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I just picked up a used 50g setup on CL and would like to know what I need to do with it. although it was up and running with 2 fish in it (pleco and prehistoric dragon goby<-weird fish) its really dirty. the guy admitted he only did enough to keep the fish alive. Which he later explained was just topping it off with a garden hose and throwing in some blood worms and algae flakes occasionally. It has two HOB filters that need to be cleaned up. I'm going to run them until I can make it up to LA to pick up free canister filter from my brother in law, probably a month or so. Only one of the filters had been running, the impeller on the penguin 350 needs replacing so the whole filter, including bio-wheels, is dried out. Do I need to buy new bio-wheels, or will these ones be seeded from the other filter. What I mean is once they completely dry out are they useless? I'm Likely going to attempt to turn the 2 fish in for store credit (the goby for sure) so I'll have an opportuinty to completely clean the tank. Should I keep the supposedly cycled tank going or should I start fresh. I would rather keep it going if its not a danger to my fish (malawis will be going in when ready). Whats the best thing to clean the tank that won't kill the good bacteria? Any suggestions from anyone who has purchased a used tank like this?
Thanks in advance,
Khris
 

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personally I would buy a new bio-wheel. As far as cleaning a good course brush that has been used on anything else (get at local store like petco,petsmart)and I can't stress this enough DON'T USE SOAP OR ANY CLEANING AGENT!!! I would also get rid of the filters and clean the filter system. If your going to use anything that this gentleman has given to you with the tank, such as fake plants and decor I would dip those in some boiling water (Note the word Dip!) If you let them set in the hot water it will disfigure them. I have bought 2 tanks used and so far I am doing OK :lol: My tropical tank has been up and going for about 2 years and the cichlid tank is just getting started :) Wash them out with a brush for that tank (yes I have one for each tank, never mixed them) and bought new filter systems.
Hope this helps :D if not maybe some else can give you a better answer :thumb:
 

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Should I keep the supposedly cycled tank going or should I start fresh.
I know the temptation is to try to maintain cycle to get it going faster, but in this case, I'd start over. You don't know what kind of nasties you'd be leaving if you just try to keep it going. If the tank was suffering from what's called 'old tank syndrome' then the nitrifiying bacteria would have been inhibited and may not even be present in significant numbers anyway. Just my two cents. Do what will help guarantee long term success even if it takes a bit longer to get it going.
 
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