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Old 12-04-2012, 10:44 AM   #1 
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JAGalletta's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: South Jersey
My tank finally cycled!

Some of you have helped me with the cycling of my new tank about a month or two ago. I have to thank you! You've helped me have the patience and confidence in knowing that if I just wait, the tank will cycle. Here is a link to a video of my happily cycled tank: My Fish Tank. :)

I will be posting my updated cycling log (the last weeks will be filled out from memory) so new keepers can have something to go by.

About my tank:

Size: 5.5 gallons

Substrate: Med-Small Aquarium Gravel

Plants: 2 Lilly Bulbs (one sprouting so far)
4 various swords
6 bunches of micro-swords
1 Marimo Moss Ball

Inhabitants: 1 Black Orchid Crowntail Betta - Named 'Thai'
1 Sunset Platy
1 Somewhat Calico Molly
3 ghost shrimp

Ornaments: 2 plastic plants
1 Rock tunnel
1 No fishing sign

Heater: Tetra 100w w/thermostat (I know it is big for this tank, but it has done a wonderful job keeping the temperature stable, and has given me the ability to lower the ambient temperature in my house to save heating costs).

Light: 15w 5600k cfl-like light from petsmart (didn't have 6500k available at the time)

Filter: Power 10 that came with topfin 5.5 gal tank. Homemade intake and outflow baffles made from fluval biofoam (can kind of be seen in video).

Air: 8 or 10 inch air stone bar (I forget) under substrate near heater to distribute heat, controlled with gang-valve to minimize currents.

Comments: Some of you may have objections to my selection of tank mates, but I've seen the majority of users agree on these mates prior to making my stocking decisions. The tank has been properly handling the bio-load, and all inhabitants seem comfortable with their living spaces and have had no problems with any of the other inhabitants.

Concerns: Please let me know if there are any issues you may see with this set up, or anything you'd like to yell at me for. I am very new to this, and am very proud of this tank, but I can never be too sure that I am doing things right with all of the varying opinions out there. However, this setup seems to be working very well with no foreseeable issues.

Last edited by JAGalletta; 12-04-2012 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:04 AM   #2 
AyalaCookiejar's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Florida
Very exciting! I am in the process of cycling two 5 gallon tanks, so I understand how much the waiting sucks. I'd be okay with it if you shared some of your patience with me :p

Personally, i wouldn't put quite so many fish in a 5 gallon, but if it works and they are being taken good care of, then I don't see a reason to yell (especially since i really dont know anything about any fish except for bettas). I'm sure with all the live plants you have, plus the tank being cycled, the bioload can't be that big of a problem.

Last edited by AyalaCookiejar; 12-04-2012 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:00 PM   #3 
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Location: South Jersey

I too was concerned with there being too many fish in the tank (and I had my bowl ready just in case), but since water tests are coming back with ammonia and nitrite at less than 0.25ppm each I'm trusting the ability of the tank to process their waste.

I bought the Platy and Molly together since they were the last two inhabitants of the tank I bought them out of. They were sort of canaries for me to make sure that the tank was inhabitable prior to putting the Betta in, but now I love them as much as my Betta. I put the Betta's (heated and constantly changed) bowl next to the tank for about a week prior to putting him in so he could get used to his new friends. I then floated him in a clear cup in the tank for about a half hour so he could get used to the idea of being in the same tank as the other fish. I released him, and he went up to the other fish, flaring, and chasing for about 5 minutes. He would dart at them, but never bit. After these 5 minutes the Betta became more interested in the rest of the tank, exploring and only darting and flaring when he saw the other fish.

At this point I knew they would be fine, but I still kept watch. Over a day or two, the darting and flaring stopped, and as you can see in the video, they now exist peacefully together. It was at least a few days before I added the shrimp to the tank. I thought the Betta would eat them, but the Betta is only about 4 months old, and still doesn't eat his pellets whole yet.

I feed the entire tank Betta bits. The Platy and Molly will each take a whole pellet and play around with it until they've consumed it (I then give them another one each). While the platy and molly are eating, I crush about 4 betta bits and sprinkle them in. The Betta eats what he can as it falls and what he sees on the surface of the water, while the shrimp feed on whatever makes it to the bottom and any other detritus that might be available in the tank. Once a week I fast the tank for a day then feed peas. This is mainly for the benefit of the Platy and Molly, but the Betta doesn't mind. The shrimp also enjoy the change.

When not being fed, the shrimp are scavenging and the fish are swimming peacefully in the tank. It's very rewarding.
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