best way to cycle tank?

  • #1
I have my fish tank set up all ready to go for cycling with the exception of my new heater and freshwater master test kit on the way,but it's 90 out and my tank reads 80 so I figure I should get started. i'm not completely new to this but i've never had to do a proper cycle and am kind of lost(I took over a buddies healthy well established tank as he could no longer have it). Anyways now i'm looking to get back into the hobby after a recent move.

I went to local pet store that specializes in fish and reptiles only to find them of no help. I primarily went to get bio-media to seed my tank but he told me they have no sump with sponge(which they did running their angel tank) nor would he offer me any gravel/sand from a live tank. instead he pointed me to seachem stability.

Okay now my question. Do I even use the Seachem Stability? or should I just feed my tank food to produce ammonia and let the bacteria I want grow on it's own? I mean I figure I'll use the seachem to get it going. i'm just worried my bacteria will crash or something if I don't use it once a month or at water changes as instructed. Even using the seachem I plan on still feeding the tank and letting it have at least a 4-6 week cycle depending on how my params. read.

How do you cycle your tank? Is there anything i'm missing? any advice helps. Healthy fish make happy fish and a happier fish keeper.

it's a 35 gallon freshwater running on a jager heater and 550lph eheim ecco,PH 7.2-7.3 . sorry for the novel.
  • #2
Hello and to FishLore! You have great questions and I'm glad you're asking these upfront.

You can add your aquarium information to your profile (e.g., 35 gallon). That way we can see it at a glance to help you and you won't have to keep posting it.

The very FIRST thing I would do is take the Seachem Stability back to the store and get my money back. No joke. It is useless. I have tried it, it's garbage. Strong language, I know, but even my local chain store (PetSmart) removed it from their shelves. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

With the refund, and if you want to do a fish-in cycle of your tank, purchase Tetra Safe Start. Add your fish, then add the Tetra Safe Start. The good thing about TSS is that you don't test the water while you're using it, because your numbers will fluctuate. There is good information here on TSS:

And I would recommend Seachem Prime as a dechlorinator. As awful as Stability is, Prime is fantastic. It's concentrated, so you don't need a lot of it. And it works perfectly, exactly as advertised. The only thing is IF you use TSS you have to wait 24 hours after using Prime to condition the water.

Stay tuned for more posts, and keep us "posted" on your tank!
  • #3
No, the bacterial additive is worthless. It's not a true aquatic bacteria. Get rid of it.

Go to a hardware store and pickup a bottle of 100% Pure Ammonia. Fish food will make a mess.

Or as mentioned, Tetra Safe Start.
  • #4
I would turn your filters on and wait a month or so. Test your water every couple days untell you have no more nitrite, nitrate, or ammonia
  • #5
Welcome to Fishlore.

Good advice above. Stores push products like Stability because it forces you to keep going back to purchase more product; or to purchase replacement fish. Good the the store, not so good for your pocket or for your aquarium.

If you'd like to cycle with fish food, use a knee high stocking, one that has never been used. Add about 1/4 cup of fish food and tie off. Place in the tank near the filter return so that the water current hits it. Sit back and wait a month and then test. No need to turn the lights on as that just leads to algae.

Good luck with your new tank and cycling. Ask all the questions needed. Oh, one thing that catches everyone, stocking too soon and jeopardizing the lives of the fish. So, be patient. And have fun!
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
ehh it's no big loss on the seachem stability I bought the smallest bottle they had cause I was skeptical(3.99). in my experiences no chemical is a replacement for a biological matter. so jus fuel the tank with ammonia and let it go, sounds good. on a side note any stocking suggestions? my tap reads around 7.3. I wanted discus but people keep telling me they ideally need 55 or more gallons and that id have to upgrade. but how long till they reach full size?
  • #7
Tss or ammonia is the way to go. You will need to watch that you don't get the ammoina too high and kill off the beneficial bacteria, there is a write up on here about all the different ways to fishless cycle a tank.

I agree with Dena, one of the easiest ways to cause problems is stocking too soon and too fast. Take your time and research your fish.
  • #8
Using Tetra SafeStart is very much like used "seeded" filter media. SafeStart is a bottle of the self sustaining bacteria that will develope naturally over time in your filter media.

Other bacterial additives such as Cycle and Stability contain terrestrial based forms of the bacteria and die off in the aquatic environment after a week or so, forcing you to add it weekly for the life of the tank.

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