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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so there isn't a billion ways to cycle a new tank. But I got your attention, didn't I? Ok, well, I just wanted to post a few ways to cycle a new tank.

1 - SafeStart or StressZyme
It's ok, but I don't like to use them. I really don't see at as natural.

2 - Feed the tank
"A more natural" method.

3 - Amonia
So I've heard, but never tried. So I have no opinion. So, I'm not sure how well or how fast it works.

4 - Hardy fish in the new tank.
"A natural" method. I used this method when I first got into the hobby and when I started learning, not that I stopped learning, just saying.

5 - Use someone else's established water or media.
Fill you tank with 50% of your new water and the other 50% with their established water.

OR media. See if you can use their media or put your media in someone else's filter for a couple of weeks.

NOTE: Unless you know what's in the other person's water or quality of, I don't reccomend using this method. Even so, I still don't. I've never tried this method. I don't think I would want to risk my fish like that, but that's just me.

I'd say this method is for the people that can't positively, absolutely, no way in heck wait. I'd rather wait for the long more natural, more boring methods.

Well, on a scale of 1-10, 1 being that I wouldn't use and 10 being I would use, here it is:

1 - SafeStart / StressZyme (5)
2 - Feed the tank (10)
3 - Amonia (unsure)
4 - Hardy fish (2-3)
5 - Established water/media (0-2 maybe 1)

I would say, please express your feelings, but I know you will anyway. *r2

"The views and opinions expressed here are the sole views and opinions of Alexis Pets and do not depict the view and opinions of www.aquariumforum.com's, their members, employees, and/or affiliates." LOL!!! LOL!!! LOL!!! *r2 I just thought I'd throw that in to make my posts less boring. *r2 Another one of my bright ideas. *i/d*
 

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My preference is a combination of your choices. I have introduced plants first and then added hardy fish usually tetras or danios with good success. I guess one could argue that I am adding bacteria to jumpstart the cycling process as there are undoubtly many carried in with the plants.

Elaborate more on your "feeding" option and how you do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, that is what SafeStart and StressZyme do, so to speak, jump start the tank's cycle cause the bacteria is already in there, that is why they call it "bacteria in a bottle." Feed the tank is where you have a totally new tank and put food in the tank as if you were feeding fish, etc. The uneaten food rots/spoils and turns into amonia and the cycle begins from there. The way I understand it.

This is the second time I've heard of plants being used to cycle tanks. I'm not sure how new this method is, how long it's been around, how often it's used, nor how well it works. So yeah, that is a new thing for me and for me to research. I will have to try that with my first tank as soon as I get back into aquariums.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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I have used the plant method for a long time. If you stop and think about it, when you buy plants at an lfs they are usually in a tank and will have good bacteria on them already. Plants take up some of the ammonia, nitrite and nitrates in the tank. The more you can put into the tank the faster and safer the tank will be.

Water has very little good bacteria in it. You will find it on plants, decor, substrate, even the glass.

I have cycled many tanks by seeding with media, gravel or other things from another tank, which was usually mine.

Using pure ammonia to cycle works great but you are sitting there looking at an empty tank for how ever long it takes to cycle.

I don't like cycling with fish as it can cause damage to the fish. May not right away but can shorten the life span. But using plants and such I have added fish within a couple of days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I understand what you mean with the plants coming from an LFS and plants having bacteria already. Ok, so having said that......would you use or recommend someone asking their LFS if they can sell or give them some of their established water to get their cycling done much faster? Would you use someone else's established water if you knew the LFS owner or employees really well or from a close friend or relative?
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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I understand what you mean with the plants coming from an LFS and plants having bacteria already. Ok, so having said that......would you use or recommend someone asking their LFS if they can sell or give them some of their established water to get their cycling done much faster? Would you use someone else's established water if you knew the LFS owner or employees really well or from a close friend or relative?
No because there is nothing beneficial in the water to cycle the tank. Now if I know the lfs really well and knew how the tanks are, like no diseases or dead and dying fish. Water clean, I might possibly ask to for some media or gravel. I feel the same way about a relative. But with as many tanks that I have, most people ask me for some.
 

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Ok Ok OK we're talking about live plants and the bacteria to comes with them and the result being a faster cycle.

Let me add a "cinch (?)" in the gears and bring all thought process to a stop. (Well no really but you get the idea). And assuming no bacteria in the tank, no circulation, no mechnanical filtration what happens to ammonia, nitrItes, nitrates, and pH?


Jepoardy music.

Dum

dum dee deeee deld dum


or what ever.


1) plants prefer to consume ammonia over nitrates. Therefore there will be no ammonia spike over .25ppm lasting longer the 24 hours.


2) ditto nitrItes


3) initially nitrates will spike up to 20-30ppm

4) pH will rise as carbon dioxide is removed by the plants.

The when fish are added the same thing continues with only minor short bumps in ammonia/nitrItes. Creating no danger for the fish.

And that environment could continue forever with healthy fish. But fortunately aerobic bacteria are present everywhere therefore at least one is introduced to the system. Which immediately finds a high oxygen envronment to thrive in. As the bacteria expand eventually they the plants run short of ammonia and start consuming nitrates. So after 2-3 weeks nitrates drop down to 0 and the aquarium is "established" or "mature" or whatever.

All with no ammonia spikes greater then .25 ppm longer then 24 hours. With no filters, no water changes.

So even though I am using a fish to establish the system, that fish feels no stress and does not have to be any hardier then normal.

Of course the system works for both FW and marine system with marine system using macro algaes rather them plants.


just my .02
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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But if you keep enough plants in there, there won't be a need for the spikes. I keep enough plants that I have to dose nitrates to keep the plants healthy.

This tank ran for 2 years without a filter. And it had about 500 endlers in it. No ammonia or nitrite spikes and nitrates stayed below 5. I never cycled this tank.



This is a 33 gal. no filter just powerhead. Contained 5 P. nicholsi and 4 cories. never cycled.
 

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4) pH will rise as carbon dioxide is removed by the plants.


My ph never rose, in fact it dropped from 7.3 to 6.9
Perhaps that is because you had a powerhead in there. In my Fw tanks I have no circualtion of any kind. Even with peat moss in the substrate all the tanks have a pH of 8.4-8.8 with the api high range test kit.

So what may be happening is the circulation is adding carbon dioxide and removing oxygen from the surrounding air.

Just a thought worth at most .02
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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It may be, but with the walstead method you used some sort of water movement so that it simulates nature. In most bodies of water where there are fish and plants there is some sort of movement of water. No movement is basically a stagnant pond. Plants do better with some type of movement, and if the plants are healthy that means the tank is healthy including the fish.

I've tried several ways of setups of planted tanks. with or without filters. with or without powerheads, different substrates and basically anything that had been tried, I've tried most. After keeping tanks for 32+ years you try just about everything. My healthiest tanks have always been those that are heavily planted. Done less water changes so less work.
 

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I have done Walstad tanks and would be very hesitant to try to suggest it to a newbie. Fish are complicated enough without having to learn plants first for your new tank. I get good results with a NPT by not doing many water changes, using generous feeding to provide nutrients for the plants and so on. Try getting a new fish keeper to use generous feeding without totally polluting their tank. I will continue to pass on that approach for a new fish keeper. Once you get your feet wet with fish and water plants, it might be a place to venture into but not as a first option by any means. I also use a different approach to cycling a new regular tank, not an NPT. I place a new tank, filter, etc. into operation without any fish. Then I clean one of my filters from another healthy tank in the new tank's water. Once I get the filter clean, I return it to its original location and use fishless ammonia dosing in the new tank to ensure that the new tank is ready before using it for fish. The end result is a cycled tank that has not exposed any fish to harmful chemicals and is finished in less than a week.
 

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It may be, but with the walstead method you used some sort of water movement so that it simulates nature. In most bodies of water where there are fish and plants there is some sort of movement of water. No movement is basically a stagnant pond. Plants do better with some type of movement, and if the plants are healthy that means the tank is healthy including the fish.

I've tried several ways of setups of planted tanks. with or without filters. with or without powerheads, different substrates and basically anything that had been tried, I've tried most. After keeping tanks for 32+ years you try just about everything. My healthiest tanks have always been those that are heavily planted. Done less water changes so less work.
agreed and I presume you read my signture as well.

Perhaps there are some plants/fish that absolutely require circulation. But then who says I duplicate nature? I try to provide a better environment for my fish and plants they they would find in nature. besides it's just what works.


for me anyway. :)

my .02
 
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