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Old 04-10-2010, 06:15 PM   #1 
brancasterr
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Can't find ammonia anywhere...help!

Okay, so I can't find the proper ammonia I need to start cycling my 10 gallon.

I have this "Nutrafin Cycle" that I'm skeptical about but I might as well try it while I keep looking for ammonia.

Anyways, I talked to the lady at the fish section in my LPS and she mentioned getting a few starter fish along with some water from their already cycled tank and throwing them in my tank.

Does this work effectively with out the introduction of ammonia?
How long does it take?
Can I keep the starter fish in there after the cycle has been completed and I add my betta?

Thanks for any help. I'm still trying to wrap my head around all this cycling mumbo jumbo. :P
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:31 PM   #2 
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Depends on what the starter fish are. I've read something about people using goldfish for cycling, but also that it was a no-no. Yes though, it would work because the fish are providing the ammonia in your tank, thus, eliminating the need for pure ammonia from a store.

But, if you're going to do a 'fish in' cycle, can't you just use your betta? I'm not speaking for anybody, but that's what I did and he's still kickin'. I just did water changes to keep the ammonia at a "safer" level (if that's possible). Doing this probably extended the length of the cycle, but I was in no rush. Took about a month before I got 0/0/20 readings.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:12 PM   #3 
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If you have an Ace hardware nearby they sell ammonia in the cleaning supplies section. It's Ace brand; it's much more than you'll need but it's pretty cheap. Some grocery stores and other hardware stores might also carry it, just check the ingredients to make sure there aren't any detergents or surfactants in it.
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:29 PM   #4 
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I'm strongly against using "starter fish".. many people use them then flush them after the tank is cycled.. including bettas . IMHO its a cruel practice.

If you are going to do a fish-in cycle just add your betta and any other tank mates you were going to get (if any)... fish in cycling the right way is long and time consuming.. but I've done it on all my tanks and never lost a fish once.


Fishless cycling is always preferred though because its 100% fish safe
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:38 PM   #5 
iamtetsuo
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I suggest using a live plant instead

With a live plant there is no cycling necessary. Plants directly absorb ammonia as long as your water is slightly acidic (most tap water is ~6.8-6.9).

Another added benefit of plants is they make your tank more lively and provide a resting and hiding area for your Betta!

Links in case you doubt me:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium#Biology
http://www.aquabotanic.com/plants_an...filtration.htm
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:49 PM   #6 
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Live plants do help a cycle but they don't cycle a tank. You have to have a source of ammonia.. no matter what.

It can be ammonia, fish waste, or even fish food... although I don't suggest fish food because it could also lead to unwanted bacteria.
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:58 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1fish2fish View Post
Live plants do help a cycle but they don't cycle a tank. You have to have a source of ammonia.. no matter what.

It can be ammonia, fish waste, or even fish food... although I don't suggest fish food because it could also lead to unwanted bacteria.
Yes which is why you put your new betta in after you have placed your plant in the tank. The Betta will produce all the ammonia needed to keep the plant happy.

This is how I set up my 3 gallon tank and I have had ammonia readings of 0 since day 1.
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Old 04-10-2010, 11:18 PM   #8 
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But thats not cycling. To cycle you have to have a spike of ammonia so that the nitrite producing bacteria can be established and then you have to have a spike of nitrite so the nitrate producing bacteria can be established. After that the levels of ammonia and nitrite should be 0. Unless you give the bacteria a chance to establish you won't be able to have a successful cycle.
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Old 04-11-2010, 01:14 AM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1fish2fish View Post
But thats not cycling. To cycle you have to have a spike of ammonia so that the nitrite producing bacteria can be established and then you have to have a spike of nitrite so the nitrate producing bacteria can be established. After that the levels of ammonia and nitrite should be 0. Unless you give the bacteria a chance to establish you won't be able to have a successful cycle.
OK true, this is not cycling in the sense that you're thinking of.

Having a plant allows you to skip the ammonia spike. Ammonia levels never have a chance to build so the ammonia converting bacteria only show up in small amounts. This allows the nitrite consuming bacteria to build slowly as well. No spikes, no harm to the fish.

Also using the traditional cycling method you still have nitrates at the end. Nitrates are harmful to fish, but less so than ammonia and nitrites. High levels of nitrates are also harmful because they encourage algae growth. Using a live plant is the best way to get around all of this.
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