reply to post by 74Templar
So odd that you would post this thread. I set up a 10 gallon tank (what you have), 3 days ago. I took pics as soon as it was setup.
Back story: My 9 year old son got a goldfish and a vase as a prize from an event he attended. When he brought it home, he was excited, and said, now
I can have my own pet. Being the realist, I told him it wouldn't last more than a couple of days. It was floating the next morning, and he was
devastated. I told him we'd start a REAL aquarium, but he'd have to take care of them. He agreed.
I used to be an aquarium specialist, peaking out at 55 gallons for tank size, in my younger days, raising everything from Oscars, Plecos, Albino
Catfish, Angelfish, Piranha, Silver Dollars, and Snails. (The pet store was more than willing to buy my surplus fish. 6 inch Oscars bring in about
Warning on snails: While good for tank cleaning, they breed worse than rabbits. You'll have hundreds of them if you're not careful. In small
tanks, no snails.
Oscars and Piranha eat "feeder fish", so I would have a separate 30 gallon tank raising my "feeder goldfish". It was a vicious cycle. I would
take my goldfish, and plop them into the 55, and they'd soon become dinner. It really is an interesting hobby. Having run the gamut of every
freshwater species, I researched saltwater, and never took the plunge. The first wife and I were moving to a new place, so I drained my many tanks,
and instead of pursuing the hobby, I sold or gave away all the equipment. My firstborn was about 6 at the time, and now he's in college, so it's
been well over a decade since I've messed with aquariums.
Since my 9 year old agreed to take care of his fish, I called my brother up to see if he had a 10 gallon tank laying around. He did. A plain tank,
and he tossed in a brand new Hartz 200 gph external filter. That was all. Time to go shopping at the pet store, and we also made a stop at our local
Wal-Mart. I returned home with a gob of equipment, my wallet about $75.00 USD lighter, and 6 "feeder goldfish" that cost 13 cents each, in a
The point here is to set up a tank quick. Instant gratification, but also to run in what's called a "biological filter". Those three weeks that
others talk about? Yes, that's true, but I have a technique to set up a tank almost instantly, in fact, by the end of the night, the goldfish HAD to
be in the new tank, else they wouldn't survive the night in a plastic bag. "Feeder fish" are the best to set up a new tank, and establish the
required "biological filter". They are hardy, and deposit the proper nitrites (through their excrement), which are then sucked up by the external
filter, and are lodged in the filtering mechanism. My favorite is a common kitchen sponge. As water flows past, the microorganisms (bacteria),
process the nitrites, but a new tank has very few to begin with. I kickstart the process by adding in fish immediately, and "dirty" fish, such as
feeders, introduce the required bacteria through their excrement.
Nature is amazing, and self-regulating, especially in closed hydrological environments. Those important three weeks for nature to balance the nitrate
cycle, with no fish aren't really required. You just can't toss a Molly or a Tetra in there yet. Let feeder goldfish swim and establish the
So yeah, I cleaned the old dirty tank, with dish soap and a scrubby. I rinsed it very well with super hot water. My son rinsed the 10 pounds of
gravel (natural stone, a preference), and I placed it in the tank. I added 4 gallons of hot water, and 6 gallons of cold water, attached the
thermometer to the side of the tank, and I happened to be 10 degrees above the green zone. I tossed in a tray of ice cubes to bring the temp down.
While waiting for the temp to drop, I placed in the airline with the bubbler under the gravel, added the rocks on the bubbler to weigh it down, and
placed the plant and other rocks. I wet the static cling background paper, and put it in place. I added in the external filter, primed it full of
water, and started it. The temp by then was in the green range, so I floated the fish for 20 minutes. Then, I cut open the bag, and introduced them
to their new home.
Today, the water is crystal clear, the fish happy, and in three days I've created a solid bio-filter in which I could introduce other, more delicate
fish. My son feeds them, and watches them, and so do I. An old hobby sprung to life.
Side View: Those green streaks are actually the bubbles floating up under the green light of the hood.
Note: Pics taken within 15 minutes of fish introduction. Tank temperature is the main consideration. The bio-filter follows.
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