Cycling 55 gallon?
Hello, How many fish would I need to cycle a 55 gallon and which fish would be the best? I plan on keeping them since it will be a planted community tank. Thank you:question:
Fishless cycling is now the preferred method as it doesn't stress out fish. There are a number of methods but I will tell you what I plan to do. I will use one "cocktail shrimp" per 10 gallons of water. I will put these shrimp in a woman's nylon and sink it with a rock or cup or something to keep the sock down. The tank will already be set up with plants. I plan to use Seachem's Stability also for the first 7 days to help speed up the process. I will do ammonia, nitrites and nitrates test through the month to six weeks. At the end of one month, I'll remove the sock and shrimp.
The shrimp breaking down will put out the needed ammonia to cycle the tank plus other goodies, then fish will be added, maybe four at a time, if bigger fish, maybe only one or two, continually monitoring for ammonia, etc.
You mention plants; if these are in the tank first, you can add a few fish without a problem. Sufficient plants will "cycle" a tank, which more correctly means there will be no obvious harmful (to the fish) "cycling" via bacteria. The plants assimilate the ammonia produced by the fish from the start, so you do not have to wait for nitrosomonas bacteria to appear (to handle the ammonia) and then nitrospira bacteria to handle the nitrite resulting from the nitrosomonas bacteria which will be very minimal because the plants have taken most of the ammonia directly. As this method is presumably new for you, I would not put many fish in at first, just a few (depending what they are of course) and add them a few days apart if you have available those you want in the tank. I can explain this further if you ask.
Good plants to add to cycle a tank are Hornwort it's a floating plant that sucks out fish wastes faster than fish can excrete them. Carbon Dioxide, Ammonia, Nitrites,Nitrates and Phosphates all go into the fast-growing foliage. It was listed in Tropical fish hobbyist magazine as a good plant to filter your water and cycle a tank also Anacharis that you can get at Petco for about $2.99 a bunch.
I cycled my 20 gal. with 10 White Cloud Tetras as they are really hardy. I was able to get 10 for $1.00 at my local fish store as they are used for feeders but I think they are really nice schooling fish to have.I have not lost any of them during the cycle. I added a bio filter pad from my 55 gal. tank and used this stuff called cycle to speed things up. I did 1/4 water change after 1 week and tested my water with a API dropper test kit.
If you have a friend or know someone with a aquarium ask if you can use one of their filter pads because the good bacteria is in the pad.You can use gravel or sand from someones tank and put that in a pantyhose and float that in the filter or put it in the corner of your tank as that has good bacteria in it also to speed things along. I also heard that Zebra Danio Tetras are good to cycle a tank also. Most Tetras need a fully cycled tank as they are sensitive like shrimps to a new tanks.
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