Nutrafin Cycle for cycling a new 30gal
We've just bought a used 30gal tank to upgrade from a tiny 2 gallon one. I've read everywhere about cycling, fishless and otherwise, and I want to go with a fishless cycle. The only problem is I cannot find pure ammonia Anywhere in my town. I've tried 2 hardware stores, 3 chain pet stores, and even a kitchen supply store. The closest I could find to pure ammonia was one with only a dye, no surfactant.
When I asked for ammonia in my 3 local chain pet stores they stared at me like I was crazy, and didn't know why I'd want to ADD ammonia. When I mentioned a fishless cycle they told me to use an additive. Every store recommended Nutrafin Cycle: http://www.petco.com/product/13403/N...upplement.aspx
Does anyone have experience with this product? I've read that it doesn't actually have bacteria, just primer? Is there a better product I can buy to start my cycle? I was thinking of using this and adding some of the gravel from my 2gal to speed up the process.
Its my first 'real' tank so I want to start on the right foot before putting in the fish. In my town I've got a PetSmart, PetCo, and a local chain called Panhandle Pet supply so the 'expertise' at these store is pretty hit and miss.
I just need advice on starting the process since I cannot seem to get pure ammonia. I've also just read about Marineland Bio-Spira and I think some shop might carry it in town. Would this be recommended over Nutrafin Cycle?
If you can't get pure amonia it's not a problem. You can use fish food to "feed" the tank which, when it breaks down, produces amonia. Add 1/4 or less of a teaspoon each day and after a few days you should see amonia appearing and then the cycle will go through the normal stages: amonia to nitrite to nitrate.
I don't recommend cycle. It doesn't do anything to start the cycle and is just a sort or primer as you say. IMHO it's a waste of time and money. Many fish stores are sadly more interested in selling products and making money than they are the wellbeing of the fish.
Using the gravel from your old tank will definitely help speed up the cycle process as this will already contain some of the beneficial bacteria that is required.
Just wanted, as well, to give you a big thumbs up for researching the cycle, and asking for more information before you went ahead with anything, the most common mistake with new fishkeepers is that they go ahead without cycling the tank, and end up with a load of dead fish. It's god to see that you are taking teps to avoid this. :)
Another good way of seeding the tank is to go to your LFS and ask them to squeeze a sponge filter into a bag for you. This is essentially the same as "cycle", only I've found it to work. The theory behind products like this are they add a bunch of the bacteria so that it takes less time to cycle. The problem is, that the bacteria dies when it's kept in a bottle like that, so I haven't found it to be effective. The only one that has a good reputation is Bio-Spira, which is kept refrigerated. However, I've found my sponge filter squeezing method to be quite effective :D
I got my ammonia from the cleaning aisle at the grocery store.
I've also tried 3 local stores. All have surfactants. I've just settled on putting in some sand from my other tiny tank and putting in fish food for ammonia. The tank has been running for 2 days and ammonia tested 0.5 - 1ppm today. Think I'll need a little bit more ammonia before a good cycle gets going.
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