Mm.. I know the food way, chemicals, and sacrificial fish...That's it though. I really would like to avoid the sacrificial fish. I put a little of the dechlorinating chems when I put the water in but I don't think it was enough in general. But that's also why I'm bringing in water tomorrow. If I have nothing in there I'm just going to try the start right chems and go from there. I think you can add ammonia too? But I'm really bad with precise stuff and I'd get nervous with it. I've heard of people peeing in their tanks too. XD
Uhhhhh peeing in the tank is a no-no lol not a good way to get ammonia >.<
So there are three basic ways to cycle, Fish-In or as you put it Sacrificial fish lol. If done right then you really don't have to sacrifice fish. What you do is just have your fish in, test DAILY for ammonia and when it get's above .25ppm then you do a 25-50% water change. Wait and hour and test again, if it's still above .25ppm do another change until it's below .25ppm
You can use Tetra SafeStart and that still requires your fish to be in there but theoretically the stuff is a big bottle of live bacteria to kickstart your colony of BB. But depending on the care of the chemicals, the bacteria may or may not be dead if it has been subjected to extreme temps or if it's been sitting too long. So it's not guaranteed to work.
Then there's Fish-Less with can be done with fish food, raw shrimp in a mesh bag, or pure ammonia. This is the easiest and quickest way to cycle sometimes taking only 2 weeks to cycle as opposed to a month! You basically dose the ammonia up to 4ppm or in the even of a raw shrimp method, keep it under 4ppm and test daily. If it's under 4ppm, redose with the pure ammonia, or with the shrimp if it's over do a small water change till it's at or below 4ppm.
And then there's Silent, my favorite! I've been dubbed lilninja before and since this is my favorite method, I've also dubbed it the Ninja Cycle! lol Basically the idea is to plant your tank and the plants act as a buffer against high levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate! So the tank is cycling, but it's going to take a longer time to cycle but you'll never get readings so it's keeping your fish safe while looking good! You need fast growers mostly for that though because they soak up most of the ammonia.
Also a good thing about getting plants from already established tanks is that they carry BB on them so it's another way of kick starting your colony. You can have some of my water sprite if you want, I have too much!
Fast growing low light plants are: Java Moss, Anacharis, Elodea, Water sprite, water wisteria, and Cabomda!
I'm pretty sure Java moss was what I had in my last betta tank. But I'll happily take some excess plants for you!!! I'm going to look for some plants at work tomorrow too to put into the tank. So I want to pick up some pure ammonia right? And a crap ton of ammonia test strips. XD
Pure ammonia is going to be a bit hard to find, you need to find one that does not have any additives and does not have surfactant in it. You can use the 10% ones at ACE hardware as long as it doesn't have other stuff in it. And then you need some sort of pipet to dose one drop or so at a time.
I don't suggest the ammonia strips, they are highly inaccurate. If you can, just get the API Master kit, in stores it's 30 but you can get it online for about 20. I can loan you my Ammonia test until you get your own if you need it but I really do suggest getting the liquid testing kit, it's way more accurate and easy to read!
And yes, Java moss was that you had last time ^_^ lol I was thinking about that and you had offered me some and I was thinking like, it's going to take over my tank!!! ahhh! I can never have live plants!!! lol
I liked my java moss but yeah it did take over my bowls. XD And I know... ugh its just really expensive. I think I'm going to try the food first. And if that isn't enough I'll think about doing the ammonia... I just really don't want to mess it up. D: But R is coming home to me tomorrow!! I'm excited to put him next to his new tank.
That can work, it will only grow enough Bacteria to compensate for his poop and not urine or other ammonia he excrete's so it won't be as effective as if you got a raw shrimp in a mesh bag but it can work.
Also you can edit posts within 20 minutes so you don't have to double post buttons on the bottom right of your post.