So Christmas break is coming up for me and I really would rather not take my entire 5 gallon planted aquarium home for the holidays, but I obviously cannot leave Frank there.
Instead, I was planning on getting a 2.5 gal critter keeper that will be much easier to bring back home. I was planning on taking water from my existing aquarium and filling up the critter keeper with it for the bacteria. I'm also taking a few plants to put in too and taking some of my substrate out from my existing aquarium and mixing it with some substrate that I didn't use when I initially set up my aquarium. I'm also taking my heater out of my 5 gal and putting it into the critter keeper. It's a 25w, so it should be fine in the small environment.
My question is, do I need to really cycle the aquarium if I'm using a lot of things from my existing aquarium? How often would I have to do a water change, as I won't have a filter? How much water should I be changing?