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Advice Wanted On Setting Up A Fresh Tank

Author Topic: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank  (Read 1915 times)

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Offline DawnF

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Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« on: February 13, 2018, 09:29:28 PM »
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Hi,
Been a while since I was in here ...
Looking for advice on best way to set up my daughter's new tank.
She had an aqua one 28l and after some issues with the light we have replaced it with this one

 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Small-Nano-Aquarium-Fish-Tank-Coldwater-Tropical-LED-Lighting-7-14-29-Litres/401209909447?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=670791096535&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

 Since her last fish died a few weeks ago we kept the tank running and didn't over clean it or the filter. Is there likely to be any functional bacteria left? I was wondering if we would be able to run the old filter in the new tank or add the filter media to the new filter, however, it has a filter system I am unfamiliar with an in hood filter system. 

Also wondering if bioballs work ....

Just looking for best way to speed up cycling.
Last time I partly fishless cycled but only really got anywhere when changed to fish in cycling.

All advice welcome. Ps I'm an established fish keeper, just not done a new set up in years.

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Offline Littlefish

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 09:42:30 PM »
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Hi there   :wave:

If it has only been a few week then there is a possibility that the bacteria in the old filter are only dormant, and not dead, so using the media from the filter to seed the new filter will speed up the process.

Then follow the sticky describing fishless cycling https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/fishtank-filtration-and-cycling/fishless-cycling-how-to-do-it/ to make sure that you have enough bacteria prior to adding fish.

Hope it all goes well and that you keep us updated on progress.  :)

Online Sue

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2018, 09:24:32 AM »
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There may well be quite a lot of bacteria alive in the old filter, though they are probably dormant by now. How long it takes them to 'wake up' depends on how long they've been dormant.

There is nothing to say you have to use the filter in the hood of the new tank; if you could manage to fit the old filter in there, use just that instead. But if it worn't go in (eg nowhere for cable to come out) move as much media as possible into the new filter, cutting up sponge to make it fit. You would just need to make sure that there are no gaps round the edges of any sponge or the water would go round it rather than through it.




As a matter of idle curiosity, what were the issues with the light on the old tank? I have an Aqua One AquaSpace (described as 32 litres but actually holds 26) and that came with a clip on LED. I unplugged it a year or two ago and the transformer-plug came apart in my hands. I replaced it with Hiddom light!

Offline DawnF

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2018, 01:22:57 PM »
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As a matter of idle curiosity, what were the issues with the light on the old tank? I have an Aqua One AquaSpace (described as 32 litres but actually holds 26) and that came with a clip on LED. I unplugged it a year or two ago and the transformer-plug came apart in my hands. I replaced it with Hiddom light!

It was a fluorescent light in a sealed plastic case but it appeared that water was getting on the inside. In the summer my husband replaced the light and thankfully was in the room at the time as the light almost immediately started flashing. My husband turned it off but said that the whole fitting was very hot indeed. We carefully tried another light in case it was a faulty bulb but had the same result. As the tank is bright pink and is not generally looking so great and the hood is discoloured on the inside likely due to an overheating light we decided a new tank was the safer option as it is in my 14 year olds bedroom.

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Offline DawnF

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2018, 01:36:58 PM »
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Thanks. Will definitely transfer the media over. It cannot harm and may well help.
Also considering cultivating it in my large tank for a while first. If I was to do that how long would be optimal?

Going back to the in hood filter system ... Been reading about how replacement of the media can prevent nasty stuff leaking down the back of the tank .... What are people's recommendations or am I better asking this in the equipment section?

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Offline DawnF

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2018, 01:39:42 PM »
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Hi there   :wave:



Then follow the sticky describing fishless cycling https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/fishtank-filtration-and-cycling/fishless-cycling-how-to-do-it/ to make sure that you have enough bacteria prior to adding fish.

Hope it all goes well and that you keep us updated on progress.  :)

Am considering careful fish in cycling this time ... The fishless only got us so far last time. Preferring to grow bacteria on media and then slowly add fish. I do have all the relevant test kits!  :)

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Online Sue

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2018, 01:42:39 PM »
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I think with those trickle filters in the hood, if the media gets blocked water flows over the top of it and can run anywhere. Keeping the media clean would stop this happening; they only say to replace it to make money.
But there is another potential problem with trickle filters which mainly affects tanks in areas which are prone to power cuts. If the power goes off, the media could dry out and the bacteria would die.

If this was my tank and I could find any way to use the old filter, I would do that. The usual problem is feeding the filter cable out from under the edge of the hood.

Offline Matt

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2018, 08:01:38 AM »
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It strikes me that if you used something like a ceramic media instead of sponge then this issue would not present itself... I have seen one of these filters used before, it was filled with plants doing natural filtration as part of a dissertation.  Quite impressive!

Offline DawnF

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2018, 08:17:43 PM »
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Just wanted to say that the tank was successfully set up. Old media cut up and used. Added some bioballs and fed with fishfood and regularly tested for ammonia and nitrite. Couldn't get any high readings though on one occasion a few hours after feeding did see a touch purple reading on the nitrite which was back to blue next morning. After a couple of weeks from set up we upped the feeding and still didn't get anything more than a zero nitrite reading and a between zero and .25 reading of ammonia (v slightly green) so we bit the bullet and purchased 2 female bettas for the tank. Carefully watching showed nothing but happy fish and good levels. 2 weeks later we have added another 2 female bettas and plan to add 2 more to complete the tank in another couple of weeks. So far do good! Tank doing well.

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Online Sue

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2018, 08:24:21 PM »
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Sounds like the old media worked well.


How big is the tank? Just a word of caution that 6 female bettas will need quite a large, heavily planted (real or fake) tank. Some girls can be even nastier than males so they need space to get away from each other and lots of places to hide.

Offline DawnF

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2018, 07:49:02 PM »
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30l Sue.

Bigger than the tank they have them all in the shop we buy from! She currently has 4 in there and all doing well. Plenty of space to swim and we have a few ornaments/plants that allow hiding spaces.

Would you suggest sticking with 4? Would anything else work with them better than 2 more the same? Really want to keep the tank understocked at the moment. Don't know exactly how much it can cope with filter wise.
 

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Offline fcmf

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2018, 08:58:17 PM »
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Hi Dawn,

Glad the fish are doing well so far. How is the water quality (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels)? Test the water before your usual/scheduled water change - ammonia and nitrite should be at 0 and nitrates no more than 20 above whatever your tap water level is. That should help give an indication of how the filter is doing, either giving you peace of mind (if your levels are as described) or else suggesting that you need to increase the frequency and size of water changes (if higher than the figures I've given) or even potentially considering a larger tank to house your existing stock if it's difficult to keep water quality at the safe level. Splitting the fish between the existing tank and a second small tank doesn't seem to be a feasible option - female bettas need to be in groups of 4+ as described in this thread https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/new-fishkeepers/given-a-siamese-fighting-fish/

Shops do tend to overcrowd fish, either selling betta in very small environments or cramming lots of fish into a tank, as they know that the environment is only temporary. I would suggest keeping to the 4 that you have as you are actually overstocked already for the size of the tank. You might find these articles useful http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/article/siamese-fighting-fish-betta-splendens, http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/fish/siamese-fighting-fish-female.html and http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/betta-splendens/

Hope that's helpful.  ;D

Online Sue

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2018, 10:53:33 AM »
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I would not be happy keeping 4 female bettas in a 30 litre tank. It is not big enough for the lower members of the hierarchy to escape the attentions of the alpha female. 90 litres is the smallest I would keep these fish in.

The tank tank may technically not be overstocked in terms of bioload, but there is more to stocking a tank than x inches of fish in a y litres of water. The behaviour or the fish must also be taken into account. Bettas, including females, are aggressive fish. Female bettas need to have room, and hiding places, to escape from each other.

The extreme example of taking behaviour into account when stocking is from a book I have.
"A 72 inch, 135 gallon aquarium with one 20 inch male wolf cichlid (Herichthys dovii) would be completely stocked in terms of compatibility, but it could carry a school of seven Distichodus of exactly the same size, or 25 to 30 mature angelfish, or even 200 to 250 neon tetras"
It is compatibility not bioload which makes this 30 litre tank overstocked with 4 female bettas.



Personally I would keep only one female betta in a tank this size.

Online Sue

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2018, 01:29:42 PM »
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I have checked with someone I know who has had betta sororities for years. He says that 4 is the minimum number of females, and that number needs a tank 60 cm long at the minimum. 30 litres is too small for a sorority.
4 females in 30 litres is a ticking time bomb.

Offline DawnF

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2018, 07:10:40 PM »
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I have checked with someone I know who has had betta sororities for years. He says that 4 is the minimum number of females, and that number needs a tank 60 cm long at the minimum. 30 litres is too small for a sorority.
4 females in 30 litres is a ticking time bomb.

Thanks for that. I am not a Betta expert but were advised that they'd be ok. The tank is 40.5cm long. Looking happy at the moment. Will keep a close eye and can move to my larger  tank if necessary.

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Online Sue

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Re: Advice wanted on setting up a fresh tank
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2018, 07:46:16 PM »
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If it was a shop that told you, you need to be aware that most of them will say any rubbish to make a sale. Never believe anything a shop says; always research for yourself.

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