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[APD] Cycling

I believe Bill wrote this email section below:
> "And yet millions of fish are still killed within a week of purchasing them?
> We've had the correct bacteria discovered for decades now and it's still not
> sold by many shops or supplied as standard with tanks.
> Personally I think a bottle of Safestart or One and Only should be sold with
> every tank system. In the UK every tank system is sold with a filter. Be
> nice if they had the bacteria to go alongside it as well. ;-)"
> Well, Stuart,  many people here believe that the "canned" bacteria starter 
> cultures
> are a waste of money, particularly in a planted tank, since the nitrifying 
> bacteria
> are already present on them.  I've never used a product like that, even in a 
> plantless
> aquarium.  Mulm or water from an established tank is even better.

Well we on this list are hardly beginners. We've all set up plenty of 
planted tanks, I use the Walstad method myself. So yes, we know the benefits.

But sadly a lot of people still think a plant in that optional wee object in 
the corner and the rest of the tank has a large sunken ship or skull in it.

The old 'Cycle' bottle sold in a lot of shops have perhaps done most damage 
to the perception of bacteria in bottle. It doesn't really work and never has.

Did you know that since it came out it has had the completely wrong species 
of both types of nitrifying bacteria in it? People discovered this in ~1990.

Only this year did Nutrafin (Hagen) finally change the recipe. But sadly 
there are thousands of the old Cycle bottles on sale.

If you stick an ammonia test stick in the old Cycle bottle you get a 0.5ppm 
level. That is what helped the real nitrifying bacteria along.

> Why is every tank sold in the UK equipped with a filter?   
 > Is the tank filter lobby that strong?

I've no idea.
BTW, it's not every tank, only boxed systems. You can of course still buy 
plain tanks. It's just frown upon by the Hobby over here if packages are 
sold without a filter that are targeted to beginners.

Only small pet shops sell plain goldfish bowls. The big chains have stopped.
Maybe the hobby is sick of getting beginners moaning that the shop didn't 
tell them they needed to cycle their tanks?

I know in Scotland we now have a act of law that owners of pets need to show 
a degree of understanding of the care needed to look after them before they 
are sold a pet.

Some tricky shops get around this by giving the customer a leaflet to read 
before they are sold a fish.
But most refuse to sell a fish with its tank.

I took a look through 5 aquarium beginner books at big chain Pets at Home last 
month and none of them had a page on how to do a nitrogen cycle. These were 
printed by the likes of Tetra and other big aquarium publishing companies. 
So the trade is still scared of frightening off new customers with 
'technical details'. :-)

Attitudes are changing towards doing no harm. But it'll take a long time.
A lot of people don't see a problem in doing harm when there is a harmless 
alternative method around.

Stuart Halliday
200 Million years in the making...
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