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Cycle

Discussion in 'Freshwater Archives' started by countrygirl, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. countrygirl

    countrygirl AC Members

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    We are setting up a brand new 250 gallon aquarium. We can put water in it tommorrow. I am getting driven crazy here because the guy at the pet store said to use Cycle, it is a great product, it will help the Nirogen cycle along and make the transition easier for your fish, he said he was going to give us some gunk from the tanks in the store to help get the process along too, so we could bring our fish home this weekend. GREAT YEA!!!! RIGHT?

    Well not the built the aquarium said do not use Cycle it is crap and can actually kill the bacteria you want in the aquarium gravel. He said do not bring the fish home, put the three bala sharks in there and that is it let the amonia go up up up up and then when the amonia drops add the other fish. Also do not mess with water changes, leave it alone

    Ok I have other aquariums and I have been very successful using cycle at the beginning and then every week thereafter. I do a 25% water change after 4 days, after 8 days and then every week thereafter, that gets me through the 30 day period and I water change once a month after that. This has worked very well for me, so it is what I want to do this time.

    I don't know what the right thing to do is, I don't want to lose any fish but I want my fish home, they have been paid for for two months now. HELP!!!!
     
  2. SP2

    SP2 what?

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    This is only my opinion!! Take the gunk from the established tank(the more the better)........take a just a couple of fish. Wait a week or two, do your water changes. Wait and check your water. You know what your looking for right.??? Then just add fish slowly over time. My opinion is that cycle is snake oil....would never use it, but what the heck do I know. I dont know how many fish you have paid for for a 250 gallon tank but you are crazy if dump a ton of fish into a new tank.
     
  3. countrygirl

    countrygirl AC Members

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    thank you, there are 3 balas, one blue acara, one motoro stingray and one leopaldi stingray
     
  4. Richer

    Richer AC Members

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    You have some pretty expensive fish there (it is here anyways), personally, I wouldn't chance anything but a fishless cycle. Read this article http://www.tomgriffin.com/aquamag/cycle2.html that should get you started on doing a fishless cycle for your 250 gallon tank. Stay away from things like "cycle." I've tried it before, and it didn't do anything to speed my cycles along.

    If you want to make sure those fish don't die, leave them at the LFS for a few more weeks while you get your tank ready (via a fishless cycle).

    -Richer
     
  5. JesseJ

    JesseJ You should be dancin'

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    I would make sure the tank is fully cycled before getting any fish. Do a fishless cycle like Richer suggested. I have used Cycle in my tanks and I find that it is useful at startup but after that I don't use it. The sponge squeeze is sketchy to me. I wouldn't be comfortable taking it unless I was really really sure that I had a competent LFS giving it to me. The guy you talked to probibly just wanted you to buy stuff that day which is why he said it would work. It would be better for your fish if you got the bacteria started and were sure it was doing fine and could handle all the wastes before you got the fish into the tank.

    If I had a 250 G (mmmmm......... big tank.....) GAH where did all this drool come from?........ Anyways I couldn't wait to load it with fish but waiting would be better if you can do it.
     
  6. JSchmidt

    JSchmidt Cowbell! I need more cowbell!

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    If I knew the tank(s) to be healthy, I would much rather get some cultured gravel or filter squeezings to start a cycle. Those both have the actual bacteria responsible for oxidizing ammonia/nitrite, unlike Cycle...

    Jim
     
  7. greenterrorrr

    greenterrorrr AC Members

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    IMO the best way is to set the tank up and fill it with water. Let that run for a day or so and then get some fish to add in there and start the cycle. I've cycled plenty of tanks including a 150 gallon and have never used fishless cycling. I very rarely loose a fish I got to cycle with.
     
  8. TKOS

    TKOS Registered User of Fish

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    Just a couple of things to mention.

    While Cycle doesn't really work, I doubt it will kill your bacteria. If anything it just does nothing but waste your money.

    If you do a fishy cycle then I highly suggest not letting your ammonia levels get above 1ppm and nitrite levels above 0.25 ppm. Don't let them climb and then drop. That will at worst kill your fish and at best leave them weak and prone to disease and a short life.

    With expensive fish like that buy a Master test Kit and make sure the levels never climb above what I mentioned. Keep it lower if possible with water changes with a good dechlorinator.

    If you do go the fishy cycle way then make sure to add the fish slowly and as long as ammonia levels keep climbing between water changes then do not add more fish yet. And feel free to add some gravel or filter media from an established tank. Just adding water or a squeeze of gunk really won't do much though.
     
  9. Richer

    Richer AC Members

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    Very rarely doesn't mean no fish die. I have never lost a fish in a fishless cycle... because no fish are involved.

    Lets break it down a bit:

    Cycling with fish:
    What does it involve? Sticking a few hardy fish into a tank, and letting the ammonia the fish naturally (and decaying fish food) produce start up the cycle.

    Pros:
    -You have fish in the tank right from the beginning.
    -The tank will cycle successfully.

    Cons:
    -The fish have to swim in water containing detectable levels of ammonia/nitrite. This leads to the possibility that the fish may contract diseases, infections, etc. because their immune systems may take a hit from the ammonia/nitrite. Exposure to ammonia/nitrite may also reduce fish lifespan.
    -The constant water changing that is necessary to reduce ammonia/nitrite levels to a less toxic level, so that your cycling fish can survive.
    -The fish you use must be hardy fish so that they can survive the cycle. What will happen if those fish aren't part of your stocking plan? Will you return them? What if the fishstore will not accept them?
    -Even a complete cycle isn't complete. Fish have to be introduced slowly to the tank. Introducing too many fish at once will upset the balance of the tank. Remember that the tank only has enough bacterial colonies to convert the waste of a few fish, not a full load of fish.

    Fishless Cycle:
    What does it involve? Buying ammonia from a store, adding this ammonia to a tank till you get an ammonia level of about 5ppm. The ammonia added will start the cycle.

    Pros:
    -Spares fish from swimming in water containing detectable levels of ammonia/nitrite. Which prevents any of the ammonia/nitrite related problems a fish may get.
    -Cycling a tank on 5ppm of ammonia will give the aquarist a large margin of error for fish stocking. Unless a person really packs a tank, fish will never produce enough ammonia to get an ammonia reading of 5ppm. In turn, this allows the aquarist to fully stock a tank after a successful cycle.
    -A few people have said that fishless cycling actually speed up how quickly a tank will cycle.
    -Like a fish cycle, it will cycle a tank successfully.

    Cons:
    -One very large water change at the end of the cycle is needed, to remove the large levels of nitrates that are probably in the water. Still... not as bad as doing multiple water changes during a fish cycle.
    -You will have to look at an empty tank for 2-3 weeks.


    Seems to me that a fishless cycle is the clear winner. I probably missed some stuff, but that is the general gist of it.

    HTH
    -Richer
     
  10. TKOS

    TKOS Registered User of Fish

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    Good post, though I would have to say that it can generally take up to 4-5 weeks to finish a fishless cycle. That seems to be the norm for posts I have seen around here.
     

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