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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys frist off id like to say this forum is beyond informative, most of it im not even close to knowing what it means yet!i find forums to be a great way for very usefull information as i am a long time user on a GMC truck forums and have gotten nothing but good info and ideas! so i guess first off i would like to start with telling everyone what i have and if it is all going to work well as a system because i baught this setup used and to be honest it was NOT kept up well at all....needless to say the owner didnt want his oscars anymore so he removed them from the tank and chopped there head off....anyway! back to my setup i have a 45 gallon corner tank i think it is something like 28-30'' tall? kind of "diamond" shaped with a ELITE 35 HOB filter and what i think is a 20watt heater seems to have brought my tank to temp in about 1.5 days so im guessing this is ok? i have one large drift wood with some hiding spaces in it in the middle of the tank with lots of plastic plants behind in the "corner" part of the tank with a strip air bubbler amongst them....also have some short plants in front right corner and small air bubbler under a skull of some sort in the other corner....so i just filled/setup my tank and started the filter yesterday april 27th and today i come home to see it cloudy inside...first i didnt kno what to think but from some searching on here of course i THINK i found that this is good and what i want to start the "cycling" process.....basically i had a 5gallon tank before this with some neon tetras and guppies so as far as "cycling", amonnia, PH levels, nitrides and nitrates are concnerd i have NO idea what im doing haha do i just let this guy run with this filter for a few weeks before adding some fish? or should i be testing the water regularly? also i have a platty in a seperate tank aswell.....would it benefit to put the tetras, suppies plattys in the tank while this thing cycles? i read somewhere that adding some types of fish will help the tank get established? now i have no idea what types im just asking is this a good idea or not so much?

EDIT: one other thing is that my tank is tall rather than long....the filter suction only comes down about 6inches should i have it extended down near the bottom or middle of the tank?? sorry guys lots of questions to get started with my new hobby...i love pets and most animals so i think this should be a great addition to my list of pets! haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
i may also ad i am planning on going with african cichlids...i know there are hundreds of different breads i just havent narrowed it down yet.
 

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well the fact that the previous owner chopped off the heads of his oscars because he didnt want them is pretty disturbing.....a 20 watt heater is nowhere near enough but i think you have a typo and meant 200 watt? elite 35 is new to me but doesnt seem to be near enough filtration for a 45 gallon tank. i suggest measuring your tank dimensions and typing them in an aquarium capacity calculator to make sure its a 45. cycling doesnt take place until ammonia is added to the tank. either by some hardier cheap fish such as danios or alot of people like to do "fishless cycling" which you can search about. cycling takes weeks to complete. was the filter dried out for a while before u used it or was it transported with water from the old setup? if it didnt dry out, it may still contain the bacteria from the previous setup, which will help your cycling process. u should pick up a master test kit to test for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrites. welcome to the forums....were here to help.
 

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african cichlids are very territorial and need "footprint" which is basically surface area so a corner tank is not very ideal, however if you really want them you can get them but you should stock accordingly which we can get to eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
clossboss said:
well the fact that the previous owner chopped off the heads of his oscars because he didnt want them is pretty disturbing.....a 20 watt heater is nowhere near enough but i think you have a typo and meant 200 watt? elite 35 is new to me but doesnt seem to be near enough filtration for a 45 gallon tank. i suggest measuring your tank dimensions and typing them in an aquarium capacity calculator to make sure its a 45. cycling doesnt take place until ammonia is added to the tank. either by some hardier cheap fish such as danios or alot of people like to do "fishless cycling" which you can search about. cycling takes weeks to complete. was the filter dried out for a while before u used it or was it transported with water from the old setup? if it didnt dry out, it may still contain the bacteria from the previous setup, which will help your cycling process. u should pick up a master test kit to test for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrites. welcome to the forums....were here to help.
EDIT: sorry yes the filter was dried out and everything was absolutely fithly so my girlfriend being the way she is took to the cleaning and we basically made it looks brann new again....pooor fish he had in that thing before hand from what im reading 2 oscars and a large sucker fish is wayyyyy to much to have in a tank of this size?

sorry it is a aquaclear 20 heater which i just googled and is a 100watt heater....and the filter all i can see on it is ELITE 35 and this is the guy i found online http://cgi.cafr.ebay.ca/ELITE-HUSH-35-G ... 35a2ad2ef4 looks like its for a 35 gallon?? man this guy just didnt care by the sounds of things and yes him chopping the heads off his oscars kind of made me want to get the tank and leave iit was a bit much to hear....so how do you suggest i take this tank from the way it sits now with water and make it a good home for some nice colorfull vibrant fish!?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
just checked out the dimensions online with a calculator turns it its telling me it is a 42.8 gallon so i guess not to far off from 45 gallon what he told me
 

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your heater is probably sufficient. you should get a master test kit to test for nitrate, nitrite and ammonia. i always suggest using danios to cycle a tank as they seem to be hardier so you can add some of them to start cycling. i would add another filter such as penguin 200 or something with similar filtration capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
yes i think she used MR clean.... and then some lysol disenfectant whipes...but rinsed and scrubbed sides after with just clean cloth and tap water about 5 times i believe.
 

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I like the look, it's very "fish tank". Depending on the fish you end up with, you might want to add more rocks or some driftwood, but that can wait.

This tank is not ideal for African cichlids. Almost all of them need space horisontally, not vertically. There are possibilities, however, why not consider looking at some South American ones?

That said, let's talk cycling. How are you planning to do it? Might I suggest reading:
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/fishless_cycling.php
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/water_chemistry.php

and take a look at these:
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/cookie_cutter_20g.php
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/cookie_cutter_29g.php

I know your tank has double that in gallons, but for odd shaped tanks, we usually figure the foortprint by 'chopping off' the odd bits - means I estimated your tank at less than 22'' square, maybe 30'' at the longest cross section?
That link should at least get you looking at other cookie cutter setups, all tried and tested :)
 

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looks very nice, i like the drift wood. Kribensis, convicts, or Rams would be really nice in a tank that size. There are some very nice options. As for mbuna, im sure theres small species that could work, however i will leave that to the experts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
well i listend to the petsmart people(1 od 5 i talked to that seemed like she knew a bit of what she was talking about) and i added 4 danios in the tank....i did not get a test kit but will be talking it into them to have a test done on my water in a week or so....anything else i should do? im not sure what type of cichlid i would like to put in there i just want something vibrant in color and active/visible.....to start with anyways untill i get more into the game and learn more about different species then i might have a preference. thanks for the help guys where should i go from here????
 

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well i listend to the petsmart people(1 od 5 i talked to that seemed like she knew a bit of what she was talking about)
I'm glad you found one that sounded like she knew what she was talking about, but most of us here would be a bit hesitant to believe her information. (Most of here have been helped into a ditch by petshop - especially large chain petstore - workers who seemed to know what they were talking about). She has effectively put you on the roule of cycling with fish. Did she talk to you about the nitrogen cycle? If not, well, be wary. Do your own reading, and judge for yourself. Again, I really recommend you read up for yourself how cycling works. I explain briefly below, but it really is worth looking at the articles on this site.

anything else i should do
buy a test kit. A liquid one, not the test strips. I know it's expensive, but to cycle with fish, as you are doing now - and if you want those fish to survive - it is imperative that you know what your water parameters are pretty much daily. You want your ammonia to be less than 1 or 2 ppm, which is low - and will probably require daily water changes to keep that way (I know in previous cycles with fish that was my fate). Then, you wait for the ammonia to start dropping (hard to see with daily water changes) and nitrites to increase (not so hard to see, luckily). This is a good sign. Now, you'll be changing water daily to keep your nitrites less than 1-2 ppm. Eventually, in two/three weeks you will see 0 nitrite, 0 ammonia, and then you test for nitrates. That means your tank is cycled, and you can add whatever fish you wish to keep long term. You will, if you did this properly, also still have the danios, but danios are rather pretty to me, so that wouldn't bug me too much, personally. I would be hestitant to take those fish back, since going though this process has weakened their constitutions (likely ireprably) and I would feel terrible pawning them off on someone else. This is the only way to be 100% sure your tank has a bacterial colony that can handle your new fishes waste, and keep them safe and happy.

Basically, your cycle is over when you have 0 ammonia (NH4), 0 nitrite (NO2) and some (less than 50 (absolute upper limit) - keep it there with water changes) nitrate (I shoot for less than 10, but that is extreme. In truth, I manage less than 20).

pH, KH and GH are all also parameters that matter somewhat, but those discussions can come when you know what fishies you want :)
 
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