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Old 08-26-2013, 02:36 AM   #1 
Loz
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How is this possible? Am I going crazy?

I've been reading about doing fishless cycles with ammonia and thought i'd give it a try out on my tank, so I went to the pet shop and asked if they sold pure ammonia and explained why I needed it. The pet shop lady thought I was out of my mind and had no idea about cycling a tank... am I going crazy here? She said you just need water conditioner and water and put the fish in.

How do pet shops keep heaps of fish alive in a massive tank without knowing anything about what I've been reading on the forum about cycling and testing water?

I'm highly confused yet again, as a result of pet shop lady talk. Opinions/advice? Ignore her?
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:24 AM   #2 
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I'm not so sure about cycling myself...I've never tested the water or 'cycled' a tank, and I've had my betta for about 9 months now. I honestly don't see why it's completely necessary to do all this testing and worrying about nitrites, nitrates, and all of that. Maybe my tank has just been cycling itself without me testing it, I don't know.
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:59 AM   #3 
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You don't NEED to cycle the tank before you add fish, as long as you keep up with water changes and the fish are relatively hardy. The cycle will naturally occur with time this way. People like to complete the cycle before adding fish because then you don't have to worry about water quality as much and sensitive fish will do much better. Fish such as neon tetras and otos are sensitive to water conditions and are not recommended in tanks that are not cycled yet. But fish like Bettas will be just fine during the tank's natural cycling process as long as you do water changes regularly to keep water levels safe.

Pet store employees are not trained in every area of every animal they sell. I've been working for 4 months for a pet store and am still learning things by researching at home, and I am passionate about almost every animal they sell. Usually, if the employee does not have personal experience witha particular animal (or type, such as fish), then they are only going to know what they've learned while working for the store, which is not a ton. At any rate, this lady probably does have aquariums of her own and only knows the basic info, such as adding water conditioner to make tap water safe for fish. Don't judge every pet store employee based on one person.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:04 AM   #4 
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When i first started in the hobby in the 60s we had no knowledge of the chemistry of the cycle, We knew about new tank syndrome but didn't understand what the causes were. An I cycled quiet a few tanks without knowing it, but livestock looses were the norm. Today I breed on a fairly large scale ( about 5000 gallon of water) an have not cycle an aquarium from a cold start in maybe 20 to 25 years justno need to. So yes you can cycle and mature an aquarium without ever testing one drop of water but why would you. Knowledge is power an there is so much witchcraft in the hobby that is a hold over from the dark times when we just didn't know.

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Old 08-26-2013, 07:56 AM   #5 
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Large regular water changes is how they keep them alive - whenever you add in new fish you should always up the water change for a couple weeks as there usually is an ammonia spike with new fish introduction. Most stores do very regular water changes to avoid those ammonia spikes.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:56 PM   #6 
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In my previous post, I had a typo. Meant to put "doesn't have aquariums" rather than "does have" x)
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:52 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickey View Post
When i first started in the hobby in the 60s we had no knowledge of the chemistry of the cycle, We knew about new tank syndrome but didn't understand what the causes were. An I cycled quiet a few tanks without knowing it, but livestock looses were the norm. Today I breed on a fairly large scale ( about 5000 gallon of water) an have not cycle an aquarium from a cold start in maybe 20 to 25 years justno need to. So yes you can cycle and mature an aquarium without ever testing one drop of water but why would you. Knowledge is power an there is so much witchcraft in the hobby that is a hold over from the dark times when we just didn't know.

Rick
Ahhh this probably explains a lot! I just couldn't understand how she was keeping so many fish alive, and they all looked healthy and happy. The good news is that I feel less scared now I understand more about cycling etc. I've actually just left some fish food in my tank (empty of fish) overnight and I'm going to test the water today and just see what's happening in there. Should be interesting.

Briz, please don't think I was judging her for her lack of knowledge.. I just thought not cycling a tank would kill a fish so was very confused how all hers were still alive and well and thriving!! She must have at least 30 tanks under her care. In fact, she pretty much laughed in my face when I told her about fishless cycling and what I'd been reading about online. I was the one who left feeling like an idiot, trust me. x
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:46 AM   #8 
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She either does a lot of water changes, as Myates suggests. Or all her tanks are cycled by now and she doesn't even know it.

My local Petsmart has at least 30 tanks on one wall. They are connected (in groups) to large filters with lots of flow. They are cycled deeply enough to handle the addition of many fish with barely discernible ammonia spikes.

Not knowing about the nitrogen cycle is one thing. Taking pride in that ignorance is something deplorably else.
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:02 AM   #9 
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I agree with Ricky - we have come out of the dark ages of fish keeping and now live in an Age of Enlightenment. People do what works, and for many old timers that means not a lot has changed over the years. They've found a balance and they stick with it. But now that we know how things work, there are "better" ways to do it.

One needs not understand how something works to depend on it, nor is it necessary to even be aware of its existence.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:46 AM   #10 
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One needs not understand how something works to depend on it, nor is it necessary to even be aware of its existence.
Boy, Howdy! and AMEN^^^
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