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Old 05-02-2012, 02:49 PM   #11 
Oldfishlady
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The beneficial bacteria responsible for the nitrogen cycle are dependent on oxygen, food and surface area to colonize.
The BB are sticky and adhere to all the surface areas within the tank, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media-very little are in the water column itself.

Due to limited surface area in a 2.5gal tank as well as the limited dissolved oxygen-your 2.5gal unfiltered tank most likely will not establish the nitrogen cycle, however, while live active growing plants can provide some oxygen-usually not enough to support a healthy colony of BB unless you have mass amounts of live active growing plants. Also, 2.5gal is limited on surface area and this alone can make the nitrogen cycle unstable.

Depending on the number, species and growth state of the live plants-your water change schedule may or may not be enough to maintain water quality.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:07 AM   #12 
Hallyx
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Thank you, Ma'am, for your thoughtful post.

I have a few slow-growing column-feeders (Anubias, Wisteria, Moneywort, mossballs). I hand-feed and remove waste diligently. I test (API) every third day and always read <0.25. Am I being sufficiently careful?

By the way, I'd like to devise a method of combining these 2.5gals into a 5gal system that I can then cycle. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:15 AM   #13 
Tamyu
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By the way, I'd like to devise a method of combining these 2.5gals into a 5gal system that I can then cycle. Any suggestions?
I personally have never had a problem cycling and keeping a cycle in a smaller tank... But it is all about the filter when the tank is small. The inside of the tank doesn't offer enough space for the bacteria to populate, so you have to make up for it with a good flow through filter media that provides more than enough surface area.
I personally use a porous ball type that provides and incredible amount of "surface" for bacteria to populate. I usually don't use the filter cartridges for any of my filters, and instead make something that provides more bacteria living space out of filter balls and porous gel sponge (something else that gives a ton of "surface" space. For HOB filters you can usually use a piece of plastic and some filter media to rig it up so the water flows in and has to travel through all the media to get out. (This is what I have going on my 3 gallon, which is cycled and going strong.) For an internal filter you can take the cartridge out and fill it with your own stuff instead (this is what I have going on my 6 gallon.)

If you have two 2.5g, you can set it up with two filter power heads... One sending water from tank 1 to tank 2, set tank 2 up to be full of filter media (cut sponges, Easter grass, really anything that provides a lot of surface) and then another filter power head on the other side pumping the filtered water back into the first tank. It would make a great filter, but you would only be able to use one of the tanks for fish.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:22 PM   #14 
Hallyx
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...it is all about the filter ...media that provides more than enough surface area.
Understood...I'm with you so far

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Originally Posted by Tamyu View Post
I personally use a porous ball type .... and porous gel sponge
I'm new to this game and have never heard of either of these. Can you direct me to more information?

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Originally Posted by Tamyu View Post
For HOB filters .... For an internal filter you can take the cartridge out and fill it with your own stuff instead
I've never had space for an HOB before, but now I do. Do they make more noise than a fully-submerged cartridge type?

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If you have two 2.5g, you can set it up with two filter power heads... but you would only be able to use one of the tanks for fish.
My limited space requires that both be show tanks. I originally wanted to place the filter and heater in a separate utility tank between the show tanks--output into both, then siphon back into the sump. A pond professional friend advises against this. He says it's finicky and can be quite a mess. My small experiments in almost equal water level siphoning bear this out. It's not really like a sump or like a Betta barracks. I had hoped someone here with more experience might have been able to advise me otherwise.

Your suggestion--lots of filter area---is the simplest and most reliable method. The only drawback seems to be the tank volume occupied by filters, heaters and foam.

Thanks, Tamyu, yours have been the most helpful suggestions I've received so far.
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:41 AM   #15 
Tamyu
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I'm new to this game and have never heard of either of these. Can you direct me to more information?
Well, umm... I can give you the links to what I use, but I doubt they would be too much help.
The porous balls I use are these:
http://www.ph-clion.com/product/filt...oducts/01.html
I use the soft water type S size for bettas - it keeps the ph from rising, and bettas like low ph. It has 1620 square meters of "surface" per liter of pellets... It can really help to keep a good and steady cycle in a small tank. (I use a different type of their product - monoballs - for my goldfish, minnow, and medaka+shrimp tanks.)
The gel sponge is this:
http://www.shopping-charm.jp/ItemDet...0&itemId=44609
I just cut what size I need from it.
I think that the Eheim filter balls and the like are similar to the balls I use, but I don't know about the sponges... I really like the gel type as they can be used repeatedly with washing instead of falling apart and needing to be thrown away like the "wool" types.

Quote:
I've never had space for an HOB before, but now I do. Do they make more noise than a fully-submerged cartridge type?
I'll be honest and say that I only have one HOB... It is about the same in noise level as the two fully submerged filters I have. I find it is a lot easier to reduce surface agitation with the HOB... It was a huge pain to do so with the submerged filter in my female's tank.
The quietest, by far, is an external filter, but that is kind of overkill for a 2.5 gallon.
The biggest plus for an HOB is that there is usually a lot of space to put media, and it isn't as picky about shapes. It is usually just a "cup" to put media in. Water is pulled up into the filter on one side, and flows out of a lowered point on the other side. You can do all kinds of DIY stuff with a really cheap HOB to make it be a really good filter. I cut up plastic cups to make a sort of water "maze" so that it has to flow through a bunch of filter balls and then the gel sponge before it can go back into the tank.

Quote:
My limited space requires that both be show tanks. I originally wanted to place the filter and heater in a separate utility tank between the show tanks--output into both, then siphon back into the sump. A pond professional friend advises against this. He says it's finicky and can be quite a mess. My small experiments in almost equal water level siphoning bear this out. It's not really like a sump or like a Betta barracks. I had hoped someone here with more experience might have been able to advise me otherwise.
Having two tanks going into one filter is a bad idea for several reasons.
Let's say you get it set up and running well. What happens if a chunk of gravel or even a big piece of plant material is sucked into one of the pumps? Or even if one of them slows just a bit more than the others? Water ends up going out and not coming back in... You could easily end up with something overflowing. At worst, you end up with an emptying tank and dead fish.
Not to mention spreading illness...

Even with a single tank and single filter tank, you have to be really careful and set the tank water levels low to make sure that if something fails you don't have and serious problems... With two you don't have as much leeway.

Quote:
Your suggestion--lots of filter area---is the simplest and most reliable method. The only drawback seems to be the tank volume occupied by filters, heaters and foam.
For the most tank space in a small tank, the easiest has to be an HOB. It will actually increase the water volume by a small amount, while an internal filter displaces water and reduces it slightly.
The best would, of course, be an external filter... But from what I hear, they don't sell small ones in the US. If I ever put something more demanding than a betta in my smallest tank (shrimp or the like) I will probably pick a small one up as they are available here for very small size tanks.

[quote ]Thanks, Tamyu, yours have been the most helpful suggestions I've received so far.[/quote]

I am really glad I could help in some way. I am actually fairly new to the betta world, but have other fish, so know a bit about filters and the like.
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