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Old 09-13-2013, 01:19 AM   #1 
KeshiaB
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Cool New tank arriving soon – what should I do from here?

I have a new 30L (approx. 7.9 gallon) tank arriving for my little guy soon, along with a brand new heater, filter, gravel and décor. I've been reading so much information on starting up new tanks, cycling, cleaning, transfers etc. that I'm a bit overwhelmed!
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So I was wondering if somebody could break it down into a dummies guide for me? Do I cycle or not? Fish in or fishless? Should I make any modifications to the filter (Hagen Elite Hush 10)?
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If it helps my guy is currently in a 5L (1.3 gallon), heated but unfiltered tank. I don't think this tank has cycled because I have done 3 x 100% water changes since buying him 4 weeks ago. I was a bit uneducated and just plonked him in the tank without knowing about cycling (the water is treated using a betta water conditioner and some ammolock).
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Also, I purchased some bottled bacteria which I now know may be useless… so any tips? Sorry for all the questions (again)!
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:31 AM   #2 
Snappyarcher
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Ok this is going to SOUND harsh but its not meant as such...... GO TO A BOOK STORE!!!!!!!!! (I know you have done which is great!)

The most important thing in any animal husbandry is to make sure you are fair to the fish... This is why I say this, you need to read and learn how to keep fish, they are not like any terrestrial creatures in so far as how you care for them so you do need to familiarise yourself with it all... To be fair I do say it to everyone with monotonous regularity. I see you have been reading but this is a mantra which cannot be under estimated.

Secondly I would say read about the Nitrogen Cycle.... This Estes of chemical reactions is key to the fish keeping process and is a mainstay of the hobby.... Above all please make sure you know how it works... That's an absolute must.

Ok... Next... What species of fish do you have? Can you try to give us as much of a detailed list of your proposed or current setup as possible? We can help from there better. What I mean is the type of setup you want to achieve, substrate, decor etc....

Billy
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:52 AM   #3 
KeshiaB
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I agree on educating yourself, the thing is I've read so many fact sheets, blogs, websites and books containing so much conflicting information that I'm more confused than ever!

I have a blue VT betta male. He is in a 5L glass tank with a small heater (one of those rubbish set temp ones), gravel, a plastic plant (don't worry it doesn't tear his fins), barrell decoration and thermometer. He gets fed betta pellets and I'm considering trying mosquito larvae.

I'm getting a 30L glass tank, also with gravel, adjustable heater, hang on filter, plastic and silk plants, barrell, betta hammock and at some stage I may add a few ghost shrimp. I'm too impatient for live plants, sand or any other fish in the tank, one day I might get a snail but still unsure. The tank is situated away from windows and near an air conditioner for when it gets hot here in summer (Melbourne summers can get to 45 degrees celsius, or over 100 degrees farenheit).

Any other information I can provide?
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:33 AM   #4 
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Hiya ... Yes I agree with you on conflicting info the whole hobby is rife with it! But when you start to learn the good authors like Nick Dakin, Mary Bailey, Dick Mills and th like.... You begin to get the good info.
I'm from New Zealand so I can certainly appreciate the heat of a good summer so the air conditioning is useful but you might need to be careful that it doesn't creat "chilly" spots around the tank. Plastic plants need to be used with caution as they can cause damage to long finned species but silk ones are a great idea and I'd whole heatedly go with that.... Live plants are a pain in the arse unless you have the right water to accommodate them! Personally I just moved to a new area and have had to change my entire set up because the water here is so hard and alkaline and I want to use the attributes of the water as it exists rather than to try to mess with water chemistry!

Filtration and water movement are a key thing in any fish tank as they allow for the best oxygenation in the tank and thus the fishes ability to breath is maximised. betta are anabantids, or labyrinthine fish... This means that they have what is a called a labyrinth organ... A type of primitive lung which enables a degree of breathing from the air for the fish, but don't become complacent about water quality just because of the fishes ability to "breath " air.... The labyrinth organ is a PRIMATIVE lung only and hardly what you might call efficient.... It's a helping hand only.

When you come to give little guy a mate... The best, in my experience, combination of males to females is 1 male to three females, this is because the males are aggressive and will hound a single female to death if she is by herself... Having more than one female dilutes his attentions and gives each of them a fair chance.

Ok so to answer the original question.... Yes you must cycle any tank where you are in doubt of its cycle status, and always use a test kit to monitor the situation as it progresses. The filter seems ok to me given the size tank and water volume you have but I would be careful with the cycle process if you want to do it WITH fish.... Be prepared to do daily smaller water changes ...say 15% Per day.

Hope this helps
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:37 AM   #5 
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Thanks, nice to meet a fellow Kiwi on here, although some call me a traitor for moving across the ditch for a while!

I'm definitely more inclined to fishless cycling. Perhaps shrimp over fish food which I see can be messy, although I was considering making a "teabag" type pouch that I could use fish food in so then I won't get waste everywhere...
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:44 AM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeshiaB View Post
Thanks, nice to meet a fellow Kiwi on here, although some call me a traitor for moving across the ditch for a while!

I'm definitely more inclined to fishless cycling. Perhaps shrimp over fish food which I see can be messy, although I was considering making a "teabag" type pouch that I could use fish food in so then I won't get waste everywhere...
KIA ORA!!!!!!!

I agree with the fish less cycling in this case as being an ideal but thats just a preference... If done carefully it can be done with fish as well.

Add me as a friend if you like.

Billy
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:00 AM   #7 
Hallyx
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Good info and advice from Snappy. There are opinions on fish care and cycling. I think fishless cycling is better for building up large nitrifying bacteria colony for a heavy bioload, like a sorority or a large community. A Betta, with it's light bioload can safely and easily accommodate a fish-in cycle. This allows your fish to move into his new luxury tank right away and not have to spend weeks more in his small bowl. You'll have to test water quality in either case; you might as well make life easier for both of you.

Modern biochemistry has advanced bacteria-in-a-bottle tech to the point that it's reliable and safe. What kind of bottled bacteria did you buy? Consider a small bottle of Dr Tim's One-and-Only (available online). It is the freshest and arguably the best. Tetra Safestart is more easily available. It works fine as long as you get it fresh (<6mo).

If you can handle some live plants, that's a definite bonus for your fish.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:01 PM   #8 
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I agree with Hally here but your fish might be considered delicate because if having experienced high toxin levels recently so I'd say go non-fish if possible.
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