Yup, you have it right .

Basically, ammonia is caused by fish waste, uneaten food, decaying plant matter, etc. Ammonia is toxic to fish even in smaller amounts. Luckily there are beneficial bacteria which "eat" the ammonia and convert it to nitrites. Nitrites are still toxic to fish and even tiny amounts can kill them. But in time a second group of beneficial bacteria colonize and convert the nitrites to nitrates. Nitrates aren't toxic in small amounts but if they build up they can stress out fish and make them more sucepitable (I can never spell that word) to disease and in extreme cases can cause death. Nitrates are removed by performing regular water changes. Live plants also use up some nitrates as food which is one of the reasons they are great for aquariums.

So cycling is just letting those good bacteria colonize. The reason getting used filter media and gravel speeds up the process is because those things already contain some of these bacteria. Bio-Spira works so well since it's basically a huge live colony of both bacteria. If you plan to use Bio-Spira there isn't any need to add fish food or anything.

I hope that made sense.




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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulder
it came with a thermometer with a suction cup, but it never stays so i let it float around. the carbon wasn't brand new, i washed it with water but i can see there's old green dried algae stuff on it, i'll get a new one tomorrow. i got a ph test kit, it's for freshwater, says its' by aquarium pharmaceuticals inc. and i have an ammonia test kit by the same company. both kits caem with this little glass vial with a plastic topper. both boxes have german, english, french and spanish writing on them
That thermometer is fine .

Oh, then definitely don't use that carbon. It'll only work for a couple weeks after being "activated" aka getting wet. I have those tests...tomorrow I'll get the instructions for you.

You'll want to get one for nitrites, by the way. A nitrates one would be good but isn't absolutely necassary yet.




~Stephanie

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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coolness. that made sense. i've made a list to go find things tomorrow. getting a new activated carbon, finding the bio spira, a gravel vac, and another light bulb. if i get live plants don't they still need dirt or something? or do they just use the water?

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 11:34 PM
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Depends on the plants. Some plants don't even root in the substrate...they float or are tied to rocks/driftwood. And others are hardy and thrive with plain gravel. Most plants need decent lighting, though. I'm not sure what kind of lighting system you have.

Some really hardy plants that don't need a ton of light are water sprite, duckweed, hornwort, java ferns, java moss, anubias nana, and amazon swords.




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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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awesome, i have all that written down too lol. i just may look into getting a plant since it'll just look nicer. do you know of any algae eaters bottom feeding guys that are freshwater room temp? or a snail? i dunno, i just DO KNOW that i feel it's a good idea to have one? lol

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