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Old 11-03-2012, 09:32 AM   #1 
asukabetta
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First time cycle help

I'm setting up new tank 4,5 ish gallons with filter and I am trying to do a fishless cycle with bacteria I bought.

The fish keeper said just add them and wait it out for the milkyness to disappear. But I'm not sure it's correct.

Any tips?
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:50 AM   #2 
shellieca
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What is your ammonia source? What do you mean "add them"? You will need to have ammonia in order to build up BB. do you have a water test kit?
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:34 PM   #3 
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No I usually go to the store and have the water tested.

And They gave me a bottle of sera nitrivec, which contains bacteria to eat up ammonia and such.

They said to add that and within a few days the tank would be cycled. But it seemed like a load of bull. However I have added it in the tank llike they said and right now it's a milky white.


Should I just do the fish food cycle instead?

When will I know when the cycle is finished?
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:44 PM   #4 
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I used something similar on my tank called Tetra Safe start. It's a bacterial additive that is supposed to help jumpstart cycling.

Mine caused a pretty big nitrate and ammonia spike, so I would add it to your set up tank and let the tank run a while. Be sure to test consistently as well. Once the ammonia drops, do a big water change and add your fish.
It took my tank about a week after adding the Safe Start to be ready, though I was already mid cycle (if you look back a few pages under the "Tanks" section, I have a thread on my cycling issues)

You might need to monitor your tanks levels a bit during the first few weeks to watch out for any spikes.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:48 PM   #5 
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You have to have a source of ammonia in order for the bacteria to build up and the tank to cycle. If you add bacteria and don't feed it ammonia the bacteria will just die. Some of those additive work and some don't - it depends on the type of bacteria that's in them.

The only way to know when a cycle is done is with water tests. The tank is cycled when ammonia is 0, nitrites are 0, and there are readable nitrates.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:57 PM   #6 
asukabetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendyjo View Post
You have to have a source of ammonia in order for the bacteria to build up and the tank to cycle. If you add bacteria and don't feed it ammonia the bacteria will just die. Some of those additive work and some don't - it depends on the type of bacteria that's in them.

The only way to know when a cycle is done is with water tests. The tank is cycled when ammonia is 0, nitrites are 0, and there are readable nitrates.

thanks all who replied I will try to get my test kit soon, should I add fish food to give them amonia to nom on?
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:09 PM   #7 
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Okay here is the question, can a tank be filtered and not cycled, and eventually cycled byt he fish living there on their own?
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:29 PM   #8 
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For your first question - yes, fish food will break down and turn to ammonia. Doing a cycle this way typically takes 6-8 weeks to complete. The steps are like this - you add ammonia and bacteria eats it and converts it to nitrite. Other bacteria develop and turn the nitrite into nitrate. Nitrate, which is less harmful to your fish that ammonia and nitrite, is then removed with weekly partial water changes. So it takes time to build up both types of bacteria (the ammonia eating and the nitrite eating).

The second question is also yes - but it's not good for the fish. The ammonia that you need to build up the bacteria is also very harmful to your fish - that's why it's recommended to do a fishless cycle instead. I googled the product you used and it doesn't seem to contain the proper bacteria strain that is needed to cycle a tank (Nitrospira) so I personally wouldn't trust to use my betta to cycle a tank in the hopes that the product will work well enough to keep him safe.

When did you add the product? I would go ahead and add some fish food each day and see how it goes. You do need to get a master test kit though, or at least individual drop tests for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:59 PM   #9 
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You can do a fish IN cycle but you must have, IMO, your own liquid test kit. Water needs to be tested daily & if you have >.25 of ammonia and/or nitrites do a water change. My fish IN cycles took 5 wks for the 46g & 8 wks for the 10g.

Fish LESS with or without a bacteria booster still requires an ammonia source. Fish food is not the best choice as it is very hard to properly dose to get the level of ammonia required. Pure ammonia is ideal but many people use a raw shrimp placing it in a mesh bag or pantyhose to cut down on mess. Doing a fish LESS you'll have to watch your Ph closer because if it crashes your cycle will stall.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:05 PM   #10 
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I would never recommend cycling with a betta because they are so prone to fin rot from poor water quality.
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