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Fish for cycling

Roberth101

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I am sure this has been asked and answered but i cant seem to find it so here goes. I have a 75 gallon aquarium with a 20 gallon sump that water level is approximately 7 gallons. The aquarium is going to be a fowlr display. About 30 pounds of dry live rock, and 5 pounds of established rock in the sump. Now the question. How many cheap damsel fish should i get to help the cycling process along? The cost doesnt matter i just dont want to kill off more expensive livestock.
 

link81

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I don't think anyone recommends cycling with fish anymore, the ammonia production actually burns their gills. A fishless cycle is just as effective and saves the trauma for the fish.

Essentially all you have to do is drop a raw shrimp in the tank and let it break down. monitor ammonia and nitrate, if it's going to be a while before you add fish, go ahead and "ghost feed" the tank until you're ready, that will keep the bacteria going.

Can also add a bottle of dr. tim's or equivalent to help speed up the process.
 
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Gareth elliott

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For 75 gallons and a 20 gallon sump. I would recommend 5 fish to cycle.
Luckily i found a pack that includes 5.

far easier to remove than damsels, will not attack other fish, can live off a minimum diet. So no worries of over feeding.


With the bacteria in a bottle today there is never a need to do with fish cycling :)
 
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Roberth101

Roberth101

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I would never recommend to anyone getting a fish to cycle a tank expecting it to die in the process. A fishless cycle is always the safer way to go and less stressful on you and especially the fish.
I understand your point. But i am looking for a quick way to cycle. My somewhat lfs has damsels for $2.00 each right now and with the established live rock in the sump the process shouldnt take to long and probably will not kill of the harty fish like damsels. I just dont have the 6 to 10 weeks to wait. I know this is not the hobby to be impatient.
 
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Roberth101

Roberth101

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I don't think anyone recommends cycling with fish anymore, the ammonia production actually burns their gills. A fishless cycle is just as effective and saves the trauma for the fish.

Essentially all you have to do is drop a raw shrimp in the tank and let it break down. monitor ammonia and nitrate, if it's going to be a while before you add fish, go ahead and "ghost feed" the tank until you're ready, that will keep the bacteria going.

Can also add a bottle of dr. tim's or equivalent to help speed up the process.
When you suggest shrimp do you mean just a small piece or a whole shrimp?
 

Gareth elliott

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A fish in cycle is just as fast as a fishless cycle. If want to know in real time when your tank is ready I recommend a seneye plus pure ammonia for cycling. You will have a graph on how long its takes to turn xppm ammonia into less dangerous nitrite. By far the quickest method i have used.
 

link81

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either,
some people put it in a mesh bag to make it easier to pull,
i would probably just toss in part of it behind the rocks and leave it there, it'll break down faster then you think
 

stanleo

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I understand your point. But i am looking for a quick way to cycle. My somewhat lfs has damsels for $2.00 each right now and with the established live rock in the sump the process shouldnt take to long and probably will not kill of the harty fish like damsels. I just dont have the 6 to 10 weeks to wait. I know this is not the hobby to be impatient.
If you do this with fish you will still have to wait that long before you put anything else in there, maybe even longer. Longer because while the fish is in there you will have to start water changes right away which takes food away from the bacteria and so they grow slower. Damsels aren't hardy because they can handle higher levels of ammonia and nitrite. They are hardy because they adapt well to aquarium life. And the guy at the LFS says you can do it this only because he wants to get the fish out of the store.
 
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Roberth101

Roberth101

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For 75 gallons and a 20 gallon sump. I would recommend 5 fish to cycle.
Luckily i found a pack that includes 5.

far easier to remove than damsels, will not attack other fish, can live off a minimum diet. So no worries of over feeding.


With the bacteria in a bottle today there is never a need to do with fish cycling :)
Hey thanks for the tip on the fish pack.....lol
 
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Roberth101

Roberth101

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If you do this with fish you will still have to wait that long before you put anything else in there, maybe even longer. Longer because while the fish is in there you will have to start water changes right away which takes food away from the bacteria and so they grow slower. Damsels aren't hardy because they can handle higher levels of ammonia and nitrite. They are hardy because they adapt well to aquarium life. And the guy at the LFS says you can do it this only because he wants to get the fish out of the store.
Makes sense. Thanks for the input. I will just use a raw shrimp.
 

Reesj

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Quick way to cycle which I did is this:
* Get a large bottle of Starter bacteria or 2 small bottles of 2 diffrent brand bottls.
* After you fill water and live or dead rock add about quarter of the bottles. Add Some fish food.
Wait 2 days add another quarter of bottle.
* After each other day there after add small bits of the bacteria bottle for about 10 days and every time add small amount of fish food.
* After about 8-10 days buy 3-4 Damsels. By this time most of the hash amonia should be gone. Feed the damsels normally.
* Wait anotehr 1week to 10 days before adding your other live stock.
Do NOT do any wather changes during this time.

If you do the following, tank will be well cycled and damsels will be also fine. I still have all those damsels in the tank healthy and kicking. Tank cycled from 2-3 weeks.
 
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mcdrichj

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Im glad you have decided to go with a fishless cycle there is no real advantage to using fish to cycle the tank. Its bad for the fish and it causes extra work (i.e. having to do large water changes when you get ammonia or nitrite spikes).
 

krbshappy71

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Not accusing anyone of trolling but historically that topic could stumble into that realm .... I'll skip the popcorn this time :p
Don't blame you, unfortunately this information is still toted out there on the web heavily. My husband suggested it himself and I was mortified! Here are a few sites that are still promoting it as an option and not really addressing it as murder. (for lack of a better term off the top of my head.) https://fishlab.com/fish-in-cycle/
My husband said he saw it on a video (I'm assuming YouTube which we know can have anyone and anything spouted) but once I told him my feelings about it he understood, I think it is just handed down through the years as "how to cycle a tank" and people accept it.
I'm thankful for easier and less cruel ways to do this instead! Happy Friday!
 
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