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Old 08-09-2011, 11:50 PM   #1 
Draug Isilme
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Exclamation A cycle of questions

I think I have a solid enough idea on how to cycle, and depending on my budget I'll be able to tell which cycle I'll be able to do. There are still a few questions I'm wanting to ask, though. There are a few questions about quarantine tanks as well

-When cycling, should I leave it filter-less until it goes through its full cycle?

-I recall some saying that it takes a while, so if my water began to evaporate, would I just add regular tap water or should I just condition it and should've conditioned it in the first place? Or should that wait til after the cycling?

-If I used food, should still vacuum out a bit of the residue that builds up while its still cycling, or wait til the end of its cycle to do so? And if I do have to take out major residue during the cycle, how much water percentage should I take out? How much water percentage should I take out after the cycle is finished?

-If I went with the plant/fish method, what would you say the plant per fish ratio should be and would it depend on what kind of plant it is? Or does this not matter, either?

-If I were to use a bacterial supplement, should I still wait a few days to make sure its still stable, or would I even have to worry about it?

-If I were to cycle a tank first, would it then be okay to add a plant (marimo ball) to the water before the fish or is it still better that I add them both at once?

-For a small quarantine tank (or even accidents), would I also have to keep water on the side that is pre-cycled?

-I have to worry about space and budget, so is it okay to leave a qt on the side for a while and add everything I need when the use of it is required? (If not, I will strive to make room and budget)

-When setting the qt up, should I have an extra filter and heater on hand for the fish so as to not disturb my other tank?

How necessary would qt tanks be when only owning a betta, a marimo ball, and an anacharis? (in the beginning when I first get them, I was thinking it would be a good idea to get them one at a time so that I can monitor and make sure any unwanted attatchments like bacteria or parasites were eliminated before adding them to the actual tank. Afterwords, though, if the fish or plant were to get sick, should I leave them in the same bowl, or still keep them seperated, especially when adding extra chemicals needed for their health?)

I believe these are all the questions I have about cycling for now, but if I come up with more, I'll be sure to add them
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:54 PM   #2 
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Oh! This question technically isn't related to the cycling or qt, but I'd still like an answer for it

-I was thinking about getting some flourish and root tabs.. Would any of this effect the water conditioner? I'm assuming not, but I just wanted to make sure (I've never used water plants, so this will be my first time).
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:17 AM   #3 
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Well, I for sure do not have all the answers here, but I can tell u about my own experience. I do have two live plants in my fish tank, and they make my fish really happy. When i was first cycling my 10g tank, was for sure really helpful to control the spikes I had with ammonia then nitrites. I still use plants now that I have a 20g. About the conditioning of the water when cycling, you always have to use it in the water before introducing it to the water that u want the bacteria to survive. The chlorine will kill you're bacteria, she is not merciful. What really helped me to cycle my second tank was that I removed all the junk I had in my first and put rocks. They came from a saltwater tank, my neighbor gave it to me. I boiled it for a long time, after living soaking in tapwater per 2 weeks. They were dry for 3 days after that, so, I'm not considering the time I left them in the bucket. And I kept one of the filters in the water from the previous set up. Now everything is in order with my tank. Another thing though, do not add too many fishes or plants, or drifwood, at the same time, u want to add them gradually, so the environment adjusts to it's new element. :) I hope I helped.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:21 AM   #4 
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Cycle your tank with the filter running, you want bacteria to build up in your filter cartridge.

You need a source of ammonia to start a tank cycling (ie fish, food, household ammonia), .Your tank will not begin to cycle with out an ammonia source. What method will you be using? Fish in or fishless cycling? Remember it takes about 8 weeks to completely cycle a tank.

I prefer fish in cycles as long as you do proper water changes and keep an eye on your water perameters. I do about 20% a week of my 14 gallon. I have one betta in the tank which I set up 2 weeks ago. The first week I had the tank stand alone with the filter running the second week I added the one fish. My substrate was used before but had no fish in it for a little bit of time. I also used my old filter cartridge. To help add beneficial bacteria you could find someone with an established tank (with no issues of disease or parasites) and borrow some of thier substrate (gravel) put it in a stocking and hang it in your tank, but you still need a source of ammonia to feed the bacteria.

I added two live plants at the same time as my fish to help reduce some of the ammonia as well.

For a small quaratine tank, unless it is filtered I would just keep a few gallon jugs with pretreated (dechlorinated water) set aside and depending on the size of the tank do the proper water changes. It doesnt pay to have an empty tank with a filter running waiting for a sick fish because with out a source of ammonia all the bacteria in said tank would die.

It probably would have been easier to ask all these questions one at a time.

Always add treated dechlorinated water to your tank. Chlorinated water will kill your fish and the bacteria, which will cause your tank to recycle. Chlorine kills bacteria. Chlorine always bad for fish tank no matter what.

Ive never used any of the tabs or supplements with plants, but Im not too good with them. I am going to wait a few more weeks before I start to add anything (plant suppliments specifically) but treated water fish and maybe a few more plants to my tank. But like I said I dont know enough about them to give definate advice on this, just what I am doing. For all I know its perfectly safe for a cycle.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:03 AM   #5 
Draug Isilme
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BETTA DET View Post
Cycle your tank with the filter running, you want bacteria to build up in your filter cartridge.

You need a source of ammonia to start a tank cycling (ie fish, food, household ammonia), .Your tank will not begin to cycle with out an ammonia source. What method will you be using? Fish in or fishless cycling? Remember it takes about 8 weeks to completely cycle a tank.

I prefer fish in cycles as long as you do proper water changes and keep an eye on your water perameters. I do about 20% a week of my 14 gallon. I have one betta in the tank which I set up 2 weeks ago. The first week I had the tank stand alone with the filter running the second week I added the one fish. My substrate was used before but had no fish in it for a little bit of time. I also used my old filter cartridge. To help add beneficial bacteria you could find someone with an established tank (with no issues of disease or parasites) and borrow some of thier substrate (gravel) put it in a stocking and hang it in your tank, but you still need a source of ammonia to feed the bacteria.

I added two live plants at the same time as my fish to help reduce some of the ammonia as well.

For a small quaratine tank, unless it is filtered I would just keep a few gallon jugs with pretreated (dechlorinated water) set aside and depending on the size of the tank do the proper water changes. It doesnt pay to have an empty tank with a filter running waiting for a sick fish because with out a source of ammonia all the bacteria in said tank would die.

It probably would have been easier to ask all these questions one at a time.

Always add treated dechlorinated water to your tank. Chlorinated water will kill your fish and the bacteria, which will cause your tank to recycle. Chlorine kills bacteria. Chlorine always bad for fish tank no matter what.

Ive never used any of the tabs or supplements with plants, but Im not too good with them. I am going to wait a few more weeks before I start to add anything (plant suppliments specifically) but treated water fish and maybe a few more plants to my tank. But like I said I dont know enough about them to give definate advice on this, just what I am doing. For all I know its perfectly safe for a cycle.
Yeah, I read the 'cycle' sticky that was posted in the forum, and it did help me understand some of the things I was doing wrong or didn't know about in the first place.. and I figured asking my questions in one post would be better than multiple posts throughout a span of time or multiple threads. I appologize for the inconvenience.. but yeah, as I said, I'm not quite sure what cycle I'm going to do exactly because I have to worry about costs (I'm pretty much 'starting over' and doing things right with bettas, so there's quite a few things I need to buy and its definately all going to add up if I'm not careful), but getting these questions answered does help me narrow my cycle options down. If anything, I can say the cycle with shrimp is out and I feel weary with the 'pure amonia' cycle. I am still thinking about it, though.. And I've done plenty of fish in cycles (no plants) without, but that was also before I knew how I should've went about the situation, and I'd like to try out a different method (although with plants is okay with me).
I let my small tank dry out before I knew about cycling, so I can't use that, and I'm not absolutely sure if I'll be able to borrow any substrate from a friend (even so, I'm not absolutely sure how well it would work anyway because she doesn't even know about the cycling and she has her betta in a very tiny tank, therefore, having to change water very frequently -.-) Would you say its okay to use the bacterial supplement in this case? I'm really not sure how to go about seeding the tank, so yeah...
I was going to get a 2.5 or 3g, so would you say only get one plant with the fish, or could I spring for the two plants? (I don't plan on getting anymore plants/fish until I expand the tank size)
I appreciate the info about the qt tank Would you say it would be okay if I got a couple gallon jugs, adding the conditioner and a few substrate pieces (maybe with the bacterial supplement) and let them sit aside (doing occasional tests to make sure its going well, of course) and when the time calls for it, add the water to the qt tank? I don't really have room to keep both tanks out, but if its necessary, I'll make room for it.
I didn't know chlorine killed bacteria, either, so I appreciate that bit of advice as well! And sorry for my posts being so long but I kinda need these questions answered and make sure I get my point across at the same time...
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:15 AM   #6 
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I would just do a fish in cycle and keep an eye on the water daily and do very frequent water changes with a 2.5 or three gallon. Keeping a QT tank set up would be a waste because, with out a source of ammonia, it would not cycle. It would just be a running tank. The bacteria which which eats ammonia needs a supply of ammonia to stay alive. No source of ammonia = no bacteria. Plants eat ammonia, they dont create it. You can't start a cycle with plants alone. The reason for adding a live plant is to keep ammonia levels down a bit for the comfort of your fish. The fish are creating ammonia through respiration (breathing) and excretion(pooping and peeing). Alot of those bacterial suppliments are bogus, Ive never used them but there are a few I have heard that work. I would definately do my research into ones that have worked for others before I wasted my money on them. The most important thing in cycling your tank is a constant source of ammonia. If you remove the source of ammonia you tank will cease to cycle and if left long enough all the beneficial bacteria will die, and you will have to start over. NO CHLORINE EVER!!! I can not emphesize this enough. Chlorine kills everything. Germs, bacteria, fish, and if left long enough plants as well. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:49 AM   #7 
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Oh, I wasn't really thinking when I typed the qt part.. I meant after getting my main tank cycled, I was wondering if I could use some of the substrate from that tank and put it in the two jugs after they've been conditioned... and while still doing regular water tests, add something like pure amonia that would help cycle that water... (maybe adding the bacterial supplement as a boost rather than a soul purpose product, depending on how well it works, of course) so that way I could put the jugs aside and out of the way (my room is small) and when need be, pull out the qt, and add the water without having to worry about cleaning the water that food would leave behind. Would that be feisable or still a waste? If anything, I'll just use the qt the first time I get the plants/fish so that I can monitor and get rid of anything I don't want before I put them in the main tank, and then just not worry about the qt... but if I still have to worry about the plants/fish getting affected by certain chemicals when one or the other is sick, I'll force myself to work with the qt.
I don't recall saying that I would start a cycle with plants and only plants. I was more or less referring to the 'plant/fish' cycle, and anything I did mention with just plants was my question on whether or not its okay to add the plant after the cycle and have enough time to get a fish instead of buying them at the same time... Although, I'm assuming if I did do that, even after the cycle, the bacteria might die because the plant might eat up all the amonia by the time I got the fish... Not really sure.. but hey, that is why I'm asking, and if that is how its going to work, then your explanation has helped a bit.
I did figure the bacterial supplement was a bust from reading some of the reviews, but just as you said you've heard that some work, I've read a few reviews that also says it works.. I'm not really saying I'm 100% on this, I just figured I'd leave it as an option on the off-chance it could lean more in my favor than against.. but again, that's why I'm asking and not going out and buying the product just yet... I'll do more research about it before I make a decision >.>
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:38 PM   #8 
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For a QT tank I wouldn't worry about cycled water. Its for sick fish, you want to change the water everyday not have whatever disease circulating throughout the tank and a filter over and over. What size is the qt tank? I would just do 100 percent water changes daily with treated water of course. And of course any meds or other treatments needed for the situaution. This way everyday you can redose your fish and get rid of any waste and disease it expels. I wouldn't keep any substrate in a qt tank. Parasites and other harmful germs can live in it reaffecting your fish after he starts to get better. Just a simple tank and a heater, maybe someplace for your fish to hide and a fake plant for comfort.
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:31 PM   #9 
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Since you are on a budget......

I would go the fish-in cycle method...fishless you will need a water test kit to test ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH......although I highly recommend a master test kit....you don't have to have one to keep Bettas or to do the fish-in cycle.....

Questions:
What tank size do you have or plan to get, type of filter, if you don't plan to use a filter....no point in trying to cycle the tank-the nitrifying bacteria need oxygenated water..filters are optional for Bettas......if you plan live plants-depending on the number and species they can function as the filter, what kind of lights do you have for the tank....age of bulbs, kelvin, watts.....

The products used to cycle are a waste of time and money IMO....best to spend that money on quality foods....3-4 different types are best...the more varied the diet the better.....

For a QT container-if you buy the Betta from a shop that keep them in the small temporary cups...this is the perfect QT for a Betta...be sure and keep it and the lid.....

Good quality dechlorinator like Prime by Seachem....it covers everything most city supplied water has added to make it safe to drink......
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:43 PM   #10 
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Since you are on a budget......

I would go the fish-in cycle method...fishless you will need a water test kit to test ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH......although I highly recommend a master test kit....you don't have to have one to keep Bettas or to do the fish-in cycle.....

Questions:
What tank size do you have or plan to get, type of filter, if you don't plan to use a filter....no point in trying to cycle the tank-the nitrifying bacteria need oxygenated water..filters are optional for Bettas......if you plan live plants-depending on the number and species they can function as the filter, what kind of lights do you have for the tank....age of bulbs, kelvin, watts.....

The products used to cycle are a waste of time and money IMO....best to spend that money on quality foods....3-4 different types are best...the more varied the diet the better.....

For a QT container-if you buy the Betta from a shop that keep them in the small temporary cups...this is the perfect QT for a Betta...be sure and keep it and the lid.....

Good quality dechlorinator like Prime by Seachem....it covers everything most city supplied water has added to make it safe to drink......
Well, by budget, I mean I'll either have to save up all the money and buy all the things I have listed at once, or (the one I'd prefer to do) buy the items in small bulks at a time; the fish and plants being last to buy, which is why I'm wanting to know as much as I can about fishless cycles. Don't worry, if it doesn't work in my favor, I'll be patient and wait to buy all of it at once.
The tank I was plannnig on getting will either be a 2.5 or 3g.. If I find a bada** deal on anything bigger, like a 4 or 5g, I'll definately get one of those instead, but I'm limited on space, so that's as big as I'll go for now... I was planning on using a filter, and that is one of the items at the top of my list ^.^ Unless I wait, I won't be able to get a plant AND fish at the same time (almost out of my previous conditioner and I'm going to spring for a master kit, which is consuming the bulk of my money).
I'm not sure about the lights and such just yet 'cause I haven't gotten the tank yet. If it helps, I was wanting to get a marimo ball, and an anacharis plant, and from what I read, they need low light.. What kind of light bulbs and such would you recommend?
Also, I only have one thing of food, but I was thinking on getting brine shrimp and blood worms for snacks.. Are there any kind of brands for foods you would recommend for me? I'm not exactly sure what to look for, as far as nutrition goes.
Ah, cool, I usually keep the little container the fish comes in for when I do water changes, so that's most definately doable ^.^ Oh, quick question.. I got kinda confused as to how I should change out the water for the qt and if it has to be cycled water or not. So.. how should I go about that?
Would you say betta conditioners are good? I mean, the last one I bought was the Wardley 3-in-1 conditioner with a 7.0 ph buffer, and it seemed to do pretty good. So I'm not sure about the quality of the conditioner specifically for bettas... (the only problem was that I wasn't changing the water the right way, so that was my ultimate demise as a fish owner.. -.-)
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