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Old 05-24-2015, 08:49 PM   #1 
SilasJayne
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20 Gallon Tank For A Betta-Cycling Question

My new, un-cycled aquarium is 20 gallons, it's heated, it's filtered. I filled it with *well water* and has been up and running for about 10 days.

The PH & temp are good, there's no ammonia. I did buy a betta yesterday and put him in there. So far he's swimming around and acting like he's loving life.

Besides him, i also added an amazon sword plant.


Since my tank is so big, and there's only one fish and a plant.....do i still do a WC weekly whether the ammonia test shows a positive or not?


most of the posts i've read are concerning small tanks so i'm just wanting other peoples experience. -change water weekly no matter what, or do ammonia tests daily and at the first hint of ammonia do a WC-even if it takes say....2 weeks or more to show any ammonia.


i want to avoid doing unnecessary WC's, but i think i read somewhere on here that you should do a WC weekly no matter what. Is that true with well-water too?

i don't treat the water either. there's no chlorine, no ammonia, the ph is within normal range for bettas right out of the tap so i'm lucky there.


_last Question:

what's the best way to get the temp of the new water where it needs to be before adding it to the tank. when i first filled the tank the first couple days there were little bubbles on the surfaces of the tank. they went away in a day or so

so i want to let the water sit in containers for a couple days so those bubbles can go away before adding to tank. but *how do i warm up the water? they'll be room temp already, but if i have to refill the tank 50% with room temp water, that's going to cause his toasty 80 degree water to drop too much wont it?
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:04 PM   #2 
RussellTheShihTzu
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Please read this tutorial. It will explain how to cycle a tank no matter the size:

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=555434

You can mix hot and cold water until temperatures match.

Weekly water changes in an uncycled tank are to keep it clean and the water fresh. Once it's cycled continue checking parameters every few days for a month. After a month once a week 25% water changes will be plenty.

If you intend to introduce tank mates either add Seachem Stability or add just a few fish at a time or you could crash your cycle. Wait at least a month for tank mates. I have had several 20 gallon Betta-based community tanks and have one now.
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:10 PM   #3 
SilasJayne
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yes i read that that, but im still confused about it.

if i have one fish in a uncycled, 20 gal filtered tank, and he's not producing much ammonia, how can the tank ever get enough ammonia to cycle especially if i'm changing 50% of water every week.


i'm thinking there may be a difference between a one fish in a gal tank vs a 20 gal, as far as ammonia build up goes or is that not right?


and if there's only a little ammonia to start with, if i take out so much at WC time, will that actually stop the process of cycling?
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:32 PM   #4 
SilasJayne
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but then again, maybe a betta dirties up the water more than i realize. i don't really know what to expect. i came here for advice from people who know more about it, lol. and i appreciate your time answering.

in some ways it just seems like an awful lot of area space for the little guy. i wouldn't expect his tank to be as polluted to the same extent as a much smaller set-ups within the same time frame.

that is the only reason i'm sort of wanting to clarify that it's ok to do large WC's to water that may not even be dirty enough to have produced much if any ammonia?

i may just do the large water changes as recommended and not worry about cycling the tank. i have no issues with dedicating the tank to him. he's beautiful and active, and a show-off. he looks and acts happy and healthy and it's more important to me that he stay that way.
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:43 PM   #5 
imthelobster
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I cycled my 10G with just my betta in it. It took him about 4-5 days to get to .25 ammonia, so I was just doing weekly water changes. I also used Tetra SafeStart to jump start the cycle, and it was done cycling in ~5 weeks. I would say just keep an eye on the ammonia, to see how much he actually is producing. If he's not getting to even .25 ammonia in the week, then maybe drop to a 25% water change, rather than 50%?

Waiting for more experienced tank cyclers to weigh in.
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:27 PM   #6 
RussellTheShihTzu
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Probably wasn't clear: I cycled a 20 gallon with only a Betta by changing 25% at .25 ppm as the tutorial suggests.

Since your other questions were answered in your post on OFL's water changing thread I just answered your "how to warm up water" question and gave you tips on how to safely add tank mates. Hallyx has now answered those questions in more detail.

In your situation I would use Seachem Stability to jump start the cycle and feed developing bacteria. It's what I used with great success on several Betta-only cycles.
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Old 05-25-2015, 05:06 PM   #7 
SilasJayne
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thanks u so much russell & lobster :)
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:07 PM   #8 
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I also forgot: Welcome to the Fourm!
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