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Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Cool On artificial cycling and water testing.


    0 Not allowed!
    I've read the article on cycling a new fresh water tank and have to say that from my experience this approach is way more complex than it has to be. Yes I'd heard about this years ago...and even spent some time doing water samples and testing. Quite frankly some of the tips I learned in the early 60's (after loading up my first new 10 gallon tank and realizing how I massacred the lot) have been all that is necessary to set up a new tank.

    1. The most important is to set up the tank with treated tap water and let the heater and filtration run for a couple of days. Make sure the water clears up and maintains temperature. Don't try to hurry the process of adding fish.

    2. Use live plants and get them established prior to adding any fish. Use proper gravel for plants and avoid under gravel filtration. Learn to appreciate a live planted aquarium without fish. It only gets better as you slowly add fish! After planting live plants of all different kinds I've gotten to the point that fake plants do not interest me with one minor exception...if you have fish that destroy natural plants like Oscars and some other Cichlids yes maybe plastic plants are easier. But they will never look as good or be as beneficial as live plants!

    3. After a week our two after planting live plants start to introduce fish...SLOWLY! I usually use a pair or perhaps 4 schooling fish. Try to remain far from the number that your tank can actually support. Let them acclimate for a week or two.

    4. Employ water changes...not big ones..I usually do 10-20% with treated tap water. When I first got started in the 60's there was a school of thought that filtration systems were so good you only had to change the water yearly...balderdash. That school of thought on water change evolved to monthly and then bi-weekly over the next decade. You might do weekly changes as you slowly add fish to your tank.

    5. Add fish a couple at a time and with a week or two in between additions. Stop as you approach your tank limit based on the number and "projected" size of your fish.

    In my experience following the above "cycle" was all I have ever needed with a fresh water tank. I have thrown away all of my sampling chemicals and hardware. The key operator here is patience. After all some of the finest moments in life stem from anticipation! Rushing the process only results in more work and fretting about the results. No need to go there.

    There has also been some talk here about RO water...which is as close to distilled water as you can get. It has only one use IMO...to make up for water lost due to evaporation. Not really necessary if you do regular water changes..but if you have RO available you can use it this way.

    After reading about the chemical additions and testing here I don't think I ever would have enjoyed home aquaria if this was truly necessary to maintain an aquarium. Marine aquaria is another story. However after maintaing a salt water aquarium for ten years I vowed to stick with freshwater and I have done so. Apply the KISS principle and enjoy your aquarium(s)!

  2. #2

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    2 Not allowed!
    I don't see your point. You just described cycling with fish. Nothing wrong with it when done correctly.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    I agree that the science behind cycling a tank is simple. However your description is not.

    All you need to do with fish in cycle.

    Setup tank filter heater aeration( higher temp and oxygen increases growth rate of bacteria)
    And whatever substrate and decore your going to use. Bacteria will develop on EVERY. course surface.
    The reason I use the fish in method is simply the all natural route..I never put chemicals in my tank.

    Besides the water conditioner.

    And not testing your water is like driving without looking...

    How can you even know if you achieved the proper nitrification?

    There is no need for plants during the cycling process.

    Do not add the fish immediately let the filter cycle the water for awhile (depends on the specs of your filter) allow the temperature to raise and the dissolved oxegen. Then introduce fish. Never use "sensitive" fish do your research if your questioning.

    Feed once a day..and test test test!

    The levels WILL inevitably raise due to the lack of bacteria. Do NOT over stock during a cycle. A few fish is all you need to create waste products that bacteria will feed on..

  4. #4

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  5. #5

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    1 Not allowed!
    I don't recommend a fish in cycle ever...

    It's not necessary
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
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  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    Well my point is this...folks have been setting up aquariums very successfully without chemicals, and without testing for many years. It is a very natural thing if done carefully and slowly. It's not rocket science. If one prefers to make it complicated then have it.

  7. #7

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    7 Not allowed!
    Seems to me you are just trying to start an argument, which isn't going to happen. You can cycle a tank your way or you can cycle a tank with bottled ammonia, both work without stressing fish if done properly. I have cycled tanks both ways and I can tell you from experience, cycling with bottled ammonia is easier and faster.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  8. #8

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    3 Not allowed!
    To each there own.
    Family might not always see eye to eye.
    But we respect each other no argument!

  9. #9

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    1 Not allowed!
    I agree that a fish cycle is fine but yes, you should start small and gradually build up. Don't go crazy. As you mentioned.

    That said, I disagree with the idea that you can get away with no water changes save weekly. You might be able to, especially if you're introducing very small quantities of small fish at a time(particularly hardy varieties) but you should do a water change every day until the cycle completes. If you're prepared to deal with that, then I'd say it's perfectly acceptable. Otherwise you're leaving them swimming in toxins. Would you do that to a cat or a dog knowing as much? Probably not.

    Large WCs are required because you're likely to have enough toxins inevitably build up that only 70-80% changes will do much for you. Little ones won't cover that. It'll take some away but leave the bulk behind. You have no bacteria to consume the toxins that are building up within the water column so the only way to counter them is to essentially flush them out. I also think this is determined by the size of tank, versus the fish you're getting, plus factoring in live plants; however this is why I also disagree with the lack of testing. You need to test. As said above, you're going in blind otherwise and if you're going to go blind, I recommend to do larger WCs rather than small. You can go smaller if you're finding your tests are aren't reading terribly high but you need to keep at it.

    I don't know about you but I personally don't like fumbling around in the dark and operating on guesswork.

    Fish cycle is easy to understand just requires work and that's why most of the people here will try to steer you away from it. I had to deal with a fish cycle and even in a 10 gallon, with basic equipment, is a HUGE pain. Which most new people have. A basic siphon and a bucket. The worst mistake I made was having so many fish on top of it all. I was utterly clueless. So that just added to the strain of my WCs as I'd frequently have to do at least a couple of changes a day to keep toxins reasonable. ...REASONABLE. If there is such a thing.
    Last edited by Kitterfly; 12-05-2015 at 06:05 PM.

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