help first timer

This section deals with all aspects of the 'newbie' cichlid aquarist. For questions about tanks, water parameters, food, types of cichlids, and what other fish can be kept with them.

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help first timer

Postby fishman206 » Mon May 31, 2010 6:54 pm

i bought a 55g. tank on CL it came with hob filter biowheel, java moss,and gravel. so i bought 2 kribensis,4 cories, and 6 danios. i had no idea you had to cycle a tank or test for readings until a couple days ago (first time setting a tank)so i bought a water tester. well my question is i had the tank running for over a month already and when i did my water test it gave me reading of 0 ammonia,nitrite,and nitrate my ph is at 6.4(brand new api master test kit). i'm using prime water conditioner. i do weekly 20% water changes. after checking online shouldn't i be getting ammonia readings or have it cycled already? help please
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Re: help first timer

Postby Mike Wise » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:12 am

Your tank seems to have cycled already - at least for the number of fish in it. If you wish, now is the time to add more fish (a few at a time). Just keep up the tank maintenance and everything should go smoothly. I only have one other suggestion. Buy fish from tanks that have quarantined fish or better yet set up a small (10 gallon) quarantine tank of your own. Nothing is more depressing than losing a great community of fish due to adding a diseased one. A quarantine tank is the cheapest insurance you can have.
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Re: help first timer

Postby philipandrews1 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:52 am

^ thanks for the tip. let me ask a question, are there other types of fish or sea creature that can be bought, that cleans the aquarium tank? say eats the algae build up...
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Re: help first timer

Postby SergeS » Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:41 am

Yes, but it depends a little bit on what fish you want to keep ;) You can't keep sea creatures in a freshwater tank!

In your case, I would get a Ancistrus spp. (type of catfish), several of these don't grow larger than 6", they're peaceful and excellent algae-extinguishers. The L144 is even attractively coloured. They're night creatures, so you may not see them a lot during the day. They need vegetable food and fibers, so if you run out of algae you will need to feed them with something else otherwise they may start on your plants (assuming you have real plants). They like cucumber, or sinking green tablets for vegatarian catfish.

Another option is to keep Otocinclus spp., also a small type of catfish (2-3"), best kept in a group. They're a lot more active than the Ancistrus, but less effective in eating algae.
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