A simple way of describing cycling.... Fish give off ammonia--which is toxic to them. This stuff called Nitrites eats ammonia, but is still toxic to fish, but then, nitrates eat the nitrites...and nitrates are far less damaging to a fish. So there is a balance. The ammonia is eaten away by the nitrites and then those are eaten by the nitrates...meaning fewer water changes :)
Bigger tanks also are more stable temp wise, so you won't deal with fluctuating temperatures as much. If your heater gets too hot, the fish can escape to the cool end of the tank.
in my 10g i change 25% a week .. mostly to get off that protein stuff on the top .. and once a month i do a gravel stir siphon thing
and i wouldn't use a smaller wattage heater in the 10g .. it could cause it to over heat .. since it would take a lot more time and energy for it to heat 10g .. generally you want 5watt per gallon minimum .. so a 10g tank needs 50watt heater .. u can put a bigger watt heater into a smaller tank .. but not a smaller watt heater into a bigger tank ^_^ if that makes sense
bigger tank does make a big difference .. in my 20g .. i do a 35% water change like once a month .. everything is stabilized in there
Last edited by HatsuneMiku; 11-02-2011 at 12:27 AM.
more water = more dilution of the bad stuff fish give off - ammonia.
imagine the nitrogen cycle as a circle - fish excrete ammonia through gills and bodily fluids; bacteria need time to build up to eat the ammonia which converts to nitrites, new bacteria move in to eat nitrites convering to nitrates which is much less toxic to fish. nitrates are removed by water changes and/or natural plants (you'd need alot to do much good though)
it takes usually a good month to get the cycle going and established. once established, all those good bacteria take care of the ammonia/nitrites almost immediately. you change the water once a week to get rid of nitrates, which when built up over 40 ppm is toxic to fish.
A 1 gallon on the other hand cant cycle, so a filter would be pointless, so you would have to do 2 50% water changes a week and 1 100% water change a week
Correct me if im wrong on anything
In anything under 5g unfiltered you would be doing 1 50% and 1 100% per week, if it is filtered, you would be doing 1 50% per week, and no 100% as you don't want to do full water changes on anything filtered.
5g+ unfiltered you would be doing 1 50% per week and 1 100% per month, filtered you would do 1 30-50% per week.