Cycle

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Roan Art

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Oct 7, 2005
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111188 said:
Hi All,
I am a true newbie, just bought a 5 gal hex kit today. I just put washed gravel in, water, and chlorine remover, water. I am running the filter bio-wheel thing, and want to leave it run as long as necessary before I buy my fish, which will be a couple of small (1") goldfish I think. I have two questions. One is, I read above to buy some ammonia and add to tank. Do you mean regular ammonia or is there some kind of special aquarium ammonia, and how much to add to 5 gal? Two is does it matter whether I put in the charcoal packet in the filter during this cycling period? Told you I was new. Many thanks in advance :)
Just a note, but a 5 gallon tank is too small for a goldfish. They need at least a 20 gallon double-filtered tank, 30 gallons, double filtered, is better. That's just for *one* goldfish. Add 15 gallons for each additional. You're looking at a 35-45 gallon tank with filteration for a 90gallon tank.

Goldfish produce a lot of waste and as they grow -- depending on the type, about 6-8" -- you will have to do more and more water changes just to keep the ammonia and nitrites down.

One kept in a small tank like that might live a couple of years -- if you are lucky. If it's kept in a proper sized tank it could live 20+ years.

I'd like to suggest that you get a smaller fish, such as a betta. They are ideal for 5 gallon tanks.

Roan
 
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indiginess

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Nov 26, 2005
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hey 00100110

ditto on the goldfish, many species can get well over a foot, and when people say 'they will grow to the size of the tank,' they mean 'it will live an uncomfortable and short life and you will never know the difference.'

happy chem is right about the tests... but, in my experience with Walmart ammonia directly:

in a five gallon tank, i would start with half a capful of the Wal-mart stuff a day, but for this process, you need a nitrIte test minimum (NO2). if you want an indication of how to get by with a nitrite test alone, just ask... takes some paper an pencil too, as happychem aluded to. record all readings you take for future use,especially if you use tests and are not completely sure what they mean. often the numbers make more sense in consecutive days.

after you make it through the cycling process and your tank is using all the ammonia daily, i might suggest a betta and some live plants (elodea or ancharis). if you are good about waterchanges, and really enjoy your tank, there are a few other fish that would work in a five gallon tank long term, but not many. chances are, though, people buy larger tanks the longer they are in the hobby (my first was a bowl, hehe... took me a while to understand why minnows died so quick, i mean, its just water right?)

you know, in all honesty, i havent read much of this thread, so if its just vague redundency, then i appologize.

:cool:



if you want to add something to the tank now, plants are fine during the cycling process. they will use small amounts of nitrogen (ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates), but not enough to worry about.

edit: about the minnows, i was, like 7
 
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rrkss

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Dec 2, 2005
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happychem said:
1 - Just make sure that the ammonia has no surfactants, detergents, or perfumes. The cheaper, the more likely it's what you're looking for. Try Walmart.

There's no way to know how much, it varies from bottle to bottle. Get test kits for NH3, NO2, and NO3, add a little bit of ammonia (keep track of how much you add) and measure the NH3 concentration resulting from it.
I've had success with pathmark brand clear ammonia with cost me $1.29 for a gallon. It took 3 capfuls to get my ammonia to 4 ppm in my 29 gallon and I have yet to lose a fish after the tank cycled though I did do a 100% water change after cycling the tank (my nitrates were well above 200 ppm after the fishless cycle).
 

tomdkat

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Nov 29, 2005
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happychem said:
Actually, since there are still weeks to a couple of months required to cycle fishlessley you have lots of time to research and source potential inhabitants.
Ok, so during the cycle period if I go fish shopping (just to see what my local stores have) and I find what I consider to be a "perfect specimen" (after I've done compatibility research and have identified what I actually want to keep) do I ask the LFS to simply keep it at their store until my aquarium has fully cycled? Of course, I would pay for it, etc.

As for the article, I know that at least one of the reviewers is finished with the article, but it was a fairly substantial document and it will take some time for the author to work in all the revisions - especially if (like on my committee) some reviewers gave contradictory suggestions.
Thanks for the update.

Another question for the group: given the length of this thread and the debating that has taken place, would two separate cycle threads be of benefit? Have a sticky "fishy cycle procedure" thread that gives an introduction to a fishy cycle method, followed by a step-by-step procedure, followed by additional notes/things to consider, etc. Then have another one for a "fishless cycle procedure". Then people can post their successes or problems with the method they chose and so on.

Whaddya tink?

Peace...
 

happychem

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Dec 9, 2003
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The document being discussed does contain step by step directions for the three most common methods for preparing a tank (are there more than three?). Although there is an understandable bias towards fishless. Frankly, I don't know why anyone would make the informed decision to do a fishy cycle, all other things equal, fishless is much less expensive, and isn't that the scale tipper in the end?

Most fish shops will gladly hold fish on reserve for you. Once you build a reputation and a relationship with the staff - managerial in particular - you may not be required to pay in advance and they'll hold it for you in good faith. It's really 6 of one in the end, but the advantage is that you can spot a fish and if you don't have the cash on you, or if you want to research it, you can ask them to hold it for you for a couple days so that you can research it or get the money together.
 

tomdkat

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Nov 29, 2005
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happychem said:
The document being discussed does contain step by step directions for the three most common methods for preparing a tank (are there more than three?).
Ok, fair enough. :)

Frankly, I don't know why anyone would make the informed decision to do a fishy cycle, all other things equal, fishless is much less expensive, and isn't that the scale tipper in the end?
I guess that would depend on how the fishy cycle was done. The presumption being it's "ok" to "sacrifice" the fish used for cycling purposes. The intent isn't to start a philosophical discussion on that in this thread but to address the question asked. :) I've done "fishy" cycles in the past so a fishless cycle is intriguing to me. :)

Most fish shops will gladly hold fish on reserve for you. Once you build a reputation and a relationship with the staff - managerial in particular - you may not be required to pay in advance and they'll hold it for you in good faith. It's really 6 of one in the end, but the advantage is that you can spot a fish and if you don't have the cash on you, or if you want to research it, you can ask them to hold it for you for a couple days so that you can research it or get the money together.
Ok.

Peace...
 

happychem

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Fishy cycles can be done safely and without "sacrifice" fish(I think that this thread has already debated it a few times), but it takes a lot of care and needs to be done very slowly. It's tedious, to say the least.

I agree, I prefer to avoid the philosophical discussions because they're usually based on intangibles. My biggest reason for supporting fishless for beginners and advanced hobbyists alike are cost (fishless is cheaper), ease (it's dead easy), and risk (you can't screw it up, all you lose is time).
 

sloshy

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Dec 11, 2005
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Cycle contains beneficial bacteria meant to break down waste(fish/organic) into ammonia then to nitrite and finally nitrate. I've found it to be useful at all times. Even after cycling it helps keep your tank clear by dissolving uneaten food, and sludge. I also use biozyme which contains ingredients to neutralize the harmful effects of ammonia on your fish while reducing the ammonia/nitrite with live bacteria, also cutting down the cycling time.
 

happychem

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So did you copy/paste that from the label? Cycle contains the wrong species of nitrifiers for FW systems. Don't like that answer? Do your own research, start with DR. Chris Cow's PhD Thesis and work from there. Cycle does not have the correct species.

As for continued use, if it works properly then there shouldn't be a need for continued use. Therein lies the rub, clearly the manufacturers of Cycle have no interest in providing a proper and beneficial product, if they did it would take one use only.

Nothing "neutralizes the harmful effects of ammonia", that phrase is an expression, devoid of content, used only for marketing. A compound can bind ammonia (Prime, Amquel) or it can provide the proper strains of nitrifiers (Bio-Spira), but the harmful effectes of ammonia - gill burn and suffocation - are not something that can be neutralized.

As for dissolving uneaten food. If there's much uneaten food, you're feeding too heavily. Otherwise, the heterotrophs in your substrate should take care of the remenants and weekly maintenance should remove the "slugde" or mulm which is the result of heterotrophic decay.
 

sloshy

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Dec 11, 2005
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I've cycled without cylce or biozyme and lost fish. I did it with those and didn't lose one. I have a good memory so it may have sounded like I was reading from the container in my description, but it was also from my experiences in using them. Does the "binding" of the ammonia not make it less toxic?
 
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