Record Cycle time! 55 Gallon Tank

  1. acolli51 Member Member

    Just finished a fishless cycle in 4 days!!!! I figured I would share my experience so that others may learn. I am still relatively new to the fish-keeping scene and had only cycled 2 tanks before this but here is how I did it. DAY 1: Set up tank, filled with conditioned water, added plants and decor, put in about 4 pinches of flake food that I had crushed into dust almost to help it break down in the water. DAY 2: Added 60mL of Stress Zyme and about 8-10 handfuls of gravel from one of my other tanks and scattered it along the bottom of my new tank making sure that a large amount was right under the filter intake. I also went ahead and put in the filter cartridge from another filter on another tank that was about a month old behind the cartridges in the new tank's filter so that the water must pass through it before getting to the other cartridges. Added same amount of food again. DAY 3: Checked all chem levels and started to see ammo and nitrites fall, did not do anything but add a little more crushed flake. DAY 4: Checked levels again and ammo and nitrites at 0, nitrates at 5-8 ppm and on the rise. Added 25 more mL of Stress Zyme and planning on adding a fish or 2 tomorrow. This obviously only works if you have access to well used substrate and filter cartridges but it practically cycled my tank over a weekend! I will be adding fish very slowly to make sure I don't get any spikes and monitoring the water closely for the next month or 2 but I think I'm in the clear.
  2. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    congrats on your fishless cycle.

    just a word of caution: stresszyme doesn't contain nitrifying aquatic bacteria. your cycle can crash once you stop using the product. You may want to stop adding it and wait and see what happens before you add fish. Maybe you could use a different source of ammonia for about a week to see what happens when the stresszyme runs out? That way, if no crash, you're good to go. But if there is a crash of your cycle, then at least there aren't fish in your tank.

  3. Tony G. Fishlore VIP Member

    Unfortunately Stress zyme wont cycle your tank :-\ Its got the wrong kind of bacteria. it may look as if it worked, but its just using up the ammonia and not letting the normal bacteria develop.

    I cycled my 35g in 3 days :anim_35:
    beat ya! :giggle:
  4. acolli51 Member Member

    Thanks MB and Tony... no more stress zyme. I think it is the substrate and the filter cartridge that are doing most of the work anyway. I'll hold off for 5-7 days before adding fish and try a different ammonia source just to make sure things stay stable. Thanks again

  5. Tony G. Fishlore VIP Member

    sounds good!
  6. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    I agree, stop the stress zyme.
    Usually when you seed a tank with substrate and filter media from an established tank, it's usually an instant cycle (providing you're cycling a smaller tank from a larger one)

    Good job but don't add to much ammonia, you want the bacteria bed to grow but not overwhelm it. :happy0034:
  7. flyin-lowe Well Known Member Member

    Is a couple of days enough time for fish food to break down into ammonia? If not this could be the reason for seeing no ammonia and nitrites. If the fish food has not broken down into ammonia yet then there won't be anything to feed the bacteria that is in the filter and gravel you added. Someone else on here can explain how quickly fish food will turn to ammonia.
    It is not at all unheard of for a tank to get cycled instantly if media and substrate from an established tank are used, but something needs to be in the tank to feed it.

  8. acolli51 Member Member

    Huh, that is a good point and makes me think... I did crush the food into powder and cranked the heat up to about 82. I figure it did breakdown because I tested zero ammonia after setup and like 0.6-0.8 on day 3. I'll be careful with this one though because I'm having some second thoughts about it and I'll wait maybe a week before some fish go in.
  9. Tony G. Fishlore VIP Member

    The flakes take at least 4 days to break down. the first time i cycled my 35g i did with used media and got it in 3 days. Then a disease broke through the tank so i had to do major cleanout and killed my cycle. I started it back up this time and used the flake method. it took me like 3 weeks but then again all cycles are different. Your temperature has alot to do as well, crank your heater as high as it can go as this will speed up the development of the bacteria. Only add flakes every 9 hours and dont add alot. I had to do a huge cleanup before i reintroduced my fish as it was a HUGE mess.

    Hope i helped.
  10. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    acolli, I think it is so awesome that you are going what is best for your fish. I think most people would have been bummed out by the response and said to themselves,
    'I'm going to add fish anyway" - lack of patience and self-control. I think a lot of us have been there. Kudos for being such a conscientious pet-owner.

  11. Tony G. Fishlore VIP Member

    Very true, most people would have not listened so the fact that you are listening to us shows how much you care for the fish you get. :D
  12. acolli51 Member Member

    It is difficult to wait but having another tank helps a lot. Not only did it teach me how to be patient the first time around, but it also gives me something to enjoy while I wait. My female krib is gorgeous (3") and leaves my playful corys alone for now but she will be the first one in the new 55g when it's ready fallowed by Smacks, my rubber-lip pleco (2.5") that's in my q-tank currently. Thanks again everybody!
  13. Tony G. Fishlore VIP Member

    What are you planning to stock the tank with?
  14. acolli51 Member Member

    A severum, a pair of kribs, a rubber-lip pleco and maybe a small school of something...