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Old 12-25-2009, 06:58 PM   #1 
KristiLee
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Question Setting up a new tank?

Henry is currently in a 1 gal, unheated/unfiltered tank (I know.. poor guy ), but my mother purchased him a new 2.5 gal minibow, mini heater, and a Red Sea Deco Art Nano filter for Christmas. As I have never had a filtered tank before (Henry is my first fishie), I am not quite sure how exactly to set things up. I've read a bit about cycling, but it's still somewhat confusing. Can anyone give me any advice on how to set up his tank/filter, and how long should I wait before moving him to his new home?? I'm home for break right now, and will be heading back to campus in 2 weeks. Should I just wait until then to get things started?? ANY advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:29 PM   #2 
bettababe321
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A tank that small may not actually cycle. I managed to cycle my five gallons but I'm not sure about a 2.5. Even if it doesn't cycle the added space will mean less water changes for you and I'm sure your fish will love it! It may be easier to set up the new tank when you get back to school, for now you could maybe use the heater in the 1 gallon as long as it doesn't get too hot.
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:41 PM   #3 
KristiLee
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Thanks! So how long should I wait after setting up his new tank/filter before I transfer him?? If it won't cycle I'm assuming not too long... Just a few days to make sure everything works properly?
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:42 PM   #4 
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yep, if you're not going to try and cycle it then I would just float him in the new tank in a bag of his old tank water to let him adjust to the temp of the new tank. Then add a little bit of your new tank water to the bag every half hour or so untill its almost full and then you can release him. When I acclimate mine it usually takes around 2 hours.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:32 AM   #5 
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A 2.5 should cycle. My 3 gallon cycled and I know people who have cycled 2.5s as well. If you put the fish in there eventually the tank will cycle. Even 1 gallon containers go through a small form of cycling.

Personally I do fish in cycles... they seem easier to me especially because I have space constraints (also a college student) and having two containers is a hassel. But others feel it is dangerous for the fish (I never had a single problem).

I definitely wouldn't put the tank together until you get back to school.. just more work when you move it.
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:52 AM   #6 
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I think you should be proud of yourself for setting your betta up so nicely. I'm also a college betta keeper and I see so many other people in the dorms who keep their bettas in containers hardly bigger than the ones they're sold in.

I'm sort of dreading moving both my 10 gallon and my 5 gallon though when break ends. >_<
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:49 AM   #7 
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It's cool to see how many college students are on here! I am also a student, I hate having to move my tanks back and forth but I love having my fish at school. I recently got two 2 gallons with heaters so I don't have to move my ten gallon back and forth.
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:56 AM   #8 
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It is truly wonderful to have my fishies at school with me. I didn't realize just how much I appreciated having them there until I went for two weeks without them. (I brought them home over Thanksgiving and left them there until winter break to minimize stress.)
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:29 PM   #9 
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I'm a college student, too =). Yeah my school was giving out those Marina half gallon tanks (Marina seems to make A LOT of "Betta Bowls/Tanks" that I personally wouldn't even let a tadpole live in) and coupons for free bettas from the local pet store. It irked me that they were pretty much just handing out bettas to people, especially because a majority of people think it's perfectly acceptable to have a betta in a tiny container that they rarely clean.. I did quite a bit of research on caring for bettas before I got Henry, and I only kept him in the 1/2 gallon until I could get a bigger tank. Granted, it was only a 1 gal, but it was better than what he had before and he was so much happier. And now, once I get back to my dorm, he will have even more room to swim around in =)

And I agree; having a betta at school is AMAZING! It's so relaxing just to sit and watch him swim around, and he's so quirky as well, so I'm pretty much never bored. I babysat my friend's betta for a weekend, and it's amazing how distinct their personalities are!

1fish2fish: If I try to cycle it, is there anything special/different I should do? Or if I just put him in there will it cycle on it's own? And if it does will the levels of ammonia raise too high for him to be able to handle, considering the tank size?
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:49 PM   #10 
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There are two ways to cycle.. fish out, which I don't like... and fish in, which I always recommend.

Here is how you do a fish in cycle SAFELY.

1) Buy a test kit (liquid kind).. API makes a good master kit from Petsmart with like 700 tests in it so its worth its cost.
2) Set up your tank completely with all your gravel, decorations, filter, heater, etc.
3) De-chlorinate your water (I use seachem prime which is also a really good value bc it is so concentrated you only need a drop)

Now you are ready. Once everything is up and running you test your water EVERYDAY. Test for Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates. If you see any readings of ammonia or nitrites over 0.00ppm do a 20% pwc.

The first thing that will happen (after a little time) is you will see a spike in the ammonia (for instance my 3 gallon went from 0.25ppm Ammonia one day to 1.00ppm the next). Then you will see a similar spike in the Nitrites. This means that the bacteria that eat the ammonia are colonized and are producing the nitrites. Soon after you will start getting readings of Nitrates.

Once you are getting readings of 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites, and 5-20ppm Nitrates for a week straight you are cycled.

This method should be perfectly safe for your fish as long as you do water changes every time you get a reading of ammonia or nitrites.. just so he doesn't have to live in the bad stuff. It can take a while (but so does fish out cycling). My 3 gallon only took a little over two weeks to cycle but I have a high bioload of 1 betta and 1 mystery snail that helped it along. The sometimes daily pwcs can get annoying but believe me its worth it in the end.

Having tankmates can speed up your cycle as they produce more ammonia but don't get a tank mat unless you really want one.

Once you are cycled you will only have to do 2 50% water changes a week (and if you miss one every now and then... I know i did around finals LOL... its ok). Vacuum the substrate during one of the water changes.

Getting a siphon or gravel vacuum REALLY helps bc it makes it so much easier to do little water changes without disrupting the fish. Also having a "fish only" bucket is a necessity.


Wow.. ok that was long.. I don't think I left anything out but if you have any more questions feel free to ask :)

Last edited by 1fish2fish; 12-29-2009 at 03:52 PM. Reason: typos
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