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Old 08-02-2012, 09:50 AM   #11 
lelei's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Haverhill, MA
I have a 3 and a 5 gallon tank, both not "Cycled" but my water changing schedules are for the 3 gal 1- 50% and one 80% per week, and 1 full change every 2 weeks, and it has been working fine, and my fishy's are very happy healthy, for the 5 gal I do the same every week and a full change bi/wkly..
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:16 AM   #12 
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Which method did you use to cycle your 3.5gal? Thanks for your help.

Originally Posted by Aus View Post

And yes -- a 3.5 CAN cycle, mine is well and truly cycled. Thing is, with small tanks there's way less room for error and malfunction, and the cycle can very easily be thrown out of wack leading to potentially dangerous mini-cycles. Yet, despite all the emphatic nay-saying I've heard, it IS possible to keep a 3.5 cycled and stable. It requires a bit more vigilance, I think - but hey, large tanks crash too and kill fish too. It's a matter of getting to know your tank and fish so any warning signs can be observed (Cleo tail-clamps at .01 ammonia, lol.. I always know when something's up just by looking at her..) and regular testing to keep parameters in order.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:52 PM   #13 
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Primarily, I used the "I don't know what the hell I'm doing" method.

Ie, my tank was filtered. I maintained good water by testing and frequent water changes, changing 50% of the water 2x per week (I do 2x 30% now), with weekly gravel vac. I also used Stability for the first three weeks not to cycle the tank, it can't do that no matter what the claim is, wrong bacteria - but it does stabilise it a bit while its cycling

The tank eventually cycled with the betta in the tank.

No harm to the fish. But I do think the heavy planting makes a difference to whether the various param spikes are severe enough to cause harm. Also, I tend to overdose lightly with Prime at each water change (you can safely double the dose).

My fish is the best barometer of all when it comes to that. She is always full-finned and happy looking - the moment there's the tiniest amount of ammonia or something not quite right in the tank, she clamps and is visibly unhappy about it. Some fish are less finicky.. I'm glad mine is fussy, it's helped me to catch any problems right away - we had one small crash with an ammonia spike a while back but that was dealt with immediately, and none since.
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