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Old 09-18-2012, 07:49 PM   #1
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Hi all. Cycling advice please!!

Hi everyone and apologies in advance for a rather lengthy first post. I have joined this forum to pick your collective brains because despite having owned a tank for some time now I am still a novice in the grand scheme of things and I have found myself in the rather undesirable situation of having to cycle a well stocked tank!


My last tank met a rather sudden end (don't ask!!!) taking with it my previous filter!! I had to stock my current 100L tank and run it un-cycled with an undergravel filter, which in itself wouldn't really have been a massive problem as I took the gravel and squeezed the filter sponges from my old tank to seed the gravel filter and initially all went ok. I thought I'd better get on the case and ordered myself a new external filter to make sure my fish weren't forced to live in poor conditions in their new smaller accommodation, in which they'll have to stay until I can afford a new ideally 500(ish) litre tank.
This unfortunately is where the errors have been made!! Initially I ran both the gravel and external filters at the same time, but after doing some reading which probably should have been done some time ago I realised that the undergravel filter was to a certain extent fighting against the external filter so I removed it and everything was going to plan that is until i wrongly thought my filter had cycled and switched on the built in uv steriliser which wiped out all the bacteria including the bacteria that was still trying to colonise my filter, leaving me in my current situation of cycling a well stocked tank!
I've been testing every day and doing PWC's every time ammo/nitrite levels approach or reach 0.5 ppm and am now seeing nitrate readings and thankfully my fish seem happy and healthy despite the less than perfect water conditions and this leads me to my 2 main questions.
1: do any of the products like tetra safestart or nutrafin cycle actually work to speed up the cycling process and should I use one now or stick to what I'm doing?
2: how long after the toxin levels in my tank normalise should I wait until I switch on the uv steriliser again??



Thanks and again, apologies for the lengthy introductory post!
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:58 AM   #2
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Imo there really isn't any need for a uv light. It's kinda a waste of money. For the other two questions you can try some of the bottle bacteria as some say it works and some say they don't. Never used any of it myself I've always done a fish in cycle like your doing now. I have heard really good things about Dr. Tims
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=18986.
But then again I wouldn't know. I always use prime that everyone here really likes.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...fm?pcatid=4057

Hope this helped ya and good luck
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:38 AM   #3
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I cycle without adding anything or making water changes until cycling is complete. Start slowly and be patient. Guppies, White Mountain Clouds and Female Bettas (breath air). are all good cyling fishes. I think a Mystery Snail also makes a good addition. Cycle with live plants and have good filtration. Live Plants provide a lot of Bacteria and Protozoa your new tank needs. Never cycle with sensative or large fish, they will die.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:54 AM   #4
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Thanks both for the responses.
Andrew: I have looked for the DrTims here but it doesn't seem to be available in the UK (if I is I haven't been able to find it yet!) and given its temperature sensitive am not sure how well it would respond to a (likely) long transit time in the mail.
Julielover: unfortunately I'm not in a position to pick and choose the right fish to cycle with which is why I'm keen to speed the process along as much as possible to minimise the stress on my fish some of which are now around 4 inches. I'll try planting out my tank but am fairly sure the ph buffer product I was using stated it wasn't suitable for tanks with live plants, although it should be out of the system soon given the number of water changes I've been doing!
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dreadz
Thanks both for the responses.
Andrew: I have looked for the DrTims here but it doesn't seem to be available in the UK (if I is I haven't been able to find it yet!) and given its temperature sensitive am not sure how well it would respond to a (likely) long transit time in the mail.
Julielover: unfortunately I'm not in a position to pick and choose the right fish to cycle with which is why I'm keen to speed the process along as much as possible to minimise the stress on my fish some of which are now around 4 inches. I'll try planting out my tank but am fairly sure the ph buffer product I was using stated it wasn't suitable for tanks with live plants, although it should be out of the system soon given the number of water changes I've been doing!
I was just giving links to show you what I was talking about. I'm sure they sell it there. They're are a ton of people on here from the UK maybe you can ask around. But like I said if done right you don't really need it. As I've never used anything like it. Good luck and I'm sure we will cross paths again. So see ya around
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:27 AM   #6
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Angry

Ok not sure what happened yesterday but at last nights water test out of nowhere ammo had shot up to 1ppm and nitrites and nitates showing as a big fat 0.
Did a water change last night in region of 80-90% to bring ammo back down to reasonable level and have just bought some tetra safestart which i beleive is the same as the dr tims treatment (both products born from the sale of the rights to bio-spira if my research is correct!) and will be testing and dosing tank tonight and will start a new thread recording daily results for anyone who is interested to see if this stuff actually works (or if i've just wasted £10)
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:42 AM   #7
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I used startsmart, tank cycled in two days. No fish loss 6 months later.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:52 PM   #8
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Welcome to AA! Hope you like the site so far!
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:42 PM   #9
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WickedXb - had a look for the smartstart you used but can't find a uk stockist! I only hope the tetra product is as effective!!

Samzter - thanks for the welcome, loving the site and all the advice. Just wish I'd done all this learning years ago. Looking back probably could have avoided most of the fish keeping mishaps I've experienced had I taken the time to learn what was actually going on inside my tank, but hey, better late than never!
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:23 PM   #10
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Try marinedepot.com
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