Originally Posted by Svenix
I've had this 50 gallon tank for almost a month now, and I've had it set up and running for about 3 weeks. I haven't done anything to cylce it as I haven't had a lot of time to think about which way I'd like to go about doing that.
The tank has live plants and 2 ramshorn snails.
The options I've thought about:
-I have a 10 gallon tank that is fully cycled that I could use to seed. It has a hydro sponge filter.
-I have access to around 20 free endlers livebearers if I could use those for a fish-in-cycle.
-"Feeding" the tank with fish food.
Which would be the best option? Any others?
Well you basically have 2 choices, fish in or fish less. How you do this can vary though.
You already have something in your tank, although it is small the snails have still started a cycle. So you could do a fish in leaving the snails or go fish less with ammonia but I would remove the snails for this.
For fish less you can use fish food but TBH a tank of that size is going to be rough. It's hard to control the ammonia level you reach with food and it's seriously messy. 50 gallons is a lot and it would take ALOT of food to get a 2-4 ppm
reading on that I think.
personally I would do fish in but unless you planned to keep the endlers long term I wouldn't use them. I'd decide on what you want in the tank long term and go from there. Pick the hardiest fish and work your way through your cycling adding fish slowly.
Either way seeded material is always great and can't hurt. Remember though that that media is only capable of handling the bioload in that tank or less. Going from a small tank like a 10 gal
to the 50 gal
is a big jump and obviously your ending bioload on a 50 is far more than the 10. Fish in cycles generally take longer unless you have very strong seeded material.
20 endlers also probably isn't going to carry the same bioload as what you plan to have in your tank long term anyhow so even if you do use them to cycle your tank you are probably going to still experience spikes as you add fish to the tank.
As I said personally I'd just pick my final stock and work from there or if you can move the snails to the 10 gallon I would go fishless with ammonia. Use the seeded media for either of these but I think these 2 methods are the easiest for yourself.