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Old 06-19-2011, 10:53 AM   #1 
sunnydawnie
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Cycle for a 16G ?

I'm a newbie so any help is appreciated ! I got a STEAL of a deal at PetSmart - a 16G bowed front aquarium kit worth $120 for $30. So, my delta Emerald is having the time of his life with all this space to himself right now while he's the fish-in-cycle. He's a happy boy - I just set it up and put him in yesterday and he's already made a bubble nest last night.

Can someone please walk me thru how to do a fish-in-cycle ? Right now the only live plants I have are one anubias, a water sprite, and 2 cabomba plants.
The filter is going, I had to baffle the intake because it was a bit too strong for him and sucked him to a plant yesterday (hence the white stuff on the intake pipe). Seems good now.

On a 16G how do I cycle the tank ? Should I do 50% changes once a week? Or do you just let it run for a few weeks and test the water to see if it is cycled ?

Here's a pic of my boy and his bubblenest.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:14 AM   #2 
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Nice!!! I can send you a pm on what to do.
To be honest, with only one fish, it may take a bit to cycle! Have you considered adding other schooling fish? Or snails? Also, if you have other tanks that are cycled, consider seeding the new tank. Take some gravel and put it in the new one, our allow your new filter to run a but in the other tank. Some members use ceramic rings and place them in the old tank, wait a bit, and add to the new filter!
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:27 PM   #3 
sunnydawnie
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Thanks - I was thinking to add some schooling fish but not sure which ones. I like ruby barbs but was thinking they may not go well with the betta ? Or perhaps ruby tetras ? I only have one other tank - it is not filtered (2G) so the other options mentioned won't be available. Thanks for the advice - I'll look forward to your PM for additional info.
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Old 06-19-2011, 03:13 PM   #4 
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No problem, Ill send soon with tweaked info per having only a single fish in a large space :)

Im unfamiliar with those fish, but I know many people who lurk (hah, lurk!) in the compatibility section will be able to help you best.

I do know, though, that tetras, all kinds, can be nippy.

Rasboras are nice- try asking about those! You can do quite a bit in a 16 gallon. Consider, too, getting a few bottom dwellers. Again, though- compatibility is your best bet for results and suggestions!! :D
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:43 PM   #5 
Oldfishlady
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You can safely cycle the 16gal filtered tank with the fish provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes....

Without water testing products on hand....I would make twice weekly water changes until the nitrogen cycle has established and that can take 4-8 weeks....Make 1-50% water only and 1-50% to include substrate vacuuming in all areas that can be reached without moving anything in the tank or disruption of the plant roots......

The nitrifying bacteria for the nitrogen cycle are sticking and adhere to all the surface areas inside the tank, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media...very little are in the water column and so water only changes will not hurt or stall the cycle, however, over cleaning can...you don't want to vacuum more than once a week or clean the non-viewing walls, decorations etc....until the nitrogen cycle has established......also the filter media should not be touched unless the water flow is compromised and then only a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change...once the nitrogen cycle has established you need to give the filter media a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month or when the water flow is slowed to remove any big pieces of gunk...you want the filter media to look dirty...this is good bacteria.

If you plan to use carbon (not needed) change this per the package direction.

If you have a master freshwater test kit...base the 50% water only change on test results...ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater but you will still need to make the 50% with vacuum weekly for the life of the aquarium

You know the nitrogen cycle has established when your test read: ammonia and nitrite 0ppm and Nitrate 5-10ppm for several days without any ammonia/nitrite spikes.....

Live active growing plants can change this....but it depends on the number and species of plants and growth state.....with the species of plants that you have and depending on the lights....you may or may not see skewed test results...by this I mean......due to active plant growth they will use ammonia for food before conversion and you may not see nitrate for a long time if ever...this is dependent on plant growth activity, plant food you use...etc......
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