Fastest Way To Cycle A Fish Tank (help!!)

BettaFishKeeper4302

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So i am wanting to get my 29 gallon fish tank started up and i have already been waiting a month. I am buying the stand this weekend. Gravel and bacteria will be next week and maybe even ghost shrimp. What bacteria should i buy??
 

SFGiantsGuy

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TTS is good; only ever used it once, and it did work. Although there is a chance that it can sometimes only last between 25-48 hours, but it is worth a shot.
 

Rob Shannon

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SFGiantsGuy said:
TTS is good; only ever used it once, and it did work. Although there is a chance that it can sometimes only last between 25-48 hours, but it is worth a shot.
I had good results with DrTims one-and-only
 
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BettaFishKeeper4302

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So i just got my stand for my 29 all assembled and put togehter and my fish tank is on it with no water. I do not know if i want to start the cycle without gravel because i just dont know if you need gravel for the bacteria. So would not only a hardy fish work but some plants to? Could i just let them float till i get gravel? Would this boost the cycling process?
 

DuaneV

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Your substrate has nothing to do with your cycle. You need to read up on cycling, its the growing of beneficial bacteria in your filter to convert ammonia to nitrites, then nitrites to nitrates. There is no "fast and easy" way to do it. You can add bottled bacteria to help speed it up, but its still time consuming.
 
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BettaFishKeeper4302

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DuaneV said:
Your substrate has nothing to do with your cycle. You need to read up on cycling, its the growing of beneficial bacteria in your filter to convert ammonia to nitrites, then nitrites to nitrates. There is no "fast and easy" way to do it. You can add bottled bacteria to help speed it up, but its still time consuming.
I thought bacteria forms in the gravel to. Anyways i will get right on starting the cycle tomorrow. It pains me to have to wait 8 weeks i have already been waiting a month... is the bottled bacteria faster and more efficient?
 

DuaneV

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Youll have bacteria everywhere in your tank, but 99% of it will be in the filter. The water is constantly drawn through the filter, so you put a suitable habitat in there for the BB to grow on (sponge, biorings, lava rock, etc.). When "dirty" water is drawn through the filter over and over the bacteria eat the ammonia and nitrites (once the colony has grow to accommodate your specific bioload) converting them to nitrates. Then you do water changes to combat the nitrates. Its the only way to do it. Adding bottled bacteria can speed up the process, but lets say youre adding 2ppm ammonia a day to start your cycle. Once your tank is "cycled" (which means your BB colony is large enough to convert 2ppm ammonia to 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites) then you are "cycled". HOWEVER, if you now add a bunch of fish that produce 10ppm ammonia a day, your colony cant keep up and you'll be doing a "fish in" cycle which it adjusts.
 

GuppyDazzle

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BettaFishKeeper4302 said:
I thought bacteria forms in the gravel to. Anyways i will get right on starting the cycle tomorrow. It pains me to have to wait 8 weeks i have already been waiting a month... is the bottled bacteria faster and more efficient?
Bacteria does form in the gravel. I saw someone say 99% is in the filter media, I think that number might be made up. I fully agree that "most" of the biofilm exists in the filter media, but there are relevant amounts in the gravel and on the sides as well.

There is no specific amount of bacteria that means a tank is cycled. For example, if a tank has three fish, it's considered "cycled" when there's enough of the different bacteria to convert the ammonia produced by three fish. If you add three more fish, there won't be enough bacteria to be cycled until there's enough bacteria to convert for six fish. Whether a tank is cycled depends on the bioload.

I've always cycled with fish in, doing 25% water changes every other day, and keeping an eye on the water readings to make sure the ammonia and nitrites don't reach toxic levels. It's worked great every time, and has taken about five weeks, six weeks max.

I don't advocate cycle starters. Even with all the hoops you have to jump through, using cycle starters usually takes at least as long as cycling naturally. I've never found good information about what is in cycle starters or boosters, how the bacteria survive in the bottle, what other elements are in the additive. I think sometimes with additives the tank cycles on its own while the hoops are jumped through in spite of the additives.
 
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