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Old 06-22-2010, 09:09 PM   #1 
smallvle
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Not cycling a 5 gal?

I have a question, since I bought a 5 gal, and have had so many conflicting opinions on cycling, have done absolutly nothing with it. What would happen if I Just filled my 5 gal with de-chlorinated water, moved everything, (gravel, decor, filter,etc,) from my 2.5 gal to the 5 gal, with out rinsing anything, and just put Seuss in there? Would it be the end of the world? Would the tank cycle eventually? And even if I did end up cycling first, do you ever have to test the water after it's cycled and has fish in there? I am just getting so frustrated with the whole cycling thing and have heard so many different ways you can cycle, and one post says do "this," but the next one say to NEVER do what the first one just said. Ugh!

I'm getting sick of tripping over my empty 5 gal in my room, and am ready to just fill it and put Seuss in and do a 25% weekly water change w/o spending $20 on a testing kit and cycling when i'd still have to do a weekly water change whether the tank is cycled or not.

I also want to add a couple of java ferns, but am getting frustrated because everything i've found on how to grow them/ keep them alive conflicts also! Arg!

-5 gal tank (no hood or light, but can rig something up if needed for a plant, tho have a west facing room and tank get tons and tons of indirect sunlight all day.)

-Have a 2.5 gal (heated) tank with est. bacteria in filter media and gravel, never rinse either of those, though tank does get 50% weekly water change and gravel vac.
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:14 PM   #2 
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Tanks just don't "cycle themselves" thats a good way to end up with a dead fish. You NEED a test kit, even if you don't cycle. Everyone needs a test kit. When your fish gets sick the first thing people are going to ask is what your test readings are. Even if your tank is cycled you still need to be testing weekly. At least once. Personally I think water should be tested twice a week; the day before a water change and the day after.

IMO if your not going to cycle a tank you need to do 100% weekly water changes, doing partial water changes will eventually build up dangerous ammonia in your tank and poison your fish. Even if you cycle you should still be doing 50% changes.

Java ferns are the easiest plants in the world to keep. Just put them in there tied to a piece of driftwood or rock and that's it. As long as they are getting enough light they'll do great. If you really want them to grow well you can do stuff like get a better light or add flourish, etc. but it is not necessary.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:48 AM   #3 
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PetsMart will test your water for free! I agree with the above post, you need to test your water regardless. Having lots of ammonia in your tank is unfair to your fish, think about how your nose and eyes feel when you get a whiff of ammonia in your face do you want your fish to live in that? Your tank will still need to cycle but using your old gravel will speed up the process greatly.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:00 PM   #4 
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Tons and tons of information based on opinions and experiences based on how things worked for them and their fish, set-up, source water etc......some information is fact based with scientific research to back it up.
But you as the hobbyist have to sift through the ton of information and decide what to do, what works for one may not work for others. Use most of that information for a starting point and go from there.....

In my opinion and experience......
Yes, a test kit can make things easier, but not everyone can afford one.... not the end of the world, however, if you are going to be in this hobby it is a good idea to get a good master test kit one day.....until then.....

Often people have these test kits and test the water and have no idea what they are looking at or looking for as far as the readings go, and some things that happen in the tank you can't/don't test for in the hobby setting.
Learning about the water and how it effect the fish is a great thing to know. IMO to be a successful keeper of fish you must first be a keeper of water.

Regardless of the water pram readings the treatment is almost always the same..."a water change". The test can help you decide how much.
Close observation of the fish and understanding of their normal behavior can often tell you that something is wrong with the water/environment before you ever make a water pram test.
By making regular water changes most things can be prevented.
IMO/E-the fish/livestock can be a great form of water test by observation and the treatment "water change"

On your 5g set-up, yes, move every thing except the water from the 2.5g to the 5g. Fill the 5g with clean dechlorinated water of like temp of the 2.5g, turn the filter on and let it run for an hour to clear up some.
Don't rinse the gravel, decoration or the filter media and keep the water that is in the filter to move with it to the 5g tank
Add the fish
Make 50% water only change once a week and a 50% water change and vacuum the substrate in all areas you can reach without moving anything in the tank (like decorations/plants) once a week, making two weekly regular water changes, and make a 50% water change if you see any behavior changes in the fish, like stops eating, lethargic, hiding etc.....even if you just did a water change.

Java moss is a great low light plant and it should do well in the indirect light, tie it to something in the tank, driftwood works well but anything will work.

Looking forward to seeing pic
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:43 PM   #5 
smallvle
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1fish2fish View Post
IMO if your not going to cycle a tank you need to do 100% weekly water changes, doing partial water changes will eventually build up dangerous ammonia in your tank and poison your fish. Even if you cycle you should still be doing 50% changes.

For over a year now with Seuss in a 2.5 gal, I have been doing 50% water changes once a week, and he has done fine for that whole time with partial water changes. I have never tested his water either in that whole time, nor would I know what to look for.

No one can give me a straight answer on cycling, and I am super totally frustrated and fed-up with this right now. Everyone says cycling is easy, but it's not at all. I *just* don't get cycling! I have read so many posts and stickeys and just do not understand all the "nitrates," and "nitrites," and some say change your water everyday, while others say the bacteria live on the substrate, not in the water. SO FRUSTRATED!!!

I *know* everyone will yell at me, but fine, whatever, but tonight I put Seuss's old gravel, decor, filter and heater in with some new gravel and decor into the 5 gal and added dechlorinated water. There is no way enough harmful ammonia can build up in a 5 gal before I can run to the store tommorow night or friday morning to get testing kits or talk to my LFS. Seuss seems to be doing perfectly fine, and I plan on getting him some java ferns in the next couple of days, but would really appreciate if someone can give me help on how to cycle from here/ what to do next in the "Complete and utter idiots, totally incompetent fish owner's guide" way.


: ( : ( : (

p.s, I also use Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus, which says it neutralizes ammonia, and my filter says it's supposed to help take ammonia out of the water.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:11 PM   #6 
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Try reading this I think it might help with some of your concerns. It talks about fish in cycling which is different from fishless cycling but the effect is the same. Many people don't agree with fish in cycling, its a matter of choice. At this point I think a fish in cycle is what you should do. (I'm probably going to get flamed for it).

Cycling can be stressful but you just have to take it one step at a time. Don't make it more than it is. We're all here to help.

Basically what cycling does is establish bacteria in your tank. The bacteria live on the plants, decorations, gravel, and walls of the tank. They also live in the filter which is why it is best to have a sponge or some other object with a lot of surface area in the filter. The more surface area you have the more room the bacteria have to multiply. The more bacteria you have the better your cycle will be.

There are two types of bacteria that result from cycling. One takes the ammonia that is produced from fish waste and basically "eats it". That bacteria then produces a waste in the form of Nitrites. A second bacteria grows that "eats" the nitrites and produces Nitrates. Nitrates are safe for fish at levels of 0-20ppm (which means parts per gallon).

The reason you do water changes is to remove the nitrates which are in the water and not on the gravel, etc. If you don't do water changes eventually the nitrates will become dangerous.

If you do a fish in cycle you will have to do daily water changes (small ones) so the ammonia does not kill your fish while the tank cycles. If you do a fishless cycle you don't need to do water changes until the tank is cycled.

As for test kits. Spend the $30 and get the liquid API kit. It is by far the best 'bang for your buck' and it is really simple. Basically you will have "reagents" that will come in little bottles. You will also get little test tubes. You will fill the test tube with tank water up to the little line on the tube. You will then add the reagent (the directions will tell you how many drops to add). Shake them up and wait for them to turn color. Then you will compare the color in the test tube to the color on the card.

The main things you want to test for are Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates. You want to see 0 Ammonia and Nitrite and 0-20 Nitrate. If you see any ammonia or nitrite you need to do a water change. My rule is any reading of .50ppm or lower then do a 25% change, any reading higher than .50ppm and do a 50% change.

I hope this helps a little.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:35 AM   #7 
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Thank you thank you thank you 1fish2fish!!! I have no idea why I just can't understand cycling, but I am terrible with numbers and math and my brain kinda freezes up whenever I see too many numbers at once, so that's probably part of it. : ( But you helped alot! I have the day off work, so I plan on going to as many LFS as I can today and talking face to face with people about cycling, and seeing if anyone has the API master test kit, so I don't have to order it online and wait for it. As soon as I get it, I will test. : )

I bought Seuss a java fern last night, and the package said to prune it, rinse it and put it right in the aquarium, (don't yell at me!) So I did just that. I took ALL the dead or brown looking leaves off, and anything decaying, rinsed it VERY well, and tucked the roots into the crook of the handle of a mug I have in my tank, not in the substrate! I have been keeping a very close eye on it, and it and Seuss are doing fine so far.

Question; after a tank is fully cycled, how often do you test the water? Once a week? (It's a filtered heated 5 gal.) Before you plan on doing a water change? Is that how you know to do a water change?
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:16 PM   #8 
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I'm glad I can help. Just don't let the LFS sell you any fish to "cycle the tank" IMO that is inhumane to buy fish just to cycle the tank and often those fish end up dead. If the LFS is reputable and doesn't have diseased or dead fish in its tanks you might ask for some filter media. That will greatly help your cycle speed up.

Once your tank is cycled you can do one 25-50% change a week. Personally I always do 50% changes. You can even do two changes a week if you want pristine conditions. Since your only going to have one fish in the tank (no other tank mates right?) you can easily get away with one water change a week on a 5 gallon IMO.
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