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Old 07-30-2005, 09:19 PM   #1
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why a shrimp to start cycle?

I see good recommendations for fishless cycles for tanks. There seem to be two types, either adding ammonia directly or throwing in a shrimp or two. Adding ammonia can be a hassle; adding a shrimp causes the tank to stink. Some advocate using both ammonia and shrimp.

My question is what is so magical about a cocktail shrimp? Wouldn't any food source provide a sufficient nutrient base for bacteria to develop? Why not throw in some fish pellets, or a piece of steak or a carrot, or some dry cat food? If say the cycle food needs to be easily broken down by the ambient bacteria, surely there must be more options than just shrimp, isnt' there?

Just curious.
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Old 07-30-2005, 09:32 PM   #2
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yes, any food source will work.. fish food would be fine..
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Old 07-30-2005, 09:33 PM   #3
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the idea is to have a "clean" sorce of food for the bacteria..
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Old 07-30-2005, 10:48 PM   #4
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I would use pure ammonia over anything else just because the other stuff makes a mess. But everyone is different. I do like the whole idea of "set it and forget it" about the shrimp because then you just let nature take its course.
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Old 07-30-2005, 10:57 PM   #5
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There is a bacteria that breaks down decaying material to make ammonia that is forgone by using pure ammonia to cycle the aquarium.. but its a minor consideration (it should be the quickest part of the cycle)..
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Old 07-30-2005, 11:34 PM   #6
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greenmagi: I've heard various things in aquaria called "clean" and I don't know what it means. 8O Clean food source, clean breeding stock, fish are shipped "clean." What does "clean" mean in general regarding aquaria? :P

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Old 07-31-2005, 12:03 AM   #7
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Adding ammonia takes less work and time than feeding the fish your going to add. I don't see how it's a hassle unless it's a big hassle to take care of your fish too. It's also alot easier to measure out pure ammonia than adding fish food as well as there not being a bunch of junk rotting in your gravel.
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Old 07-31-2005, 12:13 AM   #8
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My exact thoughts aqh88. The thought of having a bunch of rotting flake food in the tank just sounds gross. But again, that's just a personal preference. When it comes to fishless cycling, no matter how you do it, at least you aren't putting fish through the stress of the cycle. So IMO, it's all good.
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Old 07-31-2005, 12:47 AM   #9
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Rotten food vs. fish poo. hmm. Its all the same to me..
Clean.. Thats a tough one.. Anything that can be used that will not leave negative effects for water quality.. Say in the cat food example maybe there is a fairly large phosphorus content from ground fish meal then maybe that would be a non-clean product to use. As far as fish are concerned that would be refiring to being from a non illness enviroment.
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Old 07-31-2005, 12:51 AM   #10
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I think of detergents and antifungus poisons as most common non-clean for the aquarium ingredents or additions to products.
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Old 07-31-2005, 03:40 AM   #11
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greenmagi.... Thanks for the clean clarification.

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Old 07-31-2005, 10:05 AM   #12
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No problem.. I was hoping that it was a sufficient explanation.. 8O
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Old 07-31-2005, 10:13 AM   #13
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I love Bio-Spira for cycling. I have used ammonia or shrimp before but love the instant cycle of Bio-Spira. Getting lazy in my old age Never had trouble with it.
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Old 07-31-2005, 10:41 AM   #14
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From someone who has used the raw shrimp method:

1. It is natural.
2. It works a lot faster than fish food
3. Less stressful than continuously dosing the pure ammonia
4. No water changes to balance your parameters
5. Once the shrimp has decayed, the cycle should be complete

On the negative side:

1. The decaying shrimp looks horrid. If the tank is in your family room, you have a lot of explaining to do.
2. Yes, there is an odor...pretty foul IMO. Keep the tank lid closed.
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Old 08-01-2005, 12:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jchillin
From someone who has used the raw shrimp method:


On the negative side:

1. The decaying shrimp looks horrid. If the tank is in your family room, you have a lot of explaining to do.
LOL. Everyone who saw my tank as I was cycling asked me why I had a dead shrimp in my tank!
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Old 08-01-2005, 01:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TygGer
Everyone who saw my tank as I was cycling asked me why I had a dead shrimp in my tank
LOL...if the stares weren't enough...the absolutely stunned faces upon hearing my explanation were priceless.
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