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Old 11-22-2010, 01:26 PM   #1 
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avenger's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ohio
Cycled Water???

Hello, First of all my name is avenger or John is my real name i just got my crown tail Betta, Carl yesterday.

This may seem like an odd question but i thought i would just throw it out there. At my house we have a well that takes water out of the ground. It is of such good quality that it does not need to be filtered or anything we just get it straight out of the ground. By some odd chance could my water have the good bacteria in it for cycling? It was just a thought i had earlier. I still put the water conditioner in.

Also i have a 2.5 gallon tank with fake plants and a heater. How often to do water changes?
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:49 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ontario
In a 2.5, u should change the water atleast twice a week, now I don't remember if that is with a filter or without or if it does not matter. Hopefully someone with more experience will drop by and be able to tell u more.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:31 PM   #3 
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Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
Chlorine is added to water at treament facilities, so you probably don't have any in your water. Acutally, some conditioners also bind harmful minerals/metals in the water - so it's probably a good idea to keep adding it. Better safe than sorry!!

Does your 2.5 gallon tank have a filter?

If you have a filter and plan to cycle it, change at least 20-30% of the water once a week after it has cycled.

If you don't plan on cycling - then change the water twice a week - once at 50% and once at 100%.


Just so we're on the same page - the nitrogen cycle goes:
Ammonia >
Gets converted by bacteria to > Nitrite >
Gets converted by another bacteria to > Nitrate

IF you really wanted to know whether or not your wellwater had the nitrifying bacteria in it, then you would need something to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate -- as well as some household liquid ammonia.

Test the well water for all three - ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and make a note of the readings.
(If you get an ammonia reading right off the bat, then chances are the bacteria are not present.)

Assuming you didn't get a reading of ammonia --- Next, you'd have to add some ammonia to the water. Dose it to around 3ppm.

Wait at least 24 hours and then test again.

If you DO have the nitrifying bacteria the ammonia should go down to zero (or at least significantly decrease) and you will see your nitrate levels increase. Keep in mind that the quantity of bacteria in the well water may not be very high and so, it might not consume all the ammonia within 24 hours.

If the readings from the first day are very similar to the second day, then most likely no bacteria is in your water.

My first guess would be that the bacteria colonies are present, but are probably living in the well (on stones or some other structure) and not necessarily in the water itself. Just a guess though :)

If you end up testing your water... let us know the results. I'm SUPER curious :)

Last edited by CatherineMPLS; 11-22-2010 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:44 PM   #4 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the wonderful world of Betta keeping......

In a 2.5gal filtered tank I would make twice weekly 50% water changes-with one of the twice weekly water changes include substrate cleaning by either a vacuum or the stir and dip method
Your filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water a couple of times a month and when the water flow slows to get the big pieces of gunk off to maintain good water flow

In an unfiltered 2.5gal tank-water changes of 1-50% and 1-100% to maintain water quality

To answer your question-no, the nitrifying bacteria will not be in your well water in great enough numbers to be called cycled per se-the bacteria that cycle the tank are mostly air born and once in the water are sticky and adhere to everything in the tank-like the walls, decoration, plants both fake and real, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media-very little is in the water column itself

As long as you provide the nitrifying bacteria with oxygenated water and surface area to grow you will get a nitrogen cycle-however, in small tanks you will get a cycle but due to the size of the tank and the needed water changes in a sense the nitrogen cycle is moot.

Most well water is great for tropical fish-most contain the needed minerals and trace that are needed for good health for both fish and plants-usually you don't even need dechlorinator unless your well water contains lots of heavy metals and your fish will tell you if you do by their behavior-signs of heavy metal can vary from restlessness, flashing without signs of external parasites, lethargic, hiding, poor appetite, generally trying to get out of the water with really high levels....sometimes they will adapt to the metals and others do not...I have well water and all my livestock thrive in it and I don't need to use any chemical additives like a dechlorinator.

Look forward to seeing pic and hearing more about your new wet-pet....
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