FASTEST way to cycle a tank?
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:22 PM   #1
sunkyokim
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FASTEST way to cycle a tank?


hey guys,
Just wanted to ask for your advice. I have a 37gallon tall (30x12x20) and i really need to get the thing up and running as fast as possible. Could you guys give me some pointers on how to go about making this process quick and painless? a few things that i was thinking about were to use a lot of ecocomplete substrate, obtaining some used biological filter media and putting it into my eheim 2227 wet dry filter, dosing some "cycle", and using purified water to fill the tank. if i do all that, do you think my water will be ready for fish by the end of next week? your feedback is very much appreciated! thanks!


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Old 03-07-2007, 09:40 PM   #2
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The best way to cycle a tank is to pack it full of fast-growing plants You don't need to cycle a heavily-planted tank.

If that's not an option however, I think the used biological filter media would work wonders.

Eco is a very good substrate, but I'm not sure it offers any /significant/ advantage with cycling times, but maybe some. And don't use any special fancy water to fill the tank - use tapwater unless it is WAAAY hard or soft. Best not to fight with your water and best not to have to haul jugs to and from the store.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:45 PM   #3
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stuff it full of watersprite - you don't even need substrate in there, just use some suction cup clips - and you'll be set!
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:46 PM   #4
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You could also use Bio-spira. I've never personally used it, but I heard it works to quickly cycle a tank!
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:48 PM   #5
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Bio-Spira works, believe me. Here's what you do:

Step 1. Buy some Bio-Spira
Step 2. Buy some fish
Step 3. Pour Bio-Spira into tank
Step 4. Put fish into tank
Step 5. Done

Bio-Spira eliminates the need to cycle the tank. I bought some Bio-Spira along with 20 rummynose tetras and put both in right after each other into my 20G tank (w/decholorinated H2O) and never lost one fish. It is perfect; works instantly and completely. Next day, zero ammonia/ammonium, nitrites and low nitrates which remained the same from that day forward...
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:52 PM   #6
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Bio Spira does work great but I would not suggest adding fish to the tank right afterwards. AT LEAST! give it 24 hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by styxx1 View Post
Bio-Spira works, believe me. Here's what you do:

Step 1. Buy some Bio-Spira
Step 2. Buy some fish
Step 3. Pour Bio-Spira into tank
Step 4. Put fish into tank
Step 5. Done

Bio-Spira eliminates the need to cycle the tank. I bought some Bio-Spira along with 20 rummynose tetras and put both in right after each other into my 20G tank (w/decholorinated H2O) and never lost one fish. It is perfect; works instantly and completely. Next day, zero ammonia/ammonium, nitrites and low nitrates which remained the same from that day forward...
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyN View Post
You could also use Bio-spira. I've never personally used it, but I heard it works to quickly cycle a tank!
I have used it....WORKS GREAT!!!!!!! It gives you a 24 hour cycle. The only thing you have to watch is that when you add the stuff that gets the chlorine out of your tap water, you have to wait a hour before adding BIO-SPIRA.

I added 14 neons and 8 white clouds, and did not lose and because of the cycle.
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:13 AM   #8
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The directions for Bio-Spira give 24 hours as the maximum time to wait before adding fish.
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:16 AM   #9
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THANKS GUYS for the valuable information! you guys are lifesavers! Now, question is, where can i get bio-spira for a reasonable price? your suggestions and advice are seriously appreciated! thanks again!



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Old 03-08-2007, 03:48 AM   #10
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Since it MUST be kept refrigerated your LFS is the best bet.
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:09 AM   #11
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I had good luck with SeaChem's Stability for this. Cheaper than BioSpira and it needn't be refridgerated. Tastes better too! just kidding...
http://www.seachem.com/products/prod...Stability.html
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:28 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JenThePlantGeek View Post
The best way to cycle a tank is to pack it full of fast-growing plants
I keep reading this over and over and over, and I just don't get it.

"Cycling" a tank refers to establishing bacterial colonies in the tank with species of bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite, then other species which convert that nitrite to nitrate.

If you were to "pack" a tank with fast growing plants, with the concept being that the plants will absorb ammonia from fish waste very quickly, then you would be slowing down the process of establishing bacterial colonies because their food source (ammonia) would be more limited.

In reality, I don't think an extremely large plant mass in the tank would be able to remove all the ammonia produced from a fully stocked tank. If anything, they provide a bigger surface area for bacteria to colonize. (Bacteria don't "swim," they must be attached to a surface.)

I also don't think it's practical... if I have an aim to create a certain look for a tank, and I have a number of plant species I want to use for that, you're saying that in order to "quickly cycle" the tank I must purchase a lot of "fast growing" plant species I may not necessarily want, then keep them in the tank for one or two months, and add only a few fish at a time. Then, after that, I'm guessing I'm supposed to remove them then aquascape the tank the way I really want.

In the above case, I don't believe those plants helped speed the cycle. I think the bacteria took the same amount of time to become established as it would have with no plants at all. I think it could be replicated simply by using a very good filter with a filter substrate that has a lot of surface area, such as Eheim Ehfisubstrat Pro. By using the "fast growing plants" approach, I end up with a ton of plants I don't want, plus the extra work of planting them then removing them, keeping them trimmed them during that time, etc.

It would be cheaper, quicker, and much more practical to simply use a good filter, aquascape the tank the way you intend to from the beginning, and use Bio Spira along with a full fish load to establish the bacterial colonies immediately. These bacteria work best with lots of dissolved oxygen, so running aeration at night is also very good at helping with rapid bacterial colonization.

I also have no clue why doing a "fishless cycle" is considered wrong for a planted tank. Again, in order to establish the proper bacterial colonies for reducing ammonia and urea, you have to have a food source. Even if you use the "fast growing plant" approach, what's the difference if the ammonia is coming from a few fish in the tank, or a dosed amount?
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retoid View Post
Bio Spira does work great but I would not suggest adding fish to the tank right afterwards. AT LEAST! give it 24 hours.
That is the 100% incorrect way to use Bio Spira. It must have a food source immediately, and that can only come from fish. It is intended and designed to be added with a full fish load at the same time.

I believe that it is this misconception and "sacrilegious" idea of fully stocking a tank from day one that has prevented Bio Spira from being more widely available, or at least stocked by PetSmart, Petco, etc. If you add Bio Spira to the tank, then wait a day, then add only a few fish, most of the bacteria will die off. If you then add more fish in a short time frame, there won't be enough bacteria to get rid of the ammonia and urea that is produced, and you're left with the impression that the Bio Spira didn't work, and is no different than the multitude of other "snake oil" type bacterial products in the aquarium marketplace.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:08 PM   #14
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Bio-Spira appears to be the way to go.

Unfortunately, I've got no good LFS anymore. I do have access to Petco and PetSmut, but neither seem to carry it?

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Old 03-08-2007, 04:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus View Post
"Cycling" a tank refers to establishing bacterial colonies in the tank with species of bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite, then other species which convert that nitrite to nitrate.
I would argue that "cycling" refers to establishing bacterial colonies in tanks where the bacterial colonies are the primary of converting ammonia to nitrate. In my heavy planted tanks the ammonia never builds to a point that triggers the rest of the "cycle". Sure the colonies are there in the filter and on the plants but they are not the only thing keeping my fish alive.

Packing in the healthy plants is also a good way to limit algae in my experience.
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