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Cycling with Invertebrates?

Discussion in 'Water Maintainence' started by gillian, Dec 30, 2015.

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  1. gillian

    gillian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    Hello all,

    It has been a very long time since I have posted. My tank got wiped out, possibly by mycobacteria some time ago. And recently I have been rebuilding the equipment with some changes for the future… I added an AquaClear 110, got a new swiss aquarium sponge wall (the old one grossed me out after said events), purchased a new diaphragm for my air pump (because it got old and tired), going to try sand in the tank because I feel like my new goldies will deserve some enrichment. Next up plants and well, fish!

    Anyhow, before all that, I want to obviously cycle the tank properly; however, to do it with a "cheap" feeder fish that I would; toss afterward makes me feel bad for it personally. It will likely be a contender for food for my future slower swimming goldfish (do not have yet), yet I would feel horrible just throwing it away. That said, the adding ammonia method seems like a pain in the butt, so… could it potentially work if I say add a bunch of cute little red cherry shrimp? Could they start a tank cycling?

    My thoughts behind it are:
    1) if some die in the cycling process by themselves because they can't handle the spike, etc., no problem - i didn't actually flush them.
    2) if when i add new goldfish to the tank, they become a snack - that's survival of the fittest and healthy for my new goldies (not to mention a nice welcome to your new home tank feast).
    3) they won't compete with whatever slow swimming kind of goldfish I choose for the tank like a feeder goldfish would.
    4) if some did survive and breed (by some miraculous feat), they can help clean the tank

    (Also, I realize that I may sound contradictory about my conscious with the fish or shrimp dying when cycling, but euthanizing the fish because I am done with it is different in my mind than by other somewhat natural causes).

    Theoretically, shouldn't it work? They are living and eat and must create waste, thus causing my tank to begin the process.

    What do we think? Am I just crazy? Should I try as an experiment? They aren't incredibly expensive.

    (forgive me if this is a roll your eyes dumb question!)
     
  2. joe

    joe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Location:
    I live in Miami Florida
    If you want to do a fishless cycle why not just put some ammonia in your tank and start the process that way. I guess it is possible to cycle with shrimp but not unless you plan on having several in there the process my take even longer given that the shrimp do not produce that much waste.
     
  3. gillian

    gillian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    It seems like it's a lot of work using ammonia. I also feel like once I have it cycled, I will have to upkeep the using ammonia to keep it balanced until I find fish I want. My thinking would be that it would be easier with something living in there because it would require only my routine maintenance.

    I read that about shrimp that they don't produce a lot of waste, but perhaps I can overstock them? Since many would likely become a snack. Or that it would give me plenty of time to find the goldfish I really want.


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  4. Fishheadz

    Fishheadz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Location:
    Moffat, CO.
    My thoughts, why waste money on shrimp for cycling? They may all die in the process of cycling, or be eaten IF they survive the spikes. Indeed they are inexpensive (individually) however I feel the number you'd need would be like 75-150 shrimp. That'd be like $25-$50 of shrimp(@ .35 ea.), and then that may still not be enough to produce the amount of Ammonia required to start a cycle.

    I think your best bet, is to just do the fishless cycle with straight Ammonia.

    ...If I spend $50 on shrimp to be eaten within minutes, it's going in MY belly!
     
  5. gillian

    gillian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    Poops. I think I also got caught up in how cute they are. Oh well.


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  6. Fishheadz

    Fishheadz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Location:
    Moffat, CO.
    Haha, apparently my .35 ea price was WAAAAAY off, LiveAquaria has Ghost Shrimp @ $1.59 ea. , Cherry Shrimp are @ $3.99 ea.
    (hmm, just for giggles, @$1.59 ($120 for 75,$240 for 150) & @ $3.99 ($300 for 75, $600 for 150)

    ...suddenly, these little buggers are not exactly what I would consider "inexpensive".
     
  7. gillian

    gillian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    Yeah, I was hoping I wouldn't that many and that my idea would work. Oh well!


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  8. Cherie

    Cherie Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Location:
    Mobile al.
    It is not hard to cycle with ammonia! All you do I put it in till you reach 4 ppm and then you don't do any water changes unless it gets to high! It is actually much easer and so much faster! All you gotta do is add the ammonia when it droped down and Waite that's it! No stressing over hurting fish or shrimp or whatever! It is pretty awesome!!!!!
     
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  9. Nagisa

    Nagisa Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    I thought adding ammonia is much easier and cost effective....

    All I did is figure out how much to add each time to achieve that 4ppm, and stick to it every time, I think I did 2 water changes the entire time when I was cycling my tank, and I only did it because I have live plant.

    If I didn't have anything in there, I probably won't even change the water until it's cycle and ready for my fish lol
     
  10. Cherie

    Cherie Active Member

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    Nov 11, 2015
    Location:
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    I think it is even a bit faster because you do not have to do water changes and you can just let the tank do what it needs to do and it does! Mine took 5 weeks and I was very impatient!!!!
     
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  11. gillian

    gillian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    My fishless cycling is going very well! It has been very easy with the ammonia. I think I was intimidated by adding such a strong chemical, but it really has been easy and very quick. I'm on day 13 and down to 0 ammonia, after adding some late last night. Can't wait until the nitrites drop!


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  12. Cherie

    Cherie Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Location:
    Mobile al.
    Good I'm glad you decided to do it this way!!!!!! It is much easer and way less stressful!!!
     
  13. gillian

    gillian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    What I will say is save your money and don't buy Dr. Tim's one and only bacteria. It hasn't quickened the process any! It's more like dr tim's one and only wallet sucker. We are right at the cusp of a month and not entirely cycled. It's like I added a $23 bottle of water to my tank in the beginning with the ammonia. Glad the Ace ammonia was cheap and effectual!


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  14. Cherie

    Cherie Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Location:
    Mobile al.
    • Yea when I was cycling mine I tried just about every kind of bottle bacteria! None really worked despite all the reviews I read! I use the api quick start when I do water changes and add fish no. I think it helped a little when I added but not like omg my tank is cycled in a week kind of thing!! You should be getting close now and to ally almost ready to give up on the empty tank!!! Do not give up it will cycle and save you lots of work and stress down the road!!! I have a tank I did fish less cycle on and it is so much easer!!! And one that I had to do fish in cycle lets just say it has been 4 months and I have lost 3 out of 6 fish including a fish I had for 2 years that I loved!!! And the tank is still not cycled and my Cory cat just dosnt act like other Cory catfish do because he has been tortured I feel so bad for the fish in that tank I think I'm just going to bring them back to the LFS and start over and fishless cycle the tank!!!! It works so much better!!! What are your parameters at now?!
     
  15. GoldenMcNewbie

    GoldenMcNewbie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2015
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    I either transplant filter media or use tetra safe start.
     
  16. gillian

    gillian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    My nitrItes are still very high, but ammonia is usually at 0. One night it went back up to 0.25, then the next night went back to 0. I have to check what it is tonight. I haven't done a water change because I am not in a rush technically, though at times I feel impatient to buy fish. I just haven't had the trigger finger for any fish just yet, so I'm just waiting it out. I have my eye on two, but I don't know if I am in love. One more than the other, but waiting for some fresh options.

    My ph is stable, but if it does begin to dip, I'll def change water.


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