Why People Really Should Do A Fishless Cycle

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Right, I’m fairly new to the wonderful world of fish keeping and this for me was kind of a step over from breeding some glorious foreign finches in the past ,but due to the fact that i now rent and don’t have the options of aviaries fish seemed like a fun, colourful and interesting alternative. i say alternative but in a short space of time I’ve well and truly fallen in love with all things fishy!

So i took the advise of my lfs and started stocking my 70l tank in one short week, I had used the appropriate bacterial colonies, water conditioners and everything else I figured i may need and started stocking my tank, this of course took me up a hard and tricky road of daily water changes and all the testing that goes with it, sadly ending in an outbreak of white spot. That’s fine i thought, it’s surely treatable?? But what to do? I did exactly this, I read all the top blogs on here and crammed my tiny brain with as much info as i could! I realized i couldn’t use chemicals to treat my tank as i had snails and couldn’t find a snail friendly treatmenst anywhere, so ( thanks to John Arthur ) i decided raising my temps and carried on with more water changes, this looked like my only option, even if i had found a snail safe alternative i would have been reluctant to remove my carbon filer so early as this probably houses half of my already meger amount of bacteria! So nine days ago i spent 36 hours raising my temp from about 76f - 86f and hoped for the best. In the first instance i did lose three Rummy nose tetras but had already hardened myself to this possibility due to their sensitive nature and my poor water, i just hoped it wasn’t a sign of things to come, i kept a very close eye on everything else, carried on changing my water once - twice daily and now, at about a week in, i have no more white spot and a seemingly happy group of fish. I shall keep my temps up til Friday then begin slowly bringing them down again.

All this has taught me some very valuable lessons and the biggest one being, don’t ever rush what can not be rushed! I have a new 220l tank that’s going through a fish less cycle as i write and I have regularly told my once poorly fishes that this is their promise land if they can just come through this mini crisis unscathed lol In short i read of so many cases that, like I did, some people seem to be desperate to stock their tanks and in doing so seem to overstock young tanks badly, this can ultimately only end in a disaster of sorts, so please don’t as its not fair on the fish that we dearly love!

Let my experience be a lesson to all as its been a long, hard period for me, let alone for the poor little fish in my tank, as with my birds, a good hobby is worth doing right and trying to cut corners will only result in heartbreak!

I apologies in advance for my bad grammar but hope i can open the eyes of at least one over eager amiture like myself!

Happy fish keeping guys!

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment or give me a


  • Molly Bain: Haste is of the Devil. Great post, Thanks Paul :)
  • Snowman: This is really good! You did the very best thing you could have for white spot. Meds and a bunch of salt in a cycling tank with sick, stressed fish may have killed all of them. Good job!
  • momtoangel: Very good information for those who think they can just put the water in and add the fish. Aquariums, if set up properly, provide years of relaxing enjoyment.
  • wyatt83: I wish I had read this before my own aquarium adventure began!
  • rpsp_07: Nice post!! :)
  • johnarthur: Thanks for sharing your experience and the good advice.
  • Paul888: Cheers guys! Tis a shame I had to learn this one the hard way
  • Cynthia_085: Hello!
    Thanks for your post. I find it fascinating. I too have learned to slow things down and do it right. :)
  • newaquarist: Hi - great post, thank you!

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