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Old 01-08-2012, 02:26 AM   #11 
bahamut285
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Originally Posted by Sena Hansler View Post
"outer world bacteria"


@Sunshine: While your tank is cycling, depending on how much ammonia is being input into the tank from fish waste, you will have to do small but frequent water changes until it cycles. My 5 Gallon tanks took about just under a month to completely cycle. Until that point I was doing around TWO 50% water changes a week. Now I do TWO 25% changes.

Your tank looks awesome! I have the same cave, it looks much better in a 10G :D
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:06 AM   #12 
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Originally Posted by bahamut285 View Post


@Sunshine: While your tank is cycling, depending on how much ammonia is being input into the tank from fish waste, you will have to do small but frequent water changes until it cycles. My 5 Gallon tanks took about just under a month to completely cycle. Until that point I was doing around TWO 50% water changes a week. Now I do TWO 25% changes.

Your tank looks awesome! I have the same cave, it looks much better in a 10G :D
Haha thanks =))) I want to add more plastic plants!!

I read somewhere that 1 50% water change a week or two 25-30% water change a week for a 10 gallon is good?

Also since my tank came with gravel, how am I supposed to maintain it?
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:50 AM   #13 
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I think that bulb may be too much, you might just wanna get a regular bulb cause that one is for a planted tank and by using that without live plants your aquarium will be prone to algae blooms.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:11 AM   #14 
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that's right. we're aliens to bettas x)
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:16 PM   #15 
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So I talked to the guy at petco and he said I should replace my filter with a new one, do my first water change 4-6 weeks with a 25-30% change. Then do a 25-30% water change every 2-3 weeks. Is that correct?

Also, I forgot to mention that my filter came with a bio wheel but I washed it with tap water =(

He also said the cory fish is probably going to die =((((((((((((((((((((

Is the water schedule change he suggested good/bad?
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:24 PM   #16 
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IMO/E...no, especially during the cycling process with fish-you risk their health and well being.....Some of the staff at some pet shops often fail to give proper information, as well meaning as they are....

On a 10gal filtered tank without live plants and without testing products on hand-while establishing the nitrogen cycle-I would recommend at the very least 2 water changes a week for the first 6 weeks...1-50% water only and 1-50% with substrate vacuuming

The weekly 50% with vacuum will be for the life of the system to maintain water quality....
Then during the first 6 weeks unless you have test products on hand-for safety make a second 50% water only-
If you have test products on hand-base the 50% water only on test results of ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater
Once you have nitrate 5-10ppm without ammonia, nitrite spikes you are most likely cycled

Several things can change the cycling process-water temp, pH, live plants, stocking, additives to name a few....

The beneficial bacteria for the nitrogen cycle are sticky and adhere to all the surface areas within the tank, in the top layer of substrate and in the filter media-very little are in the water column and so water only changes will not stall or hurt the process-but over cleaning can.
The bacteria need surface area, food source and oxygen to colonize-the BB can suffocate by too much mulm/debris, be killed by chlorine/chloramines and if allowed to dry out or go without enough oxygen or limited food will start to die and/or consume each other -

Filter media needs a swish/rinse in the bucket of old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month to remove the big pieces of gunk-the filter media should look dirty....You don't need to change the filter media unless it is falling apart.
If the filter media is the combined type with sponge and carbon and if you plan to use carbon (not needed) this needs to be changes per package direction since it is limited and can't be recharged-
Use of carbon is more of a personal choice-water changes generally will do the same thing as carbon...If you do opt to use carbon and it is combined with the sponge-cut a piece of sponge off and add to the new media for a week or so to seed it...... with the bio-wheel as long as it is functioning properly this should house enough BB to prevent spikes-but you should always monitor the tank as a general rule and make water only changes as needed....

I seen in one post about you adding corydoras-for one they are not algae eaters and will do very little in the control, since they are schooling species they will do much better when kept in the proper numbers and you will get to enjoy their playful behaviors as well....
With any species of fish-when you fail to keep them properly and meet their needs you risk stress and this in turn can compromise immune response and you end up with sick fish...
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:18 PM   #17 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
IMO/E...no, especially during the cycling process with fish-you risk their health and well being.....Some of the staff at some pet shops often fail to give proper information, as well meaning as they are....

On a 10gal filtered tank without live plants and without testing products on hand-while establishing the nitrogen cycle-I would recommend at the very least 2 water changes a week for the first 6 weeks...1-50% water only and 1-50% with substrate vacuuming

The weekly 50% with vacuum will be for the life of the system to maintain water quality....
Then during the first 6 weeks unless you have test products on hand-for safety make a second 50% water only-
If you have test products on hand-base the 50% water only on test results of ammonia, nitrite 0.25ppm or greater
Once you have nitrate 5-10ppm without ammonia, nitrite spikes you are most likely cycled

Several things can change the cycling process-water temp, pH, live plants, stocking, additives to name a few....

The beneficial bacteria for the nitrogen cycle are sticky and adhere to all the surface areas within the tank, in the top layer of substrate and in the filter media-very little are in the water column and so water only changes will not stall or hurt the process-but over cleaning can.
The bacteria need surface area, food source and oxygen to colonize-the BB can suffocate by too much mulm/debris, be killed by chlorine/chloramines and if allowed to dry out or go without enough oxygen or limited food will start to die and/or consume each other -

Filter media needs a swish/rinse in the bucket of old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month to remove the big pieces of gunk-the filter media should look dirty....You don't need to change the filter media unless it is falling apart.
If the filter media is the combined type with sponge and carbon and if you plan to use carbon (not needed) this needs to be changes per package direction since it is limited and can't be recharged-
Use of carbon is more of a personal choice-water changes generally will do the same thing as carbon...If you do opt to use carbon and it is combined with the sponge-cut a piece of sponge off and add to the new media for a week or so to seed it...... with the bio-wheel as long as it is functioning properly this should house enough BB to prevent spikes-but you should always monitor the tank as a general rule and make water only changes as needed....

I seen in one post about you adding corydoras-for one they are not algae eaters and will do very little in the control, since they are schooling species they will do much better when kept in the proper numbers and you will get to enjoy their playful behaviors as well....
With any species of fish-when you fail to keep them properly and meet their needs you risk stress and this in turn can compromise immune response and you end up with sick fish...
So if I understand this correctly, replacing the filter media(which is sponge combined with carbon) will purify the water? Does that mean I don't have to do water changes because the filter will purify it? If I what I'm saying is correct, does that mean I would just change the filter media every 4 weeks and no water changes?

I'm probably going to hold off getting the cory catfish some friends until after I know my tank has finished its cycle because I don't want to kill him and his friends if I don't do the cycle correctly.

Thanks for all the information and help!
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:39 PM   #18 
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No, no....Nothing replaces the need for water changes.

The carbon and water changes pretty much do the same thing as far as removing odor, colors, medications.......Not the filter...filters or carbon don't change the need for water changes....all the filter will do is remove the debris from the water column-its still in the tank (you just can't see it) until the biological filter is functioning to convert the harmful substances to less harmful substance and then you will still have DOC's (dissolved organic compounds) and nitrate that have to be removed manually from the system with a water change....

Aquariums are closed systems nothing leaves the tank until you make a water change...it just recycled over and over and the build up can be harmful to the livestock....unless you have lots and lots and lots of live active growing plants and then its still limited......

Activated Carbon/charcoal- helps to remove-odors, colors, medication and so will a water changes

Activated Carbon/charcoal- does NOT remove-harmful ammonia, nitrite, nitrate or DOC's-but a water change will dilute if not remove it to safe levels

Sorry, no such thing as an aquarium with livestock that doesn't need any water changes....that part of keeping a tank...water changes are one of the most important aspect of successful systems....water changes.....

Sorry I confused you.....
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:53 PM   #19 
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Wait so does that mean I should replace the filter only when it's falling apart because the water changes will pretty much do the filter's job anyway?

Sorry for all the questions, I just want to make sure I understand how everything works!
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:17 PM   #20 
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Right, you only need to replace the filter media when it is falling apart, however, you still have to make regular cleaning of the filter media or the beneficial bacteria can be suffocated.....a couple of times a month you need to remove the filter media and give it a good swishing/rinse in the bucket of old tank water with a water changes to get the big pieces of gunk off of it to maintain good water flow to the beneficial bacteria.....remember the bacteria responsible for the biological filtration is living-it need oxygen, food (organic byproduct) and a place to live (surface area) kinda like the fish...what kills the fish will kill the bacteria and most antibiotic will kill the good bacteria too since it can't tell the difference between the good and the bad....

You need the filter to help establish the nitrogen cycle-otherwise the nitrogen cycle or biological filtration is limited and/or not stable-because the filter helps to provide the BB with oxygen, the media provides some of the surface area to colonize and it traps the food source.....

While a filter is optional for Bettas-other species of fish may need more or higher levels of dissolved oxygen in the water column that the filter by splashing on the water surface to help with oxygen content of the water

Without a filter and the biological filter you will have to make 100% water changes on occasion based on tank size....

With a filter and established biological filter-100% water changes are not needed.....
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