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Old 06-28-2012, 07:12 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Upstate NY
Cycling a tank that's already been set up w/ fish?

Okay, so I've been talking to someone I met in class, and she recently just got into fish. She even has a betta! From our discussions, I found out that she has the necessary stuff for a cycled tank and I told her it would probably be less work in the end to have a cycled tank, but since I've only done a fishless cycle before, I'm not sure what the best method to cycling would be when there's already a fish in there. I figured I would ask the people who know best. :)

She has a male CT in a 15 gallon with with an Aqueon filter and a heater that keeps the temp between 78 and 82 degrees. The fish has been in there for about a month and she's been doing water changes about 50-75% a week? I don't know any other details right now but if I find anything else out, I'll add to this.

Thank you in advance for your advice.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:06 PM   #2 
Blue Fish
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I tried it, and it just wasn't something I was able to handle... (I'm one of those awful over-protective betta owners who freaks out if I think they're going to have any stress at all... ;) So I'm just a dork, but here's a great link Kenny G gave to me about the fish-in cycle when I asked the same question. I hope it helps!! :)

She made this so easy, even my dumb old self could follow it. ;)
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:30 PM   #3 
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Thank you so much! That guide will probably help her out a lot since it is simple and she is new to the subject of cycling.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:29 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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If she has already had the tank for a month, it's probably mostly cycled. The best piece of advice you can give her is to get a liquid test kit, test the water, and determine where she is in the cycle from that. Or just go over there and test it with your kit. If you have a fully cycled tank, you could take some filter media and give it to her to help her cycle along (that is if she still needs it).

Also any live plants you can convince her to add would be great.
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:12 PM   #5 
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Well, what she's doing right now is basically how you cycle fish-in... you do big water changes and you wait and eventually it cycles. I was really over-protective with it and so it took 8 weeks for mine to cycle, because I kept the ammonia invisible. A test kit would help, because towards the end you have to do 4 water changes a week sometimes.
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:23 AM   #6 
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Izzy's got it.

Give her a 1/4 cup of your cycled gravel and tell her to pit it in her filter. Her tank will be safe in a day.

Then she can monitor as usual and do her weekly (mandatory) 30% water change.

That said, and having read the BettaSplendid article, I will never concede that a deliberate (or accidental) fish-in cycle is a good idea. Bucket cycling is the way to go if you've already committed fish to you show tank.

Last edited by Hallyx; 06-30-2012 at 06:31 AM.
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