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Old 01-26-2005, 03:06 PM   #1
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Use of Damsels for cycle

I personally think using Damsels to cycle would be so much more interesting.
Is the use of shrimp used to avoid cruelty to Damsels? Aren't Damsels hardy enough to handle it? Do they feel pain and suffering?
I have a heart of gold but find this a bit extreme. Am I becoming cold?
I guess if I woke one morning to find the poor things floating it would bother me.
Other thoughts?
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Old 01-26-2005, 03:12 PM   #2
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Is the use of shrimp used to avoid cruelty to Damsels?
Yes, thats pretty much it. The use of Damsels is an obsolete, IMO cruel way to cycle. There are much better, more humane way such as the raw shrimp or the use of live rock.
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I personally think using Damsels to cycle would be so much more interesting.
I know a fishless tank is boring, but patients in this hobby is paramount IMO.
I'll tell you what is even more interested. Cycling with some live rock from these folks. http://www.liverocks.com
You would spend hours watching this rock and the cool stuff that pops out of it.
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Old 01-26-2005, 03:12 PM   #3
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Damsels are hardy, but some would say it is a little cruel to make them suffer through the cycling process. That is your decision though.

I think another reason why people suggest using the shrimp method is that the damsels are very tough to get out of the tank once you have introduced them. It usually involves removing all or your LR and fishing them out. Not a fun task at all.

HTH

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Old 01-26-2005, 03:13 PM   #4
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Some may be hardy enough but some may not. I used the shrimp method and it worked super fast for me and I have had good water parameters. I would not use damsels since it can be hard on them.

I added some blue/green chromis after my shrimp cycle and they are doing great and do not bother any other fish. Another thing to keep in mind as that most damsels are agressive and if you have rock in your tank they may be hard to catch when/if you want to remove them.

I agree with Quarryshark. I spend more time looking at my live rock when the lights are out than anything. Seems like every time I look there is something different.
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Old 01-26-2005, 03:14 PM   #5
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From what I read, it causes there gills to burn, and prevents them from breathing.
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Old 01-26-2005, 03:17 PM   #6
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Cycling with fish can potentially kill them, especially if you add more than one at once in the beginning. It's not a pretty sight if you witness them getting sick, and potentially dying from a pure lack of patience. Even though damsels are hardy, they are still living creatures, and will still feel the pain. Added to the fact that IF they do live, they will become territorial since they arrived first, and might bully other new add-ins (especially if the new arrivals are tame fish to begin with). You'll most likely want to return them to the store, but then again, what's the point if you could've started & finished your cycle with shrimp or LR instead?

This hobby, other than the fact that it requires knowledge of the processes, requires discipline in the sense that something more "interesting" now might create mistakes in the near future. The fish will suffer for the expense of a good show.. and isn't that we're here for, to provide a healthy environment for the animals that we love? If you can bear to wait for your tank to cycle properly w/o fish, I would suggest highly on it.

LFS around here say to just throw a few fish in there and enjoy the ride. After talking here in AA and reading up on proper habits, I think I know better, and won't subject my pets to the cycle. Just food for thought, sorry for the novel.

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Old 01-26-2005, 03:24 PM   #7
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Those are good enough reasons for me! I never thought about trying to catch them. I've got my rocks just the way I want.
I am only into day 4 w/ live rock only. I have low levels of nitrite. Like 0.2. I haven't tested yet today. I have 40lb in a 55G. That is all I want for now.
So here's another question. Should I stay on course with live rock only or throw in a raw shrimp?
BTW, my live rock seems very cured. No smell and little anemone on a couple.
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Old 01-26-2005, 03:29 PM   #8
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Thanks RLG. I totally agree with you. What got me thinking was the fact that my LFS's suggested to use Damsels and even offer to take them back when done with the cycle.
I tell ya, I think 50% or more of the info I get from LFS is counter to what I get from this site.
I'll trust this site, thank you very much!
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Old 01-26-2005, 03:31 PM   #9
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If it has some life on it I wouldn't put a shrimp in. Just watch the levels and do water changes if you get up in the 1 or higher for amm and nitrites. It will prolong the cycle but will keep the life on your rock.. With that amount of rock I wouldn't think you would see a large spike since it will probably have enough bacterial on it to take care of the amm and nitrites.
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Old 01-26-2005, 03:53 PM   #10
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Seems like this came up before, but I can't remember the consensus on it.

Bio-Spira. My LFS swears by it. He sets up tanks and maintains them to. He dumps the stuff, and adds somewhat near his full stocking of fish and everything seems to be working fine. I've witnessed him do it with 300g of water in 6 tanks, and put fish in them. One week later they're still looking good and selling fine.

I'd still go the rock method Kurt mentioned. Either that or when you got rock you'd have to cure it somewhere else than in your tank if you go with fish right from the start.
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