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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first time setting up a cichlid tank and it's been a while since I've set up a tank at all so I could use some wisdom :)

My tank is at the end stages of cycling (it's been about 3 and a half weeks). I've been cycling with guppies and rosy red minnows (the survivors will have another place to go when it's all over). It's a 45 gallon 3 ft long X 2 ft tall X 1 ft deep. The ammonia just dropped down to zero yesterday. Nitrites and Nitrates were still off the charts.

I've been using a Penguin 350 but I have had to replace it once b/c after 2 weeks it was making funny sounds. I kept the old filters and biowheels and placed them in the new filter. Now the new one is starting to make some noises. I have sand as the substrate, but am very careful to keep the filter off when scooping dead fish and when feeding. Maybe the sand is still getting in there somehow? possibly b/c of the powerheads (though they are placed at the top of the tank and do not seem to be blowing the sand around at all)

I've bought a Rena 305 cannister and I want to know what would be the best way to switch to this filter without undoing the cycling process. I know the bacteria have been building up in the filter but with this switch, I can't just put the old filters into the cannister. Is there enough bacteria built up in the sand and rocks in my tank to switch over without keeping the other filter or will i need to keep them both running for a while?

Also--because I used feeder fish to cycle, I wanted to treat the tank beforehand just in case any of these feeders may have had some type of disease/infection. Should I start that process now while the feeders are still in the tank? If so...should I set up the cannister filter without any charcoal for the time being? What type of med. should I use....i was thinking melafix and pima fix to catch the broadest range of bacterial and fungal issues.

Phew...long enough? lol. Thanks!
Chrissy
 

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I would just add the canister to the tank and leave the 350 on it as well for a couple weeks or so to make sure you get good transfer. as far as meds go i would dose now if you want but if you dont notice and signs of sickness i dont think i would screw with meds. But before any important fish go in definately a big w/c and some carbon
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks!

what media would you recommend for it? I saw there was ammonia remover...nitrate remover...prefilter stones... I'm not sure what would be beneficial and what would just be a waste of money if regular maintenance is in place. Of course, I would like to do as little maintenance as possible...lol.
 

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I would take whatever filter media you have in the HOB and wring it out into the canister when you set it up, that'll seed it good. Then run with both filters for a while and take off the HOB.
 
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