Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Jasey 02-01-2008 11:22 AM

Instant Cycling?
I have recently been visiting several local fish stores because I am planning a 55g FW tank or perhaps 75g. At one LFS, when we talked about cycling the tank, the employee suggested this bottle of solution that would allow us to put the fish in without even cycling the tank. I didn't catch the brand name, but he described it as the exact opposite of an anti-biotic - like a pro-biotic. He said that with this, you could set up your tank and the same day add all of your fish, just add a lot of this pro-bacteria solution to the tank and the good bacteria will grow like crazy. Now I was somewhat skeptical because I have never heard of being able to just add a product and that be the end of it, no cycling. But he claims they use it on all of their tanks and his own tanks and it works great. It sure sounded great.

Does anyone know about this instant-cycling solution, or should I say "no cycling needed" solution? Do you suggest it - and if not, should I stick to a fishless cycle with ammonia instead?

jeaninel 02-01-2008 11:30 AM

Hmmm...I would be skeptical too. The only product I've heard of that people have had luck with to shorten the cycle is Bio-Spira. But I've never used it before. Did this product require refirgeration? I know Bio-Spira has to be refrigerated.

herefishy 02-01-2008 11:33 AM

I know of no product that instantly cycles a tank. Cycling refers to the seeding and establishing of a biological filter sysem. That could take anywhere from days to weeks. Typically, as a rule of thumb and notto be taken as gospel, it takes a tank anywhere tym 2-12 weeks to cycle.

There are products on the market and other means to both initiate and hasten the cycling process. The tried and true method of adding some material from a tank that is aged and established, usually gravel or filter media, is the least expensive. And in my opinion the afore mentioned is the best. Adding products like BioSpira or Cycle also help but that is money spent that could have been spent on fish, if you know what I mean.

There are two basic types of cycling processes, fish and fishless. Of the two I prefer using fish with seeded media. Some swear by the fishles cycle. It is just a matter of choice.

Jasey 02-01-2008 11:50 AM

jeaninel - No, this product was not being refrigerated. It was on the shelf with other products. What this guy was saying about adding the fish the same day that I set up the tank as long as you use this product goes against everything I have ever read about starting and cycling a tank.

herefishy - Thanks for the info. I have had luck in seeding my 10 gallon with filter media from my 5 gallon, and using media from my 2.5 for the 5... all with fish in the process. I wanted to try a fishless cycle for the large tank because I haven't done that before.

okiemavis 02-01-2008 01:02 PM

There are a lot of products like that out there. I wouldn't trust any of them to work. Bio-Spira is the only one that has a good reputation, but I don't think it's any more effective than seeding the new tank from an established one. Basically, if it's not refrigerated, it's probably a complete waste of money. Unfortunately, nothing can instantly cycle a tank.

fish_4_all 02-01-2008 01:06 PM

They may work, may not. Some poeple have had great success with them where others have to cycle just a long.

Some of the main drawbacks I have seen are that they can cause you to have false or illigical readings from your test kits. Showing ammonia and/or nitrites when there isn't any.

If yu try them just make sure to test like you would any other time to make sure that they worked right.

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