You'll need an ammonia source to cycle your filter. Do you plan on adding fish to the bucket? I used pure ammonia for my cycle. Do you have an existing tank that you could add the filter to?
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Thanks for that info! I'll be doing a fishless cycle so I went out and got some pure ammonia today to get started as soon as I can
Originally Posted by KeeperOfASilentWorld
Completely fresh water. Dechlorinate it before pouring it not after.
Awesome, good to know! I'll keep that in mind
Understanding the reason folks came up with doing a fishless cycle can help understand why it was "invented". The old standard way was to start slowly and add fish a few at a time so that the ammonia never got very high as the bacteria was allowed to adjust to the added food/waste/ammonia. But then as the hobby progressed, we began to see more and more folks ordering fish which then made it much more practical to order all the fish at one time to cut the shipping costs.
So folks who want to add something like 20-30 fish all at one time found it impractical to try to do the water changes needed to prevent damaged fish.
The way to build up that big super sized bacteria colony is to start feeding it ammonia that contains no other items (surfacants?) and let that ammonia feed the growing bacteria. I've forgotten the exact amounts/numbers, etc. but we add "X" PPM of ammonia to hold a certain level, wait for it to be converted to nitrite and then as the second type of bacteria uses the nitrite for food, we begin to see high nitrate and do a large water change to get that down so that we can add lots of fish, all at once but have enough bacteria on hand to handle the super large jump in waste!!
It's all about how we want to deal with the ammonia. We COULD get by with just pouring in fresh water all the time to dilute the ammonia but most of us don't like that idea!
Wow, thanks for explaining the reasoning behind the fishless cycle! I had no idea. Now that I know, I wonder if there's any harm in having a much bigger sized bacteria colony than needed. I was only planning on having about 2 fish in my 10 gal, so I'm not sure how it'll all work out. I guess I'll just have to see! Thanks so much for all the info, it definitely cleared some things up for me
Is not the water that gets "cycled" but rather the filter. The filter's sponges and media are what house the beneficial bacteria.
Right! That definitely makes sense. Thanks for the clarification!