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Old 12-05-2011, 07:10 PM   #1 
peaches3221
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help please! cycling 2.5 w/ bacterial starter?

Ok so I have mixed answers on how to cycle my small tank. I've read about the shrimp/fishfood method to bring the ammonia up, then I would use the bacterial starter (think thats what it's called) and when the ammonia drops i'll know it's cycled? has anyone used this method before? Thanks
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:23 PM   #2 
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You would need to test the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. When your ammonia and nitrites are 0, and your nitrates are under 20ppm (I believe?) then you're tank is cycled. I've only done fish in cycles, and the rest I jump started with gravel and filter from my established tanks :(
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:30 PM   #3 
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ohh ok :) unfortunately I dont really have a tank to jump start from... only my dads ciclid tank which is not betta quality water :( (high ph and slightly salty)
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:34 PM   #4 
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I would think it should still work fine, I would do it myself haha My pH is high (7.8ppm+) and mine do great in it.

May I ask, why do you want to cycle a 2.5g?
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:43 PM   #5 
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well it also has salt in it and I don't know if that would be good for the fish. and its kind dirty :/

I want to cycle it because I have a filter (tetra whisper) and I was told that I need to cycle or the filter won't really do much, but i'm not sure how to go about it
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:04 PM   #6 
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the general opinion around here is that bacterial starter is bad. I don't have any specific knowledge on it, but search this board and you'll see what they have to say.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:15 PM   #7 
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really? that it dosn't work or that it is harmful to the fish :o
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:41 PM   #8 
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here's some stuff a search brought up:

"An unfiltered tank is not going to cycle because you are constantly doing whole water changes to remove the ammonia before it builds to levels where nitrites which eat ammonia and in turn nitrates which eat nitrites are developed. I dont think you neccessarily need it. The stress coat plus is sufficient."

"You can actually have a sterile tank go from 0ppm ammonia to 6ppm ammonia and 10ppm nitrite in a couple hours if the bio-waste load is high but none of it has decayed."

i'm no expert on the subject, but i have yet to read 1 good thing about bacteria starter.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:55 PM   #9 
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oh ok I do have a filter- will it help at all without being cycled?
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:07 PM   #10 
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Personally, I wouldn't cycle something smaller than 5 gallons. That small volume of water is very susceptible to rapid changes in water perimeters making it extremely difficult to keep a cycle. I would recommend just doing a 100% change every week. Without a cycle, a filter is basically useless as they don't really clean the water, just facilitate bacteria growth and aerate the water (which doesn't matter as bettas breathe from the surface). Also, that jump start "bacteria in a bottle" is useless. It won't harm the fish, but there is no actual live bacteria in there like they say. There is no source of food, air or light inside a bottle, so any good bacteria in there will be dead long before you add it to your tank.

And you can still use the cichlid tank to start it. The bacteria isn't in the water. You can use some gravel or filter media. Any minute amounts of salt transferred will be fine. And as long as what you're using isn't disgusting looking, I'd feel fine using it to cycle my tank.
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