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Old 09-18-2012, 11:16 AM   #1
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About to begin my cycle

Alright, so here's the situation. I'm totally new to aquariums and have been researching them a lot to prepare for when I add fish. I have a 29gallon tank setup with a filter and heater. I don't have any lights yet because I plan on buying them when I buy the fish (I read you don't really need lights for cycling, plus I really don't have the money right now). I have my gravel and will be introducing some rocks and driftwood soon. once I have my basic setup ready I will begin a fishless cycle. BTW, no live plants.

My plan is to set everything up, turn it all on, dechlorinate my water, then begin adding ammonia daily to begin cycling. I also bought a master testing kit so I will be continually checking my levels.

I've been following much advice from this particular thread http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html so I'm pretty sure that up until this point I'm somewhat solid and ready to go. Hopefully I can find some old aquarium rocks, media, or decorations to help the cycle but that's not a guarantee yet.

Ok, now here's the curve-ball... I talked to a friend of mine who suggested I use this product called Seachum Stability. Now I've read up on it and It seems like it's commonly used with fish-in cycles. I'm wondering if adding Stability along with my daily ammonia will help speed up my fishless cycle? I'm curious if Stability is it's own bacteria or chemical that eliminates ammonia or is if it's a substance that adds helpful bacteria for my cycle. Any advice would help.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:26 AM   #2
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Stability is one of the bacteria-in-a-bottle products out there (there are a few).

Some people do use these types of products to help speed up fishless cycling.

I have never used Stability myself, but opinions on all of these kinds of products are mixed. Some have used them with success, others not so much.

If money's tight (judging by you putting off buying the lights) you might want to forego it's use for that reason alone and save the money for something else. While it has helped some to speed up the cycling process, it certainly isn't necessary.

Best!
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:31 AM   #3
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Welcome & congrats. Stability is to help build the BB (beneficial bacteria) & there is debate as to whether it actually works or not. My understanding is that you can use it with either a fish IN or fish LESS cycle. As with anything, some people have had great success with it & others not so much. Whichever way you decide to go the main thing is to water test to make sure the cycling process is moving along correctly.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:43 AM   #4
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Hmm, sounds like a bit of a gamble but I might try it. It would only be used as an additive to the already established fishless cycle I'm going to use so if anything I'm hoping it helps boost the time it takes to fully cycle. Now, if the Stability clears out ammonia very quickly, should I maybe add ammonia twice or three times a day to keep ammonia levels up? For example, if I add ammonia and within four hours it's all cleared up, do I wait until tomorrow to add more or can I add more immediately?
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam_ View Post
Hmm, sounds like a bit of a gamble but I might try it. It would only be used as an additive to the already established fishless cycle I'm going to use so if anything I'm hoping it helps boost the time it takes to fully cycle. Now, if the Stability clears out ammonia very quickly, should I maybe add ammonia twice or three times a day to keep ammonia levels up? For example, if I add ammonia and within four hours it's all cleared up, do I wait until tomorrow to add more or can I add more immediately?
I'd be extremely surprised if a normal fishless cycling dose of ammonia would be cleared in four hours.

That said, I think you want to let your water tests be your guide. If ammonia drops to zero, add more. It's the food your bacteria need to survive and you don't want to starve them.

Best!
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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Just dose once in 24 hours, even if you test before that and ammonia is 0.
Those products are hit and miss though; I tried it twice with a fishless cycle and it didn't work either time for me. Usually those products are meant to be used with fish and it's possible the high amount of ammonia added during fishless cycling isn't the same as fish slowly adding ammonia. You're welcome to try it though. Media from an established filter would be the best way to introduce bacteria.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:29 PM   #7
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I don't have much faith in Stability. I've tested it a few times with very poor and mixed results. From the informational standpoint I disagree with the marketing of the product and it looks like a lot of smoke and mirrors kind of advertising behind the product. If you go in with a basic understanding of naturally occurring nitrifying bacteria then the conclusion is that this product does not (at the time I looked into it last year+ anyhow) has the right science behind it and just goes in the same boat with the other myriad of questionable products.

One of the most basic points is that we know that naturally occurring nitrifiers are strictly aerobic, which means a very limited shelf life (i.e. expiration dates and/or refrigeration can be utilized to extend shelf life). This bacteria is very temperature sensitive and cannot withstand hot or cold extremes (has no spore form) so makes some of the claims represented suspect (in my opinion) since that doesn't fit the default of what we already know the bacteria to be.


A lot of people will have mixed reviews on these products and some will say that they worked great and some say they didn't do anything. The problem is very few, if any, are approaching it from a standpoint that actually proves that these products do create and sustain a viable nitrifying bacteria population.

I could take a bottle of X brand bacteria to throw into my stubborn or minicycling tank and if the tank appears to have cycled a week later I could say the product worked. But then again it could've done this on it's own without any help, that's most other tanks in history have done it. Or it could be a false cycle perpetrated by the utilization of bacteria that are not naturally found in aquaria (in this regard), so since they cannot sustain themselves they eventually crash and leave the user scratching his head a few weeks later. (this is one reason why some products recommend periodic dosing)

It makes more sense the more you dig into the subject, if you can stay awake long enough, the short of the story is that there are some good products out there that have no qualms with showing documentation and the science behind their product, and there are many that just want the consumer to think its the equivalent of a 'mechanic in a bottle' for an ailing vehicle.
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