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Discussion in 'Tropical Chit Chat' started by bparnham, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. bparnham

    bparnham New Member

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    Just bought the Fluval flex 57ltr and i want to have tropical fish but i am completely new to owning a fish tank
    i understand what i need so far
    • In tank heater
    • 2 buckets
    • thermostat
    • water de-chlorine and conditioner
    • water test kit
    • In tank accessories(Gravel ETC)
    • More filters for spare to change when needed
    This is what i think i need is there anything else i should have and once i have it all should i have it running for a week before adding fish
    if anyone can help please do
     
  2. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    You also need either a lot of live plants or a bottle of ammonia solution.

    Fish excrete ammonia, which is poisonous to fish. You need something in the tank to remove this ammonia, and there are two ways of doing this. The first is to use live plants, and more than just the odd one or two. Plants use ammonia as fertiliser and if there are enough of them they will use all the ammonia made by the fish. With this method, the tank is planted, then you wait a week or two to make sure the plants are growing and not dying. Then add fish a few at a time, monitoring ammonia and nitrite levels between additions, and only adding more fish if the readings remain at zero for a week. If they don't remain at zero, water changes must be done to get the readings down to zero.
    However, if you don't want to have to look after plants as well as fish, you need to grow some bacteria to 'eat' the ammonia. This takes several weeks. The method for doing this fishless cycle is here http://www.fishforums.net/threads/cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first.421488/


    If you just leave the tank running for a week with no live plants (or only one or two) and then get fish you will find yourself doing a fish-in cycle which involves testing the water every day and doing a water change every time you get a reading for ammonia or nitrite. Depending on the number of fish you put in the tank, it could mean several water changes a day. Using this method it can take a few months before the tank is fully stocked as you should start with only a few fish, then once the tank is cycled for those fish, add more a few at a time.


    You also need to look on your water company's website for your tap water hardness. You need both the number and the unit, and ignore any words they use. Fish need to be chosen from those that originate in water with hardness close to your tap water.



    Since you are new to the hobby, I need to warn you not to believe anything a fish shop says. Most of them don't know or don't care and will say any rubbish to make a sale. Members on here are not trying to sell you anything and will give you better advice.
     
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  3. bparnham

    bparnham New Member

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    Thanks alot i have chosen to get the fluval stratum substrate and start growing i think it will be effective as im at work for 8 and a half hours a day so i dont really have time for water changes my plan is to grow plants and bacteria for a couple of weeks then slowly add fish while keeping an eye on water and if needs be do water change until zero ammonia is in the tank
    Thanking you
     
  4. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    Make sure you have enough plants and they are are growing and not dying before getting fish. Floating plants are among the best for using ammonia.
     
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  5. bparnham

    bparnham New Member

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    Floating plants can you link me please and im planning on growing plants for about a month then add a couple of fish at a time whilst checking water and keeping an overall eye on everything.

    Should i grow bacteria for a few weeks aswell a d do both planted and bacteria or is that not effective?
    Thanking you
     
  6. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    In a 57 litre tank one of the smaller plants would be better such as Salvinia (example of Salvinia natans at an on-line shop http://www.aquariumgardens.co.uk/salvinianatans-portion-696-p.asp ) or even duckweed.

    To grow bacteria you would ned to add ammonia from a bottle following this method http://www.fishforums.net/threads/cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first.421488/
    But most plants can't cope with too much ammonia in the water; and with a lot of plants you won't need many bacteria anyway as the plants will use all the ammonia before the bacteria get chance to use it.
     
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  7. bparnham

    bparnham New Member

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    I think that floating plant look abit Urrgh if you know what i mean
    Could i layer the bottom with some plant that would be as effective as floating plants?
    im completely new to this sorry
     
  8. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    The reason floating plants are effective at removing ammonia is because being on the surface they are very near the lights and they can also take carbon dioxide from the air - air holds more CO2 than water. Plants lower down do not get as much light or CO2 so they remove ammonia slower. Floating plants are often referred to as ammonia sinks.
    However, a lot of lower down plants should be OK provided you do not add too many fish at one go - and I mean more than just the odd plant or two.

    The alternative would to do a fishless cycle, then put plants in and get fish. That way you will start with enough bacteria regardless if whether the plants added later are enough to take over from the bacteria.
     

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