Originally Posted by Wendyjo
It's always best to do a fishless cycle when possible - ANY detectable amount of ammonia is harmful. I realize that sometimes people get in a situation where they have no choice but to do a cycle using fish, but I see no reason to encourage this outdated practice, especially with a betta.
No matter what you have your Betta in....It will produce byproducts and water changes will be needed. The hobby grade test products only test at a PPM level and so you will always have some level of Ammonia in the system.
Fish in general have natural protection from the slime coat and can tolerate much higher levels of ammonia than given credit.
The amount of ammonia exposed during the cycling process shouldn't be anymore than what they are exposed to on a regular bases between water changes and/or the time line of the BB consuming it.
The only difference in cycling and not...is the bacteria you are colonizing. Its a natural process that occurs in a tank when the bacteria needs are met. These bacteria are self limiting to the-food source, oxygen and surface area. By understanding the bacteria involved in the cycling process-will help you understand how cycling with a Betta can be safe.
With that said, it is best to fish-less cycle for community tanks-due to the limiting factors of the BB