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Tips - Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle

Page 2 of comments on the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle.

From: Richard - Doing things the hard way
I just bought a 10 gallon tank and interested in making this a hobby but as I've read everyones comments I've made lots of mistakes. First off, I bought 2 plecos, 2 gold fish and a crayfish and I put them into the tank as soon as I set it up. The water has been pretty cloudy for 2 days and I'm thinking about getting the biospira. Is there anyone who can give me advice on how to have a successful tank. I have the filter, air pump, tap water conditioner and the fish food that I've been feeding. How long does it take for the water to clear? And how do I know if its cycling properly.
Hi Richard - Ok, I think you need to slow down just a bit and read up on the cycle, setting up a tank, research the fish you'd like to keep (look into the smaller tetras or barbs) in a 10 gallon tank and then read some more. The plecos have to go back to the store or you need a much larger tank asap. The goldfish won't do as well with tropical fish and they are heavy waste producers and need at least 20 gallons a piece. They crayfish is another story altogether. The cloudy water could be the bacteria bloom which could be indicative of the beginning stages of the cycle. If you're only interested in keeping a smaller tank like the 10 gallon, look into keeping much smaller species and get that bio-spira too.

From: Chickadee - Tried Two Different Methods
I have used two of the above methods to cycle tanks. I used the Ammonia method and liked the results I got because the tank stayed nice and clean without the mess that fish or fish food would have made but since I was introduced to Bio-spira, my method was set. My one word of advice is that you do not add the Bio-spira and wait for a long time to add the fish. I shake the pouch, pour the Bio-spira in the tank and add the fish. Just that quick. The Bio-spira needs the ammonia that the fish produce to start having something to nourish itself. Do not check the parameters for 7 days or you will make yourself crazy. You will have an ammonia spike, a nitrite spike and some nitrates as it does do a cycle in that 7 days but it does not hurt your fish. After 7 full days do a water change, not before and you will be so pleased with the lovely cycle you have achieved. The fish will be healthy and the tank will be fine.

From: Dan - Using Bio-Spira to Cycle
I have used both freshwater and saltwater bio-spira. I feel that the product helps, but will not "instantly" cycle your tank. The amount of fish I lost when I used in in freshwater (2 out of about 10) was not worth just waiting for it to cycle in my opinion. I used it a few times for salt, and I still waited to put fish in the first time, but I just tried it again today when I had a serious problem with a newer tank and I was worried about my damsels... The nitrites went from 1.5 ppm to 1 ppm and I went from having no nitrates to 1 ppm in just a few hours. It appears to have significantly sped up the cycle. We will see what happens, but I feel it did help.

From: Will - Using Bio-Spira
I tried fishless cycling a 75 gallon tank by adding pure ammonia. After a few weeks without observing any changes in the levels, I lost my patience and added bio-spira. Within 48 hours, I went from 4 ppm ammonia to 0. I never detected any nitrites. I was able to add a full load of fish without any problems at that point, although I did keep a very close eye on the water parameters for the first few weeks.

From: Tyler - Freshwater Bio-Spira Discontinued?
Just to acknowledge people using bio-spira, I believe that freshwater has been retired but Saltwater is still on the market.

From: Kyle - another way to cycle a tank
I haven't ever had to cycle a new tank for more than two weeks... here's what I do:
A week before I am going to get a new aquarium, I buy a filter that cycles half the new tank's capacity and get that one started on my existing aquarium (it helps clean up the current aquarium and gets bacteria colonies started). Then, when I get the new aquarium, I do a water change on my existing one with a filter on the other end to catch the detritus and just get the cycled water. I then put that water in the new tank and then fill it up the rest of the way, start the new filter and move the one that has been on the existing aquarium as well. Then, I use the API product for boosting the cycle, and put hardy fish like tiger barbs in the new tank and do not change the water for a month. It's never failed on me.
Thanks Kyle. Just be sure to test for ammonia and nitrites before subjecting any fish to the water, even hardy fish like the tiger barb.

From: Ron
I had a 16 gallon aquarium but recently upgraded to a 29 gallon. I used the gravel from my old tank and put it in the new one but because of the larger tank size I needed a new filter. Even with that the whole cycle took 3 days and my ammonia spiked after just a day and now my nitrites and nitrates are all good now too. This is a method hard for a lot of people especially those new to the hobby, but it worked really well and really fast.
Yep, good point. This is another way many people with MTS get their new tanks up and running.

From: Mike S. - Odor from tank
Wow, I never knew about this cycle process. We had three gold fish living in our pond. I wanted to transfer them to a fish tank inside because of the algae build up on the fountain portion of the pond. Our gold fish grew to be about 10 inches long and felt I needed a bigger tank. I of course set everything up, filled it and didn't hesitate to put the fish in. In addition, my kids were so excited they wanted more fish, so I put 4 addional fish in at the same time. Everyone seems to be doing ok except for the tank. I will need to finish the cycle process with the fish in there, but I cannot seem to control the odor comming from the tank. Is this a result from the cycle process taking place?
The odor is most likely the result of too many fish in the tank with no bio-filtration capabilities. You can fix the odor by using activated carbon in the filter. Stay on top of the partial water changes throughout the cycle so that your fish survive. Monitor the ammonia and nitrites every couple of days. You don't mention the aquarium size but hopefully it's big enough to support the fish you have in it. You could use some of the filter media from the pond filter on the inside filter to "seed" it with the bacteria necessary to jump start the cycling process.

From: Tom - using ammonia or raw shrimp
Best way to do a Cycle is either 100 percent Pure Ammonia (Shake the bottle and if you see suds then don't use it, usually the cheapest ammonia is the one to buy) or an uncooked raw shrimp. Take out your charcoal as this will prolong a cycle. I've seen tanks fully cycled this way in 10 days.

From: Rebecca
Reading these guidelines will help me greatly in starting up my own aquarium. I never knew all of the necessary precautions that are involved in setting up a tank. I now know how to make sure that my fish are healthy and happy!

From: Alec - good advice
When starting an aquarium, always make sure that the tank size is large enough for all of the fish, Test the water regularly and make sure you buy only healthy fish. It is critical that you buy fish that have not been exposed to any diseases. If the fish you plan to purchase look or behave strangely, or there are dead fish in the tank, make sure to refrain from purchasing those fish.

From: Gaby - Increase Temperature to speed up cycle
Increasing the temperature of your aquarium to 80-82 degrees Fahrenheit really does help speed up the Nitrogen Cycling process!

From: Grace H.
Make sure the nitrogen cycle is complete before adding fish. Using tetra safe start might be the best bet because you have no risk of contaminating the water, and the fish are not at all at risk. Make sure you monitor the tank REGULARLY and record your results to keep track and make sure everything is in order.

Author : Mike FishLore


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