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Old 02-04-2012, 11:17 AM   #1 
Hostess
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How, in a step-by-step explanation, do I do a fish-cycle?

It is for a 10gal tank
I will have live plants in
One betta fish and no other fish

How long do I wait to put the fish in for the cycle?
What kind of water changes should I be doing? (% per day?)
How often should I test the water?

And I need an explanation that basically encompasses all of that and more.
I need to be educated on the entire process.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:35 AM   #2 
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Establishing the nitrogen cycle with the Betta can be safe-provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes and since you have live plants...even safer-provided that they are true aquatic plants and actively growing....

In the 10gal...what kind of filter, number and species of plants, type of substrate and how deep, lights-watts, kelvin, what kind of test kit and type of additives/dechlorinator are you using.....

The beneficial bacteria are sticky and adhere to everything in the tank, in the top layer of substrate and in the filter media-very little are in the water column itself-so water only changes will not hurt/stall the cycling process-but over cleaning can...
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:46 AM   #3 
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"what kind of filter, number and species of plants, type of substrate and how deep, lights-watts, kelvin, what kind of test kit and type of additives/dechlorinator are you using"
Tank comes with a Aqueon 10 filter
Number of plants species will be 4 or 5
Number of plants: I don't know; how many is good?
Super Naturals Premium Aquarium Substrate looking at 10-20 lbs
20 watts of light
I don't know; what kind of test kit should I use?
I am using Top Fin betta water conditioner
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:49 AM   #4 
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Types of plats are Java Fern, water wisteria, anubius, anacharis
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:55 PM   #5 
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Wouldn't Banana plants or Hornwort work as well?
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:03 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerfish1704 View Post
Wouldn't Banana plants or Hornwort work as well?
I can get that
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:04 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Establishing the nitrogen cycle with the Betta can be safe-provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes and since you have live plants...even safer-provided that they are true aquatic plants and actively growing....

In the 10gal...what kind of filter, number and species of plants, type of substrate and how deep, lights-watts, kelvin, what kind of test kit and type of additives/dechlorinator are you using.....

The beneficial bacteria are sticky and adhere to everything in the tank, in the top layer of substrate and in the filter media-very little are in the water column itself-so water only changes will not hurt/stall the cycling process-but over cleaning can...
I answered you
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:47 PM   #8 
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The driving force behind successful planted tanks are the lights-without proper lights, color temp (kelvin 5500-6500k) the plants often will fail and be part of water quality issues-Photoperiod 10h/day....
With live active growing plants can also cause some confusion especially when establishing the nitrogen cycle-while testing the water can be helpful-depending on the number, species and growth state of the plants you may not see the nitrate reading you look for to tell you cycling stages/completeness like you would without live plants....But...no worries...the tank will establish the nitrogen cycle.....

In a 10gal filtered tank, with live plants-during the cycling process with a test kit on hand...

Make 50% weekly water changes with light vacuum in all places you can reach without moving anything or disruption of plant roots-wiping the viewing walls. This will be the water change you will do for the life of the system.

Test water daily and make a 50% water only change based on test results of Ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater-I would recommend daily testing for the first 4 weeks-then reduce this to twice weekly-one being before you make the regular weekly water change-

Once the nitrogen cycle has established-test weekly-either the day before or right before you make your regular weekly water change-

*Be sure and make a log book and record all the test results as well as the test result of the source water-to have a base line-I would recommend that you test the source water without any additive when first drawn and again in 24h-then add the dechlorinator and test again comparing all the numbers-this will tell you what the CO2 level of the source water and tell you if the additives change the water chemistry to help tell you what to look for with the testing in the tank itself....

Filter media needs a swish/rinse in the bucket of old tank water a couple of times a month-I would not start this until week 5-6 unless the water flow is compromised.

While I highly recommend getting a Freshwater master test kit to test for-ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH.....learn to properly use it to test the water-but most important understand the results, what can cause skewed results, interaction and what to do.....

With that said, you also don't have to have a test kit on hand to successfully maintain the aquarium or cycle-you can have your water tested at the pet shop if needed, however, having a test kit on hand can help take some of the guess work out of the game.....

Once the nitrogen cycle is established in about 4-8 weeks-you may or may not have the nitrate reading since live actively growing plants can use the ammonia before conversion as a food source-not to worry.....often with live active growing plants the best water tester is the Hobbyist and the power of observation......watch the fish, plants and any other livestock for changes....
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:30 PM   #9 
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Thank you so much!!!
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