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Old 11-23-2011, 12:05 PM   #1
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Fishless cycling and IPA master testing kit concerns

P to yesterday I was convinced that the best way to go would be starting the tank with fish less cycling. Read up on everything and decided it was the best way to go. Visited the LFS and was told three worrying things

1) Don't do fishless cycling - waste of time - don't know anyone who has been successful?

2) Don't use tap water when setting up the tank. Explained I would dechlorinate it but he just shook his head. Reckons will still have a lot of negative stuff in it. He suggested buying demineralised water from him, told me that's what a lot of customers do ! £65 a pop, but you get £40 back when you return the containers. expensive if I do fishless cycling and all the water changing that's needed!

3) Throw away the API test kit, very inaccurate....heard this before but read it was because people were not shaking the bottles and breaking up solids before testing.

I mentioned what I had read here on the forum - "Ah", he said " Don't listen too much to the forums, they all think they are experts, and if they find a way of doing things that works, they think that's the only way. A lot of people on the forums believe they have the perfect aquarium, but they have fish dying on a monthly basis. It shows they don't really know what they are doing".

Whilst all this was going on people were coming in for buckets of water, and they seemed to think the chap knew what he was talking about!

Leaves me a bit confused to be honest.

Anyway my plan is to go the fishless cycle route, use dechlorinated tap water and my API test kit with all bottles well shaken to monitor events. Plants, sand and CO2 will be in the tank from day one, and I will add a bit of liquid plant nutrient as we go.

It's all a long way from knocking down coconuts at the fair and ending up putting goldfish in a glass pudding bowl to wild screams of delight from my daughter ( who by the way is now 24 years old ).
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:29 PM   #2
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He was just trying to sell you stuff you don't need. Find a new LFS because it sounds like this guy knows less than zero.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blert
He was just trying to sell you stuff you don't need. Find a new LFS because it sounds like this guy knows less than zero.
It certainly makes you wonder.....
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:32 PM   #4
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My replies below in blue....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rendao View Post
P to yesterday I was convinced that the best way to go would be starting the tank with fish less cycling. Read up on everything and decided it was the best way to go. Visited the LFS and was told three worrying things

1) Don't do fishless cycling - waste of time - don't know anyone who has been successful?
Um, many have been successful on this site, myself included. I've found that many LFS don't advocate fishless cycling (and some aren't allowed to). I've had store owners tell me it'll never work, just use an "insignificant fish" to cycle it. I usually walk out and never went back. They want to sell products; so if you cycle a tank with fish and they all die and you go there to get more, that's good for them, right?

2) Don't use tap water when setting up the tank. Explained I would dechlorinate it but he just shook his head. Reckons will still have a lot of negative stuff in it. He suggested buying demineralised water from him, told me that's what a lot of customers do ! £65 a pop, but you get £40 back when you return the containers. expensive if I do fishless cycling and all the water changing that's needed!
Again they want you to buy something from them. Why would you not use tap water unless you're doing a SW tank or your tap water has ridiculously unsafe levels of toxins.

3) Throw away the API test kit, very inaccurate....heard this before but read it was because people were not shaking the bottles and breaking up solids before testing.
Did he say why it was inaccurate? Did he have a "better" product he wanted you to buy? Most of us on AA use the API test kit and most aquarists do in general. Maybe we're all wrong but I doubt it.

I mentioned what I had read here on the forum - "Ah", he said " Don't listen too much to the forums, they all think they are experts, and if they find a way of doing things that works, they think that's the only way. A lot of people on the forums believe they have the perfect aquarium, but they have fish dying on a monthly basis. It shows they don't really know what they are doing".
Not true. I'm not saying fish-in cycles can't work, they can and are fine as long as you stock slowly and do water changes as needed to get the fish through the process. But most pet/fish stores don't tell you this either. They'll say to throw some fish in there and let the tank cycle while the fish are swimming in toxins. Fishless cycles work just as well only you aren't doing daily water changes and testing to keep your fish safe. Either way is valid as long as it's done correctly.

Whilst all this was going on people were coming in for buckets of water, and they seemed to think the chap knew what he was talking about!

Leaves me a bit confused to be honest.

Anyway my plan is to go the fishless cycle route, use dechlorinated tap water and my API test kit with all bottles well shaken to monitor events. Plants, sand and CO2 will be in the tank from day one, and I will add a bit of liquid plant nutrient as we go.
That sounds like a great plan. If you can get some seeded media from an established (healthy) tank it will help speed things up. AngelsPlus sells "active" sponge filters from their fish tanks which have helped members on here (myself included) get a jumpstart on their fishless cycles. Just make sure you buy an "active" one or else it's just a plain unseeded filter.

It's all a long way from knocking down coconuts at the fair and ending up putting goldfish in a glass pudding bowl to wild screams of delight from my daughter ( who by the way is now 24 years old ).
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:38 PM   #5
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Got to love Librarygirl!!! I agree with everything she has stated and i have done both fish-in & fishless cycles as well. Your plan sounds like a good one!!!! I wish you the best of luck & please ask if you have any questions or are unsure of anything!
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:41 PM   #6
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Librarygirl - thanks for that. Appreciate the effort.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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This is all I have to say.
That man is insane.
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:47 PM   #8
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There are a couple choices here.

My approach would be to suggest you study and understand the science for yourself, then you can make up your own mind. Its not really a huge undertaking. A week or so of evenings reading will give you most of the basic knowledge required.

If you decide you cannot or do not want to do this, then I think you have do decide who you are going to believe. Just keep in mind, we have no financial interest in how you approach keeping your fish. The other party does.
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:51 PM   #9
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I agree with the above statements, sounds like you are on the right track.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rendao View Post
I mentioned what I had read here on the forum - "Ah", he said " Don't listen too much to the forums, they all think they are experts, and if they find a way of doing things that works, they think that's the only way. A lot of people on the forums believe they have the perfect aquarium, but they have fish dying on a monthly basis. It shows they don't really know what they are doing".
However, there is some truth to this. It doesn't apply to everyone obviously but there are a lot of them out there, so do your homework and it'll help you figure out what is true and what isn't.
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Old 11-23-2011, 05:21 PM   #10
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You sound like you've got it right anyway but when it come to the guy in your lfs, just think about one thing... who's got more to gain from giving you info? The strangers on a forum who'll never earn a penny from it or the guy in the shop with a till and dollar signs in his eyes?? Most employees in aquatic shop annoy me anyway. Just because they work in a shop that sells fish they automatically think they're marine biologists!? Its silly really to listen to them i mean you wouldn't take cooking advice from a mcdonalds employee lol
Anyway end of rant, good luck with your tank
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:14 PM   #11
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I would definitely NOT be going back there! Sounds like he's trying to take advantage of a beginner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rendao

Anyway my plan is to go the fishless cycle route, use dechlorinated tap water and my API test kit with all bottles well shaken to monitor events. Plants, sand and CO2 will be in the tank from day one, and I will add a bit of liquid plant nutrient as we go.
Sounds good! One thing I did notice was that (I don't know if your aware of is) if you do co2 you will need to do ferts every day. More lights and more co2 means more demand for nutrients.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:25 PM   #12
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Sounds good! One thing I did notice was that (I don't know if your aware of is) if you do co2 you will need to do ferts every day. More lights and more co2 means more demand for nutrients.[/QUOTE]

You are a star, didn't know that. Any suggestions on which fert to use?
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rendao

You are a star, didn't know that. Any suggestions on which fert to use?
Well if your going 'all out' with high lighting and co2 then probably dry ferts. IMO alot to take on in the beginning. I've got 4 tanks all low light and all but one gets weekly ferts (one gets daily) and a co2 supplement (a excel equivalent). I'm scared of co2 set ups LOL. Ask around and some of the others with high tech set ups will have more of a clue than me.
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:57 AM   #14
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Oops head not working, I have ordered "seachem flourish", which I believe should do the trick.
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Old 11-24-2011, 03:21 AM   #15
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Oops head not working, I have ordered "seachem flourish", which I believe should do the trick.
Flourish is good. Fairly sure it only contains micros for macros you need different bottles from the seachem range. Seachem excel is another good one (poor mans co2). It's liquid carbon but you may not need that if your doing co2.
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