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Old 06-10-2012, 10:56 PM   #1 
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sholee's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Got a 5.5gallon Tank! Help this beginner!

I bought a top fin 5.5gallon tank from petsmart... and I have a BUNCH of questions. My betta right now, I've had since Dec 2011, he's been in a 1.75g tetra waterfall fishbowl and he's recovering from a fungal infection at the moment. I've always wanted to buy a 5g tank for him and I'm glad I finally did but im totally confused about what steps I should be taking next...

1) Do I need to cycle this tank?

2) How often should I do water changes if I don't need to cycle? (it has a filter)

3) If I do need to cycle this tank, how often should I do water changes during the cycle? (I'm doing a fishless cycle)

4) If I do need to cycle this tank, how does changing the filter cartridge work? considering the bacteria is on the cartridge?

5) Do i just leave the fish food in the tank to rot? (ie. never clean out the food?)

6) How much fish food should i put in the tank daily for cycling? (using pellets)

7) After the cycle is done, how often do I do water changes?

8) What heater would be good for this tank?

Thank you so very much! I appreciate the help!

Last edited by sholee; 06-10-2012 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:47 AM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: formerly SF, then Tucson AZ, now central New Jersey
Oh geez, I'm too new to answer most of your questions. I never cycled any of my tanks, and I have 4, and no one has died or gotten sick except a platy that my betta attacked . . . but then again I did do water changes any time the ammonia levels I tested showed to be anything but the lowest level. I also use a beneficial bacteria supplement, filters, and those filter rocks that are for biological filtration.

I'm may cycle for my next new fish but . . . I don't completely understand all of it. Seems super annoying and I don't understand how it's better than spending $9 on beneficial bacteria supplements and just using my test kits I already have to make sure everything's A-ok.

I guess someone can answer both our questions. I know a lot of people who have bettas who have never heard of cycling and are going on several years with the same betta. Not that I would recommend being lazy on purpose. . . . but I you know people at Petco would never tell a new betta owner about cycling! People would put that fish back and say "F that".
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