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Old 08-26-2012, 06:13 PM   #1 
ellafishcrazy
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Question Help with my first 10 gallon?

Some people may or may not remember my thread from when I first got a free 10 gallon from a friend. Well I have the means to make a divider and buy decorations, I just have questions about cycling, filtration, and heating, and I'd be a thousand times grateful if someone could answer them. I'll number them so it's a little less confusing. I apologize in advance for how long this post is, and in my ignorance of fish-keeping.

1. The heater I found is within my price range, and looks good, I was just wondering if anyway had had any bad experiences with it here.
http://http://www.petco.com/product/...um-Heater.aspx

2. It it absolutely necessary to have a filter for a 10 gallon? I'm pretty sure it is, I just wanted to double check on it, because I heard the water is cold on the bottom and warm on the top, which is bad for the betta. If so, is this a good filter? http://http://www.petsmart.com/produ...143&lmdn=BrandAlso, how often do you change the cartridges? Are filters plugged in, or do they run on batteries? I've never had a fliter, much less looked at one closely, so I don't even know. I'm that ridiculous...

3. Oh, cycling. I've read the sticky here on cycling, as well as other sites explaining them, but I still can't grasp the concept. If you are building up the good bacteria, why do you change the water directly after the cycling is finished? It just gets rid of it all. What do you use the test kit for, and when do you know the cycling is done? And last off all, if you have fake plants, do you need to cycle? I'm afraid I'm still not sure of all the sciency things in the sticky, though I do understand what ammonia is.

I'm very sorry for all this, I hope I don't make someone mad at me.




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Old 08-26-2012, 06:39 PM   #2 
Perseusmom
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First off your links are not working for me. Yes a filter is a good idea to have one for a 10 gallon and yes they are plug in. As for heating the water you would want the heater on the back wall of the tank somewhere in the middle of the two sides if you are using a divider. You have to filter in order to cycle that is where most the good bacteria lives, some will live on the decorations and as for being in the water no they dont live in the water, they are sticky and live on the filter, decorations, the walls of the tank, plants, so water changing does not get rid of the bacteria only the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Yes you need a test kit to check the levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrite when you are cycling a tank. I just finished the cycle on my 5 gallon tank and I did a fish in cycle meaning I kept my Betta in the tank while it cycled. you can do this but have to do alot of water changes and I used the API Master Freshwater Kit to check on my levels each day.

Does this answer all the your questions ? If not ask if you need to know more. Good luck there is plenty of people here to help you.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:21 PM   #3 
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The heater should be adjustable & the appropriate size for your tank so whatever is in your price range should be fine. Make sure you have a hang in tank thermometer that you mount opposite side of the heater (heater on back left, therm. should be front right) so you can monitor that the heater is working correctly. As with the heater, the filter should be the appropriate size for the tank if not a little more, you may have to baffle the outflow for your Betta. DO NOT change the cartridge unless it is absolutely falling apart, DO NOT rinse it in tap water. When you do a water change swish the cartridge in the USED tank water to get the soli gunk off & put it back. The filter is where your main BB is. Filters plug in, unplug it when doing a water change. You do water changes because the BB can only do so much, plus you have to vacuum the substrate otherwise your BB can become overloaded & NOT do its job. You need to have a LIQUID water test kit. I fish IN cycled 2 tanks simultaneously, I tested daily & did 50% water changes per my test results. So if my test showed .5 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10 nitrates i did a water change because of the ammonia level. You need to test daily, ESPECIALLY if doing a fish IN cycle, once you get nitrItes you're close to the end but will still need to do water changes because nitrites are dangerous to fish. You are cycled when your water tests show ammonia 0, nitrites 0 & nitrates <40. It took 8 wks for my 10g & about 6 for my 46g. If you do a fish LESS cycle you don't have to do so many water changes but you need to have an ammonia source. Cycling is NOT for the plants but the safety of the fish. I suggest you get Prime as a water conditioner, IMO & many others it's the best. I also suggest getting a water changer so you don't have to lug buckets for the larger tank.

Sorry so long but I hope I covered it all, ask more questions if need be.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:36 PM   #4 
ellafishcrazy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perseusmom View Post
First off your links are not working for me. Yes a filter is a good idea to have one for a 10 gallon and yes they are plug in. As for heating the water you would want the heater on the back wall of the tank somewhere in the middle of the two sides if you are using a divider. You have to filter in order to cycle that is where most the good bacteria lives, some will live on the decorations and as for being in the water no they dont live in the water, they are sticky and live on the filter, decorations, the walls of the tank, plants, so water changing does not get rid of the bacteria only the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Yes you need a test kit to check the levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrite when you are cycling a tank. I just finished the cycle on my 5 gallon tank and I did a fish in cycle meaning I kept my Betta in the tank while it cycled. you can do this but have to do alot of water changes and I used the API Master Freshwater Kit to check on my levels each day.

Does this answer all the your questions ? If not ask if you need to know more. Good luck there is plenty of people here to help you.
Thanks on the clarifying on the filter, that helped a lot. On the fish in cycle: Yes, I've heard about it, but I'd prefer to do a fishless cycle as that requires less water changes, and my fish tanks are at the top of my 4 story house, also I am a lazy bum. Could you clarify the fishless cycle a little more? Thanks a bunch.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:57 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellieca View Post
The heater should be adjustable & the appropriate size for your tank so whatever is in your price range should be fine. Make sure you have a hang in tank thermometer that you mount opposite side of the heater (heater on back left, therm. should be front right) so you can monitor that the heater is working correctly. As with the heater, the filter should be the appropriate size for the tank if not a little more, you may have to baffle the outflow for your Betta. DO NOT change the cartridge unless it is absolutely falling apart, DO NOT rinse it in tap water. When you do a water change swish the cartridge in the USED tank water to get the soli gunk off & put it back. The filter is where your main BB is. Filters plug in, unplug it when doing a water change. You do water changes because the BB can only do so much, plus you have to vacuum the substrate otherwise your BB can become overloaded & NOT do its job. You need to have a LIQUID water test kit. I fish IN cycled 2 tanks simultaneously, I tested daily & did 50% water changes per my test results. So if my test showed .5 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10 nitrates i did a water change because of the ammonia level. You need to test daily, ESPECIALLY if doing a fish IN cycle, once you get nitrItes you're close to the end but will still need to do water changes because nitrites are dangerous to fish. You are cycled when your water tests show ammonia 0, nitrites 0 & nitrates <40. It took 8 wks for my 10g & about 6 for my 46g. If you do a fish LESS cycle you don't have to do so many water changes but you need to have an ammonia source. Cycling is NOT for the plants but the safety of the fish. I suggest you get Prime as a water conditioner, IMO & many others it's the best. I also suggest getting a water changer so you don't have to lug buckets for the larger tank.

Sorry so long but I hope I covered it all, ask more questions if need be.
Thanks for the stuff about the cartridge and filter, but what is the "vacuum" you are talking about? A literal vacuum for my gravel, for just cleaning it? Also, the nitrites and nitrates, are they sources of good bacteria for the tank, or are they bad like ammonia? For the fishless cycle, can you just put in food for do you need liquid ammonia? And what is a water changer?

Blarg. Sorry about the barrage of questions.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:23 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellafishcrazy View Post
Thanks for the stuff about the cartridge and filter, but what is the "vacuum" you are talking about? A literal vacuum for my gravel, for just cleaning it? Also, the nitrites and nitrates, are they sources of good bacteria for the tank, or are they bad like ammonia? For the fishless cycle, can you just put in food for do you need liquid ammonia? And what is a water changer?

Blarg. Sorry about the barrage of questions.
Nitrites are bad in terms of fish, nitrates are good. When cycling fish IN or fish LESS you will 1st get ammonia then nitrites then nitrates BUT it is possible to have all 3 at once or just 2 of the 3 and you can get nitrates before nitrites. This is what i have, it takes a couple times to get the hang of it but it works great. Hopefully the link works: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...n=Product+Type
With a 20g or bigger you won't be able to properly clean your tank without one. They also have ones that'll attach to a faucet so you don't need to lug buckets around which is the water changer. See the link (again hopefully it works)
http://www.amazon.com/Python-25ft-Sp...+water+changer
I have one for my 46g & it's great.
Liquid ammonia is easier, faster & less mess. Using food can be messy & it's difficult to get the correct dosage. You can also use a frozen raw shrimp or prawn. If you go with food or shrimp put it in a mesh bag so it's easier to clean out. The shrimp will get smelly & mushy but if it's in a mesh bag when you remove it you can put it in to a Baggie & freeze it until you need it again. You're going to need to keep the ammonia at a certain level in order to feed the bacteria if not the BB will die off & your tank won't cycle.

Last edited by shellieca; 08-26-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:31 PM   #7 
ellafishcrazy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellieca View Post
Nitrites are bad in terms of fish, nitrates are good. When cycling fish IN or fish LESS you will 1st get ammonia then nitrites then nitrates BUT it is possible to have all 3 at once or just 2 of the 3 and you can get nitrates before nitrites. This is what i have, it takes a couple times to get the hang of it but it works great. Hopefully the link works: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...n=Product+Type
With a 20g or bigger you won't be able to properly clean your tank without one. They also have ones that'll attach to a faucet so you don't need to lug buckets around which is the water changer. See the link (again hopefully it works)
http://www.amazon.com/Python-25ft-Sp...+water+changer
I have one for my 46g & it's great.
Liquid ammonia is easier, faster & less mess. Using food can be messy & it's difficult to get the correct dosage. You can also use a frozen raw shrimp or prawn. If you go with food or shrimp put it in a mesh bag so it's easier to clean out. The shrimp will get smelly & mushy but if it's in a mesh bag when you remove it you can put it in to a Baggie & freeze it until you need it again. You're going to need to keep the ammonia at a certain level in order to feed the bacteria if not the BB will die off & your tank won't cycle.
Okay, thanks for the links. I'll look into the gravel vacuum, sounds like a huge help[. I'll probably end up using liquid ammonia, too. Tanks for all the help!
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:39 PM   #8 
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Cycling a tank seems overwhelming but once you get going it'll all make more sense. Just keep asking questions.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:44 PM   #9 
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I have a 50W Hydor Theo heater. It works perfectly. 79-80 constant.
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