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Old 08-20-2010, 03:25 PM   #1 
emeltee
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Join Date: Jul 2010
About to take the cycling plunge

I'm getting ready to cycle a 5 gallon tank. I have a few questions.

I plan on getting some plants for the tank, but I will mail order them. Can I put them in at any time, or should they be there from the beginning?

I'm still unsure about which method to do: raw shrimp vs food pellets. Help convince me one way or the other!

Thanks!
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:23 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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What is your stocking plan, type and number of plants you plan to use, also filtration type and what kind of water pram testing kit do you have or plan to use?
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:45 PM   #3 
emeltee
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I have the tetra 5 gallon tank from Walmart. It's still in the box, so I'm not sure what kind of filter it has. I really want the 5 gallon Hawkeye, but it's out of stock, and I'm not sure if I can wait for it to restock.

I've read that there is a test kit from Walmart. (Makes me sound like a Wmart shopper, huh? In truth, I stay way from the store as much as possible, lol.) I think I have to order it online since I didn't see it in the store yesterday.

I currently have some Christmas moss (or it might be Java moss, not exactly sure since it was given to me.) I'd like to add either water sprite or pennywort as floaters. I just bought a piece of driftwood that I'll probably add Java fern to. I'm not really sure what I'd like to place into the substrate, yet. I was researching plants late into the light last night, but dh wasn't too happy, so I had to cut my research short. Any recommendations? I think some choices are hornwort, pennywort or pygmy chain sword, maybe water wisteria.

Lastly, I was just planning on using gravel since that's what is recommended on the other boards. However, it seems like one could upgrade to another substrate, so I'm not exactly sure if I'll add something else under the gravel.

Oh, this is for my daughter's male betta, Prince.
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:24 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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To do a fishless cycle you have to have water test products to test for-ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH

Nothing wrong with wallyworld either...these days we have to shop by price...lol...or at least I do....

Low light plants can be- moss, anubias and java fern tied to the driftwood, some not all of either water wisteria, mexican oak leaf, hygrophila, anacharis, ludwigia, rotala, pygmy chain swords are good planted, floaters-water lettuce, hornwort, water sprite are all good

I would pick 2 of the type that needs to be tied to something, 2-3 of the planted type and 1 floater for a 5g tank

Regular gravel will be fine, however, you may need to add some type of plant ferts later if the plants seem to be suffering

If you chose to plant or not, you can add the Betta and cycle-this can be done safely as long as the needed water changes are made of at least 2-3 50% weekly

Once cycled (4-8 weeks) you could decrease water changes to 50% weekly-provided that the Betta is not overfed and uneaten food is removed

Having a water test kit can be helpful with fish-in cycling and I do recommend them, however, you can still safely cycle fish-in without one

On the filter-it need to run 24/7 and the filter media needs a rinse/swish in old tank water with a water change 1-2 times a month and when the water flow slows
Chlorinated water can kill the good bacteria that you are trying to colonize for the nitrogen cycle

When making water changes try and keep the water temp within a couple of degrees from new and old water to prevent temp related shock/problems and a dechlorinator with any new water added to the tank if on city water supply.
You want to keep the water temp in the 76-80F range

You also want to vacuum the gravel at least weekly with one of the water changes in all areas you can reach without moving anything or disruption of plant roots during and after the cycle.
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