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Old 08-23-2011, 01:37 AM   #2311 
Micho
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So I've heard of cycling but I really have no clue what it is, I've read the stickied thread on cycling on this forums but I still didn't get it.

I have a 2 gallon tank, should I be "cycling"? And, the instructions says to do a 20% water change every week, how often should I be doing water changes and how much % each time?
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:46 AM   #2312 
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So I've heard of cycling but I really have no clue what it is, I've read the stickied thread on cycling on this forums but I still didn't get it.

I have a 2 gallon tank, should I be "cycling"? And, the instructions says to do a 20% water change every week, how often should I be doing water changes and how much % each time?
It would be SUPER hard for you to cycle a 2 gallon tank. Even a 2.5-3 gallon is quite difficult. For now, dont worry about it and dont bother trying to cycle.

If the tank is filtered, you wont need a 100% change in the water, which is nice. (Filter always left on)

I would do one 50% change every week at the least. Get a small siphon or gravel vacuum to suck both water and wastes out of the bottom of the tank. Its really worth it to get :)
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:58 AM   #2313 
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It would be SUPER hard for you to cycle a 2 gallon tank. Even a 2.5-3 gallon is quite difficult. For now, dont worry about it and dont bother trying to cycle.

If the tank is filtered, you wont need a 100% change in the water, which is nice. (Filter always left on)

I would do one 50% change every week at the least. Get a small siphon or gravel vacuum to suck both water and wastes out of the bottom of the tank. Its really worth it to get :)
Thanks for the fast reply. :]

I'll try to see if my pet store has a siphon/vacuum since it's an "express" store you can get hardly anything from there. Should I remove Jake from the tank when siphoning? Or is that not necessary?
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:52 AM   #2314 
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Micho, if your tank isn't cycled, you must do one 100% change and one 50% change weekly. With a filter, just do one 100% per week. The reason for the 100% change is because ammonia will keep building up and just partial changes will just reduce the amount of ammonia. Usually a cycled tank won't have this issue, but a tank that ISNT cycled, will.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:17 AM   #2315 
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Micho, if your tank isn't cycled, you must do one 100% change and one 50% change weekly. With a filter, just do one 100% per week. The reason for the 100% change is because ammonia will keep building up and just partial changes will just reduce the amount of ammonia. Usually a cycled tank won't have this issue, but a tank that ISNT cycled, will.
WHAT???? WITH a filter, I NEVER, EVER do a 100% water change - even on small tanks. On 3 gals. & under I do two large water changes (approx. 75%) twice a week, but NEVER a 100%!!!
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:34 AM   #2316 
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Oh well, all to their own. But really, all does that does is that is reduce the amount of ammonia, but doesn't remove it.

On small tanks that aren't cycled, do 100% changes. If the tank IS cycled, never ever do a 100%.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:47 AM   #2317 
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If you want to cycle the tank...100% water changes would probably not be a good idea.If you had to do a 100% why would anyone even bother with a filter on a 2-3 gallon...?
You can cycle smaller tanks, it is just not as hardy of a cycle due to the lack of surface space for BB to cling to.
On my 3 gallon filtered (working on cycling) I do 2 50% water changes and that maintains good params, for me...If you use a good conditioner like prime, and dose the amount of water in the tank (not just the water added)while cycling it should cover any ammonia that may be in the remaining water.
It is best to use a master testing kit (or at least get a ammonia tester) to keep check of your params. instead of blindly doing water changes...It helps to determine how often you should be doing water changes, every tank is different...
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:22 PM   #2318 
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Location: A lovely valley in VA, USA But Inkworld, Mossflower woods, Farsala, or The TARDIS is good too.
I've heard about using Aquarium salt and Epsom salt for treating bettas if they get sick, but what specifically do they do?
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:33 PM   #2319 
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...and I wonder why my guide wasn't made a sticky....:C

In MOST tanks under 5 gallons, it is nearly impossible to hold a a stable cycle but that doesn't mean it won't happen. A phenomenon known as mini cycling occurs. It doesn't cycle completely but some bacteria DOES grow in the filter, regardless of size of the tank.

The reason why it's difficult is that ammonia will rise to toxic levels before the beneficial bacteria (BB) move in. Then, once it is moved in, nitrite levels will rise to toxic levels before the second set of BB move in. You will *HAVE* to have done at least SEVERAL water changes at this point. So you essentially continually GROW BB and STARVE them right after you do a change. They won't ALL die, but their numbers will diminish severely.

Just imagine it like this:
- In a large, stable cycled tank: The BB in the filter is like a metropolis of efficiency. Nothing is overlooked, ammonia and nitrite are taken care of like criminals. Nothing escapes the BBPD (Beneficial Bacteria Police Department)

- In a small, unstable "cycled" tank: The BB in the filter is similar to that of a small town or village. Many things are taken care of, but some things slip under the radar due to their inefficient police force (BB) taking care of the bad things in the tank. Any crime lords (ammonia spikes) will get away with it.

The ONLY reason why people think 5+ Gallons are able to cycle (other than it is stable) is because it is very difficult (physically) to find filters for small tanks that won't bump your betta around in his/her home.


TL;DR: Micho, I agree with P3 and Littlebitty. I personally test my water every other day (including rigorous dilutions) to determine WHEN I need to do a water change to keep my fish and BBPD happy. I am aware my guide says to not bother with 1-2 gals cycling, but that's generally for super beginners who don't feel the need to ask.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:37 PM   #2320 
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@Hazel:

Epsom salt is generally used as a laxative (i.e. severe bloating) and fluid control (i.e. dropsy) from what I've gathered.

Aquarium salt is generally used as an antiseptic (i.e. fin rot) and it also improves the efficiency of some medications. I have also heard somewhere that it keeps NitrITES in check, but not sure.
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