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Old 08-01-2007, 10:12 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: UK

Hi people. I have never owned a betta fish before, but I am leaning towards getting one soon.
I just want to know, what do people mean by 'the tank fully cycled'?
What does it mean, how can you tell when it's happend and how do you make this happen?
I am getting a 15gal tank and I'm thinking of getting a male betta and 3 corydora or octo. catfish. Which would be better (or would both)? I'd also like to get a few more varieties of fish to live with the betta and 3 cory/octos, but I don't want breeding (unless the fish are really small) seeing as though the tank isn't the largest and I've not had ANY tropical fish before.
Thanks :)
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Old 08-01-2007, 10:39 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Colorado Front Range
Cycling a tank means getting the tank seasoned so that any ammonia that the fish produce gets converted to nitrites and subsequently converted to nitrates. Ammonia first builds up until the bacteria start converting it to nitrites. After a spike of nitrites, bacteria will start building up to convert this to nitrates. Cycling occurs naturally by the build of of aerobic bacteria which will convert ammonia and nitrites. Ammonia is fatal to fish in quantities as low as 1ppm and Nitrites are fatal in quantities of 4ppm. To monitor cycling, you want to use a test kit (liquid being more reliable than test strips).

Make sure your tank is fully cycled before adding oto cats. They are sensitive to both and as ammonia and nitrites build up, even a mini cycle can kill them later.
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Old 08-01-2007, 05:22 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Welcome to, Lara.

For other tankmates aside from a betta and cories/otos, some harlequin rasboras for the mid section will compliment well or get some diamond tetras which are stunners.;)

Good luck with the hobby and hope you enjoy your stay here.:D
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:33 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: West Coast

Take a look at the article. I tried to explain the best I could in language I could understand so anyone could understand it. I am not muc on the technical but hopefully this will give you a better general understanding of what a cycle is.
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