Sorry, I'm not familiar with aquasafe, specifically. I only use a chlorine remover for my water. I waited 2 days after setting up the tank. You have to add the fish gradually so the filter bacteria can grow and keep up. While this is happening you have to 'cycle' the water to keep it clean. This means changing half the water every day until the bacteria are established and the water is clean.
Cycling is explained in this thread: http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/fishnet/1271965-help-depressed-ill-goldfish
The difference is that instead of adding food you add a few more fish then test the water and wait for 3 clear days before adding more. Only start feeding once all the fish are in and the water is clean.
I use Aquasafe. All the dechlorinators are fairly similar.
I would not add any fish until the cycle is finished, it's not necessary to use fish to cycle a tank and is a bit cruel IMO. Cycling a tank without fish takes a while but will save you a load of bother in the long run as exposing fish to ammonia and nitrIte can cause long term health problems.
This article explains how to do a fishless cycle and has general info about the nitrogen cycle.
You'll also need to test your water pH and hardness so you can research which fish will be suitable for your water.
I did not say you were cruel. I said it was cruel to subject fish unnecessarily to ammonia and nitrIte, which it is. If you've already got fish in an uncycled tank then your method is exactly the way to fix things. But this is an empty tank. Fishless cycling is very easy and means that fish will not be exposed to ammonia and nitrIte.
When a fish is exposed to ammonia, its gills and skin are burned. After about a week when the ammonia level drops, the fish is exposed to nitrIte which inhibits its ability to circulate oxygen around its body- which after having its gills injured can be pretty serious. Sure, many fish can survive this process, but why take the risk? Fishless cycling skips all that.
Potato, potarto. Say it however you like it amounts to the same thing. In my opinion telling all and sundry that a person, trying to be helpful to complete strangers, is doing something cruel, is crueller than using fish to cycle a tank.
I'm trying to be helpful too. Maybe some people don't think it is cruel to expose an animal to a substance (unnecessarily, there's that word again) that can injure and even kill them, but I do. I suppose that is something people may differ on but I'm sure the OP would like to know the consequences of a fish-in cycle so she can decide for herself. I'm sorry if I offended you.
It's still a fairly new thing, mainly championed by geeks fishkeepers on aquatic fora. In that PFK link there's a brief description of the history of fishless cycling which is interesting for the geekily minded.
Anyway, it's nice to have another fish geek to play with
Have spoken to a more informed chap at local aquatics shop and ds is trying to be patient whilst we do it properly, (this having googled loads of websites that tell us it's ok to chuck fish in after a couple of days )
The man in the shop did say we could have a couple of hardy goldfish as of now but ds wants some little shiny ones so decided to wait.
thanks for all the info, I didn't quite expect fish to be so complicated I have to say, kind of thought we'd fill the tank and plop a couple in.
Beware fish shop 'experts', most of them aren't. I'd always back up everything they say with your own research. His comment about 'hardy goldfish' is ringing alarm bells with me, partly because he shouldn't be recommending fish to cycle a tank and partly because these days, due to unscrupulous breeding practices, goldfish are not very hardy at all.
Is there a Maidenhead Aquatics near you? They are generally pretty good although I'd still do your own research. You have to be quite selective with websites- MongaBay, Fishkeeping.co.uk, and Practical Fishkeeping are all pretty reliable.
There's no such thing as a 'hardy goldfish'. Goldfish are actually very sensitive to ammonia, nitrites etc. and this is why people complain that they get sick so often.
I know some aquarists use goldfish to cycle a tank, then just kill them when the job is done
The humble goldfish has a hard life indeed.
I was in Pets At Home buying some stuff for my cat the other day and an older couple were buying a tank for their grandson. They obviously didn't have a clue how to set the tank up and didn't even know the difference between the filter and an airline. The bloke serving them was giving out all kinds of grossly incorrect advice and the only reason I didn't speak up was because the woman resembled a rottweiler