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Old 10-06-2011, 06:08 PM   #11 
Thunderloon
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Erm, have to differ with OFL on the point of the tank cycling.

The bacteria WILL form and grow on the waterline in any tank that has an ammonia supply and in small bowls and jars, the fish itself is enough water circulation to qualify.

Generally you need to make sure that a container doesn't cycle through good cleaning practices and not simply rely on the container's small size to somehow protect it. This is where the rapid water change schedule for small bowls comes from.

Under certain water conditions the nitrifying bacteria will even colonize ON your betta's tail and use the skin as the nutrient source.

Always assume that a cycle WILL happen if you let it.

In the smallest tanks a simple slow bubble sponge filter from Lee's/Tom's will add enough oxygen to the tank and you can simply move it with your boy when you do your tank maintenance cleaning and water changes. It isn't actually necessary to actively filter small volumes but such a simple tool to ensure any cycling that does happen occurs in a controlled manner is a great addition. Lee's sponge plus a little Hawkeye air pump (twist body to control flow type) will last decades and cost about $15.00 total shipped.

As OFL pointed out, some plants can make a huge difference and many perform the same ammonia removal task as the bacteria. There's nothing to stop you from planting some Anubias and transplanting them on the weekly clean-out, as long as you move them into a cup while keeping them under water they recover quite quickly from regular re-plantings.

Plants such as moss balls, algae encrusted ornaments and floating types can also be moved easily and safely.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:32 PM   #12 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderloon View Post
Erm, have to differ with OFL on the point of the tank cycling.

The bacteria WILL form and grow on the waterline in any tank that has an ammonia supply and in small bowls and jars, the fish itself is enough water circulation to qualify.

Generally you need to make sure that a container doesn't cycle through good cleaning practices and not simply rely on the container's small size to somehow protect it. This is where the rapid water change schedule for small bowls comes from.

Under certain water conditions the nitrifying bacteria will even colonize ON your betta's tail and use the skin as the nutrient source.

Always assume that a cycle WILL happen if you let it.

In the smallest tanks a simple slow bubble sponge filter from Lee's/Tom's will add enough oxygen to the tank and you can simply move it with your boy when you do your tank maintenance cleaning and water changes. It isn't actually necessary to actively filter small volumes but such a simple tool to ensure any cycling that does happen occurs in a controlled manner is a great addition. Lee's sponge plus a little Hawkeye air pump (twist body to control flow type) will last decades and cost about $15.00 total shipped.

As OFL pointed out, some plants can make a huge difference and many perform the same ammonia removal task as the bacteria. There's nothing to stop you from planting some Anubias and transplanting them on the weekly clean-out, as long as you move them into a cup while keeping them under water they recover quite quickly from regular re-plantings.

Plants such as moss balls, algae encrusted ornaments and floating types can also be moved easily and safely.
How long does it take for a cycle to form in a tank? I'm guessing that the 100% and 50% on my 2.5 gallon weekly is enough to prevent cycling from taking place. Because I don't have a filter, I don't want the tank to cycle.

I was thinking a while back of getting an air stone for the tank set on very low, just to add some more oxygen to the water.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:13 PM   #13 
ANHEL123
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For 2.5 gall 1-50% and 1-100% water changes a week - perfectly fine.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:41 PM   #14 
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If you don't actually sterilize the tank, it WILL cycle, no matter how often you change the water. The bacteria are everywhere, you'll receive them on any live plants you buy, they're on the fish you buy and they'll grow at the water line of anything that penetrates the surface of a tank that contains ammonia. Sulfa drugs and tetracycline both kill the one that eats ammonia but several that eat nitrite are immune to just about everything but heat, ultraviolet and strong oxidization. I commonly have bio-wheels that have set dry for more than a month wake up without needing to recolonize.

You can actually catch cycling bacteria in your eye sockets if your immune system is suppressed.

So really what you're doing when you do water changes without active sterilization is simply minimizing the cycle. Its my firm opinion that anybody who keeps fish of any kind needs to understand the nitrogen cycle of aquariums because if they don't and it happens aggressively, its a threat to all the fish. Betta are very very hardy creatures and can survive ammonia and nitrite levels that are even toxic to the very bacteria that consume ammonia and nitrite, but the cleaner, clearer and more well prepared the environment you keep them in, the longer they live.

If you don't plan on cycling, DO keep water handy and aging so you can quickly address sudden changes in water quality.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:53 AM   #15 
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Every single time I do a 100% weekly change I run boiling hot water over the gravel and decor. I scrub the inside of the tank with a sponge with as warm water as I can stand, then I turn the water to boiling and slosh it around the tank, covering all the walls and everything. Would this be enough to sterilize it?

Do you always need to age the water? With the 20% change I don't use aged water, but I warm it up to the right temperature before adding it. With the 100% and 50% changes I always age the water for about 15 to 24 hours.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:24 AM   #16 
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The biological process to create the nitrifying bacteria require dissolved oxygen in the water...the species of bacterias for the nitrogen cycle can't colonize without it....the fish swimming does not create oxygen....nitrifying bacteria are different that live in the water and out of the water.....

You will not get a stable nitrogen cycle in a system that lack dissolved oxygen or that has limited surface area........
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:22 PM   #17 
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I've always heard that a smaller tank, like under 5 gallons, can't hold a cycle. I also figured that when I did a 100% water change, it killed most of the bacteria, good and bad. I wouldn't want the tank to cycle unless it had a filter and/or plants.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:02 PM   #18 
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I've seen the nitrosomonas colonize surface scum, bubble nests and so forth. The bacteria will bloom in the open water column, there's no way to stop surface transpiration from occurring in a tank unless you maintain a zero air-flow environment that would suffocate your betta with carbon dioxide.

When I cycle tanks by bacteria I usually have a fully colonized media in less than 36 hours, in some cases much less.

Keep in mind there is no way to keep the bacteria from forming as scum against the glass, its part of the mineral staining we get in fresh water tanks. The only true way to keep a cycle from forming is to use 0.0ppm hardness water and sterilization and you can STILL happen to get some dust into the tank which contains both nitrosomona and nitrobacter resulting in a kick that produces nitrite. I've used test kits on bowls at the 24 hour mark and had positive nitrite and nitrate results.

Every tank, if not sterilized regularly, will begin to cycle and that cycle will grow to the biological load of the tank. My primary point about using biological processing in all tanks is simply that it is never "ok" to let your pet stew in any amount of ammonia or nitrite. It shortens their lifespan.
Setting up a little sponge filter only costs $15.00 and will protect your little one from missed water changes due to the owner being unable to get to the tank or bowl or simply not having the time to spend doing the full clean and sterile.

OFL, I'd say 90% of the dead betta in the western world died from either a surprise cycle in a stagnant bowl or from anerobic bacterium that can infect closed tissue that are normally stopped by a little aeration.

Oxygen is an antibiotic that is safe for continuous use.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:30 AM   #19 
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It's not the cost of the filter that's the problem, it's that I'm not sure how my fish would react to it. I really don't think he'll like a current, even a very gentle one. And I've always thought you either do the water changes, or have a filter and cycle the tank before adding fish.

I've read that it's better to do fishless cycling when you're setting up a filter because the first while of cycling is harmful to the fish. So I was thinking if I were just to put a filter in, it would start that harmful cycling process and hurt my betta, and when I do full water changes, the beginning cycling stages that are harmful would just start over again. The main thing is that I don't understand this cycling thing very well and I've read so many mixed opinions about it, so therefore I'm nervous about just sticking a filter into his tank. If plants can work as filtration, I would rather do that if I can find the plants I need. If I can't, I would like to put a filter in, but like I said, I'm nervous to do so because I'm really worried that it would hurt and/or stress my fish.

I actually never miss water changes. I'm extremely diligent about them. I've had this betta for almost a year and a half now and never missed any water changes.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:21 PM   #20 
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I just think if you have this betta for a year and a half there is something you do right,so don't even change anything in his care. He already adjusted to everything you do and i think if you change something it will stress him out and he can get sick. My betta older then your betta and i never cycle,i don't know how to do that and i don't feel bad,because i don't have any problems with them. I just change them regularly and feed them regularly. I never miss water changes and feeding. I feed them verity of food though including cooked shrimp. I never let food sink to the bottom of the tank. I think you doing good care for your betta so...
Good luck,don't change anything. It like you have grandfather who like to do certain things certain way all his life and now you want to change his life...:)
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