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Old 11-03-2013, 12:46 AM   #11
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But what I never really understood about the fish less cycle was this... And correct me if I'm wrong. The fish less advocates say you need to dose ammonia to 4 ppm during the cycle, and as soon as it can convert that amount safely to nitrite then nitrate, you have cycled. BUT, once the cycle is done, wouldn't you realistically need a pretty heavy bio load to keep that amount of BB "alive"...? Seems silly to me to need levels that high, when after cycles its also recommended to slowly add fish, which wouldnt even come close to keeping the BB alive. And then if it dies off, you would need to re-cycle as more fish were added...? Am I way off on this, or is this why I took the red pill and never had any issues?
Not advocating the red pill here but this is a really good point. Why build up a huge BB colony and then stock slowly as opposed to stocking fully from the start?
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:37 AM   #12
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How about a fake fish that swims in a tank that you are doing a fishless cycle that changes colors and behavior to show your tank is cycled lol that way you don't have to look at empty tank

They do sell fake fish I saw a lion fish almost thought it was real this one isn't as realistic as the one I saw

Fake lion fish - YouTube
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:21 AM   #13
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Most of the fishless cycle articles I've seen say that if you were dosing 4ppm ammonia, you can start with a high stock of fish- since your tank and filter has enough BB to handle it.
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:30 AM   #14
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you only need to take it slow, if you are doing a fish in cycle. if you dose to 4ppm you can add as many fish as you want when its cycled, but it has to be pretty quick before the BB starts dying. the main risk with that, is tossing a bunch of new fish into a tank is a good way to introduce diseases. if you quarantine new fish, which is always recommended , you would have to take it slow anyways. then that would allow for the BB to grow back
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:23 AM   #15
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the potential die off of BB isn't anywhere near as dangerous as throwing a handful of fish into a tank without the necessary amount of BB. that being said, ive always done fish-in. I think the move to fish-less not only is because it doesn't stress fish as much, but it also prevents hobbyists from losing expensive fish, especially sw
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:11 AM   #16
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But what I never really understood about the fish less cycle was this... And correct me if I'm wrong. The fish less advocates say you need to dose ammonia to 4 ppm during the cycle, and as soon as it can convert that amount safely to nitrite then nitrate, you have cycled. BUT, once the cycle is done, wouldn't you realistically need a pretty heavy bio load to keep that amount of BB "alive"...? Seems silly to me to need levels that high, when after cycles its also recommended to slowly add fish, which wouldnt even come close to keeping the BB alive. And then if it dies off, you would need to re-cycle as more fish were added...? Am I way off on this, or is this why I took the red pill and never had any issues?
Beneficial Bacteria is like any other bacteria, it multiples over time. I believe the BB we need in our situation, multiples slower than most. Getting a large colony in the first place is important to keep on top of the 'food' source- Ammonia/Nitrites. Without 'food' it will die off. When it has a 'food' source available, it will multiple. The bigger the filter, the more room for a colony to grow. We only ever have enough BB in our tank to handle the amount of waste it can produces. If we increase the waste too quickly the BB hasn't time to catch up, hence an Ammonia spike. The BB will eventually catch up, providing the filter is an adequate size....
Highly stocking a tank is fine, within reason of course, as long as we remove the end product of the cycle(Nitrates) with a PWC....
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:28 AM   #17
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Also keep in mind that when BB is starved of oxygen or ammonia, (or nitrite) they don't die, they go dormant, and can revive again if conditions improve. That's how cycling happens in the first place, from the small amount of dormant bacteria floating around in your tap water, getting exposed to ammonia and "waking up" and then multiplying.

Presumably it takes less time for a group of dormant bacteria to become active again, than it takes for it to duplicate and increase from a tiny amount.

Only thing is, when BB is dormant, it's also vulnerable to the heterotrophic bacteria that rots wastes and can kill BB. So you cant keep BB indefinitely in a situation where other bacteria is present and can prey on it.

You can also kill BB by making it too hot or too cold, or with antibiotics.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:32 AM   #18
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They do sell fake fish I saw a lion fish almost thought it was real this one isn't as realistic as the one I saw

Fake lion fish - YouTube
Easy to tell its fake though cuz most the fins don't move
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:09 AM   #19
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I would personally prefer to do a fish-in and slowly add fish over time. It worked for me so far. I also wouldn't feel comfortable, even after a 4ppm conversion of BB, adding in an entire stocking list to a tank. I would much rather take it slowly, and let the tank settle in to it's inhabitants a couple at a time.
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