Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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FishN00b 05-12-2007 09:59 AM

Fishless Cycle
Just bought a 240l tank and thinking about doing a fishless cycle. The reason for this is I cycled my 70l tank using fish and they all died. I don't want this to happen again.

I've read the sticky on cycling which I found very informative.

I need some advice on how often to add the ammonia, indication is given in the sticky about the number of drops per gallon but doesn't mention the frequency of adding the drops.

Are water changes necessary? if so, how often?

Do bigger tanks take longer to cycle? If I add some plants from my established tank, will that assist the cycle?

One alternative i was considering is just putting shrimps in, they look more hardy than fish? Can they be used to cycle tanks?

Sorry for the number of questions its just I want to get it right :)

Any help appreciated


frogman6 05-12-2007 12:42 PM

do not put shrimp in please not hardy at all wat did u use to cycle other tank fish wise

Andyandsue 05-12-2007 03:54 PM

Just a note, and you may know this already- but cycling with shrimp means putting a raw cocktail shrimp in your tank, not live shrimp that we keep in our tanks.

4-5 drops ammonia:10 gal each day until nitrite peaks, then reduce to 2-3 drops ammonia:10 gal each day is a "recipe" that I have written down to do a fishless cycle. Without fish there is no need to change out water until ammonia reaches 0, nitrites have peaked and are now at 0, and nitrates reach a readable, safe amount. Do a water change and then test the water the next day, and make sure it stays that way.

Be prepared for a mini-cycle if you add too many fish at once. So test that water frequently, and water change as necessary.

FishN00b 05-13-2007 05:58 AM

I cycled the first tank with neons. It worked but I know now they're not the fish to use. Mollies, danios etc I know, I know. I have two of the 6 neons left. I of the two was white about a week ago, I had accepted that he was going to die. I found him again this morning after not seeing him for ages, he was brilliant blue and red again! cheered me up no end.
The two that are left are in fulltime hiding, Its been about a week since i added my small plec so I'm thinking of adding 4 more neons to make them feel a bit safer. When I had the 6 previously, they shoaled all the time and never really hid.

I was more of a n00b then.

I'm having a real hard time finding ammonia, tried various chemists and supermarkets.

Maybe a fish cycle would be ok if I used more suitable fish this time?

Can fish survive a cycle? The appropriate fish anyway?

Just filled the tank, gonna run the external filter and heater for a few days after de-chlorinating the water.

Comments are very welcome guys, thanks

miagrrl 05-13-2007 07:50 AM

i cycled my 30 gallon with danios and it worked great. I added them slowly and over a few weeks, worked it up to having 6 of them in there. the tank cycled fast- and my ammonia never got extrememly high. i think it stayed around 1. danios are extremely hardy. i know a lot of people are against using fish to cylce a tank, but i think its fine as long as you do it slowly- and with as few fish as possible. every one of my fish have survived, and in fact, they never even showed signs of distress. this is what i do;
set up tank, wait 1 week with it running
introduce 2-3 danios- wait and monitor for 2 weeks,
add two more danios- wait 1-2 weeks (usually, at this point, I am finished with my cycle).
it has worked well for me!

Andyandsue 05-13-2007 08:34 AM

First are you in or out of the US?

Yes, fish can survive cycling!! As long as it's done right and with the right fish. I cycled 3 tanks with fish and not one fatality. Use zebra danios. Hardy little buggers. The most important thing is to use less fish than the tank can handle and test the water every single day (sometimes 2x a day) and do water changes as necessary.

I am a HUGE fan of BioSpira. Made all of my tanks ammonia free, with the presence of nitrites- literally overnight. Then it's just a matter of watching for the nitrite spike and do your water changes. My tanks were all safely cycled in one weeks time.

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