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Old 08-22-2009, 10:59 PM   #11 
dramaqueen
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Cycling is the building up of beneficial bacteria in your tank. You can google fishless cycling for more info.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:03 PM   #12 
Phether
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How young should I get the fish? Some of them come when they are 3 months old and some are fully grown... any suggestions?
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:05 PM   #13 
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I would get a young one. :)
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:44 PM   #14 
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Like Dramaqueen said, get a young one :)
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:13 AM   #15 
Phether
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How young should I aim for?

After some research, I found that I could do some fishless cycling. How do I do this? If I am not mistaken, I'm supposed to add regular amounts of ammonia daily until the ammonia and nitrate levels balance out. Am I correct?

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Old 08-23-2009, 12:14 AM   #16 
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About 3-5 months old.
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:00 AM   #17 
Phether
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How does tank maintenance work? How do I do it and how often? What about if I empty the tank and clean the entire thing? Do I have to cycle the tank again? Do I need to take any precautions before putting the fish back in? Do I just use tap water?

What about accessories like logs/rocks/plants? I plan to keep the aquarium in my room which does not get any direct sunlight at all... just a bit that comes through the blinds. I see that amazon swords are popular to have, but I'm afraid that it may grow too big for a 10 gallon tank. Thoughts/suggestions?

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Old 08-23-2009, 06:41 AM   #18 
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With a 10 gallon tank, I can't say what percentage you should take out weekly during water changes. Someone with more experience in a larger tank will have to help you there. I have a 5 gallon and recently had to completely empty the tank and clean it. I do not have to go through a WHOLE new cycle, I'm just have a mini cycle. So no worries - if you ever do have to completely empty, you should be okay. You can use tap water, just make sure you condition first with a water conditioner such as Prime, Tetra Aquasafe, Stress Coat, etc.

As for plants, you can use silk or live. Plastic plants can tear their fins. Decorations you need to watch - because sharp or pointy ones can also tear their fins. So for example: Shipes can have pointy edges that can hurt the fins. You don't want to give your betta direct sunlight. So where you are keeping it is fine. Honestly, my betta's tank is in my room - which gets very little sunlight. If you keep your tank in direct sunlight you'll get a lot of algae growth, which you don't want. :)

About the sword plants, I found its best to get root tabs in there for them. They definitely need 12 hours of light daily at least. Plus don't forget your liquid food also. Once I got the root tabs, my sword plant took off. I actually finally am able to prune back the older leaves now because my plant growth took off so fast in a matter of a month.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:26 AM   #19 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phether View Post
How young should I aim for?

After some research, I found that I could do some fishless cycling. How do I do this? If I am not mistaken, I'm supposed to add regular amounts of ammonia daily until the ammonia and nitrate levels balance out. Am I correct?
Yes, you'll need ammonia, a dropper of some sort, and a liquid test kit for ammonia, nitrIte, and nitrAte. You add enough ammonia at first to bring the level to around 3-5 ppm, then wait for ammonia to start going down. Once it gets to about .25 nitrItes should start showing up. At this point you should also start adding ammonia daily (about 1 drop per 2-3 gallons should do). You will then see ammonia and nitrIte dropping down to 0 and nitrAtes will show up. Now the cycle is complete and all you need to do is a water change (how much depends on the nitrAte level), but make sure not to touch the gravel or filter material as this is where your good bacteria live and the cycle is going to be fragile for a while, and add fish. Once you add fish you will still want to monitor the parameters frequently so you can be sure it's not mini-cycling.

As for weekly cleaning, you should buy a gravel vaccuum. That way you can clean the gravel and take out dirty water at the same time. 25% weekly water changes should be good. You can use your tap water but make sure to condition it first.

Hope this helps .
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:24 PM   #20 
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Will an amazon sword be able to stay alive in my room? Do I need some kind of artificial light? What kind?
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