? asked in PetsFish · 9 years ago

Cycling my first tank, HELP?

Okay, this is my first fish tank, it's a 10 gal I haven't even set it up yet, I would like some help with that too. For starters should I use bottled or tap water? The bottled water is basically reverse osmosised or what ever you call it, it's PH is 7 or what ever normal is, and it's decently cheap, would I be okay just using this? Also would I have to add anything to it still?

Now on to the cycling. I'm not really sure what to do at all. My filter is used is that bad or good or does it matter. Also I do just have a probably 5-8 gal tub with 5 guppies in it without a filter or anything(it was a science experiment for school, I feel so bad for them) that I'd like to give a proper home in this tank, could they be used for Cycling? In their tank there is also gravel, live plants, ghost shrimp, snails, and of course water, would any of that help if I put it in the tank, also when would I put it in the tank if I were to do so?

Thanks, anything else would be helpful, I really don't know a lot, I am doing a ton of research though.

Also with the 5 guppies will I be able to get anymore fish in my ten gal?


I also own an air pump and air stone, and a heater. If I am going to use tap water what should I add to it? I'm going for the cheapest I can.

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    to answer the first question, i'd say go with tap water and you need to simply buy a water conditioner from your local pet store. the bottles aren't expensive and directions on how to add it to your tap water should be on the back. the conditioner will remove the chlorine from the water and then it should be fine. You can also buy a ph tester for up to 6 dollars if it's concerning but your ph should be average since humans drink tap and most fish will adapt to abnormal Ph as long as it isn't too dramatic. (dramatic would be lower than 6 or higher than 8)

    A used filter should be fine! In some cases even better because it could help speed up the cycle since it already has the useful bacteria.

    About the guppies, they will survive for a while don't worry too much. But, if you have only a 10 gallon tank then 5 guppies is the maximum it should ever hold. And you want to cycle with only 1-2 so that your amonia levels don't sky-rocket immediately.

    Also, how many ghost shrimp and snails? Those should be enough to cycle (no guppies needed). And in total you should only have 1 inch of fish per gallon of water so that is 10 inches max. (Count your shrimp, snails, and guppies as approximately 1 inch each). If you cycle with the shrimp and snail then you can start adding 1-2 guppies a week in about 2 weeks.

    so to summarize: I'd cycle with 1-2 guppies OR the shrimp and snail (preferably the shrimp and snail) since whatever you cycle with has a high risk of dying.

    wait two weeks then beging adding 1-2 guppies per week after that. Test the water daily and change 1/4 of it weekly but don't scrub too much or gravel vaccum because you don't want to destroy the helpful bacteria beginnign to colonize.

    This is how cycling works (in case you are unfamiliar with it.)

    1. when you put in the life fish you want to cycle with they will begin to produce amonia from the food you feed them and their poop. The ammonia is toxic to fish which is why death is possible for the fish you cycle with. Pretty soon, you tank begins to naturally form bacteria that will change the amonia into nitrite. However, nitrite is also toxic to fish so soon a different bacteria forms that turns nitrite into nitrate. Nitrate is only toxic to fish in very large amounts so to remove it you simply do weekly or every two weeks water changes changing about 1/4 of the water.

    To see how well your tank is cycling you can buy ammonia testers, nitrite testers, and nitrate testers.

    You can test your water every other day and you should see the amonia level begin to rise then slowly begin to drop as your nitrite begins to rise then you nitrite will drop as your nitrate rises.

    After you've cycled your tank you should still have these testers and test your water weekly to make sure everything is always running smoothly.

    NEW: you don't need to add anything to the tap water. just the water conditioner to remove the chlorine. the air pump, stone, and heater should all be added to your tank as well as a filter.

    Source(s): Aquarium fanatic :)
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  • 9 years ago

    if your wanting to put your fish right into the water that day then go to your local pet store they have water thats ready to go. other wise if you set the tank up with tap water let it run for a few days before adding fish.

    Cycling.. IF I WAS U.. i would go out by an air pump and an air stone.. throw that into your 5-8 gal tub so they have air going threw your tub while putting your filter on your fish tank, fill it with tap water and let it cycle by itself for a few days then put that air stone into that 10 gal tank and also the 5 guppies they will be perfectly fine and happy. Air pump you can get under 10 bucks an air stone for like a 1.50 and theyll make your fish alot happier and look nice.

    If you want them in now then buy that water from the pet store put your filter on and put your fish into a plastic bag float em in the new water so they get a feel for the temp change and let em go iv never had a prob with guppies and not cycling honestly. They are pretty hardy in my opinion. but a tip go to walmart by a $11 dollar heater for them if you dont already have one.

    Also with the 5 guppies will I be able to get anymore fish in my ten gal?

    just follow the One Inch Per Gallon Rule. 10 gallons is 10 inch of fish.


    you have guppies so dont get anymore fish bud they bread like rabits check if they are male or female (male is brightly colored easy to tell) female are dullish and if preg have a black dot called a gravid spot means theyr preger. if you have a preger then your having more fish on the way and if they are all male then i feel sorry for them huh .

    Source(s): own fish , including guppies
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