I can understand why you are angry at using fish to cycle our tanks. You might think its cruel but as long as we check parameters and maintain our tanks, I don't think the fish will die. Its not like we're starving the fish or something.
The fish might not die, but they will suffer. Why not just cycle with the octo? It might not die if you check the water params. If the water doesn't get 'bad' the tank never really cycles, so adjusting the water doesn't accomplish anything. IMO, live sand and live rock will cycle the tank just fine.
Thought I might just put this here for those who don't seem to know what a cycle is all about.
First the nitrate cycle. Animals produce waste in the form of amonia. The aerobic bacteria (living in the upper layers of sand and everywhere where there is oxygen) bacteria consumes amonia and produces nitrites. A secont type of bacteria (anaerobic living in the deep layers of sand and where there is almost no water circulation) consumes nitrites and produces nitrates. Amonia and nitrites are toxic while most animals can support the presence of nitrates quite well.
When you set up your tank, the 2 types of bacteria are present in very small number and are not able to break down the amonia produced by any higher tank inhabitants fast enough, so the reason we cycle is to develop the 2 bacteria colonies to a level sufficient to support the waste of the octo. When you setup, the die off on the sand and live rock will produce amonia, which causes the amonia spike, a short time later, the amonia consuming bacteria will use this amonia to reproduce into a number able to look after the amonia, at the same time they cause the nitrites spike. The same process goes on for the second family which break down the nitrites into nitrates. At this point we can export the nitrates via some macroalgae or water changes.
Now, if you control the parameters during the spike by water changes etc... you are not cycling your tank. You are simply getting rid of the food that the bacteria you want to promote needs. So the day you put your octo in your tank and the amonia production goes WAY up, the real amonia spike is going to happen which will most likely kill your octo.
Cheers mate, that clarifies the situation a lot and reiterates what the cycle is for, in detail.
So, in conclusion, it is obvious that we do not want to cycle the tank for the octo with the octo, as you may kill it.
N.B. If somebody is an octo keeper they may well be in the same mind frame of an octo and just think of fish etc as food, so ultimatley not mattering if they suffer slightly before becoming food (STOP!! dont think for a second im relating anybody or everybody or even me for that matter with this view, it is merely a theory!!! so get off your horse an drink your milk, i havnt finished yet!!!), althou they may not and wish to give good conditions to fish.
Right so supposing they do feel for the fish (which for clarification is where i stand , but hadnt really thought about it in detail until igoRulse raised it, as im unfortunatley not at that stage yet, not throu lack of tryin!!)
well then we are talkin about a fish less cycle, cause its a bit silly to stress an octo (somthin you wanna keep) an not fish (somthin you dont/might - depends)
so if were talkin about a fishless fella, then we are talkin about either
1) uncured live rock
2) wee in it
3) chemical stuff spoke of above/below (depends which side of the world your surfin the net on)
4) cocktail shrimp
5) fish cycle
6) im sure there are more
1) some dont want this as you loose lots in the rock
2) only david blaine wee's in a glass box
3) dunno anythin about it but sounds borin
4) those poor little shrimp!!! sacraficed for the same reason a bunch of fish would be, but the fish would be given the chance to fight for their lives. Never the less a good idea, but borin, although kinda one of my more likley routes
5) painful, possibly for the fish, risk of death (RISK), not very nice if your into looking after animals an fish an all that larky magarky. Although exiting cause you have somthin to look at.
6) cant comment cause i have no other means
Ultimatley, igoRulse has raised a good debate, and one he/she feels strongly about, which is cool. However, there is no hard and fast rule here an it needs to be recognised that people are given the choice to act as god (im no bible basher incase you wondered!) in some respects with life. So it is up to them at the end of the day.
If a person can live with a borin tank with a couple of rotten maky little shrimp off the deli in there tank then fine you set a good example. If you cant you have to accept any sufferin that comes your way, as what goes around comes around.
There you have it! thats my two pence worth an you can do what you like with it!
I like the idea of lookin at a couple of clowns etc wonderin round the tank for a while, but i dont ( a lot! ) like the idea of seein them suffer just for my later enjoyment, im very tempted by the cocktail shrimp idea, but can i face the boredom. dunno?
best thing is i dont have to think about it at the mo cause im tryin to sort other stuff out first.
if i use clowns...send your mates round with baseball bats an we'll see!! if i dont send your mates round with franchensense an mere (or however you spell it!!)
as a closin note, as i know ive gon on a bit, maybe the best option is to cycle with a cocktail shrimp for the few weeks or whatever it takes to cycle an then for newcomers to marine (i.e. me) then throw in some fish to practice keeping parameter?????????????
but tonight Mathew..............my name is Trevor Brookin an im sittin on the fence!!!!!!!!!!!! :P :P :P
Tonight Mathew............. I am eventually gonna post here
Yeah, I didn’t touch it before because it doesn’t have a easy answer. I have always used fish to cycle tank and as long as its done gradually i think that no harm comes to them... some of my 'test pilots' are still swimming about happily breeding in my big FW tank and these mollies have been to marine water and back at least twice.
So, to sum up my feelings... as long as a tank is stocked really slowly no harm comes to the fish in a fish cycle. Last year I cycled 600 tanks all at once and really only had a handful of deaths which I put down to them being in ill health in the first place at importation.
I disagree that 12 days is never enough time to cycle a tank. That's because the ammonia production should be increased or at least steady to build up a larger amount of bacteria in the filter... several large doses of ammonia or dead prawns or whatever, cause population explosions and then die offs... it really needs the steady supply that fish produce through respiration. It can take months before a tank is stable enough to add a octopus… otherwise when you add it, because it produces so much more waste than a fish of similar mass, you are going to get an ammonia increase that your filter can’t handle and stress the octo. The only way to get round that is to have your tank up and running for a few months with a fish mass similar to the octopus and when you get the octo you remove the fish, therefore the ammonia production is similar and no spikes are formed!
An octopus would be much more at risk in a cycling tank because of its skin! A fish has scales (normally) to protect it. An octopus on the other hand has a skin like the lining of your gut. If you could fold it out it would have an immense surface area meters square! Not like a fish. So this skin would make them more susceptible to poisoning.
Now, since we are talking about not hurting animals, and I believe that is the point of a fishless cycle??? Then let me suggest that using uncured live rock is going to kill way more animals than a fish cycle might. That’s why we call it LIVE rock, it’s crawling with all sorts of life and the vast majority of that dies during curing. So I propose that using live rock is killing much more than a fish cycle ever would!
Also, since I’m at it….
IgoRluse wrote, ‘First the nitrate cycle. Animals produce waste in the form of amonia. The aerobic bacteria (living in the upper layers of sand and everywhere where there is oxygen) bacteria consumes amonia and produces nitrites. A secont type of bacteria (anaerobic living in the deep layers of sand and where there is almost no water circulation) consumes nitrites and produces nitrates. Amonia and nitrites are toxic while most animals can support the presence of nitrates quite well.’
Sort of right, the nitrogen cycle does work from ammonia to nitrite to nitrate but the last part is nitrogen.
The bacteria, which break down ammonia to nitrite, AND the bacteria, which break down nitrite to nitrate, are BOTH aerobic. It’s the bacteria that break down nitrate to nitrogen which are anaerobic and live deep in the live rocks, sand or in a nitrate filter.
Also, ammonia, nitrite AND nitrate are poisonous to aquatic life, its just that they get less toxic as they pass along the nitrogen cycle. Nitrogen, the end result, passes out of the water gradually and is harmless!
One of the reasons that I don’t like DSBs is because the nitrogen can’t properly escape through the water column because a crust forms in the DSB. Then the pollutants build up and build up, eventually the nitrogen cycle collapses in your DSB and goes backwards, just waiting for the day when the whole thing either gets disturbed or finally collapses and the whole thing crashes. DSBs have a shelf life of about 2 – 3 years!
So im fascinated with your comments regardin DSB's. Since your dislike due to their shelf life, so to speak, what do you think of as a better option?
I suppose you can prolong its life by stirrin it up occasionally????
Im currentley designin me sump (well lookin at it!!! ), well its in the air at the mo really as im tryin to get chartered an have my interview in a couple of weeks, and the cost of the tank keeps growin an growin!!!!
Yeah, it’s the shelf life I don’t like and I also see a lot of snobbery about the newest fads… basically rubbishing anything that has come before! The methods I use are tried and tested beyond all doubt… wet/drys and external filters with good skimmers are the best way to go for an octopus tank.
Yes, a DSB does give good results for the first few months/years in a reef tank but its uses are limited with cephs.
I also like refugiums but they are not to be confused with DSBs some people mix them up.
If you stir up a DSB you’ll knacker it as you’ll make the anaerobic conditions aerobic again and that wont break down nitrate... so your DSB just sits there, like an aquatic time bomb… waiting…… to …… go!
Received a frantic call from a local store one saturday morning about a problem with their tanks...you pegged it Colin...the time bomb went off !!! I saw 1500 gallons of salt tanks "crash" in the space of two hours...quite ugly.
Moral: slow and steady wins the race.