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Old 06-29-2012, 02:22 PM   #1 
Catfish Billy
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Arrow How long will it take?

Hey guys (and girls!),

I have a 9 gallon tank set up with water wisteria, java moss, a cryptocoryne and an unknown fern plant. It is heated at 80F and has a small Fluval filter running.

I have used about 5 handfuls of gravel and a small amount of java moss from my other fully-mature tank that's been running for 6 months to "seed" this tank.

I'm just wandering, how long will it take for beneficial bacteria to grow and the nitrogen cycle to complete so that I can put in a betta?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:03 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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If the finial stocking will be a single Betta and maybe a shrimp and/or snails.....Since you have live plants, plus seeded....You could safely establish the nitrogen cycle with the Betta. Just monitor the water prams and make water only changes with ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater-along with your regular scheduled 50% weekly with light vacuum.
Remembering that some additives can cause false reading...

With active plant growth it may take a long time if ever to see the nitrate reading we look for to tell us cycling stages/completeness..

Generally, in unplanted tank that was properly seeded, water prams monitored to maintain ammonia levels for the fishless cycle it can take...2-6 weeks to establish....Cycling times can vary for several reason...one being how much of the established gravel/media used.

What kind of testing products are you using, what are the water prams on the cycled tank-ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, type of additive used and finial stocking plan on the 9gal....Can you post a pic....
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:23 PM   #3 
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I plan on just having a betta in the tank possibly a shrimp or two. I'm using API tester strips which unfortunately are very inaccurate. It doesn't test ammonia but pH is about 7.5/8 (its hard to tell) and nitrite 0 ppm (yay!), nitrate .10 ppm.

Do you mean the dechlorinator I use when you say additive and would you like a pic of the cycled tank or the 9 gal!

Thanks for the help (again)!
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:36 PM   #4 
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If you're doing a fishless cycle, you might want to throw some fish food in to "feed" the bacteria if you're not already doing so. If you're heavily planted enough and you're just adding a single betta (+/- a couple of shrimp)/only lightly stocking the tank, it shouldn't be too much of a shock on the bacteria colony when you introduce the fish into the tank anyways, though.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:52 AM   #5 
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Originally Posted by battered View Post
If you're doing a fishless cycle, you might want to throw some fish food in to "feed" the bacteria if you're not already doing so. If you're heavily planted enough and you're just adding a single betta (+/- a couple of shrimp)/only lightly stocking the tank, it shouldn't be too much of a shock on the bacteria colony when you introduce the fish into the tank anyways, though.
So does that mean I could introduce the betta now?
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:47 AM   #6 
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I do not see any problem for not put in your betta now.
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:43 AM   #7 
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On the principle that you "cycle the filter, not the tank." you would have been better off putting that seeded gravel in the filter. That's where the flow is strongest, so the bacteria are most well-fed, therefore most productive.

You don't have enough plants to effect the cycle one way or the other.

If I were you, I'd supplement the filter with more foam, both at the outlet and the inlet and fill the filter with seeded gravel.

Put the fish in.

Then monitor the parameters closely. A cycled filter almost equals a cycled tank.
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:48 AM   #8 
Catfish Billy
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Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
On the principle that you "cycle the filter, not the tank." you would have been better off putting that seeded gravel in the filter. That's where the flow is strongest, so the bacteria are most well-fed, therefore most productive.

You don't have enough plants to effect the cycle one way or the other.

If I were you, I'd supplement the filter with more foam, both at the outlet and the inlet and fill the filter with seeded gravel.

Put the fish in.

Then monitor the parameters closely. A cycled filter almost equals a cycled tank.
Wouldn't putting gravel in my filter damage it? Also, do you mean add extra sponges onto the filter when you say "foam"?

Thanks for the replies!
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:36 AM   #9 
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The bacteria you are wanting to colonize are self limiting......you will only have enough for the livestock...any extra you colonize with the fishless cycle will die or consume themselves.....

This beneficial bacteria are sticky and adhere to all the surface areas within the tank, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media-very little are in the water column itself. Water changes won't hurt the cycle-but over cleaning can and so can under cleaning...Its a balance......

The bacteria need oxygen, food source and surface area to colonize...any one of those limited will limit the beneficial bacteria colony.....

Add your Betta, monitor the water prams and make the needed water changes......
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:59 AM   #10 
Catfish Billy
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
The bacteria you are wanting to colonize are self limiting......you will only have enough for the livestock...any extra you colonize with the fishless cycle will die or consume themselves.....

This beneficial bacteria are sticky and adhere to all the surface areas within the tank, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media-very little are in the water column itself. Water changes won't hurt the cycle-but over cleaning can and so can under cleaning...Its a balance......

The bacteria need oxygen, food source and surface area to colonize...any one of those limited will limit the beneficial bacteria colony.....

Add your Betta, monitor the water prams and make the needed water changes......
Ok, thanks! I can't wait to get a new fish!
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