Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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adiumroot 06-10-2009 02:35 PM

Fishless cycling question (shrimp method)
Hi! I've read about the fishless cycling method where you put shrimp in a mesh bag and hang it in the aquarium to decay as a source of ammonia. Well, shrimps are kinda expensive where I'm from and I'd rather eat them than let them rot in an aquarium. So, my question is, can I substitute a cheap food fish instead of shrimp? Will this produce the same effect?
Also, should the fish be raw or cooked?

Thanks! :-D

Arkamaic 06-10-2009 02:37 PM

Some people put a little bit of fish food in the tank daily, others do shrimp.. others use the ammonia method. There are many ways to do this. Also, try looking for something called Cycle at your local fish/pet store. It is a chemical made to help the cycling process.

SolaceTiger 06-11-2009 11:28 AM

I used the fish food method, got my 30 gallon tank cycled in about 5 weeks.

Unrulyevil 06-11-2009 12:23 PM

Get cycle! It's not exactly a chemical ... rather beneficial bacteria in suspended state, ones you release it in to your water it will come alive and colonize and cycle your tank!

Arkamaic 06-11-2009 03:20 PM

Sorry, Unrulyevil is right, it's not a chemical. I was extremely tired typing that up haha.

adiumroot 06-12-2009 10:19 AM

The aquatics community is divided on whether or not products like cycle work. I'm a bit on the skeptical side, so I'd rather not spend money on Cycle.

I've heard the shrimp method is much more reliable than the fish food method. That's why I'm inquiring if I could substitute fish instead of shrimp to be placed in the mesh bag and left to decay. But I guess I'm also open to fish food if there's no other option.

Byron 06-12-2009 10:22 AM

Earlier posts are correct about Cycle [or Stress Zyme which is the same sort of biological matter], but remember it only works if there is a source of ammonia in the tank. The bacteria need ammonia to feed on in order to colonize the filter and tank surfaces, and if there is no continual source of ammonia the bacteria will not multiply and what is there will die off by starvation. Ammonia comes from fish introduced into the tank (if cycling with hardy fish) or fish food, or pure ammonia. But the source of ammonia must be maintained at the same level, i.e., if using fish food add the same amount every day for the 2+ weeks until the bacteria cycle is established. Your daily water test for ammonia and nitrite will tell you when the tank is cycled.

Personally, if you use Cycle, I would add a small fish. Fish are a continuous source of ammonia, and the Cycle does relieve the stress of new tank syndrome on the fish. You don't indicate the size of your new tank. The fish should be hardy, and only one (or maybe a couple if the tank is larger than 20g), and it should be a fish you want to keep. Using food fish or fish you don't want later is not advisable; it may introduce pathogens and disease into the tank, and then you've more trouble, when it could be avoided.

adiumroot 06-12-2009 10:34 AM

I wasn't talking about live fish. I was referring to a dead food fish as an ammonia source. Just like how they use the frozen shrimp. It's because shrimp here are so expensive.

But thanks for the info anyway. Since it came from you, I might try Cycle out.

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