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naamahbengals 06-14-2008 05:33 PM

Cycling Newbie - Advice?
I have never cycled a tank before (my fish must have been very lucky!), and I am starting a 45 gallon tank and want to do it right. Right now I have the tank, filled with water + dechlor + a tiiiny bit of aquarium salt, being moved by a little (made for a 25 gallon) ViaAqua filter that was moved from another tank, but does not have a filter sponge (I might be able to find it, but it would be dried out. I intend to buy another filter). I know there are tests I have to do (and I know not to use the strips), but I have no idea what to do first, what to look for, should I add a couple danios right off the bat? or wait? So any advice would be great!

When all is filtered and done, I want to add -

Live Plants
6 Kuhlii Loach
1 Spotted Rafael Catfish
1 Pictus Catfish
2 Pearl Gourami
5 Barbs (of a lesser nippy type - suggestions?)
1 Snail (of a species that won't eat all of my plants)


okiemavis 06-14-2008 05:55 PM

Well, a lot of the beneficial bacteria is harbored in the filter, so you'll really need to get the filter for that tank before you begin to cycle.

Do you intend on cycling the tank with danios? You can also do a fish-less cycle by adding an alternative ammonia source or even pure ammonia. It can be quicker than a fish cycle if you do it properly because you don't have to keep the ammonia levels down for the sake of the fish.

naamahbengals 06-14-2008 06:30 PM

Will the filter sponge still have the bacteria even if it has been dried out for 6 months? If so, I will search hard for it - if not, I will just get a new one.

I didn't know you could cycle without fish for ammonia - could you give the the name of a product that I can use instead? How does that work? Is there less frequent testing involved - or, for that matter, how long does it take to cycle with an ammonia product? I am a bit pinched on aquarium funds at the moment, so if the fish method is less expensive, I will probably go that direction (unless, of course, you save by having to test less...?)


okiemavis 06-14-2008 06:57 PM

The fishless one is probably cheaper- cuz you don't have to buy fish which you must later return. There is no one particular product, but rather anything that produces ammonia when it breaks down. Here's a very helpful article on cycling a freshwater aquarium. Cycling with prawns is probably the cheapest way as you can buy some, add 1-2 to your tank and eat the rest for dinner! Anyway, check it out, and let us know what you think.

Also, yes, you would have to test less. Mostly because there is no fear of killing anything. You only need to check to see where you are in the cycle. Also, your fish store will probably test your water for free if you want to conserve your test kit for time sensitive things. Just make sure they use liquid and not test strips, and that they tell you the exact numbers, not just "fine".

athlete3344 06-14-2008 10:18 PM

Im cycling my 55 gallon tank at the moment and I used 2 prawns from walmart. The bag cost around 3$ and I threw the rest out since I didnt need them. Ive found this method to be very effective, my tank started cyclying on the 25th of last month and Im guessing another week tops until im ready for fish.

Definitely invest in an API master test kit. It comes with everything you need and youll need it to monitor your water levels especially after you have fish. The salt isnt really necessary, I dont plan on using it but I would research on what it does and how much to add in(correct measurements) if you decide to. Definitely get a bigger filter. If you dont plan on running a smaller tank then using both filters will be beneficial, you can never have too much filtration.

I believe the loach will eat your snail.

Purple7 06-16-2008 09:17 PM

What is cycling and how do you do it? I just got a new 5 gallon aquarium and would soon like to add my betta.

Please make a step by step list of instructions for cycling a 5 gallon tank!!

THANKS! times a billion

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