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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 55 gallon tank whats the best method to cycle my tank fish or fishless?

I need assistance and direction............
 

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There is no 'best' method. Either will work - "provided" Provided means are you going to use a reputable bacterial started (full disclosure I make and sell one). If no then go fishless. If yes then you can go with fish.

What also matters most is what fish you are planning and how many you plan to stock on one time. If you are going to start with a small fish or two you can use the fish method but if you want to add a lot of fish at one time you will need to go fishless cycling.

You should get ammonia, nitrite and pH test kits either way.

Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I want to add

9 Rusty
9 Ps saulosi
8 red shoulder peacocks

all juvies and slim down to 15 or 16 once they sex out for my 55G....

I have a 20 gallon molly tank now...I just want to know the best and fastest method.........
 

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Alot of people may not agree with this but I would get water from local stream or river along with a rock or two.
 

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smitty said:
Alot of people may not agree with this but I would get water from local stream or river along with a rock or two.
I'd be one of them. You may introduce more than you want to. I would highly discourage this.
 

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Fishless. That way you will not harm any fish and you can add all of your stock at once. Its also alot easier on you and the fish (over cycling with just fish).

I dont use either of those methods though. I just use media from already establsihed tanks to jump start new tanks. You have to have extra tanks or know someone that will give you some of their media. Also you wouldnt want to add all those fish at once unless you could get alot of media. You have to have enough media to support your new fish. It is some what of a balancing act but i've had great success with it.
 

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I just want to know the best and fastest method.........
There's no difference in cycling time between fish and fishless. Best is fishless, at least best for the fish. Using fish gets fish in the tank faster, but also exposes them to toxic ammonia and nitrite.

The very best and fastest method IMO is to seed the system either with media from an established tank or a bacterial product and go fishless. You can then stock all at once knowing you're fish aren't going to be subjected to toxins.

I dont use either of those methods though. I just use media from already establsihed tanks to jump start new tanks. You have to have extra tanks or know someone that will give you some of their media. Also you wouldnt want to add all those fish at once unless you could get alot of media. You have to have enough media to support your new fish. It is some what of a balancing act but i've had great success with it.
Risky, always risky. Can be done, agreed, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you're in a bind, and are somewhat experienced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When you say media what exactly do you mean I have a 20G tank up and running now....Do I need to use the water from there to start up bacteria in my 55G Tank.....?
 

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No i wouldn't try that. If you had the 55g up and running you could start the 20g but i wouldnt try it visa versa. Maybe if you have 4 20g up and running you could take some media from each of them and start your 55g.

Media is the stuff inside of your filter. Ceramic rings, bio balls, sponges, floss, & etc. As prov356 said it is risky because its hard to know exactly how much media you need for how many fish you have. You also have to test the water alot and have extra media (from an established tank) at hand incase you need to add more. When done right and with enough media the tank will be up and running much quicker than fishless or fish cycling.
 

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Also, substrate (ie gravel) from an established tank has alot of beneficial bacteria in it and is great for jumpstarting a cycle.
 

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Gregory D said:
When you say media what exactly do you mean I have a 20G tank up and running now....Do I need to use the water from there to start up bacteria in my 55G Tank.....?
What you do is take some of the filter media like sponge, floss, etc, and add it to a filter on the 55. Just don't take a lot, you don't need much. Then you should be able to fishless cycle the 55 in about 7-10 days. Once cycled this way you can fully stock.

You'll need to get a good source of clear ammonia. Try Ace Hardware first.



Add about 10 drops, wait 20 minutes and test for ammonia. Repeat until you get a reading of about 1-2 ppm.

Then test each day. Don't add more ammonia yet.

Once you get a reading of 0, add the same number of drops that you added initially to get the 1-2ppm reading.

Repeat this same dose every 3 days.

Test nitrite. It'll be over 0 now.

Do small daily water changes of about 25% or so to keep nitrites down a bit.

Test nitrites daily.

When nitrites read 0, you're cycled and good to add fish.

Let me know if any of that is not clear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That exactly what I will do........Thanks
 

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With enough media from an established tank you can skip the ammonia step all together and just add fish.
 

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GaFishMan1181 said:
With enough media from an established tank you can skip the ammonia step all together and just add fish.
Sure you can, but the trick is knowing you've got enough and the problems begin if you don't get enough.
 

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I believe prov has already stated the same thing I am about to describe from my experience.

When I cycled my new 300+ gallon tank I was able to add fish immediately. One of the filters on my 125 was a filstar xp3. So I bought another xp3 set it up on the 125 and then let both filters run for a week. I then took the "old" xp3 that had not been cleaned out in a month (for this reason) and dumped all the water and sludge into the 300 gallon with all the other new filtration up and running. I then hoked up the "old" xp3 to the 300 hundred gallon. I was then able to add 25% of my fish load and never saw any of my levels spike. This was about 5 or 6 months ago and I am still slowly stocking the tank.
You can cycle "instantly" but you have to plan ahead and you can't throw a large fish load instantly. I also was reading my levels every day and doing 20% water changes every other day for a week or so.
 

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Also I forgot to mention the 25% fish load I added the first day was all danios, clown loaches, and plecos. So if all else failed they would be cycle fish.
 
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