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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm going to be setting up a 75 gallon tank soon (assuming the patch took this time). And I'm a little nervous about the cycling process, I've seen so many different approaches - and some that are just completely conflicting.

I see people saying their cycling without fish, just using food - then I see people say this is a bad idea. Anyway, I am just hoping for some definitive, time tested approaches to cycling.

Here's some background - it's going to be a tropical community tank and in the end I hope to have a larger amount of small fish versus fewer large fish. And I want to cycle with fish that I intend to keep in the tank. I was thinking danios...?

Anyway - if you can point me to some resources, or if you have case specific feedback - I would appreciate it.

My other HUGE question is - based upon the size of the tank (again, 75g) - how many fish do I add at what intervals to ensure their are enough fish to cycle the tank, but not so many to stress the fish.

THANK YOU!

Eric
 

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Add a few fish to start, maybe one school of whatever type you know you want. Also see if you can get your hands on some dirty filter floss from an established tank and put that in your filter.
Test your ammonia levels and after a couple weeks test your nitrite levels, after approx 6 or 8 weeks both will have spiked and will fall to near if not zero, then you are ready for more fish.
There are also commercial products such as Hagen's "Cycle" that will kick start things and add the bacteria that you need as well.
 

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cycling with fish is animal cruelty.
don't cycle with food either. it could release high amounts of phosphates into the water.
the best way to cycle is to put in a bunch of plants at 1 time and put in some sort of ammonia source. the tank will be cycled in 2-4 weeks.
u could put in a piece of raw fish or shrimp from the suermarket to get an ammonia source.
a great place to learn more is fishlore.com but currently the site's down.
 

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From original post:

I "cycle" my new tanks by simply filling the tank with a mix of fast growing plants (anacharis, vals) and slow growers (small potted crypts, swords). then let the tank set for a week to establish the plants and have the plants condition the water. I then add 1male platy for each 10g of tank and not add any food for a week. then add female platys and start feeding 1 flake/fish/day.

What happens is the plants consume ammonia and carbon dioxide directly while returning oxygen. So ammonia and nitrIte spikes are almost totally eliminated. So the fish never experience any stress.

I also use some peat moss when I want tetras (like neons) in the tank. That seems to keep kh and gh values (hardness) low.


I also use no mechanical filters or circulation not even an air stone.

In 6 months I have a tank full of platys that stays that way for years.

The same thing happens with other fish only after a few years some fish die of old age and have to be replaced.


Just my .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all for your input - much appreciated. Although I feel like the more I learn about aquariums, the more I'm confused... Wish me luck! :)
 

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Thanks all for your input - much appreciated. Although I feel like the more I learn about aquariums, the more I'm confused... Wish me luck! :)

yes it does get confusing.

One thing about "standard" methods is there are so many of them to choose from.


good luck, It will make more sense as time goes by.

Best tank ever.


my .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, a few days a go I added 2 danios and 2 platys. There is barely any ammonia (between 0 - .25 ppm) and there are no nitrites. So I'm going to add a few more, some plants and just keep tabs on it. The tank is so large (75) and the fish are so small, that I think that they're really not adding enough bioload to jump start the tank.

So anyway, I'm just going to move forward slowly and keep a close watch. Thanks again to everyone's tips!
 

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Keep a close watch on your tank chemistry. Ammonia will start to rise and must be controlled at low levels or it will harm your fish. If you are competent with aquarium plants, they can be used to buffer the ammonia build because plants think ammonia is fertilizer, as Beaslbob suggested. When your ammonia levels reach 0.25 mg/l, it is time to do a large water change to reduce it. As long as there is any ammonia in the tank, meaning there are fish in the tank, the ammonia processing bacteria will eventually start to develop. Once that happens, you need to control the nitrites as well as the ammonia at less than 0.25 mg/l. Again, as long as there is a biological load in the tank, the nitrite processors will develop eventually. Once you have enough fish in the tank to start seeing some ammonia, you are done adding fish until both the ammonia and nitrites stay at zero without the help of any water changes for at least a week. Once you have the tank cycled for its current load, you can start increasing the biological load slowly with at least a week between additions. I like to change the load by no more than 30% at a time. As an example if I had a tank established with 6 fish, I would be comfortable adding 2 more of about the same size and then just watching for changes. If all went smoothly add a couple more the next week. Assuming all was still going well, I might add 3 the next week because I would have a base of 10 to work with by then. Don't forget that you are stocking for the final size of your fish, not the size they are when you bring them home. Most fish in a shop are juveniles, not adults.
 
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