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Old 02-05-2013, 07:02 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2013
New to the cycle

Dear Betta Readers,
I am sort of new to the betta game, i used to have a betta but failed to follow water changes and had a small tank so i gave up for a little but i love these fish so i decided to go back at it, i bought a 5 gallon hex tank with a bio wheel carbon filter from marinaland put betta gravel in it 1 live plant and two pieces a fake log and a tree house, i waited 24 for the tank to settle and put my betta in then started reading about cycling and water changes i added the betta dechlorinator and ph lvl cond. and etc, but now i am so overly confused about the cycle i have a ammonia test kit not the strips and my reading is about .25ppm maybe a tad more the fish seems very healthy swimmimg like a bandit and etc its only day 3 since he has been in their tank heater and all 76 degrees farnheight but i am curious about the cycle if i do a water change how do i do one? i mean can i use a vaccum pump? should i have water ready? Can the fish be in the tank when i do one and how often do i do one i do not want my fish to die just real nervous help me please!!
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:52 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: California
Hi. Basically, when fish five off waste, ammonia is produced. Ammonia is bad for the fish, and can burn/hurt them. However there is a good bacteria that "eats" ammonia, called nitrate. Cycling a tank creates a colony of the good bacteria. When you add a source of ammonia into your tank the cycling process starts. The best way is to do a fishless cycle, but since you already added your fish that is not an option. Your going to need to do very frequent water changes in order to keep you ammonia down until your tank cycles. You should test your water daily and do a 25%-50% water change if ammonia or nitrite are detected. You will need to do this for a few weeks, until your tank is cycled and you no longer have ammonia or nitrite. As for water changes, your should use a siphon and suck up the poo from the gravel. You may want to remove your fish as there is a (small) risk of him being sucked up. You can leave it out if you want, but I usually use a 5 gallon bucket (I have a 10 gallon tank, you might want to use a smaller container) and fill it with water and an appropriate amount of conditioner. Then I will let it sit for about 30 minutes, so it goes to room temperature. Good luck with your new fish, and sorry if this is kind of confusing, maybe someone else will be able to explain it better.
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