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.