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Old 08-20-2006, 11:02 PM   #1
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New tank cycling

I just got a new 10 gal from a friend who used it for awhile. It came with the gravel and plants. I filled it with water about 3 days ago. Last night I decided to put in a Betta to speed up the N cycle. I figured they are very hardy fish. Plus I used that tetrasafe stuff to get rid of the chlorine and chloramine so his gills wouldn't get burned. I tested my ph, nitrite, nitrate and ammonia. I had .25 ppm ammonia so that shows the cycle is starting. Should I be doing any water changes now until the ammonia is all gone and I start seeing more nitrates, or I just do the usual 25% pwc every two weeks? While the tank is cycling, should I be testing the water every day or less often than that? Also, my pH is a bit on the high side (7.4), is it safe to use that pH up/down stuff sold in the pet stores?

I should also add that the plants are fake, but I plan on putting in real ones as soon as I cycle the tank. Is that a good plan to wait until the cycle in complete or should I some now?
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:05 PM   #2
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You'll find the majority of members here will recommend Fishless Cycling. Ammonia is deadly to fish, and will seriously damage their gills. The chlorine and chloramine remover will not eliminate ammonia.
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...q=2&fldAuto=15
http://malawicichlids.com/mw01017.htm
They're good reads and will show you what to test for and how the cycle progresses.

Are you on city or well water? Is your ph 7.4 out of the tap?
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:12 PM   #3
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City water and yes, its about 7.4 - 7.5.
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:16 PM   #4
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Your ph should be fine at your range as long as you acclimate your fish instead of simply adding them to the tank.

Also, you don't want to do any water changes during a (fishless) cycle as it will simply make the cycle take longer to complete.
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:20 PM   #5
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I have a Betta in the tank.
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:45 PM   #6
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you will be fine. keep on testing the tank. try and keep the NH3 and NO2 levels below .5 ppm. if they get higher then that, do a water change.

don't feed the betta too much during this period. this will only contribute to the NH3 levels.

if you want live plants, now is a good time to add them. they will help the cycle.
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Old 08-21-2006, 09:41 AM   #7
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Agreed, if you plan on getting live plants add them now. The more you have the less ammonia that will build up in the tank. Also go out and get a bottle of Prime (PetSmart sells it). This is a dechlor that also removes ammonia and nitrIte from the tank so when doing a water change you can eliminate the toxic affects of what is still in the tank.

Don't add any pH products. Return them to the store if you can. 7.4-7.5 is fine for almost all fish, and your betta will be happy in those conditions.

Cut your feedings to every other day (or at most once a day) and make sure you only feed enough that the betta eats all the food immediatley). Some bettas are finicky and will only eat the pellets as they are falling, and once they hit the ground they will let them rot. Gravel vac any visible uneaten food and poop off the bottom, but do not go over the whole substrate.

Water change anytime you go over 0.5ppm ammonia or nitrIte as already mentioned, and try to do larger water changes instead of the 10-25%. With a 10gallon tank, you can quickly and easily use a 5gallon bucket to replace ~60% of the water in one change. This is better for your tank and fish, and MUCH easier on your back .

Goodluck and keep on top of the toxins!
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:05 PM   #8
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Would it be a good idea not to change the filter until the tank is cycled? Makes sense to me to leave it in.
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:29 PM   #9
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yes, leave the filter in there. A good amount of bacteria build up on the filter media.
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Old 08-22-2006, 07:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by App
Would it be a good idea not to change the filter until the tank is cycled? Makes sense to me to leave it in.
The majority of the bacteria is found in the filter media in a newly setup tank. Well established tanks also have a great deal of beneficial bacteria in/on the substrate, but in a newly setup tank this is not the case. Don't change you filter.

If you feel the need for a better/different filter, get one and hook it up, running BOTH for a month or 2 side by side. This will transfer bacteria from one to the other, greatly reducing the chance of another cycle when you remove the original filter.
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