I bought a top fin 5.5gallon tank from petsmart... and I have a BUNCH of questions. My betta right now, I've had since Dec 2011, he's been in a 1.75g tetra waterfall fishbowl and he's recovering from a fungal infection at the moment. I've always wanted to buy a 5g tank for him and I'm glad I finally did but im totally confused about what steps I should be taking next...
1) Do I need to cycle this tank?
2) How often should I do water changes if I don't need to cycle? (it has a filter)
3) If I do need to cycle this tank, how often should I do water changes during the cycle? (I'm doing a fishless cycle)
4) If I do need to cycle this tank, how does changing the filter cartridge work? considering the bacteria is on the cartridge?
5) Do i just leave the fish food in the tank to rot? (ie. never clean out the food?)
6) How much fish food should i put in the tank daily for cycling? (using pellets)
7) After the cycle is done, how often do I do water changes?
8) What heater would be good for this tank?
Thank you so very much! I appreciate the help!