20 Gallon Tank Fish in cycle with bottled bacteria?

headpatsrequired

So I'm currently attempting a fishless cycle using bottled ammonia, and so far I'm having no luck. Several weeks in and the ammonia level is static at 2ppm. So I just bought some Fluval bio-enhancer, one of the many bacteria/quick start/filter boost products on the market, and I'm planning to add it to my tank to see if it brings the ammonia down.

But I was thinking, these products often say they can allow for the instant addition of fish, which of course actually means a fish-in cycle. I know this practice is generally frowned upon, but I notice that many of the arguments against that I've seen do not take into account the use of products like this. So, does anyone have any advice or anecdotes for this kind of fish-in cycling? Is it a reccomended practice, with daily testing and water changes when necessary? How many fish can I add at once, and how long does it take?
 

Azedenkae

So I'm currently attempting a fishless cycle using bottled ammonia, and so far I'm having no luck. Several weeks in and the ammonia level is static at 2ppm. So I just bought some Fluval bio-enhancer, one of the many bacteria/quick start/filter boost products on the market, and I'm planning to add it to my tank to see if it brings the ammonia down.

But I was thinking, these products often say they can allow for the instant addition of fish, which of course actually means a fish-in cycle. I know this practice is generally frowned upon, but I notice that many of the arguments against that I've seen do not take into account the use of products like this. So, does anyone have any advice or anecdotes for this kind of fish-in cycling? Is it a reccomended practice, with daily testing and water changes when necessary? How many fish can I add at once, and how long does it take?
Fish-in cycling is no longer frowned upon, at least so far as I generally can see. The zealots have mostly gone away or switched minds.

So moving on from that, fish-in cycling even with bottled bac does not seem to always work. Bottled bac is something I am totally for, but I am not blinded by a desire to see it succeed to believe that all bottled products work. Because they really seem like they vary a lot. For example, Seachem Stability and API QuickStart seem to yield great results for some, but does not work at all for others.

Even the product that I often recommend, FritzZyme TurboStart 700, seem to not work as well (taking over a week to cycle) about 2% of the time.

With that said, here's my recommendations for fish-in cycling:
  1. You do not need to start with a 'test' or 'cycling' fish. That's not really needed, unless your final selection is very sensitive. Which in most cases you don't have to worry about.
  2. You can start with one fish or a full stocking. Bare in mind however that the more fish you stock at once, the more work it is. My recommendation? One. One fish.
  3. The way to do fish-in cycling is:
    1. Daily testing.
    2. Dose 1x dosage of Prime per 1ppm ammonia/nitrite, up to 5ppm, every 48 hours.
    3. However, do water changes when concentrations do come close to that 5ppm is recommended. Say 4ppm.
    4. 50% water changes should suffice.
    5. Keep doing that until both ammonia and nitrite constantly reads zero. Then add more fish, if applicable.
So why one fish? If you add more, you may need to do far more water changes. Which can be a pain. One fish presents the minimum amount that generates any amount of ammonia, and that can help prolong the duration between water changes.

Fish-in cycle is something even I do, even though I don't recommend it. It's mostly because it can be a painful process. But safety-wise or ethics-wise, it's not really an issue.
 

Dunk2

So I'm currently attempting a fishless cycle using bottled ammonia, and so far I'm having no luck. Several weeks in and the ammonia level is static at 2ppm. So I just bought some Fluval bio-enhancer, one of the many bacteria/quick start/filter boost products on the market, and I'm planning to add it to my tank to see if it brings the ammonia down.

But I was thinking, these products often say they can allow for the instant addition of fish, which of course actually means a fish-in cycle. I know this practice is generally frowned upon, but I notice that many of the arguments against that I've seen do not take into account the use of products like this. So, does anyone have any advice or anecdotes for this kind of fish-in cycling? Is it a reccomended practice, with daily testing and water changes when necessary? How many fish can I add at once, and how long does it take?
If, in fact, your cycle is stalled, moving to a fish-in cycle may not change anything depending on the reason(s) it’s stalled.

What size tank?
What brand of ammonia are you using and is it pure (no surfacants)?
What is the water temperature of your tank?
What is the pH level of your tank?
Does the tank have substrate and what kind of filter are you running?
 

headpatsrequired

If, in fact, your cycle is stalled, moving to a fish-in cycle may not change anything depending on the reason(s) it’s stalled.

What size tank?
What brand of ammonia are you using and is it pure (no surfacants)?
What is the water temperature of your tank?
What is the pH level of your tank?
Does the tank have substrate and what kind of filter are you running?
20 gallon, generic brand but it is pure, 30c, 7.5, Black Crystalquartz, and a Juwell Bioflow filter.
 

ProudPapa

I agree that there's really nothing wrong with doing a fish in cycle, if it's done carefully. I assume you've thought about you'll need to get rid of the 2 ppm ammonia that's in the water now? Of course there wouldn't be anything wrong with removing almost all the water and replacing it.
 

ruud

Fish-in cycle by a seasoned hobbyist - I don't frown
Fish-in cycle by a beginner - I look away
 

Dunk2

20 gallon, generic brand but it is pure, 30c, 7.5, Black Crystalquartz, and a Juwell Bioflow filter.
Your water temperature and pH level should be fine for cycling your tank.

Exactly when did you start dosing ammonia to this tank? And what type of bio media is in the filter?

Right or wrong, generic ammonia raises a red flag for me. Have you checked the ingredients?

If you’re absolutely certain the ammonia is fine and that your cycle is stalled, another option is to do a water change which will sometimes help the cycling process along.

For whatever it’s worth, I’m not opposed to fish-in cycling. I’m just not sure it would make a difference in your case.
 

DoubleDutch

Isn't it a better idea to ask yourself why the cycle doesn't seem to work in the first place ?

The only thing you will differ is using another ammoniasource (fish instead of a bottle).

As stated before a lot of those so called starters / booster only contain specific bacteria that aren't actually in the cycle but keep levels acceptable for some time. They are liquid impatience-aids and will only buy time for the natural ones to jump in. In fact they male cycling even less effective cause they lower ammonia and nitrites levels (to savr fish) before the natural wanted bacteria can take over.

Some products contain some of the right bacteria though and can seed a tank.

In your case there is something not going right. The added ammonia should have the same outcome as the natural ammonia caused by fish.
 

JeremyW

So exactly how long have you been doing the fishless cycle?

How much ammonia did you add? Have you added ammonia more than once?

Have you tested for nitrite or nitrate yet?
 

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