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Old 05-11-2011, 02:47 PM   #1 
dannic
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new tank, new betta?

Hello. We just set up a 20 gallon tank (heated, filtered) for our son and are now shopping for the perfect betta.
I haven't had an aquarium since I was a child, but am researching and reading alot.
I would appreciate any tips for getting it started right. I am a bit anxious about the cycling...so if the betta is going to be the only fish for the time being, do we cycle the tank with the betta? Is that pretty common?
TIA for helping us make a successful transition into bettadom!
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:41 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum...wow a 20gal...thats great...do you plan to add anything other than the Betta......

What type of filtration do you plan and any live plants, type of substrate, lighting.....

The nitrogen cycle will happen regardless as long as you have filtration of some type since the beneficial bacteria need oxygen, they also need surface area and a food source to colonize.....the filter media and filter can provide most of this along with the waste the fish produces for the food source.....

The beneficial bacteria are sticky and adhere to everything inside the tank....like the walls, decorations, plants both fake and real, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media....very little are in the water column itself so water only changes will not stall or hurt the cycling process....but-over cleaning can....

You can safely cycle the tank with the Betta provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes to keep the fish safe and in a 20gal filtered tank with just one Betta...without a water test kit on hand......I would make 50% weekly with substrate vacuum in all places that can be reached without moving anything in the tank or disruption of plant roots for the life of the aquarium for that matter due to that volume of water....unless you added more fish and then during the cycling process you may need to add a second water change a week that is water only......

Look forward to pic and hearing more about your new wet-pet......
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:50 PM   #3 
wallywestisthebest333
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Wow! a 20 gallon?!?!? :D That's awesome! i'd follow Oldfishlay's advice as she's one of the most experienced and knowledgeable members on this forum. =]

Welcome to the community and good luck with set-up, cycling, and picking a new fish friend! =]
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:57 PM   #4 
Neil D
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20 gallons?!? Great!! So many options...divide it up to 4 times, or get tetras or corys etc!!! (dividing will take more work, but each fish would have 5 gallons each! Good luck
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:08 PM   #5 
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Good luck with your set-up and your betta search! And welcome to the forum!
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:27 PM   #6 
dannic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Welcome to the forum...wow a 20gal...thats great...do you plan to add anything other than the Betta......

What type of filtration do you plan and any live plants, type of substrate, lighting.....

The nitrogen cycle will happen regardless as long as you have filtration of some type since the beneficial bacteria need oxygen, they also need surface area and a food source to colonize.....the filter media and filter can provide most of this along with the waste the fish produces for the food source.....

The beneficial bacteria are sticky and adhere to everything inside the tank....like the walls, decorations, plants both fake and real, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media....very little are in the water column itself so water only changes will not stall or hurt the cycling process....but-over cleaning can....

You can safely cycle the tank with the Betta provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes to keep the fish safe and in a 20gal filtered tank with just one Betta...without a water test kit on hand......I would make 50% weekly with substrate vacuum in all places that can be reached without moving anything in the tank or disruption of plant roots for the life of the aquarium for that matter due to that volume of water....unless you added more fish and then during the cycling process you may need to add a second water change a week that is water only......

Look forward to pic and hearing more about your new wet-pet......
Thanks for replying, lol!
Um, the filter is one made for the tank, we have lighting and a heater. I have aquarium gravel. I would love live plants, but for now, we've got fake. I can add them later, right? What types are rec'd for bettas?

I have the test strips ordered, if that helps.

For now, I am just getting the betta. If I can find a plant or two, maybe those.

We can easily do the water changes.

Eventually, we would like to add some compatible tank friends--we want to EASE into this; it seems easier to just get the betta and go from there.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:29 PM   #7 
dannic
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thx for all the welcomes!
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:20 PM   #8 
GienahClarette
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Other compatible tank friends might include a small school of neon tetras. People have different opinions on guppies. But, I'd advise against them; some male bettas nip at their fins or try to fight with them.

As for plants, Java Ferns and Anubias are fantastic and require next to no work. I've ordered plants from Sweet Aquatics, and had a great experience: http://www.sweetaquatics.com/index.p...ex&cPath=180_2
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:38 PM   #9 
dannic
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Thanks for the link. They're much more affordable than I thought. How many plants (generally-I know the growth habits affect this) would my (20 gallon) tank hold/need?
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:39 PM   #10 
GienahClarette
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It honestly depends on how many plants you want. I'm personally a big fan of planted tanks, and tend to put in as many plants as humanly possible. Plants are great for the aquarium's water quality.
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