Don't use the product CYCLE to cycle your tank!

FL CommunityFans
  • #1
Lots of new people joining the forums every day, myself included in the last month, and CYCLE has been brought up countless times. Having used it myself on a 10gallon, I now understand why it is not recommended. This product does NOT 'complete' a cycle process. What it DOES do is creates a cycle long enough til the next water change, at which time you must add more CYCLE in. If you want to be bothered with constantly buying this product, it DOES work, as long as you use it repeatedly (read: do weekly water changes and add CYCLE as directed). This is more $$ in the long run but does in fact work. However, if you ever forget to add CYCLE or want to quit using it all together, you could cause serious harm to your fish as you will definitely see a new cycle take place - the natural cycle.

Do yourself a favor and don't buy the product CYCLE unless you plan to use it religiously, in which case it works fine. Complete the cycle process as described in these articles here at Fish Lore. There are several various ways that work, whether you have fish in the tank or not already.

This is just another PSA that the product CYCLE is not what it claims and is something that requires constant use, not just a 1 time dose and your done.

Hope this helps some new folks out there.
 
capekate
  • #2
Great thread on the reason why we don't use the product Cycle!

~ kate
 
sirdarksol
  • #3
This is an excellent way of putting this.
We normally state that the product doesn't work. This is a simplification that is technically incorrect. You state it better, I think, that it does work under the conditions you describe. Perhaps a bit more simple than allowing the normal cycle to complete, but, in the end, much, much more expensive.
Also, as you say, if you miss a dose, you could kill your fish.

Thanks for a superbly written description of the product.
 
Gargoyle
  • #4
What about API stuff like...

StressCoat and StressZyme.. Also the Melafix and Pimafix products.

I have used them all... The melafix and pimafix I would say do not use at all if you have a labyrinth fish as it will kill them. The StressCoat and StressZyme I have used here and there. This new tank I have I used the Stress products on and plan on following it through as the directions state..

I guess I would like to see some feedback and thoughts on these products as well. Perhaps a new thread if need be.

Thanks!!
 
FL CommunityFans
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I personally have had no experience with those products; you may want to make a specific thread about it so those who have used/are using it can educate you better on them. sorry no help there
 
sirdarksol
  • #6
These products are all different from Cycle.
Cycle claims to cycle your tank.
Stresscoat helps your fish build a slime coat, and is helpful. The 'fix's are antibiotics that, as you say, are not usable with labyrinth fish, as they will kill the fish.
Not sure about Stresszyme
 
Gargoyle
  • #7
I will create a new thread.. Thanks!!
 
Shawnie
  • #8
I used cycle as I couldnt get a hold of bio-spira for a few days...I know its crazy but the ammonia was bad.....since using cycle, I change the water 50% daily, and I'm hoping the bio-spira comes in soon!!!!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #9
Cycle is expensive water with the wrong kind of bacteria in it. It gives the illusion of cycling a tank but has to be maintained forever and is actually creating a series of mini-cycles and hindering the cycle from happening.
 
MelissaF
  • #10
I used cycle to start my tank. Is there anything I can do to let my tank continue to cycle without it or am I stuck having to use it forever now. Ps I have a fish in my tank.
 
Gamer
  • #11
One of my LFS's tries to sell every customer on CYCLE. They use it for all their tanks and the employee's are even made to squirt a little bit of it in the bags they put your fish in to take home with you. I suppose it doesn't hurt...and might work if you want to use it constantly. I don't use it but I usually bring some of it home with me from that one LFS I just mentioned. Then again, it never enters my tank as I don't add the water from the store.
 
Blub
  • #12
Hi!

Great thread - sticky worthy!

 
chickadee
  • #13
Yes you can continue to cycle the tank without the CYCLE but it will practically have to start over. The most effective way to go in my opinion would be to buy some Bio-spira and just do a major water change (like 50%) and when the Bio-spira gets here shake the pouch up and dump the whole pouch in the tank and your tank is cycled. Just do not do any water changes for 7 whole days and you will have a cycle completed. It is an expensive solution but safer and healthier for your fish. Otherwise you can go through the cycle process like you would have to begin with and do the daily water changes and daily testing until it cycles normally. Depending on how many bacteria have grown in the tank, and that is probably not many as CYCLE is the wrong type of bacteria and will not support the right kind it could take up to 4 to 6 weeks.


Here is a new source for the Bio-spira as the old source of Drs. Foster & Smith.com is no longer going to carry it. They only are carrying the Marine form of the product until the sell out on it.

There is another product that does the same thing called Turbostart700 that is available online at:


Here is information about the product.
This should give you more information on the product. It must be shipped refrigerated also so is not cheap. BUT it is worth the expense if you want a quick cycle and not to take chances with your fish.

I do hope this has answered a question but of course the choice as to which way you go with your tanks is up to you and will work either way.

Rose
 
Shawnie
  • #14
thanks soooooo much for that link chickadee...all LFS either don't have bio-spira or its on backorder! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr so this company will have it at my door withing 6 days...couldnt afford 35 bucks for over nite so ill continue with daily water changes until it arrives!! I'm still at 2.0 ammonia in my 75 gal... boys lemme tell ya the 5 gallon buckets of water really build up those muscles!
 
Tom
  • #15
But I have used Cycle since I don't have access to Biospira and I have never had a problem with the product. I used it every week and then got really lazy and add it now every 2 weeks and nothing has ever happened to my tanks since it is now every 2 weeks. I even used it when I first started out and there were no problems in the tanks when I started out.
Tom
 
Shawnie
  • #16
I never cycled my tank tom...as the "newbie I thought I knew it all fishowner", I had never heard of cycleing until this amazing site!! ....so maybe cycle is good once you have all the issues under control, but not to begin with?
 
FL CommunityFans
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
I never cycled my tank tom...as the "newbie I thought I knew it all fishowner", I had never heard of cycleing until this amazing site!! ....so maybe cycle is good once you have all the issues under control, but not to begin with?

It works fine as long as you constantly use it, every week (when a water change is done basically). Tom's tanks are probably developed enough now that he doesn't have to worry about missing it on occasion or all together.
 
MelissaF
  • #18
Well since I'm in Canada I can't get BioSpira. I'll look into the Turbostart700. I just don't want to restart my cycle because it's pretty far along and I have a fish that I don't want to die on me.
 
calinb
  • #19
I have a small 5.5 that's fishless. I've been experimenting with various ammonia fishless cycling techniques. From the little I've seen, Cycle doesn't work very well when used as directed but I read Sanders_BALR's post: ()

I tried Sanders_BALR's massive dosing suggestion in my 5.5 with ammonia and at least the Cycle didn't seem to hurt anything. Also, the tank remained cycled without adding any additional Cycle once the nitrites dropped to zero. Unfortunately, Cycle is pretty expensive when used this way.

I'm a big fan of Bio-Spira too. It's worked instantly for me (within 24 hours) when used correctly. I'm not really advocating Cycle here, I've just come to learn that getting a tank cycled is a complex problem with many, many, factors that affect the process and outcome.

-Cal
 
MelissaF
  • #20
So are you saying that once the nitrites are dropped to zero you stopped using CYCLE? Before I joined the forum I dosed my tank once when I first put in the water. I let in ran for three days then added fish. They started dying off and the LFS said to give it three more capefuls beacuse you can't overdose and for a ten gallon I think 3 capfuls is alot. But now my tank is reading
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrites 0ppm
Nitrates 0ppm and
8 pH

I was planning on biting the bullet and keep using it but if you've had success with cold turkey that would be awespme
 
calinb
  • #21
So are you saying that once the nitrites are dropped to zero you stopped using CYCLE?
Yes--I stopped completely, but I must also mention that I also had some potted plants from a previously cycled tank that had been cycled with Bio-Sprira. It's possible that the Cycle product's bacteria did not stick around but there was enough Bio-Spira bacteria on the plants to colonize my new tank with long-lived and efficient bacteria. I would need to run more experiments without any items that may be "seeding" the tank with bacteria other than the Cycle bacteria, to make a judgment. Of course, we normally rely on bacteria just "floating around" when we don't have a "seed" from another tank or a product like Bio-Spira or Cycle. If I compare my notes doing fishless cycling with ammonia, plants, and Cycle with others who have done fishless cycling with ammonia, the most I can say is Cycle didn't hurt me, but the others had similar results WITHOUT using Cycle (two weeks or less to obtain a fully cycled tank) when using a fishless ammonia technique.
Before I joined the forum I dosed my tank once when I first put in the water. I let in ran for three days then added fish. They started dying
Based on what I've seen, dead fish are to be expected if Cycle is used without water changes because it simply doesn't work fast enough. Also, the problem with water changes in a new tank is much of the bacteria gets flushed away too. When a tank matures and the bacteria are stuck to the filters and everything else in the tank, you can get away with changing lots of water, but changing water in a new tank slows things down. That's why I'm totally into fishless cycling with ammonia now. I can keep the ammonia and nitrate levels high, speed up cycling, and not kill anything! I've played with ammonia levels some and I now have settled on keeping the ammonia level at 5 ppm the entire time (add as often as necessary). I also now wait 36 hours without dosing any ammonia before checking to see if the tank has finished cycling (0 ammonia and 0 nitrite). 24 hours doesn't always provide sufficient time to process high levels of nitrite.

See these threads for the high ammonia fishless method--it's the method I used with Cycle (along with the potted plants):




Also, I don't use ammonia and nitrite binding agents, except in a "new fish bag" or emergencies. I think they interfere with cycling as can water changes in the early days of cycling:



However, except for Bio-Spira (which works very quickly) we have no choice but to do water changes, if there are fish in the tank!

off and the LFS said to give it three more capefuls beacuse you can't overdose and for a ten gallon I think 3 capfuls is alot. But now my tank is reading
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrites 0ppm
Nitrates 0ppm and
8 pH

I was planning on biting the bullet and keep using it but if you've had success with cold turkey that would be awespme
Well...I'd just keep my eye on the levels. If you see ammonia or nitrites, the Cycle you've added so far is probably not going to be a permanent solution (you'll probably need to keep adding it, as others have reported in these forums). It that happens, you could add Bio-Spira or try the intense Cycle dosing method with the water changes--use the high "initial" recommended dosage level but keep doing it every other day for two weeks or more. Again, I'm not keen on binding agents myself because I think relying on them reduces your reliance on bacteria, which isn't what we want, long term.

The first time I used Cycle was in a tank with fish. I used it as directed after I'd screwed up my first use of Bio-Spira by doing water changes. I saw some low nitrites during the first 48 hours and figured I'd better do a water change. The Bio-Spria never worked because I changed out half the water. Then I became enslaved to more water changes, of course. Later I learned that the water changes were probably the reason that the Bio-Spira had failed. I'd also been using Prime and didn't know how much "binding power" remained in the water so I put my fish in a bucket and drained the water to the gravel line and started over with Bio-Spira. I found that the nitrites didn't last long this time and they were gone within the first 48 hours.

I can't prove any of the above--I've just played around a lot with ammonia and I think I have a little insight into how to cycle a tank. Hopefully, your tank will remain cycled without the need for more Cycle product.

Good luck,

-Cal
 
MelissaF
  • #22
Thanks, I'm thinking my tank isn't cycled. I guess Ill just keep an eye on it and ride it out. The next tank I set up I'm definiatey doing the fishless ammonia cycle.
 
Evelyn1919
  • #23
now I would like to know if it would be really bad to stop using cycle. I have all my fish in the tank, I bought Biospira a while ago but every time I do water changes I put some of the Cycle stuff in. Would it be really bad if I stop using Cycle now? is it going to kill all my fish???
 
sirdarksol
  • #24
I would wean the tank off of the cycle. Use less of it each water change, keeping an eye on the tank's ammonia/nitrites, until you're not using the stuff anymore. I would maybe reduce it by 25% each week, so you'd be done using it in 4 weeks, unless your ammonia/nitrite spike.
 
Evelyn1919
  • #25
and would it be fine to stop using it and add more biospira next time I do waterchange??? would that be the solution for everything?
 
sirdarksol
  • #26
That should work perfectly. I would leave a week between the last time you put Cycle in and when you put BioSpira in, just to be sure the Cycle doesn't interfere with the BioSpira.
 
Evelyn1919
  • #27
ok so to make sure I got this right.

I put the cycle in yesterday after doing about a 30-40% water change. now I'll wait till next sunday and do another water change of like 50% and add biospira?

i'm sorry to sound a little dum but I just don't want any of my fish to die.
 
sirdarksol
  • #28
Not dumb at all.

That sounds like precisely what I was thinking.
I should add that I don't have any personal experience with BioSpira, I'm working off of the logic of how both Cycle and BioSpira work. Still, this is what I would do if I were in your situation.
 
Evelyn1919
  • #29
BIOSPIRA is GREAT!!!

Thanks for all ur help!!!
 
calinb
  • #30
ok so to make sure I got this right.

I put the cycle in yesterday after doing about a 30-40% water change. now I'll wait till next sunday and do another water change of like 50% and add biospira?
Yes--that should work!

Like chickadee recommended, don't do ANY water changes for a while after adding the Bio-Spira (try to wait a week, at least). You should see the ammonia and the nitrite drop to zero within about 48 hours. One week should provide enough time for the Bio-Spira bacteria to get established in your tank and filter. Initially, the bacteria is just floating around in the water, obviously, and doing water changes too soon can make your efforts a waste of Bio-$pira.

From the reports I've read here and elsewhere, the bacteria in Cycle don't seem to stick around very long so one must keep using it. I've not had this problem because I always seed my new tanks with something from an older tank (plants, gravel, filter material, etc.) and I got my first tank going with Bio-Spira. I've leveraged that bacteria to all my other tanks and even though I've also added Cycle every other day until the newer tanks cycle (ammonia/fishless), I'm not sure it's helped but it didn't appear to hurt.

-Cal
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
22
Views
677
jb153
  • Sticky
  • Question
Replies
1
Views
2K
Ouse
Replies
14
Views
459
MrMuggles
Replies
9
Views
28K
blazebo
Replies
61
Views
3K
Tolak
Top Bottom