Tip of the Day – 4/15/2011


I will never cycle any of my aquariums with a living organism, especially a “hardy” reef fish. When starting a brand new aquarium with freshly imported live rock, there is already plenty of decaying organic matter present to start the nitrogen cycle. Dead plants and invertebrates in the rock will quickly give rise to the ammonia spike, which will eventually lead to the rest of the cycle.

If you use dried rock, which is becoming more and more popular, you will obviously have to introduce an ammonia source. This can come in the form of a piece of live rock you are using to “seed” the dried rock, or you can toss in some fish food or some other decayable matter. You can also add various bacteria and bacteria-feeding additives to the tank at this time, in fact I encourage it, but forcing a fish to swim in a soup of ammonia and nitrate simply isn’t fair or humane. Plus, if the fish dies, you’ve got yourself a pricey cycle starter.


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