Saturday, July 10, 2010
Cycling Your Tank - Quickly
Probably the largest problem facing newcomers to the aquarium hobby is overcoming the first step in setting up their new aquarium. While I think the nitrogen cycle is becoming more commonplace in the hobby, the retail market is full of quick fixes to establish your tank. Add this liquid or that liquid to cycle your tank. To be honest, 99.9% of the products that claim to do this are nothing more than a cash grab and the reality is, they do very little to help establish the biofilter of an aquarium system.
The tried and tested methods, such as a fishless cycle and a planted tank cycle, are really the best way to go, but they involve patience which few newcomers to the hobby possess (at least in regards to fish!). With my recent foray into breeding Apistogramma on a larger scale, I myself did not have the time to cycle my thirty-odd tanks in the traditional methods. The continual need to empty and clean filters and tanks have also led me to find a faster method.
As mentioned, I believe that most of the products on the market that claim to cycle your tank for you do not work. In my experience, they fail miserably. However, I have found one that works like a charm.
That product is called Stability, manufactured by Seachem Laboratories. In fact, this stuff works so well that fish can be introduced right away, assuming the tank possesses the appropriate biofilter capacity. I would suggest following the directions to the letter for brand new tanks, especially those that will have a larger volume of bioload (more fish). For setting up tanks with a small bioload, I typically use half the dosage for half the time. If you are a real stickler for ensuring your water conditions are prestine (or you are worried you may have damaged your biofilter in some way), Stability can be used with water changes as well.
So far, water conditions have been flawless. No ammonia, no nitrite and healthy fish. With that said, I fully recommend Stability. It works as intended!
For more information, please visit Seachem's website.