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Old 08-06-2012, 03:44 PM   #1 
TeacherTeapot
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Not sure if I know what I'm doing!

Hey Guys!

Within the next week I am going to be setting up my first aquarium. I know that I need to cycle it, but am not entirely sure I know how. So naturally, I have some questions.

-Is there anyway someone can give me an Idiots guide to cycling?
-I've heard mixed reviews about products like Start-Zyme and others, are they worth it for a kick start?
-I'm only going to have a 2 gal tank, is it really going to take 8 weeks?
-Should I invest in an aerator?
-Are there any test kits that aren't insanely expensive?

Obviously I have a lot to learn about fish-keeping. And I'm really hoping that you all will teach me.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:14 PM   #2 
Philnominal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeacherTeapot View Post
Hey Guys!

Within the next week I am going to be setting up my first aquarium. I know that I need to cycle it, but am not entirely sure I know how. So naturally, I have some questions.

-Is there anyway someone can give me an Idiots guide to cycling?
-I've heard mixed reviews about products like Start-Zyme and others, are they worth it for a kick start?
-I'm only going to have a 2 gal tank, is it really going to take 8 weeks?
-Should I invest in an aerator?
-Are there any test kits that aren't insanely expensive?

Obviously I have a lot to learn about fish-keeping. And I'm really hoping that you all will teach me.
I think I can sum all of your questions up in one statement. I am not 100% sure this statement is true though so someone may come behind me and correct it.

I do not believe a 2 gallon tank can cycle.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:30 PM   #3 
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This is essentially true, a 2 gallon will not, only 10 and up..so don't worry about that..I would definately invest in an air stone, for oxygen to the water, also a flow controller to the amount of air, for a smaller tank, I have a 3 gallon with an air stone, and a 5 gallon with an air stone..also you don't need a filter, it could actually cause more problems with long finned males, if that is the kind of betta you have, the main thing is clean water, also have a heater for the tank, and a thermometer to watch for temp flucuations, ideally temp should be 78 degrees, with a range of 76-79,

I have both tanks now at 80. Also you will need a water conditioner if you don't already have one, and some plants, and a hiding spot for your betta, they love to rest and hide in caves..there are some great ones out there, just check for sharp points, and if you come across any..don't buy..or if you do, you will have to file down before putting in tank, hope this helps to answer some of your questions..:)
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:35 PM   #4 
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I haven't actually bought my fish yet, I was waiting until I could do so without really stressing him/her out. I was leaning towards getting a half-moon male, but I'm going to see which one calls out to me. If a 2 gal tank wont cycle, how should I prep the tank for my new buddy?
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:41 PM   #5 
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Actually, you can cycle a small tank. My 1.5G is cycled and has been for the past 2 months now. It is harder to maintain though because with that small amount of water, the readings can fluctuate really quick. Buy some nice substrate and a bunch of live plants. The plants will help keep the water readings in check. Don't keep another animal (fish, shrimp or snails) in a tank that small, as they will mess up the readings or will be Betta food.

Here's a good sticky thread from OFL which explains the cycling process really well:

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=107771

Last edited by DiiQue; 08-06-2012 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:44 PM   #6 
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Fill it with water, add dechlorinator, then wait for it to get to room temperature. Add a heater (assuming you don't live someplace tropical). When the water is about 78 or so, you can add your betta. Don't forget a thermometer, the floating ones are better than strips!

Make sure you acclimate him (or her! girls are fun too!) slowly. Floating them in the cup they came in is a good way to start. Then slowly, over the course of 20-30 minutes add a bit more of the tank water into his cup. This is to make sure he gets adjusted to the new water.

In a 2 gallon tank you want to change the water twice a week, one full change, and one 50% change.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:45 PM   #7 
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Fill it with water, add dechlorinator, then wait for it to get to room temperature. Add a heater (assuming you don't live someplace tropical). When the water is about 78 or so, you can add your betta.

Make sure you acclimate him (or her! girls are fun too!) slowly. Floating them in the cup they came in is a good way to start. Then slowly, over the course of 20-30 minutes add a bit more of the tank water into his cup. This is to make sure he gets adjusted to the new water.
So just condition the water and acclimate them? Will that cause undue stress?
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:46 PM   #8 
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Here's a good sticky thread from OFL which explains the cycling process really well:

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=107771
That helps me understand it a little better, do you know if there is a step by step guide anywhere?
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:48 PM   #9 
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You acclimate your fish by letting him float for 5 or 10 minutes then adding small amounts of new tank water into his cup. When you are at 50% new water you can add your fish to the new tank.
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Old 08-06-2012, 04:52 PM   #10 
ao
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To cycle a tank without knowing how you did it:

To cycle, you will need a filter and a fish. To begin a cycle simple allow the fiter to run continuously and never change the filter media. Go about your water changing business as usual (100% weekly). The tank will eventually cycle by itself.

And yes... it is completely possible to cycle a 2 gallon. all tanks with filters will attempt to cycle. :) but with 2g it's not really worth depending on the cycle to maintain water quality.
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