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Old 01-23-2008, 06:23 PM   #1
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Fast Cycle

What is the quickest way to get a tank to complete it's cycle, and how do you know when it is done? I heard that hardy fish were great to put in at first, but that isn't working out so well (check out my post in the "Unhealthy Fish" forum. Tips?
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:46 PM   #2
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The fastest way is a fishless cycle with ammonia and seeded material from another filter or substrate from an established tank. Cycling with fish takes longer IMO due to the fact that you have to do several water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrite down to as close to 0ppm as possible. What size tank are you trying to cycle?
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
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55-gallon... and how long should I expect to wait without any "seeded" sources?
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:06 PM   #4
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With fish mostly likely around 6 weeks. I haven't actually cycled with fish so that is a guesstimate on my part. Fishless cycle without seeded media and solid ammonia source has taken me 3-4 weeks.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:11 PM   #5
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Thanks, I didn't realize that fish would make it take longer to cycle.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:25 PM   #6
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The reason it takes longer is because you have to do water changes so that the ammonia and nitrate levels do not kill the fish.. without fish you can do no water changes and just let the cycle take its course without worrying about dead fish.
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:30 PM   #7
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What fijiwigi says is completely accurate. By having to do the water changes to keep fish alive, you slow down the process of ammonia converting to nitrite and then to nitrate.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:34 PM   #8
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I am not trying to start anything here, but if you do PWC's and there is still detectable levels of NH3 and NO2, you are not slowing the cycle down. As long as there is a food source, the bacteria will still grow. In fact, it will probably help it to cycle faster by adding O2 into the water column. O2 is very important to the bacteria. IE the wet/dry sumps or biowheels.

It really doesn't make a difference if you have 5.0 PPM NH3 or 0.5 PPM NH3. The bacteria are still going to multiply just as fast to consume what is there. Of course letting the NH3 source run out will not help you unless you are at the point of your current bioload.

The best way to speed up the cycle is to get some substrate or mung from someone whom you know takes care of thier tanks. Purchasing plants that are kept with fish will do just the same as the plants will be covered in bacteria.

There are also quite a few different bacteria suppliments on the market. Bio-spira is one that has been known to work rather well, but it is very expensive and has to be kept cold at all times.

There are also factors that could slow down the cycle time. Tempurature, pH, nutrients, ect...

Justin was kind enough to put together an article for people just like you.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...cle/Page1.html
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:51 PM   #9
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Interesting, it is contrary to everything I've read about the levels of ammonia and nitrite not affecting time. I have done fishless cycles with and without seeded media and find the ammonia levels at 4ppm do work the fastest for me.

I wil do some more reading up and see what else I can find on the subject. Everything else you say I do agree with.

The op has mentioned that they have no options for seeded media in this thread.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:27 AM   #10
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fast cycle

Hello I'm new to the site so please bear with me if I make any silly mistakes.

I know this post/thread was a year ago part I'm hoping you can help me.

I also want to cycle my tropical freshwater tank as quickly as possible.

I'm buying a tank on ebay and it is coming with a tetra 700 external filter and some gravel, will this help speed up the cycle process (I'm also going to use bottled products to add bactiera to also speed it up)?

The tank, gravel and filter have been used to house a2 terapines, will this make a difference?

And my last question is, say I buy another filter and gravel that have been used for just tropical fish, would this speed up the cycle process (I was thinking I might just ask someone on ebay who's selling a tank if I can just buyt their fexternal filter and gravel/sand)?

Please reply asap as I really want to get this started

Thanks for your time

Tony
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