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Old 09-20-2013, 12:19 PM   #1 
WhitneyLin
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Tanks and Cycling

So I just have a few things i'd like some advice/opinions/clarifications on.

I really want to get a second aquarium for christmas. Everyone always asks what they can get me for gifts, so i figure if I spread things out amongst friends and family, all I should have to buy myself is the fish. But everyone in my family starts shopping early, so i figured I should get everything straight.

A:
- I currently have a 2.5g with a heater for my boy. Its easy enough for me to clean and lift. Getting a second one of these wouldnt be bad.

-However I have been eyeing up the Hawkeye 5g at Walmart. I've seen some pretty good reviews on it. But that is going to be very hard for me to haul out of my room and clean all the time. So:

----is this a good/easy tank to cycle? I have never cycled a tank before.

----I'd also feel kind of bad if I got a bigger tank for a new fish and not for Ty. However, Ty has a lot of fin. I do think it weighs him down. He seems to swim ok, but when he stops his back end tips down like its a bit too heavy (though he hasnt bitten his tail off, *knocks on wood*) I'd be worried moving him into a bigger tank that has a filter.


B:
About Cycling. I've read the post A Beginner's Guide to the Freshwater Aquarium Cycle. I'd have to choose one of the fishless cycles, but im not sure which. Which cycle do you think would be best for me as a beginner?

I dont have the greenest thumb, but I have managed to keep bamboo alive finally. I'd like to try a live plant, but im not sure. I dont want to cause more harm than good if I cant keep the plant alive.

---When you cycle, you still do % water changes right? If so, how?

--- Is there anything I should know about cycles besides what I got from that sticky?

Sorry for the long post. Its just stuff i'd really like some more knowledge on before I have any decisions. And its hit or miss trying to find someone at the pet stores who know.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:56 PM   #2 
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No opinions? .... that surprises me.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:40 PM   #3 
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I think a 5 gallonnis fine for cycling. I don't know much about cycling but I know that the amount of water that is changed depends on your water parameters. Someone else can fill you in on the rest.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:20 AM   #4 
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PM me and I can give you the basics. :) I'm by no means an expert, but I can give you the Cycling For Dummies edition. ;)

Another option you might consider is doing a single 10g and dividing it in half. This gives you equal room for both fish, and also involves a single heater and filter, which is really nice. :)

As for hauling water, once you're cycled, you'll only change about 25% of the water every couple of weeks to a month, so just get a 5 gallon bucket (that you'll only get about half full), a siphon with gravel vacuum, and you're good to go. Cleaning will take you about fifteen minutes, complete with tank refill. :) I was afraid to cycle for the longest time, but once I did it...oh man, never going back, lol! :)
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:37 AM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Fish View Post
PM me and I can give you the basics. :) I'm by no means an expert, but I can give you the Cycling For Dummies edition. ;)

Another option you might consider is doing a single 10g and dividing it in half. This gives you equal room for both fish, and also involves a single heater and filter, which is really nice. :)

As for hauling water, once you're cycled, you'll only change about 25% of the water every couple of weeks to a month, so just get a 5 gallon bucket (that you'll only get about half full), a siphon with gravel vacuum, and you're good to go. Cleaning will take you about fifteen minutes, complete with tank refill. :) I was afraid to cycle for the longest time, but once I did it...oh man, never going back, lol! :)
I have no place for a 10g. I could fit the two smaller 5g in different spots in my room. But I dont have a place big enough for a 10g. :( And we have cats, so its my room or no fish. Any places outside my room that are high enough so thats cats cant reach are either not big enough for more than a 1g bowl or dont have anyplace where I could plug in a heater.

Every couple of weeks sounds like heaven. Im on a strict schedule now (made even more rigorous with treating a mild case of fin rot) of 50% and 100% change every week.

I"ll send a pm right away. I could use the dummies guide.
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:24 AM   #6 
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Maybe you can post it here for us all to see later? :) Other wise we'll all be left hanging here! D:


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Old 09-21-2013, 05:48 AM   #7 
Hallyx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhitneyLin View Post
- I currently have a 2.5g with a heater for my boy. Its easy enough for me to clean and lift. Getting a second one of these wouldnt be bad.

Once you get on to cycling, you should consider cycling the 2.5g, too.

-However I have been eyeing up the Hawkeye 5g at Walmart. I've seen some pretty good reviews on it. But that is going to be very hard for me to haul out of my room and clean all the time. So:

It's OK for a plastic tank. A lower profile galss tank is more durable with a more Betta-friendly footprint.

----is this a good/easy tank to cycle? I have never cycled a tank before.

All tanks are equally easy to cycle. Smaller tanks do need a little more attention/alertness is all. A 5g is a snap.

----I'd also feel kind of bad if I got a bigger tank for a new fish and not for Ty. However, Ty has a lot of fin.

Cycle the 2.5g with a low-flow sponge filter. In fact, if you're going to get another big-fin Betta, I recommend a sponge filter for your 5g. If your two tanks will be anywhere near each other, you can use one airpump for both filters.


B:
About Cycling. I've read the post A Beginner's Guide to the Freshwater Aquarium Cycle. I'd have to choose one of the fishless cycles, but im not sure which. Which cycle do you think would be best for me as a beginner?

If you won't be getting your fish until you get your tank and accessories, you can do a fishless cycle. I'm not sure what you mean by choosing, "one of the fishless cycles."I only know of one kind. You may mean which ammonia producer should you choose. I recommend very highly that you take the trouble to find "pure" ammonia, that does NOT foam when shaken. Ace Hardware has "Janitorial Strength" ammonia. Dr.Tim's sells "pure"ammonia on Amazon and Drs. Foster & Smith. Rotting shrimp or fishffod risks mold/fungus and makes you tank smell bad.

But fishless is more appropriate for generating a lot of bactaeria for a sorority or community/school.. Fish-in cycling a 5g tank with a single Betta is so easy, I wouldn't consider any other method.


I dont have the greenest thumb, but I have managed to keep bamboo alive finally. I'd like to try a live plant, but im not sure. I dont want to cause more harm than good if I cant keep the plant alive.

Easy plants, like Anubias, mossballs, and floating Wisteria or duckweed are a great way to gain confidence. And your fish will thank you.

---When you cycle, you still do % water changes right? If so, how?

Usually a 50% change once per week is enough. Using a siphon is the easiest safets, least stressful way (for both of you). You should learn to evaluate you water parameters. This requires a test kit like this one that many of us use. Amazon.com: API Freshwater Master Test Kit: Pet Supplies
Add a bottle of Prime and get free shipping.

--- Is there anything I should know about cycles besides what I got from that sticky?

Read OldFishLady's sticky about "Betta specific" cycling. She recommends fish-in and, much to my surprise, has made me a convert. When you get around to actually doing it, check back in and we'll guide you through it.
...
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:53 AM   #8 
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Thank you Blue Fish for sending me the info. Its a lot, but I appreciate it. I'd always rather be over prepared then under prepared.

And thanks Hallyx.

The only problem is I cant seem to find a glass one with a hood that doesnt cost an arm and a leg. I can keep hunting craigslist till christmas though and see if any pop up. The 2.5g doesnt have a hood, im using plastic wrap till I can find something better, but I really wish it did.

Yes, I meant the ammonia, sorry. I apparently dont make complete sense when half asleep. lol. I guess I will just do the fish in method then. As long as its not going to hurt them.

I'll have to look into what plants our Petco has. Along with the test kit. I was an idiot and didnt see the kit, so I just got the strips like petco used to test my water. .. already have a big bottle of Prime. Feels like that stuff is gonna last forever. lol
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:38 PM   #9 
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I use cling film and a desk lamp with a curly CFL over my 5g. Not elegant, but I like the spotlight effect in my tank...swords under the light; Anubias jungle in the dark end.

The Hawkeye is OK for the price. Acrylic scratches easily and eventually turns yellow. On the plus side, it's very clear with no green tint, and it's light. The suitability of the filter will depend on your fish. Make sure the included bulb is ~6500K(Kelvin... color temperature), if you intend growing plants.

Yeah, that Prime will last forever. So will the test kit. Ask me later how to use a test kit bottle for dosing drops of Prime.
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:41 PM   #10 
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You can also take a piece of picture frame glass, or a piece of plexiglass and lay it over the top of the tank. :) I don't like hoods, so I use the plexi cut to size and two 100w equiv CFL bulbed clip on desk lamps, one on each end of the 20g. So far everything has grown really well, ranging from red rotala to anubias, so quite a bit of the light spectrum. :)
Also SO MUCH CHEAPER than a traditional hood, or even a versa top. If I had to buy a top for all six of the tanks, I was going to be spending hundreds...and I looked all *over* the internet. :)

The lamps are like 9$ each at walmart, and a piece of plexi runs about 5$ at Home Depot or Lowes. :)
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