Sunday, February 03, 2013

The New Tank Is Up and Running

Dad finished the stand for my aquarium so it was time to get the tank up and running.

 It takes a little longer to fill the 30 gallon tank that it does Amanda's little one.

Here is a good shot of my tank on the stand Dad built.

Did a lot of reading about new tank cycling. Once the water is balanced you can start adding fish. Once the fish start eating and digesting their food, the ammonia level in the tank goes up. From there, a certain kind of bacteria begins to grow that turns the ammonia into nitrite. All of this is stressful to the fish which is why fairly hardy fish are recommended to start the tank. A different kind of bacteria then begins to grow that turns the nitrite into nitrate which is not so hard on the fish (unless the level is too high, of course). After the tank reaches this stage, it is "cycled". With filtering and regular water changes, the tank should now keep up with the fish. I bought a "Safe Start" additive that was supposed to help the good ammonia-eating bacteria start in the tank. After more reading online, I was not so sure it was worth the money ($30), but I already see green algae growing on the rock decoration in the tank. I think this is a sign that the good kind of bacteria is growing in the water, so maybe it did help.

Got my first three fish for the tank this Thursday. In this picture, you can see the orange Molly in the front. Bill, our "fish guy" at Petsmart, recommended adding just three fish at a time, give the tank a week and then add three more. I started with three Mollies. I got a Black Molly which Amanda named Shadow, a Dalmatian Molly I named Tux and an Golden Molly (orange) we ended up calling Porty. Porty is short for Portokáli  which is Greek for "orange" We go with Porty because it's easier to remember. This weekend I plan to add an Upside Down Catfish and two Golden Dojo Loaches (also orange). Once the tank is established, I want to add 5 or so Cardinal Tetras (I was told then need an established tank).

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