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Hi Guys,

I am totally new to this whole thing and have read a few books, spent hours researching online and am now moving on to the forums and experienced aquarium hobbyists like yourselves for advice.

I really have my heart set on getting a Fluval Osaka 155. Includes:

* Fluval Osaka 155 Bent Glass Aquarium, 41 U.S. Gal.
* Fluval Osaka 155 Aquarium Cabinet
* Fluval 205 External Filter
* Fluval Tronic 150 Watt Aquarium Heater
* Glo T5 HO (High Output) Double Lighting System, 24"
* 2 Life-Glo T5 HO Fluorescent Bulbs, 24 W
* Nutrafin Max Complete Flake Food (2.12 oz)
* Nutrafin Aqua Plus Water Conditioner (4 oz)
* Nutrafin Cycle Biological Aquarium Supplement (4 oz)

I'm Hoping for some advice and opinions on setting all this up, especially with cycling (I'm totally confused how to do this right). I want to use live plants and will be using the Flourite Substrate unless there is a better alternative. Is the Filter going to be enough or should I supplement with a second filter?
 

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My advice would be to do a search on fishless cycling. Some people use fish to cycle and some don't. Once you understand the cycling process you will have the hard part done. It gets frustrating having to wait weeks to get everything going but patience in the beginning will go a long way in the end. If you want to cycle with fish that can be done as well, either way study up on the cycle.
If I were you I would not use the Nutrafin Cycle product. It contains bacteria but it is not aquatic bacteria. So once it is added it will work for about a week. Then you need to add it for the life of the tank because the bacteria in that product will not survive in an aquarium. Tetra Safe Start has the correct bacteria in it and will work if it is used correctly. If you do a fishless cycle you won't need the bacterial supplements.
Also how many watts are the lights you are going with. T5 HO's can put off a lot of light so depending on what plants you get you might need C02 with a high wattage system.
 

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Cycling products never really work out, don't waste your money.

I'm not sure exactly what size tank your filter is meant for, but many hobbyists typically recommend getting a filter that is meant for twice your size (so a filter for an 80 gallon ish)

The cycling process, to be brief is around a month to two month process in which you get the appropriate bacteria situated into your tank to provide a healthy environment for your fish. There are 3 harmful chemicals involved in this process that can't be avoided, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

Ammonia is produced as a result of the biological waste products that your fish, left over food, and is the most harmful for fish. After a growing rise of ammonia within the tank, ammonia eating bacteria colonies will also rise and eventually regulate your ammonia levels.

However, the ammonia eating bacteria excrete nitrite as an after product, and nitrite will rise within your tank. After this spike of nitrite, nitrite eating bacteria will eventually rise and regulate your nitrite levels.

But the after product of nitrite eating bacteria is nitrate, which is the least toxic of the three. This can only really be taken care of by doing water changes when you clean your fish tank.


Whether or not you want to do a fishless, or with fish cycling is up to you ultimately of course. Some people really care about animal rights/abuse/etc, others just want the fish here and now, yadda yadda.

Cycling the tank with fish apparently (from what I've read other people say), completes the cycle faster, but you are most certainly damaging the fish that is being used to cycle, they may even end up dying. Thus, if you decide to cycle the tank using fish, buy cheap hardy fish that you don't particularly favor since you are expecting them to die in the process basically. Some recommendations would be danios and barbs. I found white cloud minnows to be pretty hardy as well.

Using a fishless cycle saves you having to buy/potentially waste money on fish, you are saving some fish from pain, etc. It is a more tedious process however, since you need to keep checking the chemical levels since you have to manually constantly add in the ammonia yourself to the right amount (you are basically feeding the bacteria directly and their maximum potential growth depends on whether or not you've provided ample food supply).


In the end, fish vs fishless cycling benefits is just like many other exchanges in our society. Time/work vs money spent and instant gratification.
 
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