Hi everyone, I'm a newbie and I need some step by step instructions for seeding a tank with cycling bacteria. My 9yo son got a Betta about 2 months ago, and I cycled the tank with SafeStart. It worked just fine. I let him talk me into getting some tankmates for the Betta (10 gallon tank) but I don't think it's working out. The betta seems stressed and his supposedly low-key "friends" are chasing him around. (4 Black skirt tetras).
I removed the betta back to his fish bowl (I know he's too cold in there!) We have a 5 gallon to put him in, but I need instructions for how to seed the tank with bacteria to cycle the 10-gallon. I mean I need step-by-step instructions! A la "for dummies."
I keep seeing advice on how I should use the filter media but honestly I don't know what the media is. Is it the disposable part of the filter? Can I put an old disposable filter right into the new one and consider the tank cycled? Then can I put the betta in the water right away? I am worried about him in that cold bowl.
Sorry I'm so new! I just need someone to tell me exactly what to do to get the betta out of the fish bowl and intot he 5 gallon safely. Thanks everyone, in advance!
Don't apologize, everyone begins right where you are when learning how to properly take care of aquarium life; there's no shame in it and so long as you're learning from it, there's nothing wrong with it ^.^
I've never used anything like SafeStart, as I've read enough threads for me to want to steer clear from such things... I ended up using fish food and about halfway a snail because I didn't realize a snail could poop so much and didn't want to damage its health by temporarily keeping it in a small vase until my tank finished cycling -.-
You're correct, the filter media is the disposable part of the filter- the wooly looking thing that keeps chunks and stuff from flowing through the filter and into the water. As far as seeding goes, from what I understand is you can pretty much put anything in your tank from another tank that's already been established into your tank that you're wanting to cycle. I've never tried it, but I'm assuming the best method is using your old filter media from the already cycled tank and putting it in your other filter.
You can cut a good sized piece of the old filter and stick it into your other filter so that the bacteria can establish itself onto the new filter media. Since I've never done this either, I'm assuming it's best to put it right behind the new filter media that way the water is flowing through the old piece and directly into the new piece ^.^ This is also a good method for when you need to change your old filter when it gets too worn out or when you feel the need to change it. That way when you change your filter, your tank is less likely to crash your already established cycle and start re-cycling.. Or if it does, it'll re-cycle faster than it would if you didn't have the piece of old filter with your new one.
You can also take one of your decorations out of your established tank and place it into your new tank- the bacteria grows on any surface of your tank from the walls and filter to the gravel and decorations and plants. Just stick the decoration in your new tank and voila! If you want to use gravel, you can stick it in, say, cheese cloth or panty hose and let it sit in the tank as well.
Make sure you have a constant supply of ammonia in your tank so that your bacteria will have what it needs to feed off of. You need to figure out which route of cycling you would like to go through for that- if you'd like to do a fish-in cycle, with fish food, shrimp, pure ammonia, planted tank, I wanna say there's one other but I forget >.>;; There's a sticky for cycling if you haven't looked at it already- although I found it was still somewhat vague with certain things and confused me as well.... Anyway, once you figure out which cycling method you'd like to follow, you also need to make sure you have a testing kit that can test for ammonia, nitrIte, and nitrAte (make sure you know the definite difference between nitrIte and nitrAte, as it's pretty important to know). I'm going to stop my rant there for now- let me know if you need further instruction or if I'm just wasting my time rambling as I'm not sure how much you know about cycling since I know you've used SafeStart and am not sure if you've done any other method before or if you've read enough to know the basics ^.^;;;;;
Last edited by Draug Isilme; 11-24-2011 at 04:08 AM.
Thanks so much for your reply! I know I was asking a lot and that was no quick and simple answer, so I thank you for taking the time to type it all out. Your reply gives me confidence to go ahead and get the tank ready! I think I'll do it today since it's a holiday and we are home this year without company or travel plans.
I think this morning I'll get the tank cleaned out (it's empty but dusty from being in the garage) and the water/bacteria/gravel/filter/heater/etc. in place, let it settle and filter all day, and then go ahead and put the fish in tonight. He's making me sad in that bowl!
When I was getting the equipment at Walmart yesterday there were completely dead bettas for sale on their shelves. So sad. I wsh I could save them all. It made me want to get our little guy out of the fishbowl and back into an aquarium more quickly!
Thanks again for all the help, and if anyone else has any pointers, please chime in!
P.S. SafeStart worked for me, but I think because I spent HOURS researching exactly how to use it. The instructions on the bottle are useless - basically nonexistent - and will set anyone up to fail. Tetra seems like a great company in many ways but if they want SafeStart to be an effective, popular, trusted product among fish hobbyists, they should include many, many more details on how to correctly use their product.
No prob ^.^ I didn't mind explaining it all, I was just worried about harping in on things you might've already known about cycling and didn't want to bother you with already known information, ya know? If you have anymore questions, though, I'm ready and willing to ask!
Adding your fish sounds like a fine idea. As far as I see it (not sure how accurate it is, it's just my opinion) seems like it's more stressful for the fish if you do frequent changes in a smaller space in comparison to a bigger space while it's cycling- so long as you make sure the perameters are at a good range and not too high, of course. I know what you mean about feeling bad when seeing a fellow pet/friend in a place that seems uncomfortable and you'd like to improve it as soon as possible... I'm glad I got my snail, but like I said, I jumped the gun and moved him to my cycling tank because I felt like it was going to jeapordize his life if I didn't.
As for the bettas in Walmart, it is pretty sad and depressing ;__; I always want to get all the bettas at my local Walmart, but I'd have no place to put them, and I'm worried it would encourage Walmart to keep getting more -.-;;; I've been thinking of complaining to them, but at the same time, I'm not quite sure if the conditions are thaaaaaat bad to the point where they could get in trouble if they didn't do anything, ya know? I'm gonna have to dig into it sometime soon so I'll know what valid points I can make >.>
Ya know, with all the stuff I've read about bacteria supplements, I just let it go because I didn't think there'd be anything to research into it; mainly because most people've said that if it's sitting on a shelf for months on end, then the bacteria in it is bound to be dead by now (although I'm wondering if for a certain amount of time they stay dormant and that's why some still work).... but knowing that there is research out there to be found, I think I'll go look into it sometime soon ^.^ Thanks for the tip- just goes to show you really don't know everything about a product until you've done everything you can to research it yourself!
Also, good luck with the cycling! ^.^ I hope everything works out fantastically, which I'm sure it'll go swimmingly (lol... lame pun xD)