09-28-2012, 08:20 AM
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I think the whole notion of 'cycling' is outdated and we need a paradigm shift.
The 'conventional wisdom' is we need to start a new tank with either pure ammonia, dead fish (or other decaying organic matter), or a couple of sacrificial fish.
But these days we can have nearly instant cycle. If we use plants (even floating) and media (or substrate) from a healthy established tank OR a bacteria in a bottle product, we effectively have conditions that support fish immediately rather than waiting the typical 6-8 weeks.
After all, who wants to setup a new fish tank and then wait two months to get any fish!
I know that bacteria in a bottle products have gotten 'bad press' because in the early days, like many things, they just weren't very good. But these products have come of age and it's time for us to rethink 'cycling'.