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Old 10-24-2011, 06:09 PM   #1
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Am I cycling correctly?

I recently moved my betta fish from a one gallon tank to a 2.5 gallon tank, so I started the cycling process today. I'm doing a fish cycle and I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right and I'll take any suggestions.

I'm going to do checks for ammonia and nitrites three times a day (when i wake up, when i get home from school, and in the evening). I'm going to do water changes whenever the ammonia or nitrite levels are 0.25 or higher to get them back down. When the ammonia is going down I'm going to start testing for nitrates as well. It's a 2.5 gallon tank with one betta fish. Is everythig here being done correctly? I don't want to lose my fish in the process of cycling. I put him in a few hours ago and he is perfectly fine so far the first ammonia check is in an hour. How long until ammonia shows up? Also, will enough ammonia grow overnight to kill him during the night? If so, I'm going to wake up in the middle of the night for checks too (yes, I'm THAT dedicated). Thanks for your help!
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:17 PM   #2
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Betta are very sensitive fish, their fins will burn and tear from even the slightest levels of ammonia and trItes.

If you insist on a fish in cycle I would try for a more hardy fish.
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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Can you not leave it in the smaller tank while you cycle the new tank?
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:44 PM   #4
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Can you not leave it in the smaller tank while you cycle the new tank?
+1 on this.

I have to urge you not to cycle with a Betta.

I recently lost a Betta from a nitrite spike (long story) so I now first hand the bad times this method can bestow.
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:01 PM   #5
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Was the 1 gal tank cycled and did it have a filter? If so just move everything over to the 2.5 gallon and then just test daily for any spikes (you may need a larger filter for the larger tank, but you can maybe move the filter pads, etc. over to the new filter from the 1 gal. If the 1 gal had a filter on it what kind did it have and what do you have for the new tank?).
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:57 PM   #6
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Alright then. I don't wanna lose my fish. I'll do a fishless cycle. I dug up a half-gallon tank that is already cycled. I have two half gallons as backup tanks. I put the betta in the half gallon and he's currently in there. I need some tips on fishless cycling though, because I don't really know much about it.

I want to do the fishless cycle with pure ammonia because I will NOT, and I repeat NOT, put raw shrimp or dead fish or any disgusting thing in my tank. Well, I don't know where to get pure ammonia. I heard you can get it at drug stores but I searched for it (i once almost set up a big tank), but I couldn't find any. If anyone knows any online shops where it's sold, please give me a link. It takes four weeks minimum, right? I feel really bad for making my betta stay in that tiny little tank for over a month. It's cruel. I can't put him back in the one gallon because I gave it to my other fish.

If anyone can find pure ammonia online and some tips (full instructions) on how to fishless cycle, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks for your help
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:03 AM   #7
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Where do you live?

Pets at home is currently has a sale on Stingray HOB filters which you will need if you wanna cycle.

The filter is the home to the majority of BB (beneficial bacteria) which is what the cycle is there to culture.

As for specifics I'd have to say I'm not entirely sure, never cycled a tank that small lol

Try googling "Fishless Cycling Calculator"

This tells you how much to add to bring you ammonia up to a desired PPM (parts per million)

Hope this helps

Good luck!
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bettafanatic View Post
Alright then. I don't wanna lose my fish. I'll do a fishless cycle. I dug up a half-gallon tank that is already cycled. I have two half gallons as backup tanks. I put the betta in the half gallon and he's currently in there. I need some tips on fishless cycling though, because I don't really know much about it.

I want to do the fishless cycle with pure ammonia because I will NOT, and I repeat NOT, put raw shrimp or dead fish or any disgusting thing in my tank. Well, I don't know where to get pure ammonia. I heard you can get it at drug stores but I searched for it (i once almost set up a big tank), but I couldn't find any. If anyone knows any online shops where it's sold, please give me a link. It takes four weeks minimum, right? I feel really bad for making my betta stay in that tiny little tank for over a month. It's cruel. I can't put him back in the one gallon because I gave it to my other fish.

If anyone can find pure ammonia online and some tips (full instructions) on how to fishless cycle, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks for your help
I got my ammonia from an Ace Hardware store. It's called Ammonia Janitorial Strength and cost less than $3. Here's something regarding cycling:

The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling

I cycled my 2 10-gallon tanks (1 with fish and 1 without). It took me 6 weeks to complete the cycle. It was easier without fish because with fish, I had to do multiple pwc daily just to keep my ammonia levels down and later nitrite levels down. Thanks to eco, librarygirl, and others here for helping me. Good Luck.
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Old 10-25-2011, 02:28 PM   #9
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Thanks giants. I live really close to an Ace Hardware store do I'll go there. I'm going to do some research on fishless cycling right now. Thanks everyone! You basically saved my Betta
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:52 PM   #10
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WHen you say you "dug up" a tank that was already cycled, what that does that mean exactly? Tanks themselves don't cycle; it's the filter media that has the beneficial bacteria on it.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:00 PM   #11
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Well "dug up" is just an expression it means I got one out. Wait, so are you saying that if I don't have a filter the tank wont cycle?
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:32 PM   #12
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Yes. What filter did the Betta tank have before, or did it not have a filter? Without a filter there's almost no surface area for the bacteria to grow on. Some can grow on the substrate and decorations but most live in your filter media. Plus the water would grow stagnant unless it had a power-head or some sort of agitation. Without a filter, I'm not sure the tank was ever truly cycled. I could be wrong, but that's how I understand it. Have you ever tested the water that the betta was in particularly if it doesn't have a filter?
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:25 PM   #13
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So that means none of my tanks are cycled -.- this really sucks. So if i put my Betta fish in the 2.5 gallon tank without the filter, will it be safe? My other tanks were fine and bettas dont really need filters. Can I just just skip cycling altogether?
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:55 PM   #14
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I guess it would be OK if you test the water daily and do frequent water changes (every couple of days). I'm not really sure how it works without a filter. Seems like it would be more work in the long-run and potentially harmful for the fish if toxins keep building.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:26 PM   #15
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Huh. I guess I should just cycle the tanks. The only thing is that I can't seem to find ammonia anywhere! I did find some but it was only 10% ammonia. I checked Ace Hardware. Should I just use raw shrimp? Also, I set up the filters and moved the tanks into a seperate room for cycling. How long is it gonna take if I use shrimp? My poor betta is so sad in his tiny tank.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafanatic
Huh. I guess I should just cycle the tanks. The only thing is that I can't seem to find ammonia anywhere! I did find some but it was only 10% ammonia. I checked Ace Hardware. Should I just use raw shrimp? Also, I set up the filters and moved the tanks into a seperate room for cycling. How long is it gonna take if I use shrimp? My poor betta is so sad in his tiny tank.
You won't find 100% ammonia on the market really.

The 10% ammonia is the one you want so long as it hasn't got surfactants, if it's one recommended then it's probably ok.

Fishless cycling is a big task, water changes aren't needed (unless you dose WAY too much ammo) but the time it takes can be the same as a fish in cycle.

I would say go and get some seed material i.e. filter media, gravel, decor from a cycled and matured tank to provide instant boosts in you BB levels
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:45 PM   #17
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10% ammonia is the right stuff (from ACE hardware); it's what most of us use.

I'm confused about where the Betta is now though. So it's in a small tank without a filter...how often are you doing water changes? I'm trying to figure what would be the difference in cycling the larger tank with the betta in it if you are going to be doing frequent water changes anyway in the other tank that he's in. I'm probably overlooking something stupid here (it's been a long day lol).
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:57 PM   #18
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You won't find 100% ammonia on the market really.

The 10% ammonia is the one you want so long as it hasn't got surfactants, if it's one recommended then it's probably ok.

Fishless cycling is a big task, water changes aren't needed (unless you dose WAY too much ammo) but the time it takes can be the same as a fish in cycle.

I would say go and get some seed material i.e. filter media, gravel, decor from a cycled and matured tank to provide instant boosts in you BB levels
OH COME ON! So now I gotta go back to Ace Hardware. My Mom won't be happy. But the ammonia they were selling said "danger of poisons and burns keep away from eyes and mouth." that really turned me off. Will that stuff kill my fish if it can burn skin and damage eyes or whatever? If not I will go back and grab so of that ammonia. How much do you suggest I add to the tank? I don't really know how to do a fishless cycle. Librarygirl, I know you have an article on cycling in your signature I will read that
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:02 AM   #19
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It will if you put in way too much, but you are fishless cycling right? So the fish won't be anywhere near it.

If you're fish in cycling then don't use any ammonia, the fish will create enough to start the cycle just remember to test and change water regularly.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:19 AM   #20
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What I would do is get an "active" sponge filter from Angels Plus (make sure it says "active" when you buy it or else it's just an unseeded filter). It will seed the tank with beneficial bacteria and provide oxygen (the filter hooks up to an air pump) as well as not giving out a strong current which Bettas tend to not like. That way you can add the Betta to the larger tank right away. I'd still test daily and do water changes as needed but it should help things along.
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