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Old 09-13-2013, 10:33 PM   #1 
MunchMeister
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New tank needs cycling?

So I don't have a tank yet, I intend for maybe 5 gallon. I'm going to probably have a few or several plants if I can, and only 1 adult Betta fish for now.

I've read a bit about cycling and other things. My problem is I'm kind of impatient and I want a fish as I get the tank, but it might be bad since ammonia might build up too fast.

If I'm going to have a sponge filter with it along with plants, and only 1 Betta, do you think the ammonia will be cleared before it can even reach toxic levels? If it won't be lethal but will still stress the fish out early on, will constant water changes help? And how much/often?

Also, I'll be using a conditioner with the tap water. Is it ok if the fish enters the tap water with conditioner immediately? Or must I wait in case chlorine is present?

What plants are very good with absorbing ammonia/waste? If the answer is fast-growing plants, then maybe duckweed and some others...

Do bacteria come from the water filters/sponge filters? And the plants can come in full/already grown as I buy it from an aquarium, right? Also, I should wait a while before I get some companions for it like snails/ghost shrimp?

Thanks for your time.

Last edited by MunchMeister; 09-13-2013 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:56 PM   #2 
jaysee
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Your tank will eventually cycle on its own, as long as you don't prevent it from happening by obsessively cleaning everything. As long as you don't mind doing frequent water changes in the meantime, there's no reason why you would have to wait for the tank to cycle.

You can add the dechorinator to the tank before filling with tap water. No need to wait - it works instantly.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:06 PM   #3 
MunchMeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysee View Post
Your tank will eventually cycle on its own, as long as you don't prevent it from happening by obsessively cleaning everything. As long as you don't mind doing frequent water changes in the meantime, there's no reason why you would have to wait for the tank to cycle.

You can add the dechorinator to the tank before filling with tap water. No need to wait - it works instantly.
Will cleaning the walls of the tank or whatever remove bacteria? Or is bacteria present everywhere in the filter/sponge and water? And I don't mind frequent water changes.

Thanks.
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:42 AM   #4 
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the bacteria lives on the surfaces in the tank, such as the glass, the substrate, the filter media - everything that has a surface for biofilm to cover. There's no need to clean the glass while you are cycling the tank, or anything else for that matter. Just do water changes, with the occasional gravel vacuum.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:11 AM   #5 
Hallyx
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While cycling, or anytime, it's good to use a water conditioner that detoxifu\ies ammonia as well as treating chlorine. Seachem Prime and Amquel+ meet that requirement. Not all conditioners do.
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Old 09-14-2013, 06:52 PM   #6 
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Hi Munch!
I just snagged a 5 gallon tank from - of all places - Walmart. Ordered it online since neither of my local Walmarts had it in stock. 5 gallon acrylic, with a florescent light and filter included. Shipping was 97 cents. It was supposed to arrive the 17th - FedEx had it on my porch today - a Saturday - sweet! It was all of $29 after tax and shipping.
Just check Walmart's website and search on "hawkeye aquarium" and you'll find it - I tried to put a link to it here but the link is a MILE long. Others here have it and seem pleased.
I might have to baffle the filter - we'll see.

I've done numerous freshwater and even a saltwater tank in the past - I can say that patience is a virtue with fish-keeping!

You can buy the 'good' bacteria to jump-start things. In the past I used a product called Cycle. You can get it at Foster & Smith. I think this time I'm going to use the F&S knock off version of Cycle.
For my past tanks I used Prime by Seachem and swore by it - it's a water conditioner - I'll be using it again for this betta tank. Make sure the water you add to your tank is the same temperature as the water in your tank when you add it to the tank.

My plan with this little 5 gallon (for my daughter although I'm really getting into this) is to put water in it and let it sit for an hour or two today to make sure no leaks. Then I'll rinse the gravel and stuff out before I add it to the tank so it's ready to go.
I still need to order a heater, Cycle, Prime and a few other goodies - so I'll get that done later tonight from F&S.
Once everything gets here I'll put treated water in it, the heater and all and let it run about two days and then go help my daughter pick a fish.
I'll probably put the "good bacteria" in a day before we look for a fish.

Good luck from this fellow betta newbie!
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:43 PM   #7 
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Nutrafin Cycle was an OK product back in its day, but bacteria-packaging technology has come a long way in the last decade. Dr. Timothy Hovanec devised a method of bottling live nitrifying bacteria, bottled in a way as to keep it fresh and alive for over six months (they claim one year). His current product, Dr Tim's One and Only is shipped direct from the factory in an insulated container to ensure freshness.

Tetra Safestart was developed by Dr Tim. It's readily available in most LFS's. Make sure it's fresh; check the sell-by date. Other products that contain the right bacteria are: API Quickstart, ATM Colony, Niteout and Seachem Stability.

SalsaMom says, "I can say that patience is a virtue with fish-keeping! " Hallyx says, Amen!

Last edited by Hallyx; 09-14-2013 at 07:48 PM.
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