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Old 07-28-2011, 10:50 AM   #1 
FalacyNine
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Denver, CO.
Cycling and stress

So my mother bought me a betta as a present when I said I needed more responsibility in my life. His name is Frederico, and I promised him a better life when I got some money (ie. he just got a 10g tank and live plants). On to the question.

Am I okay to say cycling is changing a portion of the water a couple times a week? And, I don't want to stress Fred out, so when I cycle should I temporarily put him in a container (I read that you shouldn't net them unless absolutaly necessary), or should I just scoop out a portion of water (wouldn't the water movement stress him)? Lastly, do I need one of the vacuum cleaner things?

Much appreciated,

Sean and Fred
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:28 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping...

The nitrogen cycle or cycling-is the process of when bacteria convert ammonia excreted by the fish into nitrite and then another bacteria convert the nitrite to nitrate.....this will happen in filtered tanks without you doing anything...but with the Betta in the tank you have to make the needed water changes to keep him safe until the nitrogen cycle has established and this can take 4-8 weeks

These bacteria are sticky and adhere to 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 process but over cleaning and/or changing the filter media can

However, live active growing plants can change this process....how many and what kind of live plants

What kind of lights....kelvin rating, watts and photoperiod

Do you have a test kit, if so, what kind and can you post water pram numbers

You can safely cycle the tank with the Betta provided that you make the needed water changes.....that being twice weekly 50%...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate by vacuum or stir and dip method....Once the nitrogen cycle has established....1-50% weekly with vacuum should maintain water quality.....and the filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month

When you make water changes you leave the Betta in the tank-but be careful and don't suck him up or injury him with the vacuum

Try to keep the water temp within a couple of degrees between new and old water with water changes

Always use dechlorinator with any water added to the tank

You may or may not need a heater-but its a good idea to have one on hand...your goal is to maintain a water temp in the 76-80F range

You do need a thermometer to monitor both the water temp in the tank and the new water used for water changes...

Look forward to hearing more about your Betta and seeing some pic.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 07-28-2011 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:15 PM   #3 
FalacyNine
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Thank you OFL! That information was exactly what I was looking for as well as some extras that are always appreciated.

I don't have my 10g tank fully set-up yet. Water has been conditioned and tested, ammonia and nitrates are at 0ppm. I have not put my live plants in yet. Should I turn the filter and heater on for a day and then put the plants in for a couple days, and then finally add Fred in?

As for plants, there are 4: a moss ball, an anubias plant, a plant that petco calls a betta plant, and another low-lying large-leaf plant. Sorry I don't have all the names, I got overly excited when I was getting everything to set-up my tank. Oh, and I have a small piece of driftwood.

I have API testers for ammonia, nitrate, and pH. Also, heater, lamp, thermometer, and filter.

Fred appreciates your help :) as do I.

Last edited by FalacyNine; 07-28-2011 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:07 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Its important to know what kind of plants you have.....because if they are not true aquatic they can slowly rot underwater and pollute the tank....see if you can find out the names of the plants and its important to plant them properly since some you don't want to plant in the substrate like anubias but tie to something like driftwood

Lights are also really important for successful planted tanks.....look at your bulbs and see if you can find the kelvin number on it.....you want a 6500k daylight bulb for best plant growth

Set the tank up, plant the plants, scape how you like it and fill with dechlorinated water....get the heater and filter running and add the livestock....monitor the temp and ammonia, nitrite, nitrate......make a 50% weekly water change with light vacuum in all areas that can be reached without moving anything or disruption of the plant roots and make a second weekly water only change based on water pram readings of ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater until you have nitrate reading of 10ppm and once you have a steady nitrate reading without ammonia or nitrite spike you are most likely cycled...

Enjoy....
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