You are here:

Freshwater Aquarium/Cycling (fishless)


I'm a newbie and have been cycling my 10 gallon for about a week. I put a plant in there today. I'm excited to add fish but won't until it's complete. I realize the cycle needs ammonia to begin. Will that happen just by having the filter running in the empty tank? Should I add gravel or water from my beta's bowl? Any suggestions are appreciated. If not, I can just wait another month. Thanks!

There are many ways to cycle a tank, but it all boils down to the nitrogen cycle which is as follows...
anything organic breakes down to ammonia, which breaks down to nitrites, which breaks down to nitrates....
A Aquarium Pharm Fresh water test kit would be a good idea.
I would pick up a couple of Cory Cats and put them in there, get water temp around 78 or so feed lightly and monitor the cycle...
If you are going to do live plants, make sure you have the right bulb and use a timer to set up a day nite cycle.
stay with easy plants, like bacopa, some easy varieties of Amazon swords and if you can find some
good valisinera or saggitaria.
The planted tank is a whole different area, google "Dutch Aquarium" for info.
Enjoy your tank!

Freshwater Aquarium

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


michael mccorry


I can answer questions concerning tanks, setup, display, maintence,filters, heaters, substrates, CO2 Systems, lighting, arrangements. Also water quality, chemical makeup and altering water parameters. I can advise on fish selection, how to arrange the tank to minimize aggression, water parameters for specific fish, breeding and raisning fry. Feeding and nutrition. Lighting both flourescent and metal halide and everything in between Plants, selection, lighting and feeding requirements, CO2 Systems, and substrate selection as well as what plants will work with what fish. Heating, and cooling the tank. Automating certain functions and what maintenence is necesssary to keep things looking good. Fish diseases their diagnosis and treatment. As well as other topics related to the hobby.


I have been involved in Tropical Fish for over 30 years having bred or kept most everything that was out there at one time or annother. I have worked in several shops and managed several more, I have owned my own shop for over 12 years and currently maintain more than 3000gals of fresh water and saltwater fish, plants and invertabrates. I service tanks and respond to emergency calls. I advise on design, placement and impact of displays and custom design and install whatever the client wishes. I had a business within a business servicing systems for Dr;s,Offices, Restaurants, Hospitals, and private individuals.

TFH FAMA American Cichlid Association

I attended Clinton Comm. College and then went to work for the State of New York. I also recieved training in the unrelated field of Law Enforcement. I am a certified fish specialist both fresh and saltwater having attended seminars at the Backer Trade Shows in Atlantic City sanctioned by PPAC.

Awards and Honors
I have won awards from the New York State Dept of Education and from the Govenors Office for Business of the Year in the Northern Tier. I work as a consultant with the State assisting people who are starting a business.

©2017 All rights reserved.