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Old 08-15-2005, 10:05 AM   #1
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Fishless or Fish Cycle?

I know in SW cycles can be SOOOOOOO long, its worth doing a fishless cycle.

Now FW I know is alot easier, is a fish cycle just as easy?
Can most FW fish stand up to a cycle (Whereas in SW about 2 kinds can stand up to a cycle... sometimes)?
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:02 AM   #2
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Fishless is the best way to go. When you cycle with fish, water changes will be your new best friend and your test kit will be your sidekick. It varies by situation but you could ultimately end up doing two 30% water changes every day. Or you may get lucky and only have to do one every two days. When cycling with fish it has the potential to burn the fish gills and cause perminant damage. I'd say about 75% of the time you will lose at least one fish.

I'd recommend cycling with pure ammonia. If you use raw shrimp or fish food it makes a big mess and can smell horrid. The cycle process can take anywhere from a month to a few months to finish.
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Old 08-15-2005, 01:57 PM   #3
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I always cycle with fish. Here is a helpful website

http://www.aquariumpros.com/articles/fishcyclefw.shtml

Hope that helps
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:03 PM   #4
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Thanks guys.

The guy at the LFS said FW fish are pretty good about giong through a cycle, and it normally takes him about a week or less to cycle.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:29 PM   #5
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it takes alot longer then 1 week, either he did not know what he was talking about or he lied. and not many fish can go through it without daily to everyother day water changes. And make sure when you do water changes you don't vaccum the gravel it will kick up the good bacteria. and slow down the cycle.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:42 PM   #6
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You do need to do lots of water changes when cycling with fish. Also stock slowly adding a few new fish each week. But I have never lost a fish during a cycle. Don't buy your most expensive fish in the beginning and don't buy any with a reputation for being sensitive.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:44 PM   #7
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I actually HAVE done SW in the past... I kindof know this stuff already, exept on a much more difficult scale

Whats a good hardy FW fish?
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:02 PM   #8
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Zebra Danios
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:18 PM   #9
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OK, Guy at that LFS said I should wait til tomorrow to put a fish in there, but why?
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:29 PM   #10
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Who knows......back in the day it was common to wait 24 hours for your chlorine to gas out but nowadays most cities use chloramines which won't gas out for a long time anyway. So now everyone relies on water conditioner.....

If you are planning on cycling with fish I'm not sure what the benefit of waiting 24 hours would be now. Did you ask the guy why?
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:35 PM   #11
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in my opinion it doesn't sound like the LFS guy knows what he's talking about

and the biggest benefit of fishless vs fish cycling is purely being humane! you could survive 1-2 months of living (and eating/drinking/breathing) in your own waste... but you sure wouldn't enjoy it.

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Old 08-15-2005, 05:34 PM   #12
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I cycle a new tank with feeder guppies.
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Old 08-15-2005, 05:34 PM   #13
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I have devoted a web page to cycling with fish humanely. Check it out.

http://home.comcast.net/~tomstank/to...s/page0017.htm

You let your tank run for a day or two to make sure everything is working, and to adjust and let your heater bring the tank up to temp. Chlorine will diffuse out in that time also, but most people use a dechlorinator. Unless you use BioSpira, or get colonized biomedia from an established tank, there is no way you can cycle your tank in one week.
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Old 08-15-2005, 05:47 PM   #14
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My plans are to get bio media from a running tank.

Tom, I dont understand how that would work??? Obviously there is ammonia going into the tank, hows it getting converted?

Did I miss something and you are using BioSipra for the cycle? I might have to see if the LFS has some.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:56 PM   #15
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Tom, I dont understand how that would work??? Obviously there is ammonia going into the tank, hows it getting converted?
Uhm, are you asking how my low bio-load project worked? Basically, the theory is to have very few fish, so that the rate of ammonia excretion by fish is low enough to prevent the levels from getting high while the bacteria grow. Assume a rate of ammonia excretion by the fish that will result in 0.25 ppm of ammonia in 20 days. You will never see it, since the bacteria will grow during those 20 days to lower the ammonia level below the test kit lower limit of 0.25 ppm. Same principle for the nitrite.

Just like in your established tank, the bacteria need only trace amounts of ammonia and nitrite to live and multiply. That is why a new filter in an established tank will be colonized, even though you have no detectible ammonia or nitrite. My low bioload aproach is not fast, it requires 7 weeks to work! Do not attempt if you do not have patience and restraint. If you add too many fish or feed to much, you will get an ammonia or nitrite spike and have to do water changes till its over. But if you can be patient and not overfeed, at least you have fish to look at during the cycle.
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Old 08-15-2005, 07:30 PM   #16
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Oh so there IS ammonia...

How many fish would be a small amount for me to start out with? 2?
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Old 08-16-2005, 12:29 AM   #17
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Most FW fish are somewhat hardier than the average SW fish and some will even survive up to 8ppm ammonia although you probably want to do a water change if your nearing 5ppm. At 8ppm or above the bacteria doesn't seem to multiply as well. Usually if I want a tank cycled right now I use fishless cycling. I've cycled tanks that way in 2 weeks without using starters like biospira. If I'm not in a hurry I add a few fish. I got a dozen tiny feeder guppies for $.50 and tossed them in my 90g then just left it for over a month until I was ready to start planting and stocking it. I've never lost a fish cycling even with somewhat sensitive fish but I've never made the bioload high enough to get more than .25 ammonia in a week unless I did a fishless cycle. Zebra danios and feeder guppies are usually the fish of choice for cycling. Zebra danios would probably be the better choice since they are less likely to carry diseases than feeders. I'd add 1-2 danios per 10g of water but it depends how fast you want it to cycle versus how much you want the fish to survive the cycle. Another reason I use fishless cycle is the store here won't take fish back and there's no way I'm keeping the danios again. All day they would dive bomb my tetra school scattering the tetras everywhere and nip at the more peaceful fish.
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Old 08-16-2005, 01:58 AM   #18
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i would do with a few zebra danios, start with about 5 of them because they are cheap and extremely hardy

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Old 08-16-2005, 09:05 AM   #19
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Well if Zebra Danios I wont want in my tank later because they bug other fish, I dont think I want to cycle with them.

What is another fish that goes will with everything that I can LEAVE in my tank?
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Old 08-16-2005, 10:25 AM   #20
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I cycled my 55 gallon with 2 zebra danios. Then, after the ammonia went up and down and the nitrite was finally at zero.. i started buying 1 or 2 fish/week. Now 6 months later i have a nicely established tank.

a good friend of mine just inherited a 30 gallon and she is moving this weekend to her new apartment down in Tampa. So she brought over her filter and stuck it on my tank. It's the same filter as mine only a bit smaller, so i cut my sponge in half and put it in her filter, along with her sponge, and i put a new sponge in mine (i also have biomax in my filter) so now i have both filters running on my tank, and im taking her filter to her this weekend, and by that time, my new sponge should be colonized in my tank, and she still has a piece of my old sponge in hers. So this weekend when i go visit her, she will already have her tank set up and we will put the filter on it and it will be ready to stock with fish!
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