I've been lurking and reading all of the awesome information in this forum since I became a betta owner in Oct., but only now signed up. Thank you for all of your awesome posts!
I often see people talk about cycling their tanks, but I'm not sure I fully understand. Today, I bought a 5 gallon tank at Walmart and a divider from a local fish store. I've been looking at posts on cycling your first tank. Some say to cycle it for a week, others 6-8 weeks, others 24 hrs before putting your fish in. They talk about getting the water to the right levels with the filter.
Right now, my male is in a 2.5 gallon tank and my female is in...I'm not sure of the size, actually. It's a small tank of my sister's--much too small for her, but when I bought her, I thought it was okay for a m and f to be together! Thank goodness for this site! I moved them apart w/in a few hrs, though, but for now, she's in a tiny tank. She's chilly, though, since it's too small for a heater. I'm making do with a desk lamp. Obviously, I don't want to wait the 6-8 weeks some sites are recommending before putting her in a nice, warm tank with a heater, esp. since we got our first snowfall on Thursday! I want to put them in the new tank asap.
Should I put water in the tank and let it sit for 24 hrs with a heater, stick the bettas in, and then put the filter into the old 2.5g tank to run 6-8 wks before putting the filter in the new tank once it has the "good bacteria growth?" Do I put the filter in now and run it 24 hrs before putting them in? What's the proper way to make sure my brand new tank is safe for my bettas before I put them in? I've already cleaned it out (just water and a wipedown, no soap).
Also, I have the generic filter the tank came with (just the generic one that comes with the Walmart 5g starter), but I also purchased a whisper internal filter b/c I thought it might be better? Which do you guys think is the best?
Thank you for any and all help! My bettas and I appreciate it!!