09-26-2006, 02:09 AM
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There is fishless cycling where you add bacteria from an established tank and actually add ammonia (chemical) into the tank. The problem with that is, you have to get 100% ammonia and you have to constantly measure your ammonia in the tank.
I still like the natural method of adding bacteria from an established tank and adding a few fish every week or so, until the tank is fully stocked.
My reason for me not liking those bacteria starters is that, some of them supply different type of bacteria normally found in an established tank. They will assist in feeding on ammonia and nitrItes, but the only way to reconolize them is to keep adding them via the bottle. And if stop adding the bacteria after a long period, your tank will go through a cycle, since your not adding any more bacteria and the natural cycle starts to take over.
The only bacteria starters I have heard to be close to the natural tank is Biospyra. Unfortunately, the bottle must be kept refrigerated. I can imagine during the hot summer months of Biospyra isn't helping when it's in the process of being shipped. Therefore, you don't really know the quality of the bacteria you are getting.