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Old 03-20-2010, 11:31 PM   #11 
dramaqueen
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Yes, we definitely recommend the API freshwater master test kit. It's very accurate, whereas the strips aren't. I also recommend the Marineland visitherm stealth heater. I have a 25 watt in a 2.5 gallon.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:47 PM   #12 
1fish2fish
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You sound like your well on your way :)

Cycling is a great asset.. especially in tanks larger than 3 gallons because if you don't cycle you will have to do weekly 100% changes.. taking out everything and rinsing it and putting it back together.

Since you don't already have your fish I highly suggest you go with the fishless cycle.. it is quicker and safer than the fishless cycle and doesn't involve as much.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:13 AM   #13 
doubleatheman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dramaqueen View Post
Yes, we definitely recommend the API freshwater master test kit. It's very accurate, whereas the strips aren't. I also recommend the Marineland visitherm stealth heater. I have a 25 watt in a 2.5 gallon.
That's the test kit I have, It works well (or so I think it does)
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:09 AM   #14 
soleilvie
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Just some more questions about cycling: I don't have a previously established tank so I can't get a bacterial source that way. Is there something else I can use? How much ammonia do I initially start out with and how long after I put it in do I test it to make sure it's around 5 ppm? Also, I was wondering if a water conditioner is the same as a dechlorinator. I have this: http://www.petco.com/product/10844/A...rsandAdditives. Is that good?
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:32 AM   #15 
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You might be able to ask a local fish store to give you a squeezing from their filters. I wouldn't do petsmart because they can have diseased tanks. If you have a friend with an established tank thats even better.

I think you put in 1tsp of ammonia a day and test every day.. but I'm not positive on that amount. Get the API freshwater master test kit because it has all the tests you need. Test every single day.

Water conditioner is the same thing as dechlorinator. What you have is alright but I highly recommend you buy Seachem Prime conditioner.. its one of the best IMO.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:20 PM   #16 
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Thank you for recommending a different conditioner. I think I might go for that one. Are there any other options for getting good bacteria? Is there something I can buy at a store, like a chemical of some sort? I don't know anyone that already has a fish tank and don't really want to ask on Facebook or anything, haha. I only know of Petco, Petsmart, Walmart, etc. in my area. I also know there are a few fish tanks in fish restaurants. That would be super awkward though... Are you talking about getting a water sample from an established tank or something that's in the tank already, like a bit of gravel?
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:34 PM   #17 
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I also recommend Seachem Prime

I think there are some store-bought bacteria (It's gotta come from the fridge, though), but it's pretty mixed. Some people it worked, some people it was a waste of money. You could try, but I wouldn't hope for anything, honestly. If you wanted to try the LFS, you could try to find one specific tank with no dead fish or anything, no illnesses, no nothing (They don't use the drip-filtration method, right?). Well my Petco uses gravel, my Petsmart doesn't. But they're both wonderful at keeping fish alive. (Walmart, not so much).
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:39 PM   #18 
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Is it completely necessary to have some sort of good bacteria in there beforehand or is it just to quicken the process? I will have plenty of time to do this so I don't really need it to be as fast as possible.
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:04 PM   #19 
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It just speeds up the process but not absolutely necessary.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:32 PM   #20 
soleilvie
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I have some more questions! I probably won't start the cycling process for about another month since I will be going away for a weekend soon and I don't want to miss any days of testing/adding ammonia so I'm preparing now, then waiting.

I am following this guide for fishless cycling and I'm basically creating my own step by step instructions so I will know exactly what I'm doing. I've read through these directions I don't know how many times now but I'm still uncertain of a few things.

1. Am I adding the same amount of ammonia daily or am I checking the ammonia level each day and adding as much as needed to keep the amount at ~5ppm?

2. If I keep adding the same amount of ammonia each day, won't the levels be like 15 or 20ppm?

3. If I am checking the ammonia levels daily and adding only as much as needed to keep the level at ~5ppm, what if one day I check the level and it is still at ~5ppm. Do I just not add anymore that day or will I always have less ammonia each day (before nitrites show)?

4. I don't think this question was answered earlier. How long after I add the ammonia is it good to test for an accurate reading? Right away? Half an hour? An hour?

5. After I have cycled and when I am ready to add the fish, do I still go through the process of acclimating the Betta? I've read that I should sit the container in the water for awhile then slowly add tank water to the container. Does this mean the water in the container will be mixed with my tank water? I don't want the pet store water mixed with mine...

Thanks everyone for all your advice and recommendations. I feel very confident going into all of this!
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