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Old 11-13-2011, 06:21 AM   #1 
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Question Setting up tank - Advice needed :)

I'm buying my bettas new 7.4 gallon today, and I just wanted to see if I was setting things up right.

I plan on having a couple of kgs of sand and some silk plants. I plan to thoughraly wash out the sand using buckets/hose, then place it in the tank. When it comes to water, I was thinking of putting some of the filter sponge from my Biorb (my bettas current tank) in with the new filter sponge for the new filter to kick start the bacteria colony and possibly some of the biorb ceramic media too. I've got a bottle of bacteria boosting stuff that I was also going to put in there. Don't worry, I'll condition the water too.

My question is when I can add my fish (I may be getting some shrimp too, when should these be added?). Obviously, there will already be a bacteria colony growing in there from the bacteria booster & biorb media, so will it be safe for him after just a few days or so to let the bacteria grow a little more and allow the tank to settle down? I don't want any ammonia spikes etc, but equally I don't have the money at the moment to buy a proper testing kit (about 30, or just short of $50 in the UK).

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Old 11-13-2011, 06:36 AM   #2 
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Honestly, I am not expert in cycling or all the becteria, but you don't have to cycle your tank before adding a betta. I had a 10 gallon and added the water and started the filter and went out and bought a betta right away to actually start the cycle for adding different fish that aren't as hardy. It worked fine. If you are cycling it and you don't have a test kit, you can bring a water sample in to a local petstore or fish store and they can probably test it for you for free. Sorry that's all I can really tell you, we'll need to get someone who is better on the subject in here.
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:04 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Unless you keep feeding the beneficial bacteria- it will can safely establish the nitrogen cycle with the Betta-provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes-you don't have to have a test kit on hand, however, it can help take the guess work out of the process-In some areas you will have Free testing at pet shops.

Since you have an established tank and can seed the new tank-as you already know-this will speed up the process...but you are still going to need to make water changes and since you don't have a test be on the safe side.....I would recommend making twice weekly water changes for the first 4-6 weeks and then weekly thereafter to maintain water quality....

In a 7.4gal filtered tank without live plants-stocked with a single Betta and some shrimp....once the nitrogen cycle is established-50% weekly with vacuum should maintain water quality.....

I would set the tank up and get it to temp-properly acclimate the livestock to the new water and add....depending on the amount of cover for the shrimp-you may want to add them a day or so before the Betta-this is to allow them to get established-finding good hiding places to help increase the chance for survival-since every Betta can be different in their tolerance-some will hunt and kill them while other won't and this can change from day to day.....Bettas do love to keep us on our

Another note-a lot of the bottled cycling products are a waste of time and money-IMO- and some can even be hard on shrimp due to the nitrate-since shrimp can sometimes be really sensitive to high nitrate in general.....

Good luck and would love to see some pics....
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:07 PM   #4 
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Thanks for all the info. I actually only have the 'bacteria bottle' as it was part of the biorb kit :)
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:09 PM   #5 
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To add to the last post, the silk plants are fairly dense, so cover hopefully won't be a huge issue
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bacteria, betta, cycle, cycling, new tank

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