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Old 12-27-2010, 03:54 PM   #1 
chargers505
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Is cycling a new tank necessary?? NOOB QUESTION!

I'm sure a bunch of morons bring their betta fish home and throw it into a bigger bowl with added tap water and....voila!

So why is it imperative for me to cycle a new tank? Is it completely necessary?
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:05 PM   #2 
gbose
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Thumbs up Yes, Do Cycle!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chargers505 View Post
I'm sure a bunch of morons bring their betta fish home and throw it into a bigger bowl with added tap water and....voila!

So why is it imperative for me to cycle a new tank? Is it completely necessary?
Chargers, I'm still a newbie, but have been researching on the web. Here's the scoop on cycling in brief:

Fish give off ammonia, which is toxic to them and will kill them if it's not controlled very quickly. So you need to develop a colony of nitrogen-fixing bacteria which converts the ammonia first to nitrites (also poisonous to them) and then to nitrates, which are relatively harmless, and can be controlled with weekly (50%) water changes. If you put your fish in an un-cycled tank, the bacteria will eventually settle in -- but it may take weeks. Meanwhile, your fish will suffer -- and may die. You can keep this under control with daily water changes, but this is a lot of work....

Bettas are said to be quite tough, so yours might survive, but may be permanently injured as a result....

Hope this helps!

GB

By the way, you can dramatically speed up the cycle if you can get some filter media (sponges, etc) from a cycled tank and put it in your filter (I trust you have one?).
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:18 PM   #3 
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^ +1

But, it depends on the size of your tank. If your tank is 2.5 gallons, don't even bother cycling just do 100% waterchanges. Now if your tank is 5 gallons or larger than you cycle.

And of course you have to use conditioner! Otherwise your Betta will most likely die from chlorine and heavy metals.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:36 PM   #4 
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Thank you very much for the helpful answers. I have a 2.5 gallon tank with a built in filteration system. Might as well use it since it's there. Baylee, what do you mean by "don't even bother cycling"? If I throw my betta into the new tank with the filter system running....it will eventually cycle, correct? I will cross my fingers a take a chance at the "fish-in" cycle method. I will throw in a halfmoon betta, 2-3 neon tetras, and 2 ghost shrimps. I will do daily 35% water changes. Does this sound reasonable?? Also, what are the steps to adding new water into the tank? Pour water into a bucket, condition the water and let it set for about 5 minutes, make sure it's the same temp. as tank, and then just pour it in??
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:35 PM   #5 
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In a 2.5gal filtered tank-the tank will cycle, however, due to the size and the needed water changes to maintain water quality it is moot IMO/E-the nitrogen cycle and filtration will decrease the amount of one of the twice weekly water changes needed on a 2.5gal tank

A 2.5gal filtered tank is only big enough for one Betta and a few shrimp and/or snails...I would not recommend any other fish...just not big enough to support them

You can safely cycle the 2.5g filtered tank with the Betta provided that you make the needed water changes and don't overfeed
Twice weekly 50% water changes and with one of the water changes you need to clean the substrate/gravel with a gravel vacuum or stir and dip method

A couple of times a month you need to give the filter media a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change to maintain water flow

When you make water changes try and keep the water temp within a couple of degrees between the new and old water and use a dechlorinator with any new water added to the tank if on city water supply.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:45 PM   #6 
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Speaking of filter media, a couple of weeks ago I set up of 5 gal. tank. The 5 gal. tank filter uses the same model filter cartridge as my 10 gal. tank. I took the the old filter cartridge from the 10 gal. and put it into the 5 gal. and put the brand new filter cartridge into the already up and running (3 mo. old) 10 gal. tank.

Did I mess up my 10 gal. by doing this? At any time is it appropriate to change to a new, unused filter cartridge? Should I never change to a new cartridge, just simply rinse and reuse the old one?

There is a secondary type of media in the filter, more like a nylon type filter (kind of like a pot scrubber). This has not been changed and I have read in the manual that came with the filter to never wash it. I haven't.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:53 PM   #7 
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What OFL said.

By don't bother cycling, I meant that a 2.5 gallon is difficult to cycle. It can become very unstable and it's hard.

If you are really determined to and ready for some possible difficulties, than you can try it. IMO a 2.5 is just to hard to cycle.
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