How come we never read about failed fish in cycles?? - Page 2

PAcanis

LOL. One of the best laughs I've had today.


Just a side note, your comment inadvertently linked me to a bunch of fun fish games. :)


I see that!
Who knew "fish game" was a thing here?
I'm still waiting to hear back for an Acronym I did not know. It mustn't have been a thing here :D


--- NEW POST------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Something different works for everyone. I don't think there is ever a right or wrong way, just different paths to the same destination!

Boy ain't that the truth.
Today I read something about an inch rule for fish-in cycling. So many of these, or so many or this.

I've always been a big believer of listening to everybody then making up your own mind.
 

86 ssinit

Ok lots here to go over. Thing is a fish in cycle is now overlooked. I’ve never had an unsuccessful fish in cycle. As a kid I always had those starter goldfish. Just couldn’t return them. After a short stoppage in fish keeping I went to the minnows. For me I could return them. A fish in cycle is a process. Doesn’t take 2 months usually around 14 days. Remember we didn’t have test kits. If they existed I just couldn’t afford them. So you changed 50% every day. 5-10g nobody owned anything bigger than a 20g again couldn’t afford it. Second week every other day. Third week you were ready to go. Add fish slowly. Once you had that running for a few weeks you just took out the old floss and added it to the next tank :). It worked it’s what the pet store guy told you (that was my internet :)).
You can’t call a fish in cycle someone who bought tank filter and fish the same day and threw it together. That’s just bad info from a pet store. You can’t call a fish in cycle people who attempted a fishless cycle and than before it was finished threw in fish. These ways give the fish in cycle a bad name. I’ve been keeping fish since 72 and never even heard of a cycle till I came on here in 2017. Discus for 15 years from the end of the 80s. First time I heard of a fishless cycle was at a discus symposium in the 90s where 2 breeders were discussing wether or not it could be done. I was shocked it was being done here and promoted as much as it was. I kind of feel like a villain because I like a fish in cycle.
As to bacteria in bottles in the 80s I never saw it and never had a store owner offer it.

But what really started me on this is not this site but other sites where it just shocks me how little people actually know about fish keeping. These are discus sites where people have great looking tanks running and are waiting for fishless cycles to finish on new tanks. No clue about adding media from existing tanks. Just amazing they’re this far along but still don’t know the basics. The fish in cycle is the most basic way. When done as it should be done most have success. People say it’s bad for fish. But like I said you don’t read about them not working. While fishless ones are having major problems with lots of fish dying. But for some reason I don’t understand that’s ok. Some even say when the fish start dying it became a fish in cycle :). But hey to each his own.

It’s just a shame. But thank you all!! It really is amazing what goes on in this site. The information here is priceless. The people here who actually do the experiments themselves and share the findings is just great and I thank you all.
 

Dunk2

Ok lots here to go over. Thing is a fish in cycle is now overlooked. I’ve never had an unsuccessful fish in cycle. As a kid I always had those starter goldfish. Just couldn’t return them. After a short stoppage in fish keeping I went to the minnows. For me I could return them. A fish in cycle is a process. Doesn’t take 2 months usually around 14 days. Remember we didn’t have test kits. If they existed I just couldn’t afford them. So you changed 50% every day. 5-10g nobody owned anything bigger than a 20g again couldn’t afford it. Second week every other day. Third week you were ready to go. Add fish slowly. Once you had that running for a few weeks you just took out the old floss and added it to the next tank :). It worked it’s what the pet store guy told you (that was my internet :)).
You can’t call a fish in cycle someone who bought tank filter and fish the same day and threw it together. That’s just bad info from a pet store. You can’t call a fish in cycle people who attempted a fishless cycle and than before it was finished threw in fish. These ways give the fish in cycle a bad name. I’ve been keeping fish since 72 and never even heard of a cycle till I came on here in 2017. Discus for 15 years from the end of the 80s. First time I heard of a fishless cycle was at a discus symposium in the 90s where 2 breeders were discussing wether or not it could be done. I was shocked it was being done here and promoted as much as it was. I kind of feel like a villain because I like a fish in cycle.
As to bacteria in bottles in the 80s I never saw it and never had a store owner offer it.

But what really started me on this is not this site but other sites where it just shocks me how little people actually know about fish keeping. These are discus sites where people have great looking tanks running and are waiting for fishless cycles to finish on new tanks. No clue about adding media from existing tanks. Just amazing they’re this far along but still don’t know the basics. The fish in cycle is the most basic way. When done as it should be done most have success. People say it’s bad for fish. But like I said you don’t read about them not working. While fishless ones are having major problems with lots of fish dying. But for some reason I don’t understand that’s ok. Some even say when the fish start dying it became a fish in cycle :). But hey to each his own.

It’s just a shame. But thank you all!! It really is amazing what goes on in this site. The information here is priceless. The people here who actually do the experiments themselves and share the findings is just great and I thank you all.
Good post. But a 14 day fish-in cycle? From scratch?
 

86 ssinit

Good post. But a 14 day fish-in cycle? From scratch?
Yeah first set up the tank. Water substrate heater light and filter. Let it run 48hrs. Add feeders and follow above. Yes some feeder died. But as stated earlier they’re not the healthiest fish. After 2 weeks of daily water changes and being fed the survivors are a lot healthier. Add new fish slowly. This is from the time of corner box filters fed with air pumps. Also back when you actually kept 2 angelfish a cory catfish an angel cat and some tetras in a 10g.
 

StarGirl

I have never ran a fishless cycle yet. That being because my 55g I set up after joining this forum and not knowing about cycles either. I gave up on my 55g and put it in the basement and just ran my 20gh because it was easier. Then I got it going again after learning some things.
 

Fisch

I am still a Newbie and to be honest, fish-in as well as fishless cycles both have their place. Demonizing fish-in cycles as done much harmon, it creates confusion and panic and thus people are failing.

I am at times horrified to see how little information is grasped in spite of having all the information available at your fingertips, and it makes me sad.
Fishless or fish-in methods need patience, something that is highly unpopular on this day in age.
Marketing is not helping.
I put my 55gl through a fishless cycle, all other 4 tanks were fish-in cycles sheer out of necessity and panic survival. All fish survived as well.
If we really are willing to work for our fish and don't try to cut corners, there are no failed cycles.
 

JustAFishServant

Saying fish-in cycles are more successful is like saying eating soggy fries is better for physical (and emotional) health. It's just not true.

As many have said before me all you need is an ammonia source. Some dose it (liquid ammonia or ammonium chloride at home improvement or fish stores), others use fish flakes, aqua soil or pieces of raw shrimp. Then there's folks who immediately add live stock which isn't suggested. Ammonia, nitrite and too much nitrate is toxic and can cause poisoning, wounds and stress which opens them up to parasites and infection. Even if they survive they may never recover, reproduce or thrive. They'll live the minimum lifespan and die...

Also what's this about feeder fathead minnows? They're my favorite fish with fair bioloads, semi aggression towards each other, great hardiness and fair intelligence. They get 3" or 7.6cm long in my experience, are active, a joy to keep and worth every cent! Sadly they don't typically live longer than 2 years and my big boy lived to 3 :(
 

GlennO

I think fish-in cycling has become much more problematic over recent years due to the proliferation of bottled bacteria and associated misinformation. When large well-known companies like Seachem, Tetra etc. state in their directions that you can add fish at any time (even on the first day) if you are using their product you have to wonder how much damage is being done.

Seachem at least briefly mentions ammonia (only to recommend another product to deal with it) but none of them provide any detail on the nitrogen cycle or testing requirements.
 

MacZ

I think we can say one thing with certainty. Fish-in cycling is not controversial because it doesn't work.

For most critics it is just abuse of fish that might die or get hurt in the process. It's not about the cycling process itself. Period.

There. I said it. I said it before I will repeat it again. If you care for animals in general, even feeders, fish-in cycling is not an option.

I stand by my statement.
 

mattgirl

If someone is not willing or is unable to put in the work it requires then fish in cycling is not the way to go. I am both willing and am still able. The fish in my tanks even while cycling are living in better conditions than they would be if they were still living in the stores tanks.

I agree, fish in cycling is not for everyone but if it is done right fish will never be in any danger or even uncomfortable. Within about a month to 6 weeks the tank will be cycled. Given time the tank will cycle. Of that I have no doubt.

A failed fish in cycle is when some or all the fish die. I can't accept that it is inevitable we will lose some fish. It doesn't have to happen. The cycle still hasn't failed but some fish have died unnecessarily.

The problems come up when someone tries to rush the process by adding this or that to the tank and because of it they don't do the necessary water changes.
If you care for animals in general, even feeders, fish-in cycling is not an option.
I do fish in cycling. I care about all animals both great and small. Shoot, I will even pick up an uninvited guest whether it be flying or crawling and put it back outside instead of just killing it.

If we wanted to take it one step farther, keeping fish in a glass box isn't natural but we do it anyway. It could be said if we really care for all animals we wouldn't be keeping them in unnatural living conditions. We can try to recreate their natural habitat but that can't really be done in a glass box. We do it for our enjoyment, not for theirs. This hobby wouldn't exist if we really cared about the total comfort of the fish. We would leave them in the wild. I do insist on a peaceful tank though. No bullies are allowed.

Thankfully we are all allowed our own opinions and even better, we can openly discuss our differing opinions like the adults we are. :)
 

Fisch

Take the case of the QT tank....this is the typical case of a fish-in cycle. After the first panic we notice that it works pretty well as long as we take care of water conditions. Yes, some people have additional sponges, but some people have not. Taking the stigma out of fish-in cycles, we could prevent the scare for many new fish keepers. Do I agree to fish-in cycles with a boat load of medications requiring to poison the fish as water changes are not 'allowed', this is differet and I would oppose a fish-in cycle in that case.
 

Randomfish556

Just wondering this this morn. Yes just got up and it hit me!! So thought I’d ask. Next why is it so much better to spend money on so called live bacteria when ten (keyword here) feeder minnows cost a buck? Minnows been around for ever this bottled bacteria wasn’t popular in 2017 when I joined. Don’t get me wrong the whole fishless cycling was absurd so they were looking for an easy way to cycle a tank. So add this bottled bacteria than add fish. Change water regular as needed. Sound like a fish in cycle? Many threads here about this stuff not working. So what’s up? How come the fish in cycles aren’t failing like the fishless??
Currently having to do a fish in cycle (not by choice, if I had to chose I’d do fishless) and 2 of my fish have died so far and the rest have red gills so it doesn’t seem like the better option at all IMO. I’m doing 30-50% water changes everyday but the nitrites and ammonia are still there. Some people don’t want to harm fish so they do a fish less cycle, going through the cycle is toxic and harmful to the fish. Plus what are they going to do with the minnows once the tank is cycled?

Bottled bacteria isn’t supposed to immediately make your tank cycled even if that’s what it claims, you can still do a fish less cycle with bottle bac and ammonia you just have to be patient and test the water until it’s ready.
 

86 ssinit

Currently having to do a fish in cycle and 2 of my fish have died so far and the rest have red gills. I’m doing 30-50% water changes everyday but the nitrites and ammonia are still there. Some people don’t want to harm fish so they do a fish less cycle, going through the cycle is toxic and harmful to the fish. Plus what are they going to do with the minnows once the tank is cycled?

Bottled bacteria isn’t supposed to immediately make your tank cycled even if that’s what it claims, you can still do a fish less cycle with bottle bac and ammonia you just have to be patient and test the water until it’s ready.
How many fish in how big of a tank?? Ammonia shouldn’t build up for a few days without doing changes for 2 to 3 days. Unless you’ve got to many fish. With to many fish you will need to change more water more often. Next is there ammonia in your tap water? What type of filter are you using?
 

Randomfish556

How many fish in how big of a tank?? Ammonia shouldn’t build up for a few days without doing changes for 2 to 3 days. Unless you’ve got to many fish. With to many fish you will need to change more water more often. Next is there ammonia in your tap water? What type of filter are you using?
3 platys 2 mollies in a 40g, one molly and one platt died over the course of a month so now only have 3 total. I had ammonia spikes for weeks until recently it’s gone down, now I have a nitrite spike. Changing the water makes it go down but then the next day it’s high again. No ammonia, nitrite or nitrate in tap water I tested a few times just to make sure. Using a HOB filter
 

WRWAquarium

I've always done fish in cycles. When I was younger there was no other option.

But these days I don't see how the fish suffer if you test daily, W/C if needed and treat prime/stability. Never lost a fish to a cycle. Be sensible with fish numbers from the start and build slowly.

I bet more fish die and suffer when too many are added to a newly fishless cycled tank and there's a spike on NH4 or N02.

Admittedly I've always got seeded media now so it's irrelevant.
 

PAcanis

W/C if needed and treat prime/stability

That there is the key, IMO.
You should keep something on hand to neutralize ammonia and nitrite anyway. Just in case.
No sense leaving it unchecked in your tank while hoping a WC will fix the problem.
 

StarGirl

I think we can say one thing with certainty. Fish-in cycling is not controversial because it doesn't work.
:confused:

So..... no one in the world before Fishless cycles were around had a cycled aquarium?
 

86 ssinit

3 platys 2 mollies in a 40g, one molly and one platt died over the course of a month so now only have 3 total. I had ammonia spikes for weeks until recently it’s gone down, now I have a nitrite spike. Changing the water makes it go down but then the next day it’s high again. No ammonia, nitrite or nitrate in tap water I tested a few times just to make sure. Using a HOB filter
Ok there’s something up here. Are you using a plant substrate? No way that amount of fish is your problem in a 40g. Something else is causing the ammonia.
That there is the key, IMO.
You should keep something on hand to neutralize ammonia and nitrite anyway. Just in case.
No sense leaving it unchecked in your tank while hoping a WC will fix the problem.
Ok have to say I believe in prime. Because of what I read here but I rarely use it.
 

Dunk2

Fish-in cycling is not controversial because it doesn't work.
C’mon MacZ!

Disagreeing with the concept is one thing, but suggesting it doesn’t work?
 

GlennO

C’mon MacZ!

Disagreeing with the concept is one thing, but suggesting it doesn’t work?
:confused:

So..... no one in the world before Fishless cycles were around had a cycled aquarium?
Read again, MacZ was saying that it's controversial because of animal welfare concerns, not because it doesn't work to cycle a tank.
 

Randomfish556

Ok there’s something up here. Are you using a plant substrate? No way that amount of fish is your problem in a 40g. Something else is causing the ammonia
No just sand from imagitarium, I’ll make a post and see what other people say cause I have no idea what’s causing it.
 

PAcanis

GlennO has it. I had to read it twice, too.
You have to emphasize the words differently. Remember, there's a language thing going on, too. Although MacZ writes better English than a lot of posts I've read here, lol.
 

GlennO

I've always done fish in cycles. When I was younger there was no other option.
Fishless cycling was always an option, we just weren't aware of it.

Set up a tank and run it for a week (or for as long as your patience held out) then slowly add fish. We did know that adding too many fish too soon could end up in disaster, without really knowing why. I think that actually contributed to the erroneous view that 'aged' water was good for fish so water changes were less frequent.
 

86 ssinit

MacZ is right 100% in what he’s saying. In Europe things are much different than here. Much! They have much more interest in animals rights. They are much stricter in animal keeping. But that really wasn’t my point. For me when done correctly I believe a fish in cycle actually works better and less fish die. My proof is how little we read about a failed fish-in cycle. There are many failed fishless that have resulted in dead fish. Most just don’t understand how to do it. And the dead fish are just washed away because hey at least they tried a fishless cycle. That is what I don’t get.
Mac thank you for answering and being involved. I always respect your opinion. To me this type of conversation is needed and gives some beginners insite on our different opinions. Again a big plus with this site. I’m not saying fishless cycling doesn’t work I’m pretty much saying its more complicated. Many do it and understand it but so many more just don’t get it.
 

StarGirl

Fish in cycles work if they are done correctly.
Fishless cycles work if they are done correctly.

People in general (not all, dont get all worked up) are in reality mostly lacking the motivation to do water changes. How many threads about.....Do I have to change water every week? You will get a, Do I really have to change it? Can I do 30% instead? Or you say 50% and they come back with...Well I did 20 is that enough? There are the ones who will do it right though too. :)

As for the fishless cycles... They can be a lot for a newbie to pick up on. Dosing ammonia when you have 5 people telling you different things. Water changing, adding fish, all different opinions, which is totally fine, but really confusing for someone who has no idea who is right. We need to unify more in this department. ;)

The only cycling method I really can't wrap my mind around or will not try any time soon is the TSS dump stuff in and don't touch it for 2 weeks. It may work but it doesn't seem like a good way to me. Too scary for my blood. :eek: I think new fish owners should not try this method. It is for skilled aquarists IMO. You need to know how to fix it if something goes wonky. Sorry jdhef :oops:

The real threat I see almost every day helping newbies cycle is really bad advise from fish store personnel. Or the internet. Here's some bacteria add your 50 fish in a 10 gallon and don't change water for a month you need the bacteria to grow....OMG. Every day is something like that. OR let your tank cycle for a day then add your fish. :confused: There are the ones that believe them instead of you too.

My summation of this is when you have a new person cycling a tank they will do it right or they wont. Either method can be equally deadly for the stock. We all know what we are doing and believe in. So to me either way is fine depending on the dedication and understanding of the person doing it.

Like others have said I always have a seeded sponge filter going in my 55g tank for setting up anything new so I dont have to worry about any kind of new cycle.
 

Dunk2

People in general (not all, dont get all worked up) are in reality mostly lacking the motivation to do water changes.
Well said, but now I’m worked up. :p
 

Stripedbass

I always have taken a nasty mulmy filter and instantly cycled all of my tanks never had a problem. I always thought the fish in cycle (especially with feeder fish) is sketchy because those fish are super unhealthy. If I can save a dollar not having to buy any extra chemicals I'm happy.
 

86 ssinit

Well said, but now I’m worked up. :p
Lol me too!!! I said this once before: if you don’t want to do water changes buy lizards :eek: :eek: :eek:.
 

mattgirl

Fish in cycles work if they are done correctly.
Fishless cycles work if they are done correctly.

People in general (not all, dont get all worked up) are in reality mostly lacking the motivation to do water changes. How many threads about.....Do I have to change water every week? You will get a, Do I really have to change it? Can I do 30% instead? Or you say 50% and they come back with...Well I did 20 is that enough? There are the ones who will do it right though too. :)

As for the fishless cycles... They can be a lot for a newbie to pick up on. Dosing ammonia when you have 5 people telling you different things. Water changing, adding fish, all different opinions, which is totally fine, but really confusing for someone who has no idea who is right. We need to unify more in this department. ;)

The only cycling method I really can't wrap my mind around or will not try any time soon is the TSS dump stuff in and don't touch it for 2 weeks. It may work but it doesn't seem like a good way to me. Too scary for my blood. :eek: I think new fish owners should not try this method. It is for skilled aquarists IMO. You need to know how to fix it if something goes wonky. Sorry jdhef :oops:

The real threat I see almost every day helping newbies cycle is really bad advise from fish store personnel. Or the internet. Here's some bacteria add your 50 fish in a 10 gallon and don't change water for a month you need the bacteria to grow....OMG. Every day is something like that. OR let your tank cycle for a day then add your fish. :confused: There are the ones that believe them instead of you too.

My summation of this is when you have a new person cycling a tank they will do it right or they wont. Either method can be equally deadly for the stock. We all know what we are doing and believe in. So to me either way is fine depending on the dedication and understanding of the person doing it.

Like others have said I always have a seeded sponge filter going in my 55g tank for setting up anything new so I dont have to worry about any kind of new cycle.
Bravo, So very well said :)
 

MacZ

Nice to have provoked a turn of the discussion in the direction I found far more important than the question "Does it work?". Because the answer for both is yes. Just the risks are very different and an impatient fishless cycling turns into unintentional fish-in in the blink of an eye. The risk of fish-in cycling itself is what people should consider more imo.

And I concurr with StarGirl when helping out people it would probably be best to stick to one method with that case. Every intermediate or semi-pro here on the forum know how both methods work (I do, do you?), so whatever the case we can deal with it.

Tank not set-up yet: Make them choose the method beforehand and inform about pros and cons.
If the person decided on fishless before coming here support the decision and support their patience and proponents of fish-in stay out of it.
And vice versa if somebody is in intentional or unintentional (most of them) fish-in, the proponents of thst one should take care or that case.

But confusing them by even fighting about it in front of them doesn't help. The fish have to pay the price in the end. Not us. Keep that in mind.

Please excuse me writing just so little and short posts the past few days, I'm with my family. Attended the funeral of the person that introduced me to fishkeeping in the first place and from whom I got a lot of my attitude in animal care. Including my preferred cycling method and my waterchange regimen
 

mattgirl

Thank you for taking the time away from your family and friends MacZ

My Condolences on the loss of your mentor. :(
 

IronPlanter

Hi all,

This is an interesting discussion.
Firstly, there are many ways to get the same result, some are easier or safer than others though. When I started keeping aquariums again after moving around for awhile I did fish-in cycles in two of my 10 gallon tanks.
  1. brand new matten filters
  2. Topsoil, expanded clay, and black blasting sand for substrate.
  3. Tap water and chlorine remover.
  4. Live Plants such as java moss and hornwort.
    • These plants housed some bacteria as they were grown immersed, but that was not the main reason for adding plants. The main reason was to assist in the removal of nitrates.
  5. 5 Mystery Snails per 10 gallons of water.
    • Please note this is mostly arbitrary and based on my normal initial addition of Mystery Snails, even in tanks with pre-seeded filters.
  6. For 1 week I fed the snails algae wafers. During this time I did water tests every two days.
  7. On the second week I added 5 Platy Fish per 10 gallons of water. I tested the water every two days.
  8. 50% water change 1 week after adding fish.
  9. I have never changed the water in these aquariums after that. I only add water. They are heavily planted and probably only have 3 adult Platy fish and lots of fry in them, until the fry grow up; and a bunch of bladder and ramshorn snails.
  10. Test water monthly.
This seemed to work fine. I didn't have any issues losing fish. Ammonia and nitrates spiked but were never at unsafe levels.

In my 55 gallon I did a similar fish-in cycle. The only difference was I added FritzZyme TurboStart 700 when I put the water in and I put 20 Platies and 20~ish Mystery Snails in the same day. I didn't notice any issues with this tank. I left the matten filter in for 7 months and decided to switch to 2 of the large 40 gallon rated Aquarium Coop sponge filters mostly for aesthetic reasons. In total the tank was/is stocked with about 20 Corydora eques, 15 Platies, 3 Rainbow Darters, 20 neon tetras, and 40~ish Mystery Snails. With the matten filters I was doing a 20% water change once a month. With the sponge filters I think it's going to end up being about the same.

For people totally new to the hobby I feel that the best method is to do a fishless cycle. I've never done a fishless cycle. It seems pretty easy and safer for the fish. Some local fish stores may offer pre-seeded filters as well. I like to use pre-seeded filters when possible. It's much easier and safer. If instant cycle products were guaranteed to work I'd recommend that. It seems that the wide variety of instant cycle products include a fair few that don't work so well.

Personally I feel that slowly adding fish or snails to a tanks is a good way to cycle a tank. Start with about 1/2 an inch of fish per gallon and test the water every other day. Then just do water changes as needed.

No matter what you choose research is required. Learn how to execute the method properly. Learn enough about the nitrogen cycle to understand what happens in the aquarium.

Happy fishkeeping all.
 

IronPlanter

Bwood22 Nice work linking that thread. That sounds failed to me.
 

86 ssinit

HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL!!! Thanks for participating!!!
Next thread will be about nitrates :) :rolleyes: :rolleyes:. Are they actually bad for fish or good for marketing:eek::eek:.
 

JTW

I think there is another perspective to this debate that we haven't really touched on in this discussion. And that's the value of fishless cycling when it comes to the public image of the hobby.

People nowadays place a higher emphasis on animal welfare than ever before. If people catch so much as a whiff of animal cruelty they either stay as far away as possible, or they get very involved in stamping it out.

When a new person enters the hobby, and they get advised to sacrifice a feeder fish to the cycle gods, that can be a pretty big turn off. And it could sour that person's view of the hobby for the rest of their life.

If the public were to take a good look at our hobby, what do we want them to see? Do we really want them to see us sacrificing feeders to prepare our tanks for the fish we actually care about? Or do we want them to see us taking the time to safely prepare our aquariums for fish before adding any at all?

Remember, in this hobby we keep a lot of imported, exotic, wild caught, invasive, and even endangered animals. All of that has the potential to become very controversial, and we certainly don't want to add animal welfare concerns into the mix. What other pet trade has the freedom that ours does to deal in those types of animals? If we aren't mindful about how we conduct ourselves in this hobby, we risk drawing some very unwanted attention. And if we do end up drawing that kind of attention, its possible that we'd deserve it.
 

ProudPapa

I think there is another perspective to this debate that we haven't really touched on in this discussion. And that's the value of fishless cycling when it comes to the public image of the hobby.

People nowadays place a higher emphasis on animal welfare than ever before. If people catch so much as a whiff of animal cruelty they either stay as far away as possible, or they get very involved in stamping it out.

When a new person enters the hobby, and they get advised to sacrifice a feeder fish to the cycle gods, that can be a pretty big turn off. And it could sour that person's view of the hobby for the rest of their life.

If the public were to take a good look at our hobby, what do we want them to see? Do we really want them to see us sacrificing feeders to prepare our tanks for the fish we actually care about? Or do we want them to see us taking the time to safely prepare our aquariums for fish before adding any at all?

Remember, in this hobby we keep a lot of imported, exotic, wild caught, invasive, and even endangered animals. All of that has the potential to become very controversial, and we certainly don't want to add animal welfare concerns into the mix. What other pet trade has the freedom that ours does to deal in those types of animals? If we aren't mindful about how we conduct ourselves in this hobby, we risk drawing some very unwanted attention. And if we do end up drawing that kind of attention, its possible that we'd deserve it.

You make excellent points, of course, but while I may have missed some, I don't recall anyone here ever recommending to a new fish keeper to sacrifice fish while cycling. Instead they're told to add a few of the fish they want to keep, monitor their water parameters, and change water as needed so those fish aren't harmed.

And while we're on the subject, I've been wondering about something. I see people here talking about cycling their tank before getting a betta. I'm having trouble believing it's necessary to cycle a tank for one small fish, and even if it is, wouldn't that betta be better off in a properly done fish-in cycle than in the little cup in the store waiting on a fishless cycle to complete?
 

mattgirl

or they get very involved in stamping it out.
If I were to go into how I feel about this I would no doubt be banned from the forum. Just one more freedom we could lose because of a busybody. At this point in time we don't have many left to lose. :(
 

MacZ

I think there is another perspective to this debate that we haven't really touched on in this discussion. And that's the value of fishless cycling when it comes to the public image of the hobby.

People nowadays place a higher emphasis on animal welfare than ever before. If people catch so much as a whiff of animal cruelty they either stay as far away as possible, or they get very involved in stamping it out.

When a new person enters the hobby, and they get advised to sacrifice a feeder fish to the cycle gods, that can be a pretty big turn off. And it could sour that person's view of the hobby for the rest of their life.

If the public were to take a good look at our hobby, what do we want them to see? Do we really want them to see us sacrificing feeders to prepare our tanks for the fish we actually care about? Or do we want them to see us taking the time to safely prepare our aquariums for fish before adding any at all?

Remember, in this hobby we keep a lot of imported, exotic, wild caught, invasive, and even endangered animals. All of that has the potential to become very controversial, and we certainly don't want to add animal welfare concerns into the mix. What other pet trade has the freedom that ours does to deal in those types of animals? If we aren't mindful about how we conduct ourselves in this hobby, we risk drawing some very unwanted attention. And if we do end up drawing that kind of attention, its possible that we'd deserve it.
This is why most serious aquarists here in Europe want even harsher regulations.
Many even agree to make proof of competence-licences mandatory for fishkeeping. I'd be faster to take the exam and get a licence than you can imagine if this way I can keep people with little interest in the animal's wellbeing out of fishkeeping. Usually I'm against gatekeeping, because among humans it usually doesn't end in deaths as a consequence, but in animal husbandry I more and more tend to approve.

Instead they're told to add a few of the fish they want to keep, monitor their water parameters, and change water as needed so those fish aren't harmed.
Give that advice to someone with a 10-12 hour daily fulltime job or a student that has to be at school. I want to see people that do not have the time everyday make that happen without getting stressed out and/or losing interest.
Your argument of "if you test and change water as needed" is also not valid if people think they can postpone a waterchange to "after work/school" or "tomorrow". This is what keeps this problematic and the animals at risk.

I honestly have to agree with JeremyW to the letter. Almost all other areas of animal husbandry have better standards and regulations than fishkeeping in many countries.
 

Bwood22

I think there is another perspective to this debate that we haven't really touched on in this discussion. And that's the value of fishless cycling when it comes to the public image of the hobby.

People nowadays place a higher emphasis on animal welfare than ever before. If people catch so much as a whiff of animal cruelty they either stay as far away as possible, or they get very involved in stamping it out.

When a new person enters the hobby, and they get advised to sacrifice a feeder fish to the cycle gods, that can be a pretty big turn off. And it could sour that person's view of the hobby for the rest of their life.

If the public were to take a good look at our hobby, what do we want them to see? Do we really want them to see us sacrificing feeders to prepare our tanks for the fish we actually care about? Or do we want them to see us taking the time to safely prepare our aquariums for fish before adding any at all?

Remember, in this hobby we keep a lot of imported, exotic, wild caught, invasive, and even endangered animals. All of that has the potential to become very controversial, and we certainly don't want to add animal welfare concerns into the mix. What other pet trade has the freedom that ours does to deal in those types of animals? If we aren't mindful about how we conduct ourselves in this hobby, we risk drawing some very unwanted attention. And if we do end up drawing that kind of attention, its possible that we'd deserve it.
I may be playing devil's advocate here....but alot of these same points could be made about live baby brine shrimp.

So where is the line? Are we drawing it at feeder fish?
 

MacZ

So where is the line? Are we drawing it at feeder fish?
Most draw them at "vertebrate or not".
 

Bwood22

Most draw them at "vertebrate or not".
Well then that settles it.
Let's just do our fish-in cycles with nerite snails and amano shrimp.

We can call it the invert cycle.

Fishless cycle = good
Fish-in cycle = cruel
Invert cycle = socially acceptable
 

Cue

Give that advice to someone with a 10-12 hour daily fulltime job or a student that has to be at school.
Speaking as a student, I’ve successfully completed a fish in cycle (daily water changes/tests) and am currently setting up another tank for science credits. Obviously schedules vary, but it’s absolutely sound advice for someone dedicated to their tanks.
 

MacZ

There is always somebody who says they did it. But you seem not to be the average. :rolleyes:
 

ProudPapa

There is always somebody who says they did it. But you seem not to be the average. :rolleyes:

I don't want to get into an argument, but I suspect that people who would fail to do a fish-in cycle properly would be very likely to become impatient with a fishless cycle, and go ahead and get fish when they don't see any progress after a week.
 

MacZ

I don't want to get into an argument, but I suspect that people who would fail to do a fish-in cycle properly would be very likely to become impatient with a fishless cycle, and go ahead and get fish when they don't see any progress after a week.
Exactly my train of thought and the main reason I'm against promoting fish-in. That's what you can boil it down to.
 

JTW

You make excellent points, of course, but while I may have missed some, I don't recall anyone here ever recommending to a new fish keeper to sacrifice fish while cycling. Instead they're told to add a few of the fish they want to keep, monitor their water parameters, and change water as needed so those fish aren't harmed.

And while we're on the subject, I've been wondering about something. I see people here talking about cycling their tank before getting a betta. I'm having trouble believing it's necessary to cycle a tank for one small fish, and even if it is, wouldn't that betta be better off in a properly done fish-in cycle than in the little cup in the store waiting on a fishless cycle to complete?

I can't say for sure that I've seen it here. Not recently at least. But its something I have seen before and I still see around occasionally. This thread specifically started with the topic of using feeders to cycle an aquarium' although it does make the assumption that the fish survive... which isn't a given.

But even if the fish survive, try explaining that method to a group of strangers, without sounding like you did something crappy to that fish. It's hard to do, even if it might be true.

Now I want it to be clear that I know that fish-in cycles can be done right. I don't want to disparage anyone who uses the method and does it the right way. I know they can be done ethically because I have a bit of technical knowledge about the topic. But the public does not have that knowledge. And the instant you try explaining that knowledge, you lose 90% of them.

Its not about the technical truth. Its about how it looks from the outside, and how it makes people feel. Fish-in cycles don't look great, and they make people feel uneasy. That's just the truth.

But with fishless cycles we avoid even the hint of impropriety. It is clear, even to the layman outsider, that some sort of special care is being taken for the benefit of the animals. And that makes them feel warm and fuzzy.

That's why I think its worth it to push fishless cycles as the hobby standard. Its a method that clearly and obviously puts the welfare of the animal first. There is nothing there that a critic can attack.

The betta cups are a whole separate issue. We won't get far trying to justify questionable practices at home by pointing to far worse practices at stores.

I may be playing devil's advocate here....but alot of these same points could be made about live baby brine shrimp.

So where is the line? Are we drawing it at feeder fish?

I'm not sure where the line is. But it certainly comes before baby brine.

In a technical sense, you may have a point. But baby brine shrimp are essentially bugs in the eyes of the public. People don't care about them in the same way they do about fish.

Just like people don't feel the same way about fish as they do dogs. Its just the way it is. These are emotional judgements we're making here, not rational ones.

But regardless, these judgements are important to manage if this hobby is going to continue to thrive.
 

86 ssinit

Most draw them at "vertebrate or not".
This line changes regularly. Back when I started there were no lines. Feeders were feeders.
I think there is another perspective to this debate that we haven't really touched on in this discussion. And that's the value of fishless cycling when it comes to the public image of the hobby.

People nowadays place a higher emphasis on animal welfare than ever before. If people catch so much as a whiff of animal cruelty they either stay as far away as possible, or they get very involved in stamping it out.

When a new person enters the hobby, and they get advised to sacrifice a feeder fish to the cycle gods, that can be a pretty big turn off. And it could sour that person's view of the hobby for the rest of their life.

If the public were to take a good look at our hobby, what do we want them to see? Do we really want them to see us sacrificing feeders to prepare our tanks for the fish we actually care about? Or do we want them to see us taking the time to safely prepare our aquariums for fish before adding any at all?

Remember, in this hobby we keep a lot of imported, exotic, wild caught, invasive, and even endangered animals. All of that has the potential to become very controversial, and we certainly don't want to add animal welfare concerns into the mix. What other pet trade has the freedom that ours does to deal in those types of animals? If we aren't mindful about how we conduct ourselves in this hobby, we risk drawing some very unwanted attention. And if we do end up drawing that kind of attention, its possible that we'd deserve it.
Much of what you say here is already going on in Europe. You will never see dead fish in a pet store in Europe. The store could lose its license. Here we do get away with a lot. I don’t know if I’d want to see that strick of a regulation. But it would be nice if people had to show some type of proof that they know how to keep fish and maybe an online class for beginners. Much is overlooked! As to feeders. The reason feeders are used now is because many of the popular fish we keep now are so interbreed there health is in question. Feeder just seem stronger. When I did fish in cycling I used the first fish I wanted to keep. Mostly neons and angels. Rarely lost a fish. Today feeder minnows are usually wild caught as they were than. There health decreases as they sit in the stores tank and bounce back when added to a new tank and fed.
Again it is a perspective. That fish in cycling kills more fish. Yes and it’s too funny the thread that was put up showed up when it did. I still stand by fishless cycling kills more :rolleyes:. Why because it actually takes time and patience! Things most newbies don’t have! Yes they should! But most want to see fish in a tank not water. If you read the profile for that thread and look at what was in the tank. It’s scary.
 

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