Beginner Fishless Cycle Success Story

Ree C

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I just wanted to share with my fellow beginners...a fishless cycle really can be done!
I shudder to recall the fish I killed in my college years when I had no clue about the nitrogen cycle.
Anyway, I started with a new 55 two months ago. I began by designing it substraite up.
I have aquarium sand in front, and a combination of eco complete and Fluval Stratum in back. I used rocks and wood to glue down a barrier between the two. I used aquarium safe silicone to afix things. Then I partially filled it and planted.
After it was full, I added the two Aquaclear HOBs and heaters. (no good place for a canister filter). I was able to move a large sponge filter from a gold fish tank into the new tank. Lighting is with a Finnex 24/7 planted.
I used Fritz Aquatic's powder ammonia. I followed the directions on dosing, used my API test kit to test. I had a fast cycle because the sponge jump started it with bacteria.
Within an 8 days I had 0 nitrItes, and was getting nitrAtes...ammonia was dosed up to between 1 and 2 PPM and I redosed when it fell to 0. It took two more weeks for that to fall to 0 within 24 hours.
At that point I did a 90% water change, checked PH , kept dosing ammonia for two days until I was confident in temperature and PH.
The totally cool thing about doing the fishless cycle is I then got to fully stock the tank!
I added 8 skirt tetras, 10 zebra tetras and 6 cory Juliis...and had 0 ammonia and 0 nitrItaes from the get go. I did use paraguard for 3 days to prevent ICK...but discontinued when all seemed well. I know not using a quarantine tank is risky, but I don't have one running as of yet.
Please consider fishless cycles...so much kinder than putting a poor goldfish or guppy through the toxic water, and you get to add a lot of fish at once!
I hope this is all acceptable practice...if any experienced fish keepers see something bad I did...let me know! I know not using a quarantine tank is a risk...
Any other success stories with fishless cycles from beginers?
 

jessatiel

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Congrats! I’m many weeks deep into my first fishless cycle (from scratch... no seeding material), so your success story is very reassuring!
 
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Ree C

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jessatiel said:
Congrats! I’m many weeks deep into my first fishless cycle (from scratch... no seeding material), so your success story is very reassuring!
Hang in there. The reward is worth the wait....!!! A week in and the fully stocked tank is doing great...I lost one too light tetra to the filter intake but the rest are alive, well and beautiful.
 

TexasDomer

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Keep an eye on the parameters and watch for any symptoms from the fish - healthy fish really shouldn't get stuck to the filter intake, so he was likely weak/sick to begin with.
 

Hunter1

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I wouldn’t worry about not quarantining your initial stocking. If you bought your fish at the same place.

Now is when you need a quarantine tank.
 

Ulu

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Congratulations Ree. You have earned your wings.

Hunter1 said:
. . . Now is when you need a quarantine tank.
Unfortunately when it comes to fish tanks two is one, and one is none. I say this to you because the time that you need a quarantine tank is not the time to begin assembling one. It too needs to run for a month first or it won't be healthy enough to put a sick fish in.

Or even a healthy one, as you now know.

It doesn't have to be much. A $6 plastic tub, a small heater and a $10 foam filter with an air stone. But you have to get that filter cycled before you can populate the QT.

Actually my fish room always stays about 78°F, and only the largest of my three quarantines is heated now, because it sits closest to the window.
 

Rob Shannon

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Ulu said:
Congratulations Ree. You have earned your wings.



Unfortunately when it comes to fish tanks two is one, and one is none. I say this to you because the time that you need a quarantine tank is not the time to begin assembling one. It too needs to run for a month first or it won't be healthy enough to put a sick fish in.

Or even a healthy one, as you now know.

It doesn't have to be much. A $6 plastic tub, a small heater and a $10 foam filter with an air stone. But you have to get that filter cycled before you can populate the QT.

Actually my fish room always stays about 78°F, and only the largest of my three quarantines is heated now, because it sits closest to the window.
How many days is adequate to quarantine a new fish? Also, can you effectively quarantine multiple fish simultaneously? What if they’re from more than one source.

My apologies to the OP for going off subject.
 

Ulu

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It depends on the fish, but 30 to 60 days is common.
 
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