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Freshwater cycling


...and over the edge.
Staff member
Yes you can cycle without plants.

Do not fishy cycle unless you want to risk endangering the fish and are committed to constant water monitoring and water changes.

You do weekly or when required water changes based on your bio load and nitrate readings. It may be 20-30-40% or more, and maybe more than once a week.

bubble gum

AC Members

heres a question. i was reading this whole thread about fishy-cycling/no fish and have a question. if someone wants to use the fishy method, i realize that water conditioner would be used, but what chemicals would need to be added for testing?


we have 10 gallon aquarium and i was looking on drsfostersmith.com and noticed there testing kits and chemicals. are there any chemicals that i failed to list above that i would need to buy?

next question, after the tank is done cycling, and everything is cool.....................when it comes time to a partial water change, why doesn't the tank need to recycle? you took out good water and replaced it with untreated water. how does this not screw the cycle up?

any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!


AC Members
You shoudln't have to add any chemicals other then just Dechlorinator (Prime) first... and then wait.. and put ammonia in the tank (pure - non bubbling).

And as far as your completed cycle going screwy... that's because most of the beneficial bacteria reside in the gravel/plants and your filter/media - not the water itself.


SR20 Powered
hmm, whoops, I always thought it was the other way around. I thought that nitrite burns gills. Silly me, it's the ammonia. Learn something every day.


AC Members

It's very important to do so because, for those that are here after the fact, the LFS has most likely told them a bunch of nonsense and they need to know what was correct and what they need to throw out...... ." It's just not true. That type of thing happens a lot on this site, not just in regards to cycling.


This is a very informative thread i like it alot. I too use the fish in method it gets a bad rap just like LFS's. If I were new to keeping fish and easily swayed by others opinions I would think that LFS workers were complete Bafoons talking nonsense based on general comments made about the LFS.I saw a thread that was quite ecouraging where people aknowledged the good Local Fish store or Pet store workers, it was a breath of freash air for someone who like myself has worked at a few LFS as i do now. each time we bash the LFS and its workers be it passively or blatant general accusations it sowes seeds in the minds of newcommers. Lets not set the tone that if tou come to PETCO some idiot is going to tell you foolishness.


I have a small internal filter that I would like to us in a small tank.

I would like to seed the filter by putting it in one of my 36g tank before setting up the new tank.

How long should I leave the filter in my established tank before taking it out to set up the new tank?

How long should I wait to add fish after putting the filter in the new tank?


AC Members
mines is kind of similar to Xavi ^
I currently have a established 30gal tank, but wants to tranfer the fish(1 goldie and 1 koi :D) to my new 60gal tank. On my 30gal I have a Rena Filstar xP1 filter, and for the new 60gal I just purchased a brand new xp3 canister for it. I was wondering if I could put the xP3 in the 30gal tank along w/ my xp1 in there to seed it, would it be good? then I would eventually use both the filters in my 60gal tank. My concern is also the xp3 is pretty strong, would the current affect my fish? or do they love strong current, and how long should I leave the xp3 filtering my 30gal to have good enough bacteria for my new tank set-up? Also, is TOO much filtration BAD for my fish? since the xP3 is stated to be for larger aquariums?

-also is it ok for me to set up my new 60gal tank w/ conditioned water and ornaments right now eventhough there is no filter? or should i take it out because something will happen? I just got too anxious and have done so already :(

sorry for so many questions! I am new to the whole transfering tank thing as it is my first time, and haven't cycled a new filter in ages!

thanks! -Alan

"The only stupid questions are the ones that aren't asked!"


AC Members
ok I was totally lied to at petsmart( yea I know but the other option is walmart around here) and have fish i have killed fish ect. Can someone tell me what type of testing kit to get so i can try to salvage what is in this tank without killing everyone.
If they do not survive should I keep the tank like it i and continue to cycle. I did a water change tonight and seems like it is every other day. One had babies I got 8 of them in a nursery box. I have guppys and platys. I have lost 1 guppy ,and 2 platys. then replaced them with 3 guppys and 2 platys that is what is in the tank which I now learn is over populated but igf I can make something live I will try very hard to keep this new hobby. I wanted it to help em relax but at the moment I am over taxed.


AC Members
so i have one tank thats been up for over a year no serious problems, and i have a 90 gal waiting to be filled so i just take one of the sponges out of my old tanks filter and squeeze is in the new tank and that will quicken the cycle?


...and over the edge.
Staff member
Yes that will help, but you will need to feed the bacteria to keep it going.