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I have 75-gallon glass aquarium. Added substrate and water plus declorinator on Nov 7th. Set up filter on Nov 9th and added 300w heater set at 79F. Water looks very clear but tested water today, Nov 12th, no nitrates/nitrites detected. Also temperature only 74F despite changing location of heater from near the intake tubing to near the output tubing and having thermometers both sides of the aquarium Any advice appreciated as hoping to keep Malawi Peacocks
 

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First thing to do is to cycle the tank. Just adding water and letting it sit doesn't cycle it, you need to do either a fishless cycle or a fish in cycle with some small hardy fish. Once you go through the cycle (takes about a month give or take) then it'sell be ready for fish. If you're not sure about what cycling is then do a search here for "fishless cycle" and there is a step by step how to on the site.
 

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Panthera said:
I have 75-gallon glass aquarium. Added substrate and water plus declorinator on Nov 7th. Set up filter on Nov 9th and added 300w heater set at 79F. Water looks very clear but tested water today, Nov 12th, no nitrates/nitrites detected. Also temperature only 74F despite changing location of heater from near the intake tubing to near the output tubing and having thermometers both sides of the aquarium Any advice appreciated as hoping to keep Malawi Peacocks
Refer to this for cycling tank: https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ ... _cycle.php

As far as the heater is concerned, they are not always calibrated perfectly; you may have to turn it up a bit.
 

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Agree with everything said. Regarding heater position it should be near the intake so all water has to flow over the heater to enter the filter.

Also what temp is your room? Aquarium heaters are designed to raise water temp no more than 10 degrees higher than room temp...they don't work in an unheated garage for example.
 

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Sorry, got anxious about writing on the forum and missed out that I added nitrifying bacteria on Nov 10th but will read the articles posted on the cycle. I did take the advice about the heater and didn't realise my house was only 65F, and I live in So. Cal. Cranked the house heater up and temp in tank is increasing, already. Thanks to all who replied and for your patience as I climb a steep learning curve.
 

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Don't trust the nitrifying bacteria...sometimes it helps but often not enough. Consider a fishless cycle with ammonia. Allow six weeks.
 

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Not sure your bacteria source but if it's in a bottle, add it every day. That seems the only way I ever got the few brands I've used to work well. Agreed on the fishless read. You've seeded start feeding those bacteria now and it's off to the races. Should start getting brown algae then fading. I like to pull the mechanical filter material out and let the tank cycle without it.
 

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Since the bacteria grow on the filter material...why would you remove it?
 

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Not all the material just the mechanical part. My reasoning is I want the bacteria to colonize on surfaces I don't intend to clean regularly. Now I know when I'm cycled my bacteria colony on my bio media is sufficient I won't get spikes if I pull my (socks) to swap for clean ones.
 

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Do you have a friend/acquaintance fish keeper in the neighbourhood who could lend you some established media (a sponge for example)?

I have been back into tropical fish for the last 15 years and have only cycled a tank once. When I want to set up a new tank or have torn down an old one for a while, I fill the new tank with 80%-85% fresh water, treat for chlorine, add heater and empty filter and run a few hours to make sure temperature is where it needs to be.

Then I add a sponge from my established tank (or two if it is a bigger tank) and Bio-Max from my established tank and immediately add the new fish and top off with some old tank water. I have done this with sensitive Tanganyika fish, even wild caughts and never lost a fish. I am careful not to feed too much the first week nor add too many fish that week.

I have set up tanks at work a 15 min. drive away using the same method; bringing media from home, keeping media submerged in tank water in a bucket, and doing the transfer as soon as I arrive at work. I am not sure how long media can retain beneficial bacteria without circulation and how much temperature change the media can handle, so I try to be quick with this scenario and not press my luck.

I have heard some people say to add mostly established tank water and established gravel but I have not found that to make a difference myself. The established media is the key.

Concerning temperature, as was stated, pay no attention to what the heater is set at. Pay attention to what a reliable thermometer says the temperature is in the water. I run my African cichlid tanks at about 78F. Some heaters are set at 75, one at 82, but the tanks are all sitting at 78 degrees.

When I buy thermometers at a pet store, I look at say, 7 of them. A couple will read lowest, a couple high; I buy one of the three thermometers that register temperatures in the middle.
 
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