I see no reason why the aquarium size should make it unable to cycle. The key is just having enough surface area in the tank with enough oxygen contact to sustain viable bacteria colonies. A 2.5 gallon bowl with no filter might not have enough surface area or water movement to cycle, but if you add a filter with any sort of biomedia there should be sufficient places for bacteria to take hold with enough water flow to bring them oxygen. A power filter with an adjustable flow rate, an internal filter or a sponge filter would all allow you to keep a fully cycled tank.
How often to do water changes? The best way to know is just measure your nitrates and figure it out yourself. I would just do water changes often enough to keep nitrates below 20 ppm or so. One betta in a 2.5g tank would probably warrant two 30% water changes a week, but that could be overkill or not nearly enough depending on how much nitrate is being produced in your tank.
Right. I mean, even if you've got enough live plants in the tank to keep the nitrates pegged at a certain level without ever doing water changes, you should still change about 25% a month just so there are enough of the trace elements in the water that your fish needs to be healthy. However, in most cases people don't have that high of a plants to fish ratio, and therefore you need to do regular water changes to keep nitrates in check. How often you need to do them pretty much depends entirely on how quickly nitrates build up in your tank.
Well, assuming you have zero nitrates coming out of your tap, you'd just change however much it takes to get the nitrates down to an appropriate level. So, for example, at the end of the week right before your water change you have 40 ppm nitrate. If you want to get down to 20 ppm, you'd do a 50% water change. High nitrates have detrimental effects on the health of your fish in the long term, with different fish having different sensitivities to nitrate levels. Generally anything over 40 ppm is considered high. 80 ppm and above is considered dangerous and warrants a large emergency water change. 10-20 ppm is a realistic range most people should shoot for. Less, of course, is even better, but unless you're doing huge water changes all the time getting below 10 ppm is difficult to achieve in an unplanted aquarium. At that point, you've gotta compare the detrimental effects the nitrate will have on the fish with the stress of the water changes being done.
I set up one of my 2.5 gal aquariums yesterday and put Amelie in (she's the one with no fin rot). It's basically the same one that Arlie purchased. I have an undergravel filter and added an air flow control thing (hoping it will not kill the pump), an ascend... light bulb, a thermometer and the marineland mini heater. No real plants. I put Amelie in right away, because her water is always just around 74/75. She seemed to be ok with it, but since I read here, that they need warmer water, I thought I'd try to cycle with her.
Do you think this is a good idea or should I rather put her back in her bowl and cycle without her? I would have to move her plant and her hiding place, too. I asked that before: If the tank was cycled without fish and then I added the fish and her plant and her hiding place from the bowl, would that mess up the cycle?
Today I did my first water testing with the api master test kit. I used conditioned spring water for the tank.
ph between 7.2 and 7.6
ph high range between 7.4 and 7.8
I tested my tap water and it was ph 7.6 and ph high range around 8
I also tested the spring water and the ph was 6.
What ph range is ok for bettas?
The other results were:
I guess, the levels will go up soon. Could you tell me, which range of these 3 would be ok while I'm cycling the aquarium with Amelie in it? And if they go up too much, should I rather move her to her bowl again (with her plant and hiding place) or do a water change? Would it be enough to take the water out with a cup or do I have to use a gravel vac. to get the poop?
If I continue with spring water, how will I get it to the right temperature when I'm doing a water change? Until now I had no heater, so it was easy. Would it really hurt, if I used room temp. water? It is usually around 74/75 and the water in the aquarium is around 78. If the light is on too long, it goes up to around 80/82.
And there is a last practical question: Since the ammonia, the nitrate and the nitrite seem to be hurtful to skin and surfaces, how and where do you do the testings? I tested in the bathroom sink, I had gloves on and used a dish towel to dry the tubes from the outside after I rinsed them under running water. Is that enough? Or are the amounts one uses so little, that it doesn't really matter?
I don't know much about cycling but I think they would reccommend doing the cycle without the fish. It would be too hard on the fish.. The ph sounds ok, between 7.2 and 7,6. I think Kim says hers does good at 7.6. I think 80-82 degrees is fine.You can leave the plant and hiding place in the tank as it cycles.Hope this helps.
So, that would mean that it's better to be in cooler water than in cycling water? If yes, I'll move her back to her bowl later.
I would have to move the plant and the hiding place and the thermometer, since she would have nothing in her bowl otherwise... When I set up the aquarium yesterday and moved her stuff, before I moved her, she didn't seem to be very happy about that. She looked quite lost in her bowl and didn't really know, where to go.
I don't think it would hurt her to stay in her bowl for a little while longer, until the tank cycles. I think it would be ok to leave the plant and hiding place in her bowl with her. A post on cycling that I read earlier said not to cycle with fish. Its just too stressful for them.