Originally Posted by Sarada
Well then wouldn't a small air stone do the trick? I'm just curious because my two 5 gallon tanks are not cycled and not filtered. My fish seem happier without filters. When I had sponge filters in they both were tearing their fins apart, without filter they don't.
Yes, the airstone or sponge filters will help to keep a cycle by providing the needed oxygen the bacteria need, however, with just airstone it limits sites for the bacteria to colonize.
In Betta only tanks with proper care (that I know you give), sometimes can do better without any added aeration/oxygenation, so true that often the water movement alone can be a cause of shred/torn fins on some of our delicate Bettas fins...
Some benefits of cycled tanks are a reduced number of water changes and percent of water changed in a stable cycled tank and this can also give you a bit of wiggle room when life happens.
Regardless of cycle/filtration- it does not change the need for regular water changes in closed systems
The right kind and number of active growing aquatic plants can also help in maintaining water quality