Cycling With Fish

  1. OT4

    OT4 Valued Member Member

    Hi. can someone please point me to a good, detailed, step by step guide to cycling with fish. I'm a beginner to this hobby, and I want to do everything right. I have a 20 gallon tank and I use seachem prime. Also, what fish should I use to cycle. I was thinking of using 3 male guppies, but If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know.

    PS. These are the fish I'd like to end up with
    • 1 Honey Gourami
    • 3 male guppies
    • 6 harlequin rasboras
    • 4 pygmy cories
    • (I'd also want one other fish that's the same size as the gourami- please reccoment one)
  2. A

    Angelbear Well Known Member Member

    HI and welcome. You came to a great place to get started.

    I was not patient enough to wait so I did a fish in cycling though it is not recommended. If done properly though you should have no problem.

    Here is what I did.

    Research. Everything you will pit into the tank, ask questions and read up on the nitrogen cycle. But supplies and test kit.

    day one rinse and set up tank. Fill with de-chlorinated water. Hook up everything plug it in and let it run over night.

    day two: I added tss (tetra safe start) the appropriate amount for my tank size and three fish. I used platies. You could probably use guppies. Be warned three males might be aggressive towards each other. Maybe 1 male and 2 females. Wait. Test water to keep an eye on it but don't do water changes unless you absoulutly hablve to for the next two weeks. Don't add any more fish let the safe start do its work. I also only fed small amounts every other day.

    Two weeks later everything cycled fine. Numbers were good no ammonia no nitrites and only a few nitrates. Did a water change. Waited a day or two retested because I'm paranoid and wanted the best. Everything was fine. Added my next set of fish.

    now I did not qt them though I should of. I did not have the equipment at that time to do so or know I should. Sense then I try to when possible. I also have been very luck I have read some horror stories about people that have not quarantined there fish plants ect...
  3. Flowingfins

    Flowingfins Fishlore VIP Member

    I would recommend doing a fishless cycle. It is way safer for your fish.

  4. s

    sbdzx Valued Member Member

    Hi! Good for you for researching everything before getting all the aquarium stuff and fish.

    Most people on Fishlore would say to do a fishless cycle.
    This Fishlore article talks about both fish and fishless methods: <>

    I found these links on Google. They might be helpful:

    I'm starting a fishless cycle myself, and it sounds like a lot less work because there aren't nearly as many water changes, and of course it's a lot healthier for the fish.

    I'm sure other Fishlore members can tell you all you need to know, both about cycling and the fish species you want.
  5. OP

    OT4 Valued Member Member

    Hm.... Thanks for all the replies. I guess I might just do a fish less cycle. What's the fastest way to do one? I'd like to keep it 1-2 weeks. I'm really anxious to get fish!
  6. r

    renthus Well Known Member Member

    If you're really in a hurry, use TSS. Cycling with or without fish can take around a month on average (faster if you get some seeded media from a friend or something), but fishless cycling is substantially safer and less stressful for the fish.
  7. Rivieraneo

    Rivieraneo Fishlore VIP Member

  8. FiscCyning

    FiscCyning Valued Member Member

    I understand being excited to get new fish (man, do I understand!) but fishless cycling really is worth the extra wait. With a fish-in cycle you get your fish right away, but then they have to suffer through ammonia and nitrites in the water and could even be killed by these. Waiting for the tank to cycle means you're much less likely to lose your new fish shortly after you've just gotten them.
  9. OP

    OT4 Valued Member Member

    I might buy tetra safe start in order to speed up the bacteria growth