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Old 02-27-2013, 10:30 PM   #16
shadowaquatics
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  • I have found Petco's black aquarium sand! It seems cheap, how many pounds will I need for a 10 gallon planted?
  • I have been checking Craigslist in my area as well as classifieds for a few weeks, and everything is extremely overpriced.
I heard of this technique used before and I was wondering if you all could enlighten me as to whether or not this could work. You take an empty ten gallon tank and place in some water and let it mature(cycle), then you add in guppy grass, frogbit, and duckweed. You then add the shrimp and place it in front of a window. Supposedly, the plants will act as a filter and clean the tank, while also producing biofilm, meaning that you will not have to feed the shrimp. You would still need a heater though. Could this work or is this crazy? Thanks for all advice so far, I am learning a lot!
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:30 PM   #17
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Do not spend $70 for a 10 gallon kit. Goodness, Walmart has them you can have shipped right to your home for $39 with lid, light and filter. Everything you need except substrate, shrimp and plants.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:33 PM   #18
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I would like duckweed, even it I cannot remove it later. As for my Petco compared to yours, I can hardly believe the price difference! I have decided against java moss because of how slow it will grow. What does BB stand for? Also, how deep should the sand be? Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:34 PM   #19
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What do you all think of the very cheap technique I have posted above on this page?
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:39 PM   #20
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Plants are great at sucking up nitrAtes, which are the end product of the nitrogen cycle. They're not nearly as good at sucking up ammonia and nitrItes, which are very harmful to your shrimp. If you want to breed shrimp, you need a filter. A cheap sponge filter will work, I think Aquabid has some for like $5 shipped to your house. I have a few air pumps collecting dust if you need one, pm me.

Algae and microorganisms that grow on moss and plants are the main food source for shrimp, but should be supplemented 2-3 times per week with a combination of blanched veggies and higher protein shrimp foods.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:03 PM   #21
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I will definitely make/purchase a sponge filter! That seems like what is stressed the most and will be done. As for the tank, I think I will just purchase a plain, empty ten gallon from Petco for $14.00. The substrate will probably be Eco-Complete, because I have never used sand before, it will be better for the plants, and I heard that it will help them grow quicker than just sand. The lighting is still a question, although I am debating purchasing a clip-on fixture from Lowe's ($8.00) and a 6500K CFL bulb for $5.00, also at Lowe's. The filtration will be a sponge filter unless you recommend more. The heater will be a 50W submersible from Petco. The tank will not have a hood, which I would prefer because I think that they look better without, and the plants will be as described above. As for the plants/shrimp/snails, I have tried looking through TPT, but have not found many people with them, and the people with them charge more than Aquabid.

Any advise on cycling a tank? I know I need to test the water and so on, but what can I use, that is relatively cheap (the theme of this post), so that I can cycle the tank quicker? I have heard of using fish, is this true? Can I put the plants in the tank while it is cycling? What about the snails? Thank-you all for your help!
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:24 PM   #22
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I would do a fishless cycle, add the plants, and possibly get seed substrate (cycled substrate) or used filter media from someone to have an initial source of bacteria. Then add straight ammonia till it's reading about 4.0 on the API test, and keep the ammonia at that level until nitrates start showing up. I've cycled a tank in about 2 weeks that way, but I was using a lot of gravel from an established tank, along with cycled filter media and fast growing plants (lots of dwarf water lettuce).
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:31 PM   #23
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How do you cycle a tank with fish?
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:40 PM   #24
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I am new to cycling tanks, because I have bred RCS in the past without doing this. I simply added the De-chlorinator, and then added the shrimp. They readily bred, but that was about a year ago, and I have since given away most of my stuff for aquariums, but would like to return to this amazing hobby. I would love to cycle a tank this time because I have heard that it helps. How can I cycle a tank using fish?
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:44 PM   #25
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I go old school. I put a small piece of frozen fillet fish on the substrate (~1" per 10g), run the filters, have the moss in place, and wait about two weeks while the bacteria breaks down the fish piece.

I also squeeze a running sponge filter's mulm into the new tank to help it along.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:49 PM   #26
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Default Cheapest rcs breeding set-up

Nobody here will recommend you "use" fish to cycle a tank.

They're not a means to an end, they're pets.

On that note, you should get your tank, aquascape what you want it to look like, and then start dosing ammonia.

And as per the 'cant find livestock' I am not sure if you have searched high and low, as I can count at least three sellers who sell quantities of RCS and have snails without even looking.

Either post a singular WTB thread when your tank is ready, as people will probably not sell you livestock knowing your tank is uncycled.

I hope what I have said isn't taken as terse, but I'm just trying to balance my negative views on fish-in cycling and giving you straight facts.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:06 AM   #27
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The fish fillet sounds interesting, but I think I will just doe ammonia. As for using the fish for cycling, they would have been hearty minnows which I already breed. I understand that they are pets and should be treated as such. As for test kits, does anyone have one they recommend the most? The cheaper the better.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:09 AM   #28
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Default Cheapest rcs breeding set-up

Best way to cycle is to use ammonia bought at hardware store. It's like 4 bucks for a huge bottle. Add it drop by drop until your API ammonia test kit reads 4-5 ppm. Check it a few days later, keep adding more to keep the level at 4-5. When you notice the ammonia level is dropping start checking nitrites. You'll notice a nitrite spike. When nitrite begins to go down, check for the presence of nitrate. I consider a tank cycled when it converts 1 ppm of ammonia into nitrate in one day. Before you add anything at that point make sure to do a 90 percent water change to get rid of all the nitrates that will have built up.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:11 AM   #29
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What you can do is get someone's tank water that they used to clean their cannister/HOB/sponge filter and dump that into your tank. That is the absolute cheapest way to cycle your tank. BB will form and you will be good. If possible, you could buy someone's old sponge filter that was running not too long ago. Provided that it's still wet, your tank would become instantly cycled.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:11 AM   #30
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Can I have MTS snails in the tank while this is happening?
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