Yep, its usually a gimmick. Cycling requires you have a filter running constantly, which is home to bacteria that will eventually grow to eat ammonia and nitrites.
They need food, which fish poop and good supplies.
If you dont do "fish in" cycling, you would need a pure ammonia source, like ammonia, fish food (not recommended) or a large, raw shrimp.
If you do the latter, you can't have your fish in the tank.
Cycling usually (usually) takes st the very very least a month.
I'm terrified of moving Bahamut into the new tank without doing the cycling but we also want his two neighbors in there as well. Would it be more advisable to move one of the "healthier" one's in first to get that cycle started? And to actually do the fish in cycle style?
And if you think that's a good idea, then how long would you say the cycling with fish in should take?
What your suggesting is a fish in cycle, which is fine. Move him in, and do two 50% WC per week, for the first month. Then do normal changes after you tank cycles. Remember to test your water every other day while your tank is cycling, so the ammonia never gets high enough to kill him. Simple. Use an API master liquid test kit. Very accurate and cheaper in the long run.
I finally purchased the Aqueon 16 gallon Bowfront Kit from Petco, for $99.
I emptied out my hawkeye 5gallon, transferring its plants, gravel, and prefilter to jumpstart the cycle. Rest of the gravel was leftover from the original bag of eco-complete that I bought so long ago.
The stump, background, and heater are new (though the heater the kit came with had such cheap suction cups, I broke them while trying to attach them, so took the ones from the 5g's heater and used them instead).
The "gray tree root" is from Petsmart, for $25, and is fake/plastic. Extremely sturdy, minimal sharp edges, and is awesome
Day 1 flora:
1- micro sword (left, front)
1- anachris (right, back)
1-frill plant/fox tail (left, back)
1-Hygrophila which I broke into 2 parts. (front, off-center-right; right, front)
Day 1 Fauna:
1- Male Betta
2-Leopard Cories (the reason I had to buy a bigger tank! Surprise fish gifts are great, gave me an excuse to go bigger). (note #2, I'm getting more next weekend, want to make sure that the cycle jump-start was a success).
Just a few photos, some in the next post too... I'll make a topic as well, so I can put more of them and record its progress :)
Note, hard to photograph straight on with the bowfront tank, so some angles always end up looking blurry.
Last edited by Arowan; 07-03-2011 at 07:20 PM.
Now for Day 6 Photos of my 16g Bowfront, after a trip to Aquatouch, a fish-specialty store (considered one of the largest/best equipped in the south west).
Their betta section was lackluster, but their planted tanks were fantastic, and had a large selection of lush, beautiful plants. (i'd been going nuts trying to find anubias for my "stump," none of the local pet stores had any that were in good shape, and I looked at 5 of them! On a side note, one of them does happen to carry Otto's, a nice surprise, which I may get a few of once this tank is older (ie, in months).)
Anyway, came out of Aquatouch with some wonderful anubias and a cup of java moss.
1-Anubias "coffeefolia" (bottom left of stump, note brown leaves and ridges)
2-Anubias gold-leaf (two distinct rhizomes, one pot)-(top left)
1-Anubias Nana (The humongous plant on the back-right of the stump)
1-Anubias "striped" (in the top-back of the stump, don't see the stripes myself)
Lots of Java Moss:Stuck some on the top, on a branch in the underside of the stump, and the rest I stuck at the bottom of the stump, until I figure out where else to put them. I got a ton.