Is It Better To Do A Long Cycle?

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Shea Loner

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Is it better to do a long fishless cycle the old school way/ammonia or to do a "quick" cycle with bottled BB?

My thoughts are that if you have the time then a long cycle is best. That way the bb that develop are tailored to your water supply and setup. Has anyone seen any studies on this matter?
 

Aquaholic3

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I havent seen any studies but i have done both. My experience is the end result is the same, it just took me less time, still not as quick as using established media and substrate but far quicker than the old way.
 

AWheeler

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IMO, using ammonia and bottled bacteria just takes a little bit less time (about 2 weeks for me). I used established media now for anything new and it works much quicker...I'm impatient though and I've never seen any difference in terms of the end result
 

Shea Loner

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I Know that using bottled would go faster and work fine in most situations. The point is each brand of bottled BB has a different blend of strains in it. Im of the opinion that if you have 'difficult' water the bottled stuff isin't designed for those environments and won't be as effective as the kind that would devolp on its own.
 

AllieSten

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I don't think it matters honestly. Maybe in the first few months after your cycle is established, it may be a bit more delicate, but after that it should be just fine. I believe that is the case for both fish in or fishless cycles alike. I think that having your fish in, allows the bacteria to adapt to the fish initially, instead of having to adapt once the ammonia is removed and fish are added. (If that makes sense)

Bottled bacteria can and do adapt to "difficult" water. Bacteria grow under the right conditions. If your water doesn't grow bacteria, it won't grow it with the bottled or without. Bottled bacteria is designed to boost the start of bacterial growth. You do grow bacteria specific to your tank, even in the beginning.
 

Letsfish

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I have been at it for 12 days and it think I am very close to my objective of dosing to 4ppm and back to 0 in 24 hours but it does take patience.
 

Shea Loner

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I Was kind of hoping someone had seen or come across a study comparing the different bacterial strains that develop. Maybe I sjould try digging on google again.
 

AngelTheGypsy

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I Know that using bottled would go faster and work fine in most situations. The point is each brand of bottled BB has a different blend of strains in it. Im of the opinion that if you have 'difficult' water the bottled stuff isin't designed for those environments and won't be as effective as the kind that would devolp on its own.
This is why one person will have luck with one brand, and it does nothing for someone else.
 

AngelTheGypsy

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I fishless cycled with ammonia to 3 ppm in 17 days using 3 different types of bacteria supplement, added 10 fish, 4 mystery snails and 2 nerite snails and haven't seen a bump at all.

As long as ammonia and nitrite are being converted, I don't think one way is better than the other.
 

Aquaholic3

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Personally, I think the bottled bacteria is a better method, just choose a good brand.

I cycled 2 10g tanks at the same time with the same substrate and filtration. I tested the tanks daily. The API quickstart was significantly quicker and easier to cycle, than the old fish in method.

I am sure not all products are equal but this was my experience with API quickstart.

Even if you had difficult water, (low pH or coldwater i guess) i still think it would be worth using the bottled bacteria.

I should also add, I have used bottled bacteria on other tanks and they have all been as stable as any other tank.
 

OnTheFly

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19-21 days using no additive on four tanks this month. With or without fish, didn't make much difference. Water stats are the same in the end.
 

Aquaholic3

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19-21 days using no additive on four tanks this month. With or without fish, didn't make much difference. Water stats are the same in the end.
As long as you have an ammonia source the bacteria should grow but you might have been quicker using bottled bacteria.
 

Aquaholic3

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As long as the tank is cycled, i don't think it doesnt matter how you got it to that point. It doesnt have to be that complicated or difficult.

The absolute best method is established media and substrate from another tank. I find 3-4 days should give you a fully cycled tank.
 

OnTheFly

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As long as the tank is cycled, i don't think it doesnt matter how you got it to that point. It doesnt have to be that complicated or difficult.

The absolute best method is established media and substrate from another tank. I find 3-4 days should give you a fully cycled tank.
I agree that would be best, though I didn't know it would be quite that fast to full cycle. And I laughed when you stated it doesn't have to be that complicated. I've only been back in the hobby for a few months and wow have things changed. Plant growing in particular, but I don't want to derail this thread on that tangent.
 

Aquaholic3

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I agree that would be best, though I didn't know it would be quite that fast to full cycle. And I laughed when you stated it doesn't have to be that complicated. I've only been back in the hobby for a few months and wow have things changed. Plant growing in particular, but I don't want to derail this thread on that tangent.
Yeah i have heard claims that using established media or filters will cycle the tank instantly but i have never had that happen for me. In most cases when i have setup a tank using established media and substrate (quite alot), i have cycled in 3-4 days.

I felt the same way when i got back into the hobby, glad to have you back.
 
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