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Old 08-07-2012, 10:02 PM   #1 
banehardy5609
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New Betta Owner: Cycling

Hi,

I'm going to get a Betta soon so I've been doing a bunch of research on proper care, but I keep getting confused about cycling.

I heard that Bettas are hardy fish so they can handle cycling. I'm only going to get one Betta and he is going to be in a 10 gallon tank. It's going to have a filter, heater, thermometer, fake silk plants, gravel and hiding places.

If I cycle the tank while the betta is in there, how much percentage water changes will I have to do everyday?

And do I need to buy a bacterial supplement or should I just let it cycle on its own and keep doing water changes to prevent the levels from getting too high?

Should I also use a siphon to clean any left over food while it's cycling? I heard that the gravel shouldn't be touched while cycling because it may have beneficial bacteria on it.

I'd really appreciate it if any one could help me out.

Thanks. :)
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:00 PM   #2 
dramaqueen
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Hello and welcome to the forum. Do you have a test kit? I would recommend the API freshwater master test kit if you don't. I'll leave your cycling questions to the experts. lol Good luck.

Last edited by dramaqueen; 08-07-2012 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:08 PM   #3 
LebronTheBetta
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DQ! Your an expert. :) Don't say you're not, those are lies. Lol

OK, let me start:
You don't do water changes everyday. You only do it 2x a week while the tank is still cycling. 1 is just water, (Don't siphon the gravel!) and 1 is gravel cleaning. The point of that is also from 1 of your questions. Yes, BB (beneficial bacteria) is also in the gravel. So you should only do it once a week.
A bacteria supplement is optional. It doesn't really help much, but you could give it a try. Just do the water changes and it'll be fine. :) You should always take away uneaten foods whether you're cycling or not. Just for no extra ammonia. :) BTW, hello and welcome to the forum! :D
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:08 PM   #4 
banehardy5609
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Yup I'm going to get one. :) Ya I heard good things about that one. Thank you for the suggestion. :D
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:11 PM   #5 
banehardy5609
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Thank you very much! You cleared up a lot for me. :)

Thanks. I'm glad to be a part of it. :D
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:13 PM   #6 
banehardy5609
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Both of you guys' bettas are beautiful btw. :)
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:14 PM   #7 
LebronTheBetta
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Thank you, and your welcome. :D Lebron waved his fin to say thanks!
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:34 PM   #8 
dramaqueen
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Thank you. I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help. I haven't tried cycling myself but I might cycle a tank in the future. With fish in cycling, the idea is to have enough ammonia in the tank to help the cycle but not enough to harm your fish. When it's done cycling then it will depend on what level your nitrates are at as far as how much water you change goes. If I'm wrong, Lebron can correct me. lol
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:39 PM   #9 
LebronTheBetta
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Lol. DQ, you're correct! 8D For a tank to be cycled, the parameters have to be:
Ammonia: 0ppm.
Nitrite: 0ppm.
Nitrate: 1ppm- 20ppm.
^ These are the parameters of a cycled tank. The filter takes care of the ammonia and nitrite, but you do water changes to take away nitrates.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:43 PM   #10 
thekoimaiden
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Welcome to the forum and betta-keeping! Be careful! These little guys are addicting!

As for cycling, you don't always have to do two water changes a week. You might have to do more, or it could be less. But you need to change the water whenever the concentration of ammonia gets over 0.25 ppm. This could be 3 times a week, or it could just be once. Just keep an eye on things with your test kit.

I do not do a gravel vacuum when cycling a tank. You are correct in thinking that the beneficial bacteria live in the substrate. Vacuuming the substrate disturbs them. It is okay to disturb them once the colony is established and strong, but until then you should leave them alone.

I highly recommend looking into live plants with a fish-in cycle. With the right light, some fertilizer, and fast-growing plants, you could go through a silent cycle. This is where the plants use up most of the ammonia (leaving an amount too small to be detected by our testing equipment) and the beneficial bacteria grow on what little ammonia is left. This will be the most benign form of fish-in cycling.
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