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Old 09-26-2011, 10:21 AM   #1 
charlotte
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Question starting a female betta tank

I have one female betta and I'd like more so I decided it'd be easier to get one big tank instead of having them in separate small ones. I have a 20 gal long tank with a fluval heater and a marineland bio wheel filter. I just added the water today so it hasn't cycled. I was wondering how important it is to wait until the tank is cycled to add the fish. The girl is still in the cup (I just got her a couple days ago). Should I set up a smaller tank for her until the tank is cycled or can she go in soon?
Also, how will I know when the tank is done? How long does it usually take and what can I do to speed it along?
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:28 AM   #2 
Pitluvs
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She needs a small tank until the big one is cycled for sure. No advice on the cycle, we did a fish cycle with plecos. I am unsure of there is much to speed up the process unless you have a friend with a cycled tank. You could borrow some rock in panty hose and place in your tank and some of the filter media. That's how I instant cycle my tanks.

To cycle a tank you need test kits for ammonia, pH, nitrItes and nitrates. A master kit would work well. You k ow your tank is cycled when you Ammonia is 0, your NitrItes is 0 and your NitrAtes are under 20ppm.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:38 PM   #3 
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This may help as well as what Pitluvs mentioned: Step by step cycling

I would set her up in a 1gal if you have it until the tank is ready. Also, it is best to introduce the females in all at once, otherwise the one will claim the whole tank as her territory and it just a headache lol. So keep her happy and comfy and when you can, go and get the rest! Or if you can only get so many at a time due to money, then you can introduce 3-4 at a time. So you'd just have to go get 2 or 3 more to add in together. Good luck! I want a sorority but space is lacking here, so I'm busying myself with my boys and making a never ending wish list =P
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:51 PM   #4 
charlotte
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whats the fastest fishless method to do it? does the store bought bacteria work well? I know I'm running out of room myself. I had to rearrange my whole room! Too bad they can't all just get along in one tank
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:59 PM   #5 
Pitluvs
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I personally would not use any cycling products at a pet store. They will tell you its instance cycle but its not. I am unsure which is faster, all take forever to complete. My 29g took 3 weeks and I added a filter from a goldfish tank to help. Usually 4-6 weeks is the norm if you don't have anything to boost it from a cycled tank. Please read and about cycling a tank, it will help you understand why it takes so long.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:27 PM   #6 
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It;ll take a while to set up the cycle...but you should know if you plan to add more girls they should all be added at once. If you just have your one girl in there for a while before the other she'll take it as"this is my home, they're intruding"

Also, don't forget to quarantine them before adding them. You don't want one sick fish to make them all sick.
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