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Old 10-06-2011, 11:57 PM   #11 
Kiaooh
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I think I have too many questions. After a teensy bit of research into the Tetra Whisper, I'm now wondering how I'm supposed to get a lid onto my tank if there's a filter hanging off the rim. Is this something I should consider when selecting a tank, or will it all just sort of work?

Sorry for all the newbie questions. Only fish experience I've had is a pond, and it was pretty much understood that we'd have to restock every spring because of Canadian winters anyway. Just want to make sure I'm not being that flippant with my bettas.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:12 AM   #12 
Micho
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Usually hoods will have opening for heaters/filters, so no worries. Starter kits will be your best choice, they're cheaper than buying individual pieces, and the filter that comes with it would most definitetly fit.

No worries, we're here to help!
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:03 AM   #13 
Kiaooh
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Another question! A shrimp cycle sounds like the best way for me to go if I end up cycling, but I'm concerned about the smell. Tiny dorm, and there will be trouble if I stink it up. Would the fish food method solve this problem?

Or, alternately: I'm a bit confused about the fish-in method. How big are these water changes that are needed to keep the fish from being harmed? 100% would defeat the entire purpose of cycling, would it not?

Thanks for all your help. n__n;
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Old 10-08-2011, 02:46 AM   #14 
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Lol shrimp cycle won't stink up your room just dispose of it after you're done with it. Fish food is messy and you won't know how much to put in everyday to keep a constant ammonia everyday.

With fish-in cycling you would need to do a 10 ~ 25 water change everytime your ammonia or nitrIte is over 0.25ppm. Anything over 50% is not recommended when cycling it'll probably crash your cycle, fish-in cycle might result in some deaths, so it's not recommended.

No problem we're happy to help.
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:33 AM   #15 
LionCalie
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Just wanted to add, I have a 5 gallon without a filter (not cycled). I do 100% water changes weekly. The tank is in the living room, so it's a small trip to the kitchen sink.

What I do is:
  • Scoop Betta into a cup (with lid/cover) and set him/her aside
  • Empty out enough aquarium water into a bucket so you can carry it to the sink without it being too heavy or spilling. I use a decent sized mixing bowl to scoop the water and dump it into the bucket. Important note: You do not want to use a bucket or any kind of container that has had anything but water in it before. Also never use soap to clean them, hot water will do just fine.
  • Carry to the sink, empty out remaining water. Clean the gravel and all items in the tank with hot water.
  • When done, fill tank at the sink with enough water you can carry comfortably and not spill. Make sure the water is the same temperature.
  • Put the tank back in its place. Using that same bucket, fill it with new water at the sink. Walk it over to the tank and fill.
  • Add conditioner, make sure temperature is in the right range.
As you can see it is quite the process. Obviously purchasing a filter and cycling the tank would cut back on a lot of work in the long run. Though the cycling process can sometimes be quite a challenge. So no, you do not need a filter in a 5 gallon, but if the above sounds like too much work then that is your best route.
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:10 AM   #16 
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I do the same with my divided 5g, I choose not to cycle it and do 100% change on Monday and 50% change on Thursday. I have cycled tanks but I don't cycle anything under 10g. I use buckets and clean all gravel as well.
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:41 AM   #17 
Kiaooh
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Okay! Super-thanks. I'm on the fence about cycling now. if I DO cycle, is there any reason I would have to restart the entire process? Something about changing filters, correct? If I've done my research right, that only needs to be done a few times a year, and there's a way to do it without screwing up your cycle. Am I correct? If so, what's the recommended process?

Another question--how long can a tank stay cycled without fish in it? If they have to be relocated for a few weeks, can I leave a shrimp in there to continue the cycle until the fish are added again?

Is algae a big problem in cycled tanks? Will a moss ball help?

Can you point me anywhere for DIY aquarium hoods, or is that something I'm unable to skimp on?
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:52 AM   #18 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiaooh View Post
Okay! Super-thanks. I'm on the fence about cycling now. if I DO cycle, is there any reason I would have to restart the entire process? Something about changing filters, correct? If I've done my research right, that only needs to be done a few times a year, and there's a way to do it without screwing up your cycle. Am I correct? If so, what's the recommended process?

If you do cycle, then the tank will stay cycled, even once it comes time to change the filter media if you do it properly. I've had my tank cycled for years and I've yet to change the filter media (if that gives you any idea of how rarely you actually change it). I just rinse it out in the old tank water that I siphoned into a 5g bucket. Then I slip it back into place and it's good to go. If for whatever reason you do want to completely change the filter, you can remove half the filter media, and add half the new stuff. Then wait a week, and then remove the remaining old stuff, and add the remaining new stuff. That will give the new stuff time to absorb the beneficial bacteria colony without crashing the cycle.

I don't particularly recommend moving the actual tank for water changes. Just get a clean bucket (available at walmart or any hardware store that's 1-5 gallons, and a little gravel vac. Suck the water into your bucket and suck up the gunk within the gravel. You can do 4 gallons once per week or 1-2 gallons a couple times a week. It's up to you. The idea is to remove any food particles or betta poop before the ammonia builds up to high - same idea as with your little tank.


Another question--how long can a tank stay cycled without fish in it? If they have to be relocated for a few weeks, can I leave a shrimp in there to continue the cycle until the fish are added again?

Cycled tanks have the beneficial bacteria in them that processes the ammonia caused by waste and turns it into the less harmful nitrate. The bacteria needs a food source (waste). So if you're gone, adding a couple flakes to the tank every other day would keep it going. I'm not certain that a single shrimp would add enough to the bioload to feed the bacteria. A snail would....


Is algae a big problem in cycled tanks? Will a moss ball help?

Algae can appear in any tank, cycled or not. It's a matter of water conditions, light, etc., not necessarily the size of the tank or the cycle. People do claim that the moss ball will help. Mostly, if your water parameters are in line, and you don't leave the tank lights on more than 8-10 hours per day, and if it's not in direct sunlight, then it shouldn't be a problem. I've never had algae in any of my tanks, no matter how hard I try to grow it.

Can you point me anywhere for DIY aquarium hoods, or is that something I'm unable to skimp on?
Here's a thread I'm following. http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=81106&page=3 In it, the OP notes the type of plexiglass he's using. I'm going to be making a custom hood for one of my bowfronts with the same stuff. And you don't need a huge drill or saw to cut it, which is nice.

Another, even cheaper, option is to cut some plastic craft mesh to fit the top. It's available at walmart or any craft store. Only costs a few dollars. I would go with that option if I didn't need a lid strong enough to support my cats sitting on top of it.

Don't be intimidated by the 5g tank. There is nothing in the rule book that says you must filter or must cycle or anything else. All of my tanks are cycled and well planted, and I love that I never have to worry about parameters, but that's not a necessity. IMO, getting your little betta dude into a larger tank is.


P.S. Tetra SafeStart is a one time only instant cycle product that is effective IF used exactly as it states on the bottle. It only costs about $10, and you can add your fish to the new tank right away without waiting for it to cycle. it is the only product on the market right now for freshwater tanks that provide a true instant cycle. (Don't trust other products besides the Tetra SafeStart; the other products need to be added regularly and do not provide a true cycle or stable water parameters. They're little more than a marketing gimmick.)
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:34 PM   #19 
teasell
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Just wanted to say I use the same method as LionCalie to change out the water in my tank but I use a gravel vac (syphon) to get the water to the bucket. My tank is 5 gallons and not cycled. Have had my betta Ghostie over a month now and so far so good
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:47 PM   #20 
Miyazawa
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i would recommend you to cycle if your room is not close to the bathroom, or you have to move your fish like every 2 months for whatever reasons. But if you really can't i would recommend getting a 2.5 or 5 gallons (bigger the better) and then get the tom internal filter (super quiet). Im living in a college dorm also but i have my own bathroom. I have a 2.5 tank that i change 50%, 100% once a week :D
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