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Old 06-21-2013, 11:33 PM   #1 
Graceful
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Questions about cycling

I'm making this thread purely out of curiosity. I hope that's OK.

When I was younger, I had a few betta fish over the years. I never kept them in anything larger than a 1/2 gallon (!!).

My question is, how did these fish live for years when their "tanks" were never cycled? I did weekly, sometimes monthly (hey, I was young and irresponsible) 100% water changes. From what I've read, it's inadvisable to do 100% water changes, and it's a death sentence to put a fish in a tank that's not cycled. So how did they survive?

In theory, could you fill a 10-gallon tank with tap water and the proper amount of water conditioner, and fish could survive in it? I don't understand the difference between that and a "cycled" tank.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:00 AM   #2 
Hallyx
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A cycled tank always has 0.0ppm ammonia and 0.0ppm nitrite . An uncycled tank starts building up these toxins as soon as the water is changed. Water changes lower nitrate, remove dissolved solids and replace minerals.

A tough, healthy Betta can survive deplorable conditions in the wild and in captivity. A Betta in a cold, dirty bowl at least enjoys low pH. A cold fish is less active; therefore theoretically can live longer. Live does not mean thrive.
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