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Old 12-23-2010, 09:19 PM   #1 
Sara07013
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Exclamation What is Cycling!?!

I am very new to owning fish and I've seen a lot of people talking about cycling and I don't know what that means. I just set up a 5 gallon tank for my betta because he is really sick from the poor water conditions he had in his other tank so I moved him to a bigger one with a heater and filter. Is "cycling" necessary and if it is how in the world do I do that?
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:13 PM   #2 
Malvolti
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No, cycling is NOT necessary. If you want to do it though it can be helpful, it basically allows you to go a few extra days between water changes. There are plenty of links around the forums that lead to articles about cycling.

Basically what cycling is; making helpful bacteria grow which turn ammonia into nitrite, then more bacteria which turn nitrite into nitrate. It is an extensive process which can easily take a month or two. It is best done without any pets in the tank.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:13 PM   #3 
Akzeal
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Here, this should help. http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838

Briefly, cycling is letting bacteria grow to eat the most dangerous fish waste. It will, when done, mean less water changes. If your 5 gallon has a filter, I would recommend cycling.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:44 PM   #4 
Sara07013
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Thank you! Helped a lot. I don't think I am going to cycle though. Seems like a lot of work and time. I never knew fish could be so much work!! I have been stressing over my betta fish more than anything else lol I just hope that not cycling won't hurt my fish as long as I clean his tank often.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:05 PM   #5 
Malvolti
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It really isn't a LOT more work, it just requires that you constantly check your water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Adding more where needed or taking some out if the levels get too high. It's like a daily balancing act for a little while but once you're done you're rewarded by not needing to clean the tank as often.

I would say though that with your first tank don't worry about cycling. When you do a second tank then look into it.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:11 PM   #6 
Alex09
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If your filer is running 24/7 and you only do partial water changes your tank will eventually get cycled on it's own. It's relatively easy (or rather impossible to prevent). Just takes time. People often make it seem harder than it is. With a 5 gal you actually would have to do more work and maintenance to keep it UN-cycled. You don't need any fancy testing kits or any of that.
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:36 AM   #7 
scootshoot
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As others have stated, Cycling is not really work. It's more a process of nature. You as the owner can greatly improve the success rate of cycling by just doing partial water changes, not overfeeding, getting a good filter, etc. Nature will take care of the rest.
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