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Old 06-19-2011, 03:49 PM   #1 
frogipoi
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Question How do you cycle?

I been wondering about this. I plan to do it for my 5 gallon tank. I know cycling is growing bacteria in the water. Can someone give me some steps? Oh, and can you do a cycle with fish in the tank? Or is that how you cycle. I have a mini cycle going on but it isn't a real cycle or at least I don't think it it... You can PM me if needed :) Thanks!
It is a 5 gallon tank with one fish in it
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:30 PM   #2 
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You can safely cycle the 5gal filtered tank with the fish provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes....

Without water testing products on hand....I would make twice weekly water changes until the nitrogen cycle has established and that can take 4-8 weeks....Make 1-50% water only and 1-50% to include substrate vacuuming in all areas that can be reached without moving anything in the tank or disruption of the plant roots if you have live plants......

The nitrifying bacteria for the nitrogen cycle are sticking and adhere to all the surface areas inside the tank, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media...very little are in the water column and so water only changes will not hurt or stall the cycle, however, over cleaning can...you don't want to vacuum more than once a week or clean the non-viewing walls, decorations etc....until the nitrogen cycle has established......also the filter media should not be touched unless the water flow is compromised and then only a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change...once the nitrogen cycle has established you need to give the filter media a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month or when the water flow is slowed to remove any big pieces of gunk...you want the filter media to look dirty...this is good bacteria.

If you plan to use carbon (not needed) change this per the package direction.

If you have a master freshwater test kit...base the 50% water only change on test results...ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater but you will still need to make the 50% with vacuum weekly for the life of the aquarium

You know the nitrogen cycle has established when your test read: ammonia and nitrite 0ppm and Nitrate 5-10ppm for several days without any ammonia/nitrite spikes.....

Live active growing plants can change this....but it depends on the number and species of plants and growth state.....
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:10 PM   #3 
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Okay, sounds good. I will try to do it sometime soon. Thanks, OFL.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:25 PM   #4 
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Isn't there a sticky for this...?
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:28 PM   #5 
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There is? O.O Sorry, I didn't look the whole forum. I ish sorry to those who are angry with meh. :(
It might of been the one I looked at but got lost in the words O.O
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:30 PM   #6 
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Nah not angry, lol...I just prefer to search before posting, unless a previous thread is buried XD

The sticky is literally one post above this one XD
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:32 PM   #7 
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I think I read it... but I got lost in the words and the methods O.o (going to look at it) O.o
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:02 PM   #8 
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Tbh, the sticky doesnt give great info...It gives just barely enough and an overview of what it is, but not as great as stuff like OFL said with directions and guidance on water changes, etc :)
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:14 PM   #9 
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Yeah, I noticed that. Isn't there a fish and a fishless cycle? Which is better? :/ I heard of all these methods.... O.O
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:11 PM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogipoi View Post
Yeah, I noticed that. Isn't there a fish and a fishless cycle? Which is better? :/ I heard of all these methods.... O.O
Frogipoi,

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 ! :)
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