Originally Posted by Arethrox
okat ty, how long should i not vacuum the gravel for? and do i do water change while it cycles?
and also how do i know when the cycle is over?
i plan on getting 5g eclipse Hex, it says it comes with some sort of BIO-wheel (dont know what it does) and im going to keep my beta fish alone for while
how long would it take to cycle that?
I just vacuum until I have vacuumed all the gravel. You see the being sucked out-- VERY satisfying lol! Unlike vacuuming carpets :/
I am not sure whether to do water changes with a fishless cycle, but with a fish-in cycle, definitely.
You'll know by measuring the ammonia, nitratites and nitrates. When everything except nitrAtes is at0 for about a week, you'll know you're all finished. The API kit DQ mentioned is absolutely the best bang for your buck. A very good test kit... it seems like a lot of different chemicals to test (I believe the kit tests 8 different parameters) but you will use all of them in basic fishkeeping.
The Bio-Wheel filter is an awesome filter... it has lots of surface for bacteria to grow on, which = more bacteria, whiich = less ammonia/nitrIte. All the best filters rely heavily on only 2 types of filtration: biological filtration (bacteria in the filter consuming the impurities) and mechanical filtration (sponges, etc to trap debris).