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Some people recommend adding a couple fish to start the cycling process. My ph right now is 7.7 (just started yesterday, as posted in another thread) Do you recommend adding a small amount of fish? If so, what kind, and how many. Right now I have no fish and several large plants, and a few medium sized plants. I have a 35 gallon freshwater tank. I added Tetra Aqua Aquasafe that makes tap water safe for fish w/ bioextract.
 

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no fish cycling is the fastest and easiest. take out the plants, because they use up the ammonia before the bacteria can, causing your cycle to last much longer.
 

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Queen Platy
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When you cycle, pH doesnt matter. Up to you if you want to use fish or not. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages.
 
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Most information I've read on cycling with fish suggest tiger barbs as well. Basically though I think you'll want a hardy fish that can adjust with the different changes the water will be going through.
 

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I personally am on the No Fish Cycling. I think it just saves a lot of hassle and money and goes faster. Plus it's not cruel to the fish and you're not stuck with fish you may not necessarily want.

If you really want to do cycling with fish, then I do recommend zebra danios if you're going to have a tropical tank, or the white cloud minnows if you are doing a cold-water tank. Both of them can handle the high alkaline water you have.
 

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Queen Platy
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Also with fishless, you dont need to do all those water changes required to keep the ammonia and nitrites low. Depending on how much fish you get, determines how often the water changes, which is a hassel. With fishless, you just keep adding ammonia day after day, and one big water change at the end.
 
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Queen Platy
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Explain to us what you are doing lol. Are you doing with fish or no fish? Are you adding ammonia? You know when the cycle is complete once the readings are Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, and Nitrate (with readings, usually 50ppm-160ppm). So in order to test for these results you need to get a liquid test kit. Such as the API freshwater test kit. Also if assuming and guessing your are doing fishless. You need to keep the Ammonia at 5ppm or 6ppm all the way until the cycle is near completion. You taper off on the Ammonia near the end of the cycle. The tank isnt going to cycle within a week. Fishless cycling takes up to 2weeks-4weeks depending on what you are doing to help it. You reduce cycling time by "seeding" (adding used/old filter cartridges to the tank to introduce beneficial bacteria that breaks down ammonia+nitrite), increase temperature to 80F, and 7-8hrs photoperiod. If you cycle with fish, it will take longer, not to mention all the water changes every other day or every 2 days to keep nitrogen toxin levels low. Fishless allows toxins to build up high, which greatly increases food source for the bacteria, therefore cycling a lot faster. At the end of a fishless cycle, you do an 80%-90% water change from the water column only, no gravel suction, no filter change. Then add fish.

Heres a site that explains it in much more detail.
Fishless Cycling - Article at The Age of Aquariums - Tropical Fish
 
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Queen Platy
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You need to add ammonia, or there will be no food for the bacteria.
 

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Bullheads Rock My Socks
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when i cycled my tanks i used the feeder goldfish because they are cheap and sacrificial in all means...they work out good and my tanks have all done fine afterwards...plus when im down with them i use them for food for my other tanks
 

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Queen Platy
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One bad thing about using feeders is because of the mass production or spawning as would call it, they overstock them in tanks. Which then causes disease and stress. And there might be a chance that you would introduce a type of disease or parasite into your aquarium.
 
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