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Old 02-11-2013, 11:07 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Lathrop CA
Cycling two 5 gallon tanks

Hello everyone!
I recently bought 2 bettas and two 5 gallon tanks for each. Both are filtered, heated. I am buying some moss balls for both of them 2marrow.. I have read a lot on this site about cycling a tank but I still have some questions... both filters running are carbon filters... I'm going to the pet store tomorrow what filter should I buy to replace these carbon ones to allow more room for beneficial bacteria Also I plan on doing 1 50% water change weekly Is this okay so that the ammonia levels can sufficiently rise for the colonization of beneficial bacteria? how long will it take until this small tank is filtered? Thanks a lot everyone
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:56 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario, CA
Welcome & congrats. IMO & IME to properly cycle a tank & know it has cycled you need to test your water daily with a liquid water test kit to see what levels your ammonia, nitrites & nitrates are. You will need to do a water change ANY TIME your ammonia or nitrite levels are >.25. I did a 50% water change each time; others will say you can do less but doing a 50% typically guaranteed my ammonia & nitrites level would go back to 0 & it kept my nitrates at a reasonable level.I did a water change based on test results every 2-3 days, my 10g tank took a total of 8 wks to complete cycling. Some on here say you don't need to test your water to cycle it which is true, you don't, but in order to know if its cycling properly & to know when its done you will need to test it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:08 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Jan 2013
What you replace the carbon with depends on what type of filter you currently have. It's easier to fit certain types of media into different filters.

If you are cycling without a fish, don't do any water changes until all of your ammonia and nitrites are at 0 and your nitrates are high. That will mean that your cycle is complete, and the water change will bring the nitrates back down. If you do a water change before you have nitrates, or while you have some nitrates but the ammonia and/or nitrites are still high, you will remove them from the water and the cycle won't complete as fast.

If you are cycling with a fish, do any water changes necessary to keep the ammonia below .25ppm and the nitrites as close to 0 as possible. This will take longer, because you're removing the bacteria's food! If you don't do these water changes with a fish, though, you risk hurting or killing it.

I cycled my last 5 gallon in about 3 weeks. I was using Nutrafin Cycle, which may or may not have helped the cycle, depending on whether you believe in those bacteria additives. Generally, it will take anywhere from 6 - 12 weeks without a fish, and longer with one because of the necessary water changes.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:41 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Baton Rouge Louisiana
No reason to remove the carbon, but if you just don't want to use it what other media you choose depends on what type of filter you are using and what will fit.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:04 PM   #5 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
If you plan to do a Fish-In cycle with the finial stocking being a Betta...This might help give you a better understanding...

What kind of filter and type of filter media does it use. If it is the cartridge type that has both the sponge with the carbon between it- You can cut a slit in the sponge and dump the carbon out.
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