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Old 12-04-2010, 11:56 PM   #1 
GravityKitty
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Critter Keeper for Winter Break

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?

Last edited by GravityKitty; 12-04-2010 at 11:58 PM. Reason: Forgot a detail.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:00 AM   #2 
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If your putting your betta in the 2.5g with no filter, put clean water in there. There wouldn't be any point putting in water from the 5 gallon, if there is no filter in the kritter keeper, as a tank can't cycle without one. Just use clean water, and do full water changes every 2-3 days.

Last edited by dukie1346; 12-05-2010 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:03 AM   #3 
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:10 AM   #4 
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Oh, ok. Didn't realize that the filter was necessary. That will make my life a lot easier, I won't have to be carrying around a couple of milk jugs filled with water =P
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Old 12-05-2010, 12:25 AM   #5 
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Yup, I'll be moving my boy from his 5 gallon to a kritter keeper at my parent's home for winter break too. Planning on doing 100% changes since I'm not taking my filter with me. It's really the media that has the most beneficial bacteria, so yeah...can't cycle a tank without it. :)
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:47 PM   #6 
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Oh yeah I'm also moving my betta home for break (along with some puffer fish lol) I am moving some young fry too I'm not sure how I'm going to do this but they should be fine. I'm taking a five gallon and some jars for the males. Usually moving substrate and tank water is fine as long as you clean it but I usually move the filter and dont bother with moving water around.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:10 PM   #7 
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What will you do about keeping the cycle alive in your 5 gallon during winter break? unless the filter will be running the whole time with some sort of ammonia being released into it, after a while the benificial bacteria will die without a food source.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:12 PM   #8 
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You should put a piece of raw cocktail shrimp in a tea bag and leave it in the empty tanks over break. As the shrimp decays, it will release ammonia into the water and provide the bacteria with food until you return. Make sure you do a -large- water change when you come back to remove all the nitrates that have built up and clean the gravel well to make sure all of the rotting shrimp is removed.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:31 PM   #9 
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The live plants will hold your cycle while you are away from the natural decaying process and more so if you have common snails, shrimp....any livestock or something alive will be enough to keep the nitrifying bacteria fed-you may want to add a timer to the lights for the plants if you haven't already...and make that large water change before you add the Betta back when you get home

I would also take some of your source water with you to help with acclimation to the new source water
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:51 PM   #10 
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Oh, I'll have my filter running the whole time and my snail is staying at my apartment. There's plenty of algae for the snail to eat. I already have a timer attached to the light. My snail produces quite a large amount of waste, she was what helped along the cycling so that I could add my fish.

I plan on returning to my apartment once a week to pick up my mail so I'll just take a quick visit to make sure everything is well in my aquarium.
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