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Old 10-20-2009, 08:06 AM   #1 
deathofcontract
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Bacteria Boom/Cycling...

Hey all, a few quick questions-

I just moved Orbit into a 10G tank. I woke up to bacteria boom. I planned on doing gallon changes daily (keep in mind there's prolly only 7 gallons in there I imagine); is this enough, or should I make it 2 gallons a day?

I know there's a decent fishless v. fish-in cycling debate. What do I need to look for daily? Should I test levels daily, every two days, every week, etc? I have a spare tank, so I won't hesitate to move him if it gets bad, I just prefer him in there. I planted some betta bulbs, and it has previously used substrate, some new substrate, and previously used decorations. I'm hoping this speeds up the process!

And finally, what's the average time span for cycling with the fish in, as compared to fishless?

Thank you, and any and all advice welcome! I've spent too much money on this turn back now, and plus, Orbit lit up like the 4th of July when he was allowed to spread out! (makes it all worth it :))
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:25 AM   #2 
ChristinaRoss
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i would say a 1/2 to a gallon is enough. the bacteria will bloom and then there will be an ammonia spike, then that drops into a nitrite spike which in turn goes into a nitrate spike. when all that has happened and all of your readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate read 0, then your tank has cycled.
i have cycled with and without fish. it still usually takes 4-8 weeks for a healthy bacterial colony to develope.

also, WHENEVER the ammonia reads anything over 0, do a partial water change. its usually the biggest problem in an aquarium. keep doing a water change of a gallon or two a day until the ammonia says 0
ammonia will burn the fish and his gills and make him susceptible to illness
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:33 AM   #3 
deathofcontract
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What's the best testing kit? I plan on going after class; best being cheapest, accurate, etc. etc., and available at walmart (I'd prolly freak the folks at petsmart and petco out, for I've been there daily!).
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:47 AM   #4 
ChristinaRoss
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id get the masters test kit myself, not sure if they have them at walmart.

but you definately need to be able to check for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.
and of course use a dechlorinator
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:51 AM   #5 
deathofcontract
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I presume daily checks are necessary, but after the change?

I'm waiting on the water to get to room temp before I change, so I have a couple hours or so.

Thank you so much. Sometimes I think getting a dog would have been easier lol.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:32 AM   #6 
dramaqueen
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The API freshwater master test kit is what is recommended around here.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:39 AM   #7 
deathofcontract
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Thank you mucho. I'm hoping the used substrate and decorations will speed this up. My OCD will ensure a swift and vigilant eye lol.

Are there any common problems with keeping a betta in a 10G during cycling? I can't imagine that 1 betta is enough to make a huge impact for better or for worse...
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:54 AM   #8 
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he should be ok, emphasis on "should" ammonia is always a serious problem in a new tank that hasnt cycled.

if your going to do that make sure to change a couple gallons a week and ANY time your test registers ANY ammonia
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:57 AM   #9 
deathofcontract
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If I change a gallon regularly daily, would that pre-empt any problems, or counter that, how much would it delay the actual cycling?
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:25 PM   #10 
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your going to have to change water dailys since its not cycled. it may delay cycling very slightly, but since you have a fish in there a water change is a must
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