I have read about cycling a tank and I am wondering what is the easiest way to go. I am going to get a 55 gallon aquarium. What is the easiest way to cycle a fish tank?
Try this link
Here is a link that might be useful: water chemistry
Many of the in-store products sold to begin the cycle spoil, they have no way to stay fresh indefinitely, and you have no way of telling when they were bottled. The easiest way is to get a bit of mucky floss from a friend or local fish store and use that to start your filter. I started my filter from scratch (no seeding from a friend) and it took 11 days. At least, on day 11 the ammonia went down and stabilized there. I don't think it's completely cycled yet.
My filter is now covered with yummy brown gook which smells like mold or like earth. I think that's the good bacteria.
I'm also keeping a piece of scrubby pad (for scrubbing dishes) in my filter to start a new tank if I need it.
I would do the fishless cycle as described in the Cichlid forums article. I enjoy the heavy planted tanks myself and IMO is the easiest route. However, plant selection should be limited to the equiptment you have. Most kits and lighting fixtures have inadequate lighting unless specified on the box.(a 55gal. is a great size for DIY lighting because the 48" length is standard for inexpesive shoplight fixtures and bulbs). I have never used Bio-Spira but have heard mostly good reports on it. One problem with it is cost and availability. Products like "Cycle" do not work. If you have a freind who has an established tank ask if you can run your filter in it for a few weeks or borrow some filter media, gravel etc. Even the store you are getting your fish from is an option as long as they arent treating their, tanks with medication.
Chuck, are you sure that gook isn't brown algae? It grows fast and furious in new tanks.
BioSpira is the only product that actually contains nitrifying bacteria, which is why it's kept in the freezer at a petstore. If you get it, get it home FAST and throw it into the fridge, otherwise the bacteria will die. The other products like Cycle and StressZyme will encourage growth but do not actually contain bacteria.
"Cycling" isnt really neccessary. Especially when people seem to think that "cycling" takes a few weeks to months. With the proper treatment and setup of the tank, your fishes should be happily swimming in the tank after a few days. I know from years of experience and the talk about "cycling" is out of the question for me.
I used to never cycle tanks...because i had never heard of it....but that may be why my fish all died prematuraly.... I have a 29 gal and i just set up the tank a week or two ahead of time with some gravel from another tank and the fish did fine (been years, beggining fish pasted on (old age))
The nitrogen cycle is something that occurs naturally unless you're killing the bacteria regularly, and it certainly is neccessary. Without bacteria to nitrify your water, it becomes filled with toxic ammonia and harms your fish. We talk about it like it's something special that we do to the tank, but we're really just watching mother nature do her job, and giving a hand here and there. Interfering with the process is one reason why goldfish have a reputation for dying without cause. I want to make sure that anyone new to the hobby reading this thread understands that it is a very important and very simple way of ensuring your fish's health. All you have to do is add ammonia and let the filter run. It isn't so daunting a task that I'd risk my fish's life to get out of doing it.