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-   -   Is there a way to do an Unattended fish less cycle? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/there-way-do-unattended-fish-less-113190/)

Rdb2013 09-04-2012 04:28 PM

Is there a way to do an Unattended fish less cycle?
 
Starting a 20 gallon long tank as a side project to the 29 gallon my irlfriend and I currently have at her apartment. I dont know what I'm putting in it yet, but I am going to go ahead and purchase everything and start cycling. I've read many articles on fish less cycling. The ammonia, shrimp, and fish food methods all appeal to me, but I have a
Dilemma. I already purchased equipment I need the tank
And stand and substrate and I'm good to go. But September 29-October 23 I will be gone. I know the cycling process says to test daily ad watch the levels. However if for example did this testing up until I leave and left a shrimp or an automatic feeder while I was gone and then come back, test, water change, test, water change, test and the levels are good.. Could I presume my tank cycled? I know it's best to be there daily
But since I'll be gone 3 1/2 weeks if I could cycle while I'm gone why not? I can always wait until I return... But I figured if I started this weekend and stuck with it until the 29 then left it un attended until October 23 would it e okay? There isn't anyone I can have come check on the tank, it just so happens my roommate is gone the same
Time frame I am and I live in a different state than my
Girlfriend currently due to my professional and her college.

Geomancer 09-04-2012 04:32 PM

I would do the shrimp. You really don't need to test daily unless you are directly adding ammonia to make sure you don't go overboard. But the shrimp you just add it and let it be until the cycle completes. That process is 4-8 weeks, so it should be fine. Just start it before you leave so it's the beginning of the cycle, not the end.

Rdb2013 09-04-2012 05:33 PM

Would you recommend an automatic feeder set to a low amount also while I'm gone so of the shrimp does fully decompose while im gone the
Bacteria can still feed on something?

AbbeysDad 09-04-2012 05:53 PM

Why not instant cycle?

Okay, there really is no such thing quite as 'instant cycle', however the whole cycle process is now old school a couple of different ways...

1) If the tank has sufficient living plants, cycling is moot since the plants will use the ammonia so nitrites and nitrates are very minimal.

2) With today's bottled bacteria products (like Tetra SafeStart, Seachem Stability, API QuickStart, Dr Tim's One and Only) you can startup new tanks with less fuss and worry about beneficial bacteria colonies.
Add stock a little at a time and it should be good.

Either option, in many ways, seems better than than adding pure ammonia, or fish food every day...and trust me, the prong method will clear a room quicker than you might think!

Rdb2013 09-04-2012 10:41 PM

I have read so many articles on the bottles bacteria and the majority of people have bad luck with them. I have yet
To find someone fail to establish a cycle after time using these
Methods in an article I read. Would I consider using stability with a shrink or flakes in the tank maybe.. But I haven't had any hard
Evidence that bottled bacteria works.. I've
Tried it before with no progress. Even if
I used the bottled bacteria how does
Bacteria grown and survive with nothing creating
Ammonia to feed it
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AbbeysDad 09-05-2012 07:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rdb2013 (Post 1229423)
I have read so many articles on the bottles bacteria and the majority of people have bad luck with them. I have yet
To find someone fail to establish a cycle after time using these
Methods in an article I read. Would I consider using stability with a shrink or flakes in the tank maybe.. But I haven't had any hard
Evidence that bottled bacteria works.. I've
Tried it before with no progress. Even if
I used the bottled bacteria how does
Bacteria grown and survive with nothing creating
Ammonia to feed it
Posted via Mobile Device

In part, that's the point. Large aquariums and commercial installers don't setup tanks and wait 2 months to add fish! They add the beneficial bacteria (and in SW, add live sand and live rock) and add fish right away.
IMO the key is adding fish a few at a time so the beneficial bacteria colony(ies) have time to develop...and again, with lots of plants, 'cycling' doesn't really take place.

Admittedly bottled bacteria introduced years ago were less effective than they are today...but so were many things when you think about it. Time marches on and so does research and product development.

1077 09-05-2012 08:01 AM

Can avoid the four to eight week's also, by borrowing filter material from your girlfriend's tank assuming it has cycled.
This borrowed filter media would hold fair amount of the live bacteria, and allow the addition of three or four small fish straight away with week to ten day's before new addition's.
Would trust this method over bottled bacterial supplement's .
Have used the shrimp method as well and if smell becomes too offensive,,then water change will alleviate the smell and do nothing, to slow down the process that I ever noted.

Rdb2013 09-05-2012 09:57 AM

I appreciate all the input on everything. I'm new
To a fully planted tank, my other tank only has a
Few plants and one hasn't been doing
Well the rest are silk fakies. So that's why I'm not pushing to do a planted tank until I see
Growth and success with the other. I'll do some
More research on bottle bacteria and on the fish less cycling methods. Either way I just want to have a safe established environment for my fish when I get them. Thinking
Of blue eyed rainbows and some bottom dwellers. I hit a snag with substrate and had to order my caribsea Tahiti moon sand, but I should have it all set up next week. Thanks for the input and help guys!
Posted via Mobile Device

Geomancer 09-06-2012 04:53 PM

I'd be very, very cautious on 'instant' cycling.

In the tank pictured below (a 125 gallon, 6 foot aquarium) I used a decent number of live plants (many fast growing) and in addition used Seachem's Stability.

It could not handle the initial fish load of 10 Harlequin Rasbora and 10 Diamond Tetra. 20 fish sounds like a lot, but keep in mind they were juveniles and even full grown would be ~20% stocked at most.

The levels never got out of control, but were measurable (~0.5 ppm Ammonia and Nitrite at various times).

So the moral of my story I guess is that yes those products, and plants, can greatly speed up the process and make it less severe I wouldn't call it a silver bullet unless you have extremely small loads. I think I would have been okay with just the Harlequin Rasbora. In small tanks though, I don't think you could have anything that schools and keep low stocking.

I know others have had better results, but that's what I ended up with.

I missed that you had another tank already set up. You can use its media to greatly speed up the cycling process as mentioned by others.

http://i139.photobucket.com/albums/q...Tank_Small.jpg
This is a picture from Day 1. It's very much filled out now =)

Rdb2013 09-06-2012 07:16 PM

The only problem is im in florida and my
Other tank is in NC. I go home once or twice a month for a
Weekend but I can't until christmas again so old media won't be a viable option. I think I'm going to do plants.. But also cycle the tank using the shrimp method, I'd like to try it! I'm planning on stocking it with 5 or 6 fork tail rainbows and maybe 4 Cory's or other small low level fish. But of course not all at once.
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