Fish for Tank Cycling

Audienta

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So I'm cycling my tank, and I was gonna use some fish to help establish the ammonia and stuff for the bacteria to start growing (which is the way I understand it to work. I've never really cycled a tank before tbh). I intend on using Tetra SafeStart OR Seachem Stability to help jumpstart the process (I fully understand that this isn't an instant-cycle solution, but as far as I've read from more experienced aquarium keepers, they work great to speed up the process). I already have some Top Fin bacterial supplement, but from what I've heard, you have to use that every water change so it doesn't ACTUALLY establish a bacteria colony.
I FULLY INTEND for these fish to likely be eaten after the axolotls are added (I'm getting two). I know that axolotls are best kept in a species-only tank, so I don't intend for them to have a tank mate (unless you count marimo moss balls as tank mates).
I need some fish that'll work for what I need, won't nip the axies' gills and will work pretty well as an axie snack without hurting them. I've heard female guppies are good because they're slow enough for the axies to catch, and they don't nip like the males do.
I do believe I'll be getting the axis rather soon, so I've got some sterilite containers set aside for them in case the tank doesn't cycle completely by the time I get them.
I've also heard that you can keep danios in with axolotls as actual tank mates because the axies can't catch them and they're too docile to nip their gills, but like I said, I don't really intend on having tank mates.
Would minnows work, or are they too nippy?
 

birdsong

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How about shrimp? They can't hurt axoltls and they will produce ammonia plus the axoltls look funny trying to catch them cause there so fast . And they come in many colors and types . I suggest glass shrimp for cost or red cherry shrimp for attractiveness. Also if you want a more natural bacteria starter ask a friend or relative with a tank to give you a plant,some water and or some gravel from there's to seed your new tank. Also make sure you have a master test kit (not the strips) to test water and make sure ammonia is 0 before adding axolotls . Good luck!
 

Audienta

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I don't really know anyone that keeps aquariums to be honest. I had read that shrimp can be pretty sensitive and are likely to die during the cycling process, where danios are pretty tough relatively speaking, and could handle it. But the danios would likely end up being a permanent fixture, which isn't something I want.
I DO work at petsmart, though, and we sell ghost shrimp, so I could keep that in mind.
Also, thanks for the tip on the master kit. I forgot to get water tests after work today so I have to get all that after I get off tomorrow. That'll likely include whatever fish I choose to cycle the tank with.
Apparently, guppies are pretty popular as a feeder fish for axies, anyways, so I'm leaning towards those, but I'm still open to suggestions.
 

LSuzuki

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White clouds (white cloud mountain minnows). They are a cold-water species, so can survive just fine with axolotls. Most "tropicals" will do poorly in an axolotl tank due to colder temps.

Have you considered doing a "fishless cycle"? You can find plenty of easy instructions on line, and it only takes a bit of plain ammonia. You have much more control over the cycle that way, and don't have to do water changes just to keep the fish alive. Plus, then the axolotls won't pick up possible parasites from the fish.
 

Skudo09

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Personally I would do the fishless cycling method. Here is a link on how to do a fishless cycle.

www.aquariumadvice.com/forums/f15/the-almost-complete-guide-and-faq-to-fishless-cycling-148283.html

Fishless cycling is in my opinion far easier and kinder to aquatic life. If you do use fish (or any other aquatic animal) to cycle your tank, you would need to do frequent water changes to ensure the species you are using are not exposed to toxic levels of ammonia and nitrite. This is far more effort and takes longer.
 
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