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Old 12-31-2010, 09:15 PM   #1 
Kiku
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New 10 gallon tank! But I need some help

Well, I realized Kyorbit wasn't too happy in his smallish tank and I planned to buy him a 5 gallon one, but chances would have it that the 10 gallon tank was MASSIVELY cheaper than the 5 gallon one and I simply had to get it. I'm having issues with the idea of cycling it though...I simply can't afford the water testing kits. Around here they're about 35 dollars for a decent one, and about 60 dollars for a good one. I just CAN'T afford it. Any advice on how to cycle/do ANYTHING from this point on?
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:35 PM   #2 
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If Kyorbit is patient, you can do a fishless cycle. Then you wouldn't have to worry as much about the water toxicity.

I couldn't afford testing either, until I realized that Petsmart had ammonia tests kits for $10 (130 tests). I got 2 Nitrate test kits (90 tests) for $3 apiece on clearence!

Strips aren't nearly as accurate, and alot of times, they cost more. Drops are the most accuarate.
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:41 PM   #3 
SaylorKennedy
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You could also take it to Petsmart, Petco or maybe even a local fish store and they'll test it for free.
But if you do that, I'd suggest doing a fishless cycle and just go ahead and go test it once a weekish.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:45 AM   #4 
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Testing equipment isnt necessary, just convenient. The tank WILL cycle itself eventually. I cycled my 10 gallon tank with ONE male betta. I introduced the betta and did 50% water changes TWO times a week with a vaccum cleaner. After 1 month I added the tankmates; 3 cory cats. After 1.5 months of doing a 50% WC 2x a week, I was fairly sure the tank was cycled and dropped it down to one time a week. I had no problems or deaths while doing this. So as long as you only have one betta in the tank, a 50% water change 2x a week should be fine. After 2 months (to be on the safe side) you can assume your tank is cycled and drop it down to a 25-50% WC 1x a week and add tankmates. Bettas are resilient fish. It's no secret that they can tolerate extreme conditions. After all, thats why manufacturers sell tiny bowls and tell you to change it once a month. Horrible I know.
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:09 AM   #5 
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You don't need water testing kits. It's more a luxury item, definitely not essential to maintain the health of your tank.

If you follow the simple steps of not overstocking fish per your size tank, partial water changes, not overfeeding (don't follow the 2 minute feed rule, worst rule ever, lol) you will just fine.
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:17 AM   #6 
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Thank you SO much for your advice!!! I will really try hard ^^ after buying a tank, food, new heater, decor, water conditioner, filter, etc...I left the store in dread than even after spending so much money I'd kill him. I'll be sure to keep him nice and clean =) thanks again, this forum is fantastic! I want to post pics of kyorbit soon, but he's so camera shy!
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:40 PM   #7 
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Although I feel it is a great idea to have a good freshwater master test kit to monitor the water for: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH...the best water tester is the the power of "observation" by the hobbyist.....when in doubt...make a 50% water only change.....

I use both the liquid reagent and test strips-I test more when I am spawning or changing my water for special species of fish that require special water to spawn/eggs....etc....not for my Bettas per se.....

The nitrogen cycle will happen as long as you provide the nitrifying bacteria with what it needs-oxygenated water, surface area to colonize and food....

If you have a filter in the 10gal tank it will cycle-you will have no way of knowing when the nitrogen cycle is complete without water test...otherwise its just a guess...

Fishless cycle-you need a water test kit to maintain the ammonia level

Fish-in cycle-you don't have to have a water test kit, however, it will make cycling easier and take the guess work out of it-but you can also take water to a fish shop and get it tested weekly.

Power of observation-anytime you see a behavior change make a water change to rule the environment out as the cause and a extra water only change never hurts anyway.....

Without a water test supplies with the fish in cycle in a 10gal tank and 1 Betta.....starting on day 3 of set-up-at least twice weekly 50% water changes/vacuum substrate with one of them and a extra water change with any behavior change-for the first 4-8 weeks-Once cycled one 50% weekly with vacuum should maintain water quality...

Don't forget the filter media-rinse/swish in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month and when the water flow slows to maintain good water flow

Adding live plants can also help maintain water quality and can change water pram numbers depending on the number and species of live plants-due to the plants using the ammonia before it convert for energy....a couple of plant usually won't change much...but a lot of actively growing live plants can......

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 01-01-2011 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:48 PM   #8 
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Thank you so much OFL! I really need all this advice XD I was DYING to put some plants in my tank, but they're nearly 10 dollars a piece and require a lot of maintenance (at least according to the store) and would take 3-4 different (expensive) bottled things to care for them. Of course, this could all be a marketing ploy by the store but I'm not sure I'm ready for the added responsibility- one living being is enough for now XD

Hopefully in the future, though!
I don't like the idea of guesswork, but right now it seems to be my only option =(
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:56 PM   #9 
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By the way, here's a (terrible) pic of my fishy...camera phones are simply awful (sorry if it's too big...I TRIED to shrink it XD)

I know he's plain, but I just fell in love with him =)
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Old 01-01-2011, 04:09 PM   #10 
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He looks awesome! Next time you at the store ask for "Betta Bulbs". They come in a package of 3 plant bulbs for like $2 - $3 bucks or so. Bury those bulbs in your gravel and within a months time you will start to see them sprouting. Very hardy plants that require minimal lighting to thrive. On the oft chance one of your bulbs don't sprout, simply send the bulb back to the manufacturer and they will ship you a new one.

Another technique is to simply drop the bulbs in a side container with tank water and let sit. Once the bulbs sprout you can xfer them to the aquarium tank.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ge...tta-bulbs.html
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