Okay so I am new to this whole fish thing. I have my boy in an unfiltered 2 gal atm but I have a 5 gallon I want to set up! I found an old filter (Elite stingray 5) that I cleaned up and I am going to use. I also have the heater in the 2 gal which works for up to 5. The 5 gallon has no lid ( I will be making one) and so it has no light. ( still looking for a cheap hood but not going well : P )
Okay so I have questions first about cycling :
I am going to do a fishless cycle, to protect my betta. So I read that cycling thread and various other websites. I understand the basic premise. Do you suggest using the pure ammonia or the shrimp method? Which is faster? Everywhere says that I should seed my tank to speed it up , but being a beginner, I have no cycled tank to get things from : P . Would I be able to buy material from a store's cycled tank? like a bit of gravel or a piece of drift wood or something? Do they.. do that? ( Petsmart is right across the street so that's here I'll go) Can I do it without seeding the tank? It also says to use the heater turned up super high to promote the growth of bacteria.. but I only have one heater and I don't want to deprive my betta for the sake of a cycle.. Can I do the cycle without the heater?
And now onto my plant questions: I would love to grow plants but like I said.. I have no tank light. : ( The tank will be in a room with a huge skylight so the room gets tons of natural sun light.. Are there any plants that can survive that? or should I look into getting a light before I even think of plants.. If there are plants that don't need a tank light, what are they and do you suggest them? I hear plants help a lot with the ammonia levels and keeping a tank clean.
Anyways, I am planning on starting my cycle today. Wish me luck. Any and all advice is appreciated.