How to cycle a tank (NOOBiest question ever) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 05:33 AM Thread Starter
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How to cycle a tank (NOOBiest question ever)

I know this is really a newbie question, but no one has posted a specific thread on how to cycle a tank. Alright i've just purchased a 20 gallon tank (12" w, 12" h, 30 l), some flourite black substrate and aquaclear 20gal filter. Now I need to cycle in my tank. How would you guys suggest I do this? I know theres alot of different ways to do this, but I don't know which one would be better. (fish or non-fish) Also I'll be gone for 4 weeks, leaving in next week so I wanted to get the cycle started so when I come back I'll be ready. Thanks.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 07:13 AM
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If you do a fishless cycle and then leave for 4 weeks, chances are it will cycle and then the bacteria will simple die off as there wont be anything in the tank to feed the colony.

Personally, I would wait till you get back, and start the project.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 08:06 AM
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I agree with fshfanatic. Just do it when you come back. It's not going to be like some automatic process where you can set it and then come back in 4 weeks and it will be finished.

Fishless cycle is easier and also you don't harm any fish by doing so. The easiest way to cycle I've found is by following this link. It involves adding ammonia every day and saves you the time of measuring your levels everyday like all the other methods suggest. You only really have to measure your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate at the end of this process. It took me about 1-2 weeks to cycle by using this method. The hardest part was finding pure ammonia as I had to drive out to an Ace Hardware out in the middle of nowhere.

Also, the only other thing you should add to your tank is whatever bio media your filter comes with. If it doesn't come with any, go buy some. Do not add plants or carbon yet as they will eat up all the ammonia and you'll never cycle.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-31-2008, 11:46 AM
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Here is some material on cycling:

I just finished cycling a 1 gal tank in two weeks, and I did so by dropping in fish food and using eco-complete, which comes with bacteria according to the bag.

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