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Old 08-12-2004, 04:17 PM   #1
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HELP: Fish for Cycling

I just started this hobby and I have 2 damsels cycling in a 20 gallon tank. One of them seems like its last hour has neared. My other damsel is trying to get it to swim but its no use. It is just laying on its side with the only movement coming from its gills. Every once in a while it gets it to hop up but it can't swim. I am thinking of putting another fish in there but I don't know what fish are good for cycling and which are not. It has been 2 weeks since I have put the damsels in it.
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Old 08-12-2004, 04:57 PM   #2
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Read this on fishless cycling. Myself, along with most other people on this board, do not advicate using fish as a cycling sacrifice.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=15
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Old 08-12-2004, 05:20 PM   #3
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Please dont cycle the tank with fish...there is a better and actually easier way to do this. Please read the articles....even go get a peice of LR and this will do it for you. Take the damsels back if you can until the tank has cycled..
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Old 08-12-2004, 05:27 PM   #4
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I like the idea. But what should I do with my damsel (the other one died about 30 min ago)? Can I still put the raw shrimp in it while I have the damsel in there?
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Old 08-12-2004, 05:40 PM   #5
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Can you take him back to your lfs? Most will give you some credit, or maybe even hold it for you until the cycle is complete.
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Old 08-12-2004, 06:12 PM   #6
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If you do go back to the LFS then take the dead damsel too, ask for a refund and give them a piece of your mind for giving you such inhumane advice.
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Old 08-12-2004, 06:25 PM   #7
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I don't think that will work, besides, they just stopped me from buying a fish because they said my tank wasn't ready, so I don't think the inhumane advice route won't go to well.

Thanks for the suggestions. Since my fish died about 1 hour 30 min ago, my other fish seems really depressed and is swimming but slowly and not very far. I feel sorry for it, and for putting it in the tank. I have no idea what to do with it. Anyone want a damsel? All you have to do is pay shipping (your choice) and you can have it.

The problem with live rock is I don't have a protein skimmer yet and it might take a month or two before I get one. I'm looking for one on ebay.
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Old 08-12-2004, 06:40 PM   #8
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Take the remaining Damsel back to your LFS if they'll have it back. If they'll hold it for you, great. If not, it's better than killing it.

All you'll be doing if you keep it in there is watch it die.

Damsels are hardy, and many survive the cycling process, but a lot of them won't get back to full health, leaving them more prone to problems in the future and therefore affecting the stability of your tank and future livestock. They may live during the cycle, but it must be like living in a pig sty breathing in smog and sewer waste. It's just not fair...

Use another method of cycling (raw shrimp etc.) which is less hassle, better, and humane!
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:12 PM   #9
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I was just kidding about the refund and stuff... it just annoys me that LFS's still advise damsel cycling.

For the time being, try doing frequent water changes to improve the environment for the remaining fish.
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:29 PM   #10
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Thanks for the help & advice, i'll try it out. One more thing though, how frequent should the water changes be? Once a week? Twice a week? More or less?
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:36 PM   #11
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Testing the water will give you a good idea how often to do the changes.

You should be aiming to keep ammonia and nitrites quite low.

Do you have test kits for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:53 PM   #12
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No, I don't have the test kits but my LFS does the tests for free so for now I'm relying on them. I also need to get a new salinity test kit and a new thermometer because the ones I have don't seem reliable. I'm low on money right now so my priority is to get a protein skimmer and some test kits.
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Old 08-13-2004, 12:08 AM   #13
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My LFS recommended Damsels to cycle. Of course they did. it sells fish.
I bet many people starting didnt even know you could cycle without a fish.
I didnt until I read about it here. The shrimp method makes so much sense.

I just used LR when I set up the tank. After a fishless tank for a month my tank conditions are excellent and I finally added my first fish.

Dont be in a rush, take your time
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Old 08-13-2004, 12:26 AM   #14
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A lot of people including myself have done what you are doing at the advice of a LFS. I bought 3 damsels and 2 of them died right away. I still have one of them now and its over a year later. And hes the friendliest damsel I have seen!!
I would do water changes every other day if you can for sure.
Also consider this. Why not get a small peice of LR and then add base rock to the tank later. Base rock is nothing more than LR that once was Live...Plus if you get a peice of LR it will help cycle the tank and then get base rock and let it seed. Takes about 6 months for this to happen but its a cheaper way of doing this. You dont need a skimmer immeditaley. I waited 4 months to get one and it was all ok. I buy peices of LR from the LFS every now and then. Over the past year I have accumulated over 95 LBS....doesnt take to long. Hang in there and read read read!!
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