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Old 09-05-2010, 04:09 PM   #1 
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Tank set up! Have questions

I was at wal-mart the other day, saw the tanks in the back while walking by and jokingly said "I am going to get a fish!". So i came home, and stumbled onto this forum..And now I can't wait to get a betta!

I ran to the pet store today, I got a 10 gallon tank kit (with a filter and bio bag I think it was called and a lid+light) then I grabbed a heater and air pump with a bubble rock thing. Someone at the pet store helped me with some things, and told me that i should run the tank for 24 hours, then add a betta. Would this be okay, I am confused about the whole cycling deal?

So I have the tank all setup...I have the heater in the corner, the air rock kind of in the middle..Need to go buy some decor still but that will come!

Oh I also see lots of pictures of tanks with "natural" looking gravel..Is it fine with colored gravel?

Ive never owned a fish tank/aquarium (unless you count a turtle I managed to catch in a river!) so I am unsure about a few things..

Sorry for the big thing of text! Looking forward to what people have to say!


Last edited by Abik; 09-05-2010 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 09-05-2010, 06:54 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Georgia
Welcome to the forum :D

Unfortunately, letting an aquarium run for one day won't cycle a tank, because cycling a tank requires a source of ammonia which is converted to nitrItes then nitrAtes. A fully cycled tank has 0 ammonia or nitrItes, and 5-10 nitrAtes, which is kept under control with water changes. Seeing as nitrAtes are easier to control and much less deadly than the other two, the weeks to month it takes to cycle is worth it. Here's a good place to read good info on cycling

Colored gravel is fine, many people use it here.

Last edited by JKfish; 09-05-2010 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:07 PM   #3 
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Location: Miami, FL
It is good to let the tank sit for 24 hours just to let everything settle. If you are keeping an uncycled tank, then you would have to change the water periodically (I'm not sure how often in a 10 gal, does anyone know?)

If you want to cycle the tank so you don't have to change the water quite as often, then you can use the above link on the nitrogen cycle. I cycled my tank using a kit, and it only took a week before the cycle stabilized (which was surprising, and pretty awesome). I kept my fish in a small betta bowl during that time and changed his water every couple of days. It's good if you already have the fish and you want to get the cycle going immediately. Options 1-3 in the link above are really better if you haven't bought your fish yet, or if you have another suitable habitat for him. I recommend something like this cycling kit and this to test if it's working because these are what I use. However, other brands are just as good. This is just to give you an idea.

You could also add live plants to help absorb the Nitrates and Ammonia, but don't worry about that just now. Just a fun idea for the future! :)

Cycling is, in my experience, the scariest part of being a new fishkeeper. When I first started keeping fish, I left my tank uncycled for a good three months because I didn't know where to begin (/thanks the forum), but it turns out that it's alot easier than we make it sound. Have fun! :D
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:49 AM   #4 
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In a ten gallon cycled aquarium, depending on how many fish you have in there, the ammount can range from very little once a week to maybe 50% several times a week. I've got 4 (soon to be 5) harlequin rasboras, a ghost shrimp and a betta in there, so I do about 35-40%.

Rejohnson is completely right. Cycling IS the scariest part of fish keeping, even though it's just tossing a piece of raw shrimp in a tank and letting it run and occasionally testing it XD. I actually have another tank I need to cycle, but keep putting off for some reason ^_^; .

Personally, I use this : to test what my water, seeing it has everything in it. Walmart sells it for half of what other LFS sell them for.

Of course, you don't have to cycle, and water changes won't be that difficult if you only have a betta in there. But, if you decide you want other things in there, you might want to consider cycling. :)
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