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Old 03-04-2012, 10:21 PM   #1 
mattoboy
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Cycling Tank Question

Hey guys,

I was thinking about picking up a Critter Keeper with no filer because the idea of getting a nice tank and having to cycle it throws me off... it seem so hard...

Is cycling a tank really hard? How long do you cycle it for?

Matt
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:35 PM   #2 
IndeedPanda
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It's not hard at all and if you get a tank bigger than 3 gallons it is a really good idea to cycle it. There are a lot of methods and they can seem confusing. If you are patient, just set up the aquarium, get it running with a filter, airpump and heater, then add a few pieces of fish food and walk away.

There are a variety of methods and it really is worth it as a big, cycled tank will make for happier fish and fewer water changes. The time it takes varies... I think it's anywhere from two teeks to two months. There are a lot of good threads on the topic, so try searchign and you'll find a good method. It's not hard, really. It just seems that way until you get to the basics, which are:
Setting up good bacteria, to eat the bad stuff.
Amonia is produced by the fish, and turns into NitrITes. Good bacteria turns the nitrITes into nitrATes- which are less harmful. So your fish is exposed to less bad stuff and you do not have to constantly change 100% of the water.

People here will correct me if I'm wrong though. I'm new to this. I'm cycling my tank just by adding Tetra SafeStart and fish food and letting it run while my betta is in a different tank.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:36 PM   #3 
Bombalurina
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IndeedPanda has given a pretty good summary. I just want to mention one thing: it is really hard to cycle anything under 5 gallons. 5 gallons and over is easy, but less is tricky.

Using pure ammonia to cycle a tank is easier and less smelly than fish food. ;)
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:13 PM   #4 
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Very true, Bombalurina. I've just had problems getting pure amonia. Tried all the LFS and grocery stores and even a few hardware stores. They all have dyes or scents added. >.< Annoying.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:13 AM   #5 
ZergyMonster
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Also good to note. It goes from Ammonia to Nitrates to Nitrites.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:51 AM   #6 
freemike
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It goes from Ammonia>Nitrites>Nitrates.
http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:20 AM   #7 
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Guess you're right, of course the one place that I learned how to cycle had it backwards.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:20 PM   #8 
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I got my pure ammonia from ACE Hardware store. If you give the bottle a quick shake and see no foaming, then you are good. I think many pharmacies or car parts store will have it, but not all of them. my cycle is taking it's dear sweet time reaching the finish line. It took me 4 1/2 - 6 weeks to cycle my tanks the first time and this time around it seems more and more like another 6 week wait. ^_^;

Cycling a tank isn't hard but it does take time and the wait is worth it, imo. A cycled tank is much lower maintanance than an uncycled tank since you never had to do a 100% water change. You can't neglect it completely or the bacteria will die off and restart the cycle. But once a cycle is complete, keeping the cycle going is easy. :)
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