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Old 01-28-2013, 10:01 AM   #1 
Seki
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Cleaning Cycled Tank for New Betta Buddy?

Hey all! Long time no see... work's been crazy, although I've still been stalking this site when I have the time. Dunno if anyone remembers me anymore lol.

Okay, on to my question...

Sadly, my betta buddy Zen has passed away despite my efforts to save him. He chewed his tail all the way down to a stump and I believe he drowned while I was at work one day. I was very sad, but now I think I am ready to get another fishy friend to fill the void. I would like to reuse the 5.5 gallon tank I had Zen in, since it was fully cycled, but I don't know how to clean it out properly before I do without destroying all the BB.

The tank has been sitting empty for several days. I shut off the filter (which needs replaced) because it was rattling and buzzing horribly, so that might have been a huge mistake. The water has remained heated to 79 degrees this entire time, and I have not yet done a water change since Zen passed away. The dead fish, though, has not been in the tank since I shut the filter off, so no ammonia spikes, hopefully. I haven't bothered testing any water prams.

I have a whole day off (a very rare thing!), so I would like to get the tank cleaned and set up and hopefully get a new fish in there by tonight if I can. How should I go about cleaning to make sure it's a safe environment for my new friend?
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:49 AM   #2 
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Also, I have not removed any of the decor or anything from the tank. I AM willing to start over if I need to, although if I can maintain my current cycle, I'd prefer to do that, since it is far less dangerous for the fish.

On a side note... is it okay to replace decor in a cycled tank? I wouldn't mind changing up the theme a little, although I like the Japanese Garden theme, so if I shouldn't change the decor, I am alright with leaving it. :)
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:29 AM   #3 
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If you put medicine in the tank your going to have to start over. The only way to get it all out is clean everything with a vinegar/water solution, which will mean you are starting from new tank. If you didn't use medicine you can try doing several small water changes to preserve the BB. Changing decor won't hurt anything.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:59 AM   #4 
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Thanks! No, I didn't put any medicine in the 5 gallon. I used a quarantine tank when I treated him for fin rot before.

I really don't think the fish was sick in any way when he died. Like I said before, I think he drowned because he chewed his tail off. He was literally the worst tail-biter I have ever seen. Not just nipping... he chewed it ALL off.

I have had the filter off for several days now, and I was planning on buying a new filter as it is (this one is basically shot... the motor is so loud it's unbearable). Will that change things? Will I basically be re-cycling with my new betta?
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:03 PM   #5 
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Sorry Zen died. Since the tank has sat empty for several days without an ammonia source, unless you've been feeding it ammonia, the BB will have died off so you will be cycling from scratch.

EDIT: I should have said MOST LIKELY the BB has died off or at least a lot of it will have died off without an ammonia source.

Last edited by shellieca; 01-28-2013 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:06 PM   #6 
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Okay, so I am starting all over again? I had dropped a few food pellets in there on a whim because I had thought I read that it was possible to keep a cycle going with food. It's alright if I'm starting over, though. I did a fish-in cycle with Zen, and I am confident I can do a fish-in cycle again with this new fish. It's a bit of work, but I am more than willing to do that to create a good environment for my fish.

I have read about cycling chemicals, though... does anyone think those do any good? Or should I do it the old-fashioned way?
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:09 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seki View Post
Okay, so I am starting all over again? I had dropped a few food pellets in there on a whim because I had thought I read that it was possible to keep a cycle going with food. It's alright if I'm starting over, though. I did a fish-in cycle with Zen, and I am confident I can do a fish-in cycle again with this new fish. It's a bit of work, but I am more than willing to do that to create a good environment for my fish.

I have read about cycling chemicals, though... does anyone think those do any good? Or should I do it the old-fashioned way?

If you've been dropping food there MAY have been enough ammonia to save it, but the bulk of your BB will have been in your filter media. I would just make sure to test the water daily for at least a week or two to keep an on the water parameters.

Are you refering to bacteria boosters when you say chemicals? They are hit & miss, some people have had great success others have not. Either way you would need to provide an ammonia source.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:16 PM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellieca View Post
If you've been dropping food there MAY have been enough ammonia to save it, but the bulk of your BB will have been in your filter media. I would just make sure to test the water daily for at least a week or two to keep an on the water parameters.

Are you refering to bacteria boosters when you say chemicals? They are hit & miss, some people have had great success others have not. Either way you would need to provide an ammonia source.
Ah, well, I'm guessing since the filter has been off, the BB in there are long dead. Darn it! But maybe the BB in the tank itself survived because of the food I dropped in there? I am hopeful~

Yeah, that's what I was talking about. I was considering buying those to jump-start the cycle when I put a new betta in the tank. But if my cycle may still be intact, I will definitely check my parameters to see. I would be so happy not to have to start over! It took three months for my cycle to stabilize last time! At times I was doing 3 or 4 water changes a week because of ammonia spikes lol.

I am going to go ahead and do a 75% water change on the current tank set-up and then test the parameters. If I have to re-cycle, then I guess I have to re-cycle. I would like the water to be as fresh as possible for my new little dude. The boyfriend and I are going to pick him out tonight! :)
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