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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Fishless cycling is a fast, efficient and humane process of ...

Hey guys,

I started wondering about cycling my tank if I'm not going to have fish in it?

So I went to the "Fishless Cycling Guide" here on TPT and read:

"Fishless cycling is a fast, efficient and humane process of preparing your aquarium to be safe for fish. Basically, it is the process of growing 2 types of beneficial bacterial colonies in your aquarium."

which made me think, I don't need to worry about cycling?

Is that correct?

Thanks, Todd
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 04:40 PM
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If you never plan to have fish or inverts (shrimp or fancy snails.. pond snails are indestructible in unclycled tanks) you can get away without cycling. Plants will consume ammonia generated by rotting plant matter, etc... but you will still want to do water changes once in a while to remove any build up of ammonia if its more than plants can consume, reduce the chance of algae, and to replenish minerals etc to the water that plats need (exceptions for that being if you does ferts and/or are using RO water).

I have a no-tech vase in my window that has some pond and tiny ramshorn snails in it, no attempt to cycle but they're very durable snails. It has soil capped with gravel, some tiny swords I'm trying to turn back into monsters, a stem of hornwort, and some baby frogbit.
It could never consume enough ammonia generated by a fish (too small for one to swim in too) to be liveable.. and probably any more sensitive invert like shrimp but as just an underwater plant vase it works fine. I'm trying to do a weekly water change to remove snail poo and keep algae from getting any ideas since it gets a lot of sun by the window though.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 04:58 PM
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I always cycle without fish. If I were to get a fish to cycle the tank with, it'd be one I wouldn't mind dying. If it didn't die, I wouldn't want it. If I got a nice one and it died, I'd be stupid.

Just add filter medium or whatever, it'll cycle just fine.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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except for a "turtle tank" that has no plants, this is the first "aquarium" I have set up. at first I thought, "oh yea, having some minnows in there would be kind a cool" but I had no idea how much extra work that would be, and I lost sight of my goals: "a small plant growing tank to easily grow aquatic plants for my turtle to eat". so the minnows have been taken out of the plant tank and put into the turtle tank to fend for themselves. the turtle is pretty slow, and the fish are pretty fast, so I think they'll last a good long time...

Thanks again for your help,

Todd
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuppyGuppyGuppyGuppyGuppy View Post
I always cycle without fish. If I were to get a fish to cycle the tank with, it'd be one I wouldn't mind dying. If it didn't die, I wouldn't want it. If I got a nice one and it died, I'd be stupid.

Just add filter medium or whatever, it'll cycle just fine.
I had some danios - or - as they should be called - tanks - survive ammonia levels so high that it turned them black.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyW8822 View Post
I had some danios - or - as they should be called - tanks - survive ammonia levels so high that it turned them black.
I don't know if that's something I would advertise.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyW8822 View Post
I had some danios - or - as they should be called - tanks - survive ammonia levels so high that it turned them black.
My neice had a 10g packed full of neon tetra (started with 10 easily got over 100) after a year they were so over bred and the tank so dark/murky from horrid care that the fish had turned murky brown as well.. very disturbing.. will never own neon/cardinal or simular looking tetra myself after seeing that mess x.x

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 07:36 PM
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If I have another tank set up available I'll use one of various methods to seed the filtration system on the new tank and then buy some feeder goldfish to get the new one up and running properly. The only problem with this approach is I'm invariably left with perfectly healthy goldfish that I end up keeping because I haven't the heart to get rid of them. Goldfish are such silly fish, a mouth and an AH with a couple of fins in between. ;-)
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 10:29 PM
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Hi,

Remember what is going on here. A biological filter is needed to take something that is poisonous (ammonia) to fish and converts it quickly to something that is not (nitrate). However, in a planted fish tank, you start with plants only and then add shrimp and fish later. During this time, plants will take up ammonia(um) as a nutrient. In fact, it's easier for them to do that than take up nitrate. So, cycling isn't really needed if you start fish-less and have plants.

Due to the initial plant die-off plus bacteria they carry in, by the time you get through the initial setting in stage (~ a mont), a sufficient bacterial colony will exist in the filter. Moreover, the sizable water changes you are doing to avoid algae will also minimize ammonia/nitrite spikes in the process.

Although I understand the above, I always start with either old filter material or a Dr. Tim's One and Only. I can confirm that both work very well.

The next ScapeFu podcast will deal with cycling a planted tank and I even have Tom Barr chiming in with his thoughts. In case you want to listen to it.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 11:49 PM
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Do not cycle with fish.
Feeder fish (Golds, Minnows, others) are poorly cared for and may introduce diseases or parasites to your tank.

If you intend keeping livestock in your tank do the fishless cycle.
If it is a plant-only tank, then no need to cycle. There will never be enough ammonia in there to kill the plants.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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emmm, I was just asking about if I never have plan to have any fish in my tank at any time, do I need to cycle, and I think I got my answer, no.

it seems like you guys are now "debating" about cycling methods, and that's cool if that's what you all are interested.

thanks to those who help answer my question

Todd
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjurhs View Post
which made me think, I don't need to worry about cycling?

Is that correct?

Thanks, Todd
Just to doubly confirm, yep, you're correct.





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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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thanks LauraLee
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