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kiwis

Kick Start nitrogen cycle

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I've set up my tank, was originally happy to leave for a month and kick start the nitrogen  cycle naturally with food waste however I have the opportunity to my perfect fish this weekend. 

I understand you can buy stuff to put in your tank to kick it off? what is that stuff? any advice or comments on it?

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Bacteria in a bottle like Seachem Stability?   It works to speed up the cycle but I personally wouldn't stock the tank straight away, might work for some but if anything is wrong and the bacteria doesn't establish fast enough to cope with the instant large amount of fish waste then there would be problems.  Instead I suggest using it as per directions but still do a fishless cycle (feeding with ammonia or fish food etc) until the ammonia and nitrites have disappeared and there are Nitrates showing.    I used it when I set up my current tank as because it is cold water was taking a long time to cycle,  stability seemed to speed things up more.  I reckon it would cut the time in half but hesitant about using it for instant stocking.

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1 hour ago, Shilo said:

Bacteria in a bottle like Seachem Stability?   It works to speed up the cycle but I personally wouldn't stock the tank straight away, might work for some but if anything is wrong and the bacteria doesn't establish fast enough to cope with the instant large amount of fish waste then there would be problems.  Instead I suggest using it as per directions but still do a fishless cycle (feeding with ammonia or fish food etc) until the ammonia and nitrites have disappeared and there are Nitrates showing.    I used it when I set up my current tank as because it is cold water was taking a long time to cycle,  stability seemed to speed things up more.  I reckon it would cut the time in half but hesitant about using it for instant stocking.

Cheers

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Bacteria in a bottle works but is not the correct aerobic bacteria that tank cycles on, it will work until the correct bacteria takes hold

But as said only supports a light bioload

Anything in a bottle is anaerobic

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There are many things being set up when you cycle a tank and establishing the start of the nitrogen cycle is only one of them. Bacteria in a bottle, fish food or a dead shrimp actually has little to do with the state the tank will be in when it has cycled. Two small fish and some patience will establish conditions required by two small fish and nothing else will. Some people have convinced the world that cycling slowly and showing some patience is cruel but how cruel is it to put your fish into a tank full of the wrong bacteria? I used to breed 50000 tropical fish a year and have never artificially cycled a tank yet. Every one to their own I guess.

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4 hours ago, alanmin4304 said:

There are many things being set up when you cycle a tank and establishing the start of the nitrogen cycle is only one of them. Bacteria in a bottle, fish food or a dead shrimp actually has little to do with the state the tank will be in when it has cycled. Two small fish and some patience will establish conditions required by two small fish and nothing else will. Some people have convinced the world that cycling slowly and showing some patience is cruel but how cruel is it to put your fish into a tank full of the wrong bacteria? I used to breed 50000 tropical fish a year and have never artificially cycled a tank yet. Every one to their own I guess.

Agree there is nothing cruel about it if the parameters are kept within a healthy range of the fish in the tank.  It used to be the only way to cycle, although always better to use media from an existing tank if possible.

But once the tank has been cycled for the 2 fish, additional fish have to be added slowly to allow the bacteria numbers to catch up with the load.  If somebody went from just cycling with 2 small fish to fully stocking the tank there will be a ammonia spike then nitrite spike until the bacteria numbers increase enough.  Because of this in my opinion it takes longer and there is more danger of mistakes being made by a beginner that can effect the fish.  By using the fishless cycle with allowing fish food etc to rot or by adding ammonia (more controllable) means the tank can be cycled up to a full bio-load and the tank fully stocked straight away.

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So what you're saying... you can add two small fish into a tank and it should start cycling on it's own with them and not be too cruel to the fish? Bacteria in a bottle will help but not replace the bacteria in the time it takes for the real bacteria to form.

So a couple of small clowns in a 140L system should be okay?

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33 minutes ago, kiwis said:

So what you're saying... you can add two small fish into a tank and it should start cycling on it's own with them and not be too cruel to the fish? Bacteria in a bottle will help but not replace the bacteria in the time it takes for the real bacteria to form.

So a couple of small clowns in a 140L system should be okay?

Think dilution.  The more diluted the ammonia is the safer for the fish. A small amount of ammonia in the water (below 1ppm) won't harm the fish and the bacteria population in the filter will eventually grow enough to deal with this amount.  When this happens another fish can be added to increase the amount of waste etc, the ammonia levels rise again then time is needed for the bacteria population growth to catch up to this level and so on.    

Advantage:  you get to have life in your tank straight away.

Disadvantage: You have to keep a constant eye on the ammonia then nitrite levels (the fishes life is at stake) and it takes longer to get a fully stocked tank.

With a fishless cycle you can get the ammonia level up to 4ppm so more food for the bacteria = faster bacteria population growth = faster cycle = fully stocked tank sooner. 

I won't say " a couple of small clowns in a 140L is Ok" because it all depends on whats considered small and how fast the bacteria population grows (depends on filter system, water parameters) etc.  Every tank & situation is different. Instead if you go this route then test 2x a day and if the ammonia then the nitrite levels get near 1ppm do a water change.  Keep doing this until the tank is fully stocked. This is why the fishless cycle is more forgiving and safer for a beginner.   Throwing a couple of fish in a tank, waiting a few weeks then throwing in the rest may work out Ok for you, but there is a good chance it won't.

 

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I start all my marines from scratch but add a piece of live rock a couple of small fish and do weekly 25% water changes even if testing doesn't sow it needs one

Marine cycle is 6 weeks usually

 

cycle.gif

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