Originally Posted by frogipoi
Yeah, I noticed that. Isn't there a fish and a fishless cycle? Which is better? :/ I heard of all these methods.... O.O
I think fishless is the preferred method, only to save the fish the stress of the cycling (which will kill delicate fish).
There is the fishless method that uses a particular type of ammonia to jump start the cycle... it is a method I've never used, but you should be a to pull up info doing a search on it.
There is another fishless method that uses a big, dead shrimp (raw or cooked, I'm not sure)... another method I've never used. I've heard people have had some success with this. Again, a search even on this forum should pull up this method as well.
The first time I cycled, I did it the wrong way... with fish in, without a test kit... at first. The I came here and learned the right way, which takes 4-6 weeks, with mini water changes to deal with the ammonia if you have a fish in.
It is better if you can do it without live fish. Use a shrimp, and turn up the tank heater. The bacteria will breed faster in the warm water, and the cycle will go quicker. Do your water test (once a week with no living critters in it is fine).
You can also 'seed' a new aquarium with bacterial slime from an established, disease-free tank. Follow as you would for the shrimp in method...
And above all else, listen to OFL's advice. She knows what she's talking about ! :)