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How have you cycled a new tank?

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  • How have you cycled a new tank?

    We all know there are different ways to cycle a new tank setup. And that there have been new methods and discoveries over the years.

    So, how have you cycled a new tank? How long did it take? And would you use the same method i the future?
    - Dena

    All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
    Walt Disney

    The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

  • #2
    My first tank was a 15 gallon which I cycled fish in. Like many others, this is how I was told it was done when purchasing the tank and went with it. It took quite a long time as I remember because I read up on the fish being harmed by this process and began doing daily water changes of around a third of the tank. I believe I was keeping levels too low for the bacteria to establish since nitrates didn't appear until over 2 months in. Immediatley after I stopped changing water and just treated the tank with prime daily. I would not do it this way again hands down.

    Since my first tank every new tank I have started has been cycled with established media. Normally fish go right in and I feed very sparingly for a week or so until the colony has established. Doing it this way seems like a no brainer to me, even just buying an old filter pad from the lfs beats the long wait with fishless and the harming of livestock like fish in imo. If the cycling of the tank didn't involve selling a whole separate set of fish to cycle the tank I would bet many lfs would offer cycled media.
    __________________________________________________ _____
    Try not to be a man of success but a man of value. -Albert Einstein

    Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something. -Plato

    Say what you mean and do what you say. -Alot of people
    110G, 65G, 10, 300G Pond


    • #3
      Fish-in with TSS. Took about 2 weeks, and I definitely would do it in the future.
      ďA righteous man cares for the needs of his animalĒ Proverbs 12:10
      A bible verse about pets!


      • #4
        Options I have done and do not recommend:
        Set up tank and fully stock without adding bacteria because the LFS failed to provide cycling info (was before the Internet become a home staple, so I trusted the local store)
        Set up tank and add a handful of flakes to the tank (made an awful mess to clean up)
        Dropped raw fish/shrimp into tank and let it just rot (smells nasty)

        As I have many tanks running my go to is the following after settingup the new tank and fill with dechlorinated water:

        With New, Uncycled Filter and Media
        Wash dirty sponges in this new tank. Yes, water will turn into a yucky brown mess
        Add enough pure ammonia to measure 2-3 ppm
        Crank heat as high as possible
        Tank will be cycled in a weekend

        With Seeded Media
        Set up new filter and fill with dirty, seeded media
        Add some fish, but don't fully stock

        Pre-Cycling Filter
        When time allows I will add a new filter to an existing tank, usually the 125 gallon as it is overstocked and makes for a great tank to do this with
        Wait 2-3 weeks if not longer
        Set up new tank and move now seeded filter
        Slowly add fish

        Like all of us in my early days I too have set up a tank without cycling it. And then get frustrated when the fish died. Hopefully with everyone sharing their cycling successes we can learn how many different ways it is possible to do this to protect the livestock!
        - Dena

        All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
        Walt Disney

        The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


        • #5
          I have done the foolish thing and listened to the big box stores in the past.

          I have done a fish in and used a water chemistry backround to kinda speed it along but was WAY to much work for the effort.

          I have done the TSS method before and it actually worked well.

          Now that I have several tanks running I just take some media from a couple tanks filters and start the new tank from that.

          Originally posted by Albert Einstein
          If the facts dont fit the theory, change the facts
          Originally posted by Theodore Geisel
          Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind donít matter and those who matter donít mind.