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Old 02-23-2014, 07:18 PM   #1
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Potentially idiotic cycling questions?

Hello everyone,

Please forgive me if these questions are immensely stupid, but I've been reading and reading for DAYS and I am now so bloody confused that I can't even think for myself anymore.

I am trying to cycle a 35g freshwater tank without fish. I have a solid theoretical understanding of how the nitrogen cycle works. Putting it into practice, however, is becoming increasingly difficult for me because of the lack of ammonia available for purchase where I live. I have checked hardware stores and big chain stores and can find NOTHING appropriate locally.

If I were to order it online, I would have to pay extra money to have it shipped with a heat pack in order to avoid freezing. The cheapest I've found is an additional $10 charge on top of a minimum $25 order. I'm looking to avoid this - spending nearly $40 for a bottle of something that only costs $4 is a little ridiculous.

Putting a dead shrimp in my tank is not an option. I'm a strict vegetarian, which causes an ethical dilemma for me in regards to bringing a dead animal home. I don't mind that other people do it and I'm glad that it works for them, but it's just not for me. Live and let live, I say.

I have some "Bio-Support" that I purchased from Big Al's (a national chain FS here in Canada), which has the same formulation as API's Stress Zyme. But adding beneficial bacteria is pointless without an ammonia source, correct?

I don't want to harm any fish by performing a fish-in cycle, and I don't know anyone locally with an established tank from whom I can pilfer any seeded filter media.

Am I stuck here or am I overlooking something obvious?

EDIT: Ugh, and naturally I posted this to the wrong place. Forgive me, I'm exhausted. If anyone could move this to the Freshwater Forum for me, it would be much appreciated.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:30 PM   #2
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Potentially idiotic cycling questions?

Well, if you cannot find a source of ammonia and shrimp is not an option, you can use fish food to create a source of ammonia. Just put some food in the tank and, as it decays, ammonia will be created. It will obviously take longer than using pure ammonia, but it will work.

Alternately, you could do a fish-in cycle. Done properly (meaning, you'll spend a lot more time maintaining the tank so that your fish don't suffer), it works just as well as the fishless cycle. If you add live plants, you'll speed the process along as they consume the ammonia the fish produce.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:33 PM   #3
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I'm just curious- if you do not want dead animals in your home (I assume you also do the same for animal by-products) what do you plan on feeding your fish?
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:05 PM   #4
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Most fish food is made from dead fish.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:15 PM   #5
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My only issue with bringing home a dead shrimp would be that I'd be doing it solely for my own convenience, which I feel guilty doing, so I don't do it.

My fish will be eating NLS foods made with fish because it's what's best for them. I wouldn't dream of harming them or trying to force them to live with my dietary choices.

Before we start some crazy debate here, I didn't start this thread to discuss vegetarianism. I don't harp on people for eating meat and I don't condone it when other people do. Please don't assume I'm insane just because I don't eat it.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:26 PM   #6
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Throw a couple cubes of frozen blood worms in there, that should kick start it for you
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sodbuster95 View Post
Well, if you cannot find a source of ammonia and shrimp is not an option, you can use fish food to create a source of ammonia. Just put some food in the tank and, as it decays, ammonia will be created. It will obviously take longer than using pure ammonia, but it will work.

Alternately, you could do a fish-in cycle. Done properly (meaning, you'll spend a lot more time maintaining the tank so that your fish don't suffer), it works just as well as the fishless cycle. If you add live plants, you'll speed the process along as they consume the ammonia the fish produce.
Thanks for the suggestions!

I'm totally okay with doing additional maintenance so long as the fish won't suffer. Do you think I'd be okay to add a few hardy fish (maybe this weekend), a bottle of SafeStart, and then just be careful monitoring my parameters for a few weeks?
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:46 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions! I'm totally okay with doing additional maintenance so long as the fish won't suffer. Do you think I'd be okay to add a few hardy fish (maybe this weekend), a bottle of SafeStart, and then just be careful monitoring my parameters for a few weeks?
I unintentionally did my first cycle fish in, what is your stocking list as of now?
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:30 AM   #9
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As far as I know, it's looking like this:

6 panda cories
9 diamond tetras
9 von rio flame tetras
5 blue velvet shrimp
5 guppies

Trying to decide which of those would be the hardiest?
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:55 AM   #10
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As far as I know, it's looking like this: 6 panda cories 9 diamond tetras 9 von rio flame tetras 5 blue velvet shrimp 5 guppies Trying to decide which of those would be the hardiest?
yup! If say start with the guppies, that's actually what i used with mine, still have most if them! While 2/4 anyways, but did not lose any to the cycle. Trick is lots of testing and lots of wc.
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