My name is Chris, 33 years old. I live in Orange County, NY. I recently bought my first tank, a 30 gallon long. It's something I wanted for awhile. No fish in the tank yet, it has been cycling for a week now.
I've been on and off for 20 years, just started up again last month and used what I consider the best technique for cycling a tank - jump starting the process. Go to your local pet store and get a bag of 'dirty water'. The store I went to had a couple bare tanks with sponge filters in them that were completely gunky, they just took out one of the sponges, put it in a bag of water, and squeezed it again and again (and again and again) until the bag water was brown and really nasty looking. I took that home, shut off all filtration, dumped it in the tank, let it settle for 10 minutes, then fired up the filter again (this is for an undergravel, you could probably just dump it in the tank for any other system). Prior to that, I had a slight Ammonia incline, but that was gone almost immediately and I was able to put fish in the next day, and have had no ammonia or nitrites since. Piece of cake!!
Good luck, stick with it, and most of all - learn as much as you can before doing anything (treatment, buying fish, etc) and you'll be much more satisfied
I thought the purpose of dumping in dirty water was to eliminate or shorten the cycling period. Why would it still take 6-8 weeks?
Do you mean it takes 6-8 weeks for the beneficial bacteria colony to get fully established?
Because if so, that's different. That means you can add fish without fear of them dying off because of an ammonia or nitrite spike, but you should still be treating the setup as having not completed the cycle in terms of water changes, feeding, filter changes, etc.
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