help with my cycle

  1. BadKarma Initiate Member

    If I'm using the Eco-Complete gravel and live plants( this will be my first live tank) is there anything I should be aware of doing the cycle? The gravel already has bacteria in it and if I read this right, the cycle should just go a bit faster, right?
  2. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    Hi badkarma..ive moved your post as that thread was instructions on how to cycle fishless will get more help on your own thread :)

    the gravel alone wont come with a cycle need some ammonia source to get it going...if you fill out your aquarium information, letting us know all that is needed to help you, it will be easier....

    whats in teh tank now?
    how long ago did you start it?
    other than your gravel, what aide are you using to cycle the tank?

    most of those questions can be answered in the aquarium info under my settings

  3. harpua2002 Fishlore VIP Member

    I don't believe that the Eco will actually cut down on cycling time. Arag-Alive makes the same claim for SW tanks, and it's the same brand as Eco. ;)

    That said, it's easy to do a fishless cycle whether your tank is planted or not. You can cycle with plants in your tank if you want to, it won't hurt them. All you need is a source of ammonia, like a raw shrimp or Ace brand ammonia (it has no surfactants). The shrimp is the easiest way IMO, because you just put it in there and leave it until you're done, but a lot of people use bottled ammonia as well.
  4. BadKarma Initiate Member

    Sorry Shawnee. It's a brand new 15gal kit that arrived last night. I wasn't going to get this started for a few more weeks, but my local pet chain store put them on sale yesterday and I'm a weak person!!!!

    I'm still researching the fish and inverts, but I do know that it will be live plants. I'm just wanting to get ready for setup and getting started.



    Thanks herpua for the info. If just adding a chunk-o-shrimp will get the job done, that may be the way I'll go.

  5. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    dont be sorry ..its fine :) I just wanted to be sure you had the attention needed for yourself
    here a link to help you decide....

    another method if you can find it, is tetra safe start...thats to be added with fish at the beginning..if you are able to find it , we have many members who will help more with it .....
  6. BadKarma Initiate Member

    I have that printed out, I guess what I was asking was if there should be anything I should be aware of with live plants and active bacteria already in the tank.


  7. click Well Known Member Member

    Help me out here please, I'm a bit confused. How do you know you have active bacteria in the tank already? Was the substrate from another cycled tank or was it bought brand new from the store? If it was bought brand new, there can't be any active bacteria in the tank. :;sh

  8. BadKarma Initiate Member

  9. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    it is great subtrate but NOT to have live bacteria for a cycled still need to cycle....with one of the methods in the link or with tetra safestart...plants are fine in the beginning or the end of a cycle...if you are going with beginner plants..if not, id check out for other recommendations on more difficult not trust that subtrate to have your tank cycled :)
  10. TedsTank Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to FishLore Badkarma,

    If you already have the tank, it would be helpful to get it cycled sooner than later. Cycling isn't always a quicky!!! Start it a couple of few weeks BEFORE you get "add the fish fever"!!! As mentioned above...go ahead if you can and add the plants too.

    Do you have a water test test kit? Look into API Master kits, so you will know when your cycle has completed.

  11. BadKarma Initiate Member

    Yeah, I've been around the block a time or two before (that was many years ago) and am very cautious when setting up a tank. I had not planned on any fish until around the last of January. And since this is my first planted tank, I'm starting with beginner plants.

    Thanks, Ted, for the tip on test kits. That was my next bit of research. I wasn't sure which would be my best option.

    btw: The evil beast known as craigslist has struck, I'm going to go pick up a 29 gal tank tom. It will be my next project 3 or 4 months from now, but the price was killer if it passes inspection. I read something somewhere about "Multiple Tank Syndrome" ?


    If I decide to use the Safe Start, how does that effect the cycle? Do I skip the cycle or what?

    I found it at DrsF&S. My Mom got me into aquariums when I was a kid many years ago, but I've been away for almost 30 years. We always did the Nitrogen Cycle, we just didn't call it that. So I'm exploring new ground here and wanting to learn and this is a great place for that, I'm finding.

    And thanks a ton everyone for your time and answers.

  12. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    Hi karma
    if you can find TSS , that will cycle the add that with your fish ...have the tank full, and treatead with tap water conditioner aquasafe (whichis recommended but any conditioner can do the trick) wait 24 hours and add your fish and TSS at the same time....wait a week and go from there...if your ph is 7 or above , it should be cycled completely in that week...if you ph is lower , it takes more time....if you decide to go that method, we have a bunch of members who are willing to help you along the way :) just let us know
  13. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi Karma,

    There are many instant-cycle products on the market, but the only one with aquatic, nitrifying bacteria is Tetra Safe Start. Cycle, Stress Zyme, Stability, etc., contain terrestrial bacteria that will process the ammonio as long as you add the product weekly. When you stop adding it, your tank crashes because it never cycled properly. What happens is that the natural, beneficial bacteria that is supposed to grow in the tank has to compete with the bottle stuff for its food source, ammonia from fish waste, and so it never establishes a strong colony.

    What sets TSS apart is that it is the correct bacteria for your tank. It actually works to establish the bacteria colony that will permanently live on your gravel and in your filter, and doesn't need to be continually added.

    So, you don't skip the cycle. It just gives your tank a huge boost, because instead of waiting weeks for the bacteria to grow, you are pouring it in from the beginning.

    TSS is pricy and finicky. If you decide to go this route, you have to be careful how you use it. Use a size bigger than for your tank (I had to use the 75 gallon tank size for my 30 gallon tank). Make sure the bottle isn't expired.

    edit: I completely agree with the advise about the API master test kit. It's a great kit, very accurate. Almost every single member on this site uses it. I think that's one thing you can safely not bother researching further. Also, Seachem makes a water conditioner called Prime that is awesome. It dechlorinates and all the stuff a regular conditioner does, but also detoxifies any ammonia and nitrites in your tank.
  14. BadKarma Initiate Member


    Interesting. I just might try that just to see if that works well.


    The test kit has just went on my to get list along with the "Prime" conditioner.

    I can't thank you all enough. Not only have you answered my questions, but you have scarily anticipated some of my others. It's almost like you've been through this before!!!! :;hug2


  15. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    you have said this many times and i wonder where you got your tss?:;dk ours is $16 for a bottle that does 75g ....actually on sale this week for $14 with the 30g size selling for $12...what were your prices?
  16. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Mine was 25 plus tax for the 75 bottle! That's it, I'm moving to Raymond!

    edit: 21 for the 30 gallon size. I thought it was expensive but totally worth it.
  17. Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    ive mailed some to members many times so keep that in mind if you need more! costs about $2 to send it
  18. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Thanks, shawnie! I can't believe there's such a huge price difference. I'll have to stop saying it is expensive, because apparently it just depends on where you are. We have 2 of our local fish stores carry TSS, and neither is careful. Their bottles sit on the shelves expired unless you tell them.