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Re: Fish less cycling

> Date: Mon, 04 Nov 2002 12:09:21 -0500
> From: Thomas Barr
> Subject: Re: Fish less cycling
> > FWIW, I did this with my fishless cycle.  I added household ammonia and
> sodium
> > nitrite at the same time.  My tank took about 8 weeks to cycle.  In
> fact, I
> > ended up adding plants that I figured would have bacteria to help seed
> the
> > tank after about 5 or 6 weeks.
> Not to pick on you personally, but the fishless cycling craze.
> I added mulm from another tank and had my tank cycle in 0.0 weeks. How is
> fishless cycling going to beat that? That works on non planted tanks also.
> No hassle, no testing needed, no wait, no problem.
> I still don't understand why folks seem possessed to do fishless cycling.
> Some say they don't have another tank they can get mulm etc but they
> bought
> their tank from _somewhere_. Has to be a LFS somewhere nearby that will
> let
> you have some of their "dirty water". I suppose a small Eclipse tank can
> be
> mail ordered etc, but that group of folks are in a tiny minority at best
> that neither live close to a LFs or have no other tanks or friend's with
> tanks anywhere nearby.
> One trip to a friend's or the LFS for dirty water in a one time shot seems
> a
> much better deal than doing this ammonia thing and waiting 4-8 weeks and
> testing to see what is going on with the bacteria.
> Then there's the issue of the plant's uptake of the NH4 in the first place
> so none builds up and no NO2 is produced etc. You don't get any NH4/NO2
> readings so there is no need to cycle or worry about it.
> Regards,
> Tom Barr

There are a number of reasons to do a fishless cycle.  Ellen covered a
couple good reason.  Let me list all that come to mind

1. No source of conditioned mulm, gravel, filter
2. Concerns about disease

Ellen covered those.....

3. BIO load can be pushed to over size of intended fish load.  Thus, you
can add ALL of your fish at the same time for compatibility purposes
such as to prevent pecking orders and food fish syndrome.

4. Less stress on the fish with ammonia and nitrite during bacterial
growth.  AFAIK, ammonia causes permanent damage to the fish gills.
Nitrite is perhaps less damaging long term.

Of course if you happen to have $200 worth of plants and 6 wpg on top of
the tank, then you probably won't have to worry about cycling.  I'm
being a bit phecicious here.  But, you have to keep in mind MOST
BEGINNERS will not have invested in the plants or the lights to support
drawing all of the ammonia out of the water.

To answer someone else's question...why cycle a planted tank?  You
wouldn't [need to].
.....and yes, urea is one possible ammonia source.

The seasoned fish keeper has more options for dealing with a new tank.
Another benefit of doing the fishless cycle is that it slows down the
newcomer enough to possibly get them to do a little reading and
research.  Maybe they will not make as many mistakes in the short term.

How many times have you seen messages from the first time fish keeper
with a plea for help.  Usually they are about things that are really
bone-head if they did any reading at all.


Scott Lewis

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