Best way to Cycle Tank
I am new to aquariums, so i did a lot of research on how to setup new tanks. In my research i found a website that sells active sponges which already contain all the bacteria you need to setup your tank successfully. I had such a great experience with the product that I have to tell you all.
https://www.angelsplus.com/FiltersSpongeActive.htm Here is the link to the actual product. You will need an air pump to set it up, but this is something you will usually need anyway. Total cost to me was a little under $21 for the sponge and shipping.
After about 2-3 days my tank was fully cycled, and I used the sponge to set up a quarantine tank afterwards. That is whats great too you can use the sponge, its not just a bottle thing and throw away. It has been 2 weeks since I used the active sponge and no problems I check the water everyday still just to make sure and its at perfect parameters.
If you want a no-hassle, fast and cheap way to setup your tank, i highly recommend you buy this product.
Great point ian, you could use that sponge to.start literaly hundreds of tanks, even thousands ( or more!). I'm glad it worked for you and I hope new aquarists will have similar success with that product, its a great idea to sell pre cycled filter media. Not everyone has access to the stuff and I'm sure your link will help many new fishkeepers.
I've heard good reports of that seeded sponge, and I'm glad it worked for you.
But, at the price, most of the bottled bacteria products are a better value. They also allow you to use your current filter set-up without modifications or additions. Moreover, the seeded sponge is probably more susceptible to damage from heat and cold. Being shipped from the factory obviates shelf-life concerns, but makes it less convenient to purchase. (Dr Tim's One-and-Only also ships direct from the factory.)
Once a tank is cycled, any media is seeded and can be used to start another thank.
While it's nice to know there are alternatives available, I will still recommend bottled bacteria by Tetra, API, ATM, Microbelift and Dr. Tim's.
I am going to have to disagree with you for a few reasons.
1. I have tried both API, and Tetra bacteria and they did nothing. The one tank i tried them on had problems for 2 months and it never cycled using those products (5 gallon betta tank). I had to test everyday and I lost one fish. Sponge worked instantly.
2. For larger tanks like my 55 it would cost about $18 of bottled bacteria for that size tank and with the sponge it may be $3 more but you have a sponge.
I have never tried DrTim's Aquatics One & Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria for Cycling Aquaria, but again if I needed it for a 55 gallon it would cost me $25.09. So again the sponge actually comes out ahead for larger tanks. The cheapest Dr. tim's bottle (for up to 20 gallons) is still $10 amazon price, local store probably $15+.
Given that information I don't see how you can say bacteria in a bottle is a better value.
That being said i still appreciate your input.
Best way to Cycle Tank
The best value is a bottle of ammonia.
I do agree that transferring seeded media is the best way to start a new tank. However, I've tried a number of times to mail people seeded media and it was unsuccessful each time.
If you have the patience... a few fishfood flakes per day is even cheaper than a bottle of ammonia.
If you guys want to get really technical...using plants you already intend to keep and can later sell trimmings of might actually net you some money.
I've gotten in the mature sponge filters from Angels Plus, along with some rather expensive angels, wanted to quar them real good. It does amount to an instant cycle.
Must be user error :-)
I also have to vote for seeded sponges from AngelPlus. Used on two of my tanks and cycled them in less than three days (really almost instantly). I also have used bottled material and had no noticed success with them. There are several ways to cycle a tank and it's the owners choice which way to do it. For me the seeded filter is my choice. The mailing even in the winter time didn't effect the filter in my case shipping only took one day though.
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