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Old 06-21-2010, 02:48 AM   #1 
LMac54
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Exclamation Cycling noob needs Cycling help!!

I'll be getting my first big tank this week. It'll be a 10 gallon, divided for 2 (possibly 3) bettas. I'm getting the Aqueon Deluxe kit which includes the Aqueon Quiet Flow 10 filter (I think it uses activated carbon) and the Aqueon Submersible Heater. I kinda plan on putting the filter in the middle of the dividers and making a baffle to make sure that the whole tank is getting circulated.

This will be my first time cycling an aquarium. I never even heard of it until a few weeks after I got my two boys.

Since my boys are sharing a 1.5g (I was told by the pet store this was fine for them) and I'm moving out in about 2 months, I want to get them out of their tiny tank ASAP!!... but I hear cycling takes forever, unless I do a fish-in cycle... which I also hear is non-preferred. Are bettas fine to do a fish-in cycle? Are there other "quick-fix" alternatives? Will I have to cycle all over again when I empty the tank to move out?

((I've seen this video where a guy "instantly" cycles his huge aquarium by just dumping in a cup of dirty, bacteria-filled water from an already-cycled tank... with fish in it. Is that safe? This would be good for me, except I don't have any friends who keep fish.))

I'm also gonna need, like, step-by-step help on HOW TO CYCLE, since I'm an aquarium noob, and I want to make sure I don't screw up. Like, time lines of what kind of levels I'm testing for. I've been trying my best to read and understand everything, but I feel really stupid at this kind of thing. I seriously feel like I need someone to hold my hand through this for a while.

So pathetic. Will someone help me?


As a bonus, attached is an OLD picture of my boys in their tank. Keep in mind that it's from A MONTH AGO, and since then, I've added a little more glass stones and a HEATER! And yes, those are their names. I'm not young, I'm just a huge NERD.
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Last edited by LMac54; 06-21-2010 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:57 AM   #2 
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Also, I'm really really nervous about using live plants. I don't have to use live plants, right? I was thinking maybe some floating ones... I want to switch to silk plants at least.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:46 AM   #3 
smallvle
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Don't feel so bad, i'm a cycling noob too. I'm trying to learn how to cycle my new 5 gal. : S Noobs unite! lol!

Anyway, i've heard that live plants help in a cycled tank to help filter out excess ammonia and nitrates and such, but you don't *need* them, they just make for less water changes. That's about all I know. : )
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:08 AM   #4 
Kohni
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Hey! I am new to cycling as well! I found a few good guides on how to do it. They all say it could take a few weeks though.

http://www.flippersandfins.net/cyclingfishlesshowto.htm

and

http://aquamaniacs.net/forum/cms_vie...cle.php?aid=31

also this is handy for keeping track of your results:

http://secskin.blogspot.com/2009/09/...e-tracker.html

Hope this is helpfull! Your bettas are really pretty btw! :)
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:13 AM   #5 
1077
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMac54 View Post
I'll be getting my first big tank this week. It'll be a 10 gallon, divided for 2 (possibly 3) bettas. I'm getting the Aqueon Deluxe kit which includes the Aqueon Quiet Flow 10 filter (I think it uses activated carbon) and the Aqueon Submersible Heater. I kinda plan on putting the filter in the middle of the dividers and making a baffle to make sure that the whole tank is getting circulated.

This will be my first time cycling an aquarium. I never even heard of it until a few weeks after I got my two boys.

Since my boys are sharing a 1.5g (I was told by the pet store this was fine for them) and I'm moving out in about 2 months, I want to get them out of their tiny tank ASAP!!... but I hear cycling takes forever, unless I do a fish-in cycle... which I also hear is non-preferred. Are bettas fine to do a fish-in cycle? Are there other "quick-fix" alternatives? Will I have to cycle all over again when I empty the tank to move out?

((I've seen this video where a guy "instantly" cycles his huge aquarium by just dumping in a cup of dirty, bacteria-filled water from an already-cycled tank... with fish in it. Is that safe? This would be good for me, except I don't have any friends who keep fish.))

I'm also gonna need, like, step-by-step help on HOW TO CYCLE, since I'm an aquarium noob, and I want to make sure I don't screw up. Like, time lines of what kind of levels I'm testing for. I've been trying my best to read and understand everything, but I feel really stupid at this kind of thing. I seriously feel like I need someone to hold my hand through this for a while.

So pathetic. Will someone help me?


As a bonus, attached is an OLD picture of my boys in their tank. Keep in mind that it's from A MONTH AGO, and since then, I've added a little more glass stones and a HEATER! And yes, those are their names. I'm not young, I'm just a huge NERD.
Cycling an aquarium does seem like it takes a while but the benefits of being patient ,pay big dividends with regards to the fishes overall health.
Were it me,(and it ain't) I would set up the ten gallon tank with dechlorinated water, heater, and filter and let it run for a day to ensure that the filter and heater are operating correctly.
I would then place the Betta's (divided tank )in the tank and feed them sparingly while performing two gallon water changes with newly dechlorinated water each morning and evening for the next three to four weeks.
See that water is close to same temp as that in the tank.
Two bettas in a ten gallon will not present to large of a bioload and so long as you don't overfeed,don't add any more fish,and don't remove ,replace,or clean the filter for the three or four week period,, at the end of this time,the filter will have developed a sufficient bacteria colony (good kind) to support the fishes = (cycled tank)
For fishless cycling, you can feed the tank a small amount of food each day just as you would if fish were present. Again, don't disturb the filter and at the end of three or four weeks,the filter should have developed a sufficient bacteria colony to support the fish. For fishless method,I would suggest that you perform 60 to 70 percent water change at the end of four weeks before placing fish in the tank.
Once the tank has (cycled) then once weekly water change of 25 percent to 40 percent are all that is needed.
Two preserve the (cycled filter) when you move,just keep the filter material (ie)cartridge,pad,sponge,etc wet in aquarium water and try to re-start the filter as soon as possible after the move. Good luck.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:33 AM   #6 
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The biggest thing you need is something in the 10 gallon that will ferment the water to get the ammonia up, for me cycling my 10 gallon divided tank for the first time, you'll see your ammonia spike up to 1-2 if you don't do water changes (50% over the course of a few days taht its spiking) and then ammonia will go to 0 and nitrates will start to go up, and thats as far as I have gotten. You can go fishless cycling of the tank fairly quickly using the right water treatments, adding lots of fish food to the water, and letting it run with the filter on and the hood light on for atleast 12 hours a day. Also turn your heater up to around 83-85 (no fish in it right?)

Honestly I like live plants, but god they are a pain in the ass. Seriously. 80% of the messy compost on the floor of my tank is from leaves and stems and crap that died on the plants. D: I like Crypotcoryne's and Ludwigia's the most though, stay away from "Moneywart" at petsmart as its known to cause bloating in bettas. (JUST FOUND OUT! GAHHHHHHHHH)
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:37 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
Were it me,(and it ain't) I would set up the ten gallon tank with dechlorinated water, heater, and filter and let it run for a day to ensure that the filter and heater are operating correctly.
I would then place the Betta's (divided tank )in the tank and feed them sparingly while performing two gallon water changes with newly dechlorinated water each morning and evening for the next three to four weeks.
See that water is close to same temp as that in the tank.
Two bettas in a ten gallon will not present to large of a bioload and so long as you don't overfeed,don't add any more fish,and don't remove ,replace,or clean the filter for the three or four week period,, at the end of this time,the filter will have developed a sufficient bacteria colony (good kind) to support the fishes = (cycled tank)
For fishless cycling, you can feed the tank a small amount of food each day just as you would if fish were present. Again, don't disturb the filter and at the end of three or four weeks,the filter should have developed a sufficient bacteria colony to support the fish. For fishless method,I would suggest that you perform 60 to 70 percent water change at the end of four weeks before placing fish in the tank.
Once the tank has (cycled) then once weekly water change of 25 percent to 40 percent are all that is needed.
Two preserve the (cycled filter) when you move,just keep the filter material (ie)cartridge,pad,sponge,etc wet in aquarium water and try to re-start the filter as soon as possible after the move. Good luck.
Thanks so much 1077, that was all really helpful!! ^-^

So... if I do a fish-in cycle, I do two water changes every day for 3-4 weeks? I think that might be doable.
If I do a fishless cycle with betta food, do I still have to do that many water changes?

How often do I have to check ammonia/nitrate/nitrite levels with the fish-in method? What kind of levels am I looking for and when?
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:41 PM   #8 
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Also, what do I do if one of my fish happen to get sick during the cycling process? *knock on wood* I know I would have to quarantine the sick fish, but would I have to change anything for the cycling to continue?
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:10 PM   #9 
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+1 on 1077's post.
You can speed up the cycling process by using filter media from a already cycled tank and use it in your own filter.
If the bloke in the clip you saw is just pouring in water from cycled tank this wont work.The bacteria lives on surfaces and not it the water itself.
If you know someone with an established tank you could either use some of their filter media,run your filter in their tank along side their own filter for a week or so or put some of your ornaments in their tank for a couple of weeks or so it to help kick start your own bacteria.
A tank with a small bioload and a decent amount of plants wont need to be cycled as the plants will do it for you.Or as 1077 says a 10G with 2 fish,frequent water changes will allow a fish-in cycle and no harm to the fish as the bioload will be small.

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Old 06-21-2010, 05:17 PM   #10 
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I think I know the video they're talking about. The guy used and old sponge from a sponge filter in an established tank and squeezed the dirty sponge water into a cup of clean dechlorinated water. I didn't watch the whole thing but I think that's the gist of it.
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