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Old 10-25-2011, 04:56 PM   #1 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Question 5 Gal MUST be cycled?

I have a 5 Gal which is the house of my betta. When I bought him I read about everything and saw that you should only cycle more than 6 gallon because 5 is not much and that the bacteries wouldnt grow properly.

Should I cycle it even doing 60% water changes weekly and siphoning every 2 weeks? My filter is only mechanical so I let it on for 15 hours a day. Cycling would take so long and I dont want him to go back to his old 1 gallon :(

He is in that tank for 2 months doing 60% water changes weekly and is perfectly healthy. Could the tank have cycled in that time even if I did nothing to it?


Last edited by Fieldz; 10-25-2011 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:07 PM   #2 
Join Date: Apr 2011
So, what do you think? Can he live even though its not cycled doing 60% water changes weekly?
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:42 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
You don't have to cycle anything, bettas love clean water. IMO, it's a personal preference to how much work you want to put into keeping fish. In my experience, it's easier to control deceases when you keep clean wanter vs cycling.

But you might want to just syphon 60% of the water every week which will remove the water AND debris. Just make sure that your really getting that syphon into the gravel. If you leave the waste at the bottom of the tank it will just keep releasing toxins into the water and make you water change efforts pretty much null.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:02 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Australia
I would cycle it. 5 gallons holds a cycle just fine. Rather than weekly 60% which will allow bad crud to build up to a higher level then potentially shock him by removing it, 2-3 25% weekly changes would be better. 10% daily would be ideal. :)
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:42 AM   #5 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shangdong, China
None of my tanks are cycled and one is a 20 gallon. As long as you do the required water changes, and clean the gravel, he should be fine.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:27 AM   #6 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
One problem I turning the filter either need to leave it on all the time or just remove it all together....after about 6h any good bacteria is going to start to die and every time you turn the filter on you are flooding the tank with the byproducts.....

In a 5gal filtered tank-it will cycle in about 4-6 weeks with the filter running 24/7 (turned off only for water changes) can establish the nitrogen cycle with the Betta safely provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes and it sounds like you are already doing that.....

Without a test kit-I would make twice weekly water changes of 50%...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate by vacuum or stir and dip...if you have test kit on hand make the second weekly water only change based on test results of ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater....Once you have nitrate of 5-10ppm without any ammonia, nitrite most likely are cycled....

The 50% with vacuum weekly needs to be done for the life of the system to maintain water quality....

Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month.
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