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Old 03-24-2013, 05:18 PM   #1 
bettacrazygirl86
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Cycling, Cleaning, and more. Help!

So I'll be picking up a 10 gallon sometime either today or tomorrow. For now, I'll be using the filter it comes with. I have a 100 watt heater to put in it, and enough gravel, I believe. I'm going to try to make a divider myself, which I'll be picking up the supplies for when I go out to buy the tank. I have two thermometers, one for each side, and I have some silk plants as decoration for now until I can get live plants.

I had a few questions though, that I didn't find on the cycling sticky.

First of all, which cycling method do you recommend? I can't afford to get plants yet. I have $50 to spend. The tank is $30, so I have $20 to spend on additional stuff. The bulbs I would need to get are $5 each at Walmart, and I need to be able to afford the divider supplies. That leaves me with about $5 left over, which I might use in combination with my $11 store credit at my LFS to get Seachem Flourish in preparation for when I can afford to get plants... I'm not sure yet.

Anyway. I don't know when I can get plants. Assuming I can't get them soon, I won't be able to do a planted cycle. I would rather have my fish already in the tank.

Do you think it would be alright to just do frequent water changes until I can get the plants and properly cycle the tank?

Would I ever change out the filter media?

Also, once the tank is cycled, who do I clean it? Simply consistent water changes and gravel vacuum?
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:41 PM   #2 
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Okay, I'm not the best with cycling information, but here's what I've experienced. :)

First off, don't waste your money on the bulbs. I've tried it and the things never, ever sprouted, and eventually just mildewed. It was gross. Save your money and buy some actual plants, already growing.

Second, you don't need plants to cycle, you just need a filter of some type. You can do a sponge filter, or a HOB filter, either works and provide a) air flow and b) places for your BB to grow. :) It can take a few weeks to a few months to cycle your tank, it just depends on your tank. Fish can live in it while you cycle, the frequent water changes you will need to do will just make the cycle take longer to get established. But, no harm there. :)

I wouldn't worry too much about the Flourish for your plants, especially as you don't have them yet. I've got some water wisteria that has done fine with nothing more than light and water. :) Many plants are very, very easy to grow and really don't need anything. Check the forums here for rec's, and you can also probably buy some live plants from the forum on here cheaper anyway. :) And, the seller can give you some advice about ease of care. :)

You don't have to have much gravel, just enough to cover the bottom of the tank is fine. You will probably need to baffle the filter that came with your tank, so you'll need to get some aquarium sponges. If it's a HOB or waterfall filter, you'll need to baffle/sponge the intake (the spout at the bottom that sucks in the water), and the outflow (where the water cascades out into the tank). All of this can be done with a sheet of bonded sponge that can be cut to size. :) I know it's about $7 at my LFS for a big blue sheet of it. :) All the extra sponging really goes a long way towards helping your cycle by providing space for the BB to live in. :)

Once you can afford plants, they will help your cycle. If you are already cycled, then they'll just help out with what's already going on. If you are in the middle of becoming cycled, the plants will greatly assist your cycle in completing. :)

I hope this helps!! :)
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:21 AM   #3 
bettacrazygirl86
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Okay, I'm not the best with cycling information, but here's what I've experienced. :)

First off, don't waste your money on the bulbs. I've tried it and the things never, ever sprouted, and eventually just mildewed. It was gross. Save your money and buy some actual plants, already growing.

I should have specified. xD I meant light bulbs, not plant bulbs. I've heard bad things about them and don't ever plan to get any of those! I need two 6500k light bulbs though, and they're $5 each at Walmart. :)

Second, you don't need plants to cycle, you just need a filter of some type. You can do a sponge filter, or a HOB filter, either works and provide a) air flow and b) places for your BB to grow. :) It can take a few weeks to a few months to cycle your tank, it just depends on your tank. Fish can live in it while you cycle, the frequent water changes you will need to do will just make the cycle take longer to get established. But, no harm there. :)

I wouldn't worry too much about the Flourish for your plants, especially as you don't have them yet. I've got some water wisteria that has done fine with nothing more than light and water. :) Many plants are very, very easy to grow and really don't need anything. Check the forums here for rec's, and you can also probably buy some live plants from the forum on here cheaper anyway. :) And, the seller can give you some advice about ease of care. :)

Already been talking to a few members about buying plants. :) Hopefully I won't need the Flourish, but it would be nice to have just in case, I guess.

You don't have to have much gravel, just enough to cover the bottom of the tank is fine. You will probably need to baffle the filter that came with your tank, so you'll need to get some aquarium sponges. If it's a HOB or waterfall filter, you'll need to baffle/sponge the intake (the spout at the bottom that sucks in the water), and the outflow (where the water cascades out into the tank). All of this can be done with a sheet of bonded sponge that can be cut to size. :) I know it's about $7 at my LFS for a big blue sheet of it. :) All the extra sponging really goes a long way towards helping your cycle by providing space for the BB to live in. :)

I'll be using the filter that comes with the tank. Would it be okay to use the left over aquarium sponge as filter media instead of using what it comes with? I don't really like the cartridges. They get nasty. D:

Once you can afford plants, they will help your cycle. If you are already cycled, then they'll just help out with what's already going on. If you are in the middle of becoming cycled, the plants will greatly assist your cycle in completing. :)

I hope this helps!! :)
Definitely did help. :) Thanks. I feel better about setting up the tank tomorrow then. I'll pick up everything I need and get it set up, then after a day of running it to make sure everything works, I'll put my fish in. :)
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:38 AM   #4 
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:) As far as I know, you can use the sponges in place of the filter cartridges. :) I haven't tried it (I just stuck the cartridge in there and didn't know there was an alternative until later), but from what I've read from others, it should work just fine. :)

You're basically just turning the HOB or waterfall filter into a type of sponge filter by doing that, so you should be good to go. :)

Good luck to you!! I know your fishies will enjoy all their new space once they get used to it. :)
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:02 AM   #5 
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If you do go with the filter cartridge you will want to swoosh it in old tank water once a month. When the cartridge is in very bad shape you replace it. When replacing it you want to leave some of the old filter media up against the new to help with the beneficial bacteria
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:52 PM   #6 
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:) As far as I know, you can use the sponges in place of the filter cartridges. :) I haven't tried it (I just stuck the cartridge in there and didn't know there was an alternative until later), but from what I've read from others, it should work just fine. :)

You're basically just turning the HOB or waterfall filter into a type of sponge filter by doing that, so you should be good to go. :)

Good luck to you!! I know your fishies will enjoy all their new space once they get used to it. :)
Okay, good. I may just do that. Cheaper, probably. xD Don't need to pay $10 for a box of 3 cartridges. What should I use to keep the sponge over the outflow? I have a sponge to use to cover the intake. It's for the Fluval edge, but I use it for the filters I have. xD

I'm hoping my LFS still has some drift wood left over from their more recent shipment. I might pick up one. I just need to bring a tape measure with me. xD

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle89 View Post
If you do go with the filter cartridge you will want to swoosh it in old tank water once a month. When the cartridge is in very bad shape you replace it. When replacing it you want to leave some of the old filter media up against the new to help with the beneficial bacteria
Okay. I can do that. I might go with the sponge though, instead. Not sure yet. We'll see when I get the tank tomorrow. It was delayed because it's snowing and my mom doesn't want me driving. :(
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:39 PM   #7 
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Yeah its coming down here too. Which one are you going with tank wise
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:19 PM   #8 
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Yeah its coming down here too. Which one are you going with tank wise
I'm just going to buy a new one. No one is replying to me, and all the other ones that have replied to me don't have lighted hoods. :(
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:52 AM   #9 
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To keep the sponge over the outflow, you can take a rubberband and secure the sponge to the lip of the outflow. Or, some of the filters have a little lid that closes, and I've stuck the edges of my sponges in there, closed the lid, and they've held that way. :) Just as long as your sponge is extending from the outflow down into the water, it'll stop the current. :)

I'm sorry about your snow delay! :P I live in the south, and we've had some flurries, but mostly it's just been cold, windy, and rainy. What happened to our early spring?! ;) Just a week ago it was in the 50/60 range...I was ready to pack up the winter coats and the sweatshirts. :)

Anyway, have fun with your new tank!! I love setting up new ones. :)
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:05 AM   #10 
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It actually let up enough for me to be able to go out! I managed to puck up a tank. :) I posted a thread about it in the planted tank section of the site.

For now, I have the filter baffled with a part from a water bottle. I forgot to get sponge while I was at Walmart. Dx I had $50 to spend and spent $30 on the tank, $4 on Stress Coat to help Patriot's tear heal since it's been over a week, $10 on light bulbs, $5 on divider materials, and I used my store credit at my LFS to pick up some live plants. :)
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