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Old 10-05-2010, 11:01 PM   #1 
Valpal
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Question 10 gallon cycling

I just bought a betta. I didn't really research any before I bought him and he's in a .5 gal bowl right now. I'm making sure to change the water every day and recondition it. I'm keeping it under a desk lamp to try and keep the temp. steady. I started cycling my 10 gal. tank today with a shrimp and panty-hose, but I just saw where it said that it takes 4-8 weeks. I don't know of anybody with cycled tanks already who I could borrow some gravel to kickstart it with. Is there any way to make it go by faster? I hate Kodak being in the tiny bowl he's in. I feel like a terrible human for having him there.

Also, what is a good brand of tester to buy? I bought a strip test, then saw where someone said they are unreliable.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:20 PM   #2 
celine18
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well there are bacteria in a bottle you can buy, but its highly debatable wether they work or not. i'm also going to be cycling a 10 gallon, and i'm gonna try using tetra safe start (hopefully it works). apparently theres also a kind you can buy online thats refrigerated (dr.tom/tims, something like that) that might work better, idk. its up to you wether you wanna try using those or not, you don't have to, but it will add starter bacteria and help them grow faster, supposedly completing the cycle faster. supposedly. :P

the best test kit you can buy is the API Freshwater test kit. you can buy it at petsmart/co for around $30. it has tests for ammonia, ph, high level ph, nitrite & nitrate. its much better than strips, and a good value in the long run. especially with all the testing you'll be doing for the next few weeks.

you will also probably want to read this thread by Ajones108 describing her tank cycling experience. it has a bunch of information that i've found to be very helpful and should help you a bunch.

hope this helps, good luck! :)
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:38 PM   #3 
Valpal
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Thanks a ton. I'll go buy that test soon. Also, do you know how many times a week you're supposed to change the water while it's cycling?
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:15 PM   #4 
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you don't need to change the 10 gallon tank while its cycling, that would actually slow down the cycle. you shouldn't do any changes until after the cycle is complete so you can bring the nitrates down before you put your fish in :)
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:30 PM   #5 
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You can also safely cycle the 10g filtered tank with the Betta provided that you make the needed water changes-in that volume of water and one Betta-twice weekly 50% water changes with one of the water changes vacuum the substrate-when you don't have the water testing products on hand.
Give the filter media a swish/rinse in old tank water 1-2 times a month and when the water flow slows to get the big pieces of gunk off.

With water testing products-make water changes when you have readings of ammonia and/or nitrite of 0.25ppm or greater-once you have 0ppm ammonia/nitrite and a reading of nitrate 5ppm or greater for several days without water changes you are most likely cycled-this time can vary from 4-8 weeks.

Remember the nitrifying bacteria are sticky and adhere to everything in the tank-like the walls, decorations, plants both real and fake-in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media-very little in the water column itself so water only changes will not slow the nitrogen cycle-over cleaning inside the tank, the filter media and vacuuming can slow the cycle.
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:07 PM   #6 
Lunatatice
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can the cycle slow down if you change the filter media?
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:13 PM   #7 
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Yes, the filter media is where a lot of the beneficial bacteria colonize-if you need to change the filter media-cut the old sponge off and add to the new sponge for a week or so to seed it

I don't change my filter media until it is falling apart, maybe 1-2 times a year at most-I also don't use carbon in any of my tanks-but if you only have a couple of tanks and have the money to spend to change the carbon every month or less-nothing wrong with that either.....I look at it this way....why spend money or use a product when a water change can do the same thing......its a personal choice IMO
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