why cycle

I never cycle my ten gallon tank and most of my fish do fine. I mean I have 5 platies or mollies 2 peppered corydoras and 1 otto. I have to admit 4 of the ottos I put in there died and one rubberlip died 2 hours after I bought it. the rubberlip I think died because the pet store wasn't very good and 2 of the ottos I Bought at that same store died very shortly after I put them in there. 2 of the ottos I Bought at petco died. and 1 mollie died for some reason . but all in all most of the fish I have put in there have lived and are very healthy and active.
I would be willing to bet you would have had very few, if any, deaths at all if you were adding to a cycled tank. I have 3 tanks and have put a total of 35 fish in them over time without a single death at the time of introduction. I attribute that to the fact that A) the tanks are cycled, and B) I take plenty of time to slowly acclimate them to the tank. You can add fish to an uncycled tank, and odds are "some" of them will make it. People have done it for years. But given how straight forward (though not fast I grant you) it is to cycle a tank, why through away money on dead fish and why have them suffer?

That's my 2 cents!
I second what sgould said.
The otos, especially, need a stable environment. They can't handle a lot of waste.
To be fair, I did have an uncycled tank when I first started (Ok, actually, I had a cycled tank, but I broke it down and gave it a good cleaning, because I didn't know anything about keeping fish) and I only lost one fish relatively quickly.
But I've also had two other tanks that I've cycled by putting used filter media in them, and the water parameters were much more stable in them.
HI guys

Some thoughts I've had reading this thread:

I've cycled with fish, but monitored my parameters like a hawk and at peak time, did partial water changes up to 2x per day! Also, I use Prime as a water conditionner, so that locks up ammonia/nitrite/nitrate.

I also started not knowing about the cycle and lost 2 angels pretty quickly, then followed by one balloon molly. Not a great experience. I also experienced disease after disease while my fish were in an overcrowded tank, but I realise that's not directly related to your point.

Otos are notoriously sensitive to water quality, but some will make it, some won't.
welll your over stocked to begin with and the bottom feeders and the ottos don't help...cylcing can just help the fish out by gving them what they need.. whould you want to get locked in a small room for the rest of you life with no fresh air..you don't have to cycle but it helps
If you already have a tank setup (ie, this is not your first tank) simply move a filter or rocks or plants from the established tank to the new one, leave it over night and boom ya got it. Taking the long method for the first one is the best bet for your fish, I agree.

Its kinda like a child's immune system. At age 1 - 5 years a child gets sick like all the time, that builds their immune system so that they don't die of the common cold as an adult. Cycling your tank setups the good bacteria that break down the waste, uria, ammonia, etc which keeps your fish' immune systems higher which keeps them from being as likely to get diseases. Diseases that pray on low immune system/unhealthy conditioned water include, but are not limited to: dropsy, infection (including swim bladder infections), ich, etc.

Cycling the tank is the proper thing to do. Enjoy your fish and best of luck

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