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Old 01-25-2012, 05:58 PM   #1 
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WOOT! Tank cycled! Now what?

5 gallon tank
0 ammonia
0 nitrites
20 nitrates

that's considered cycled, right? I sure hope so, I'd like to shop for a betta this weekend

I have a few questions first:

I bought an Aqua-Tech kit from Wal-Mart so that's the filter I'm using. Should I ever replace the filter cartridge or just rinse it every week? If I replace it, what should I get, the same cartridge or something different?

Can I ever break down the tank for a complete clean out or will that ruin everything? I vacuum but someday I may want to change substrate or clean the gravel thoroughly.

The normal ph for my tap water is kind of high 7.6 or 7.8. Will a betta get used to that? I plan on acclimating SLOWLY.

I bought some Seachem Prime today, it was recommended in another thread. How much per gallon? All it says is one capful for 50 gallons! Or is there a better product?

Any other suggestions before I bring home my new pet?

Filter is baffled and heat is always at 76. Could be warmer and probably will be when the weather starts getting better. Oh and I did a "fish in" cycling since I already have a catfish.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:30 PM   #2 
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Much easier to do it this way...

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Originally Posted by registereduser View Post
5 gallon tank
0 ammonia
0 nitrites
20 nitrates

that's considered cycled, right? I sure hope so, I'd like to shop for a betta this weekend
Looks cycled to me!

I have a few questions first:

I bought an Aqua-Tech kit from Wal-Mart so that's the filter I'm using. Should I ever replace the filter cartridge or just rinse it every week? If I replace it, what should I get, the same cartridge or something different?

I personally rinse mine off in tank water (never tap water) and put it back once a month. I usually have two in mine, so when I rinse one off, the other still holds all my bacteria for my cycle.

Can I ever break down the tank for a complete clean out or will that ruin everything? I vacuum but someday I may want to change substrate or clean the gravel thoroughly.

No. Once you break down everything, your cycle will either mini cycle or crash and start over. For switching substrate, it's best to put all the old gravel in some panty hose (like 3 bunches) and leave it in the tank. Put the new gravel in the tank, and take away one bunch of panty hose a week. This way, you don't loose the bacteria on the gravel, and it grows on the new stuff. Cleaning the gravel thoroughly... I have never had to do this before lol

The normal ph for my tap water is kind of high 7.6 or 7.8. Will a betta get used to that? I plan on acclimating SLOWLY.

This is the same as mine, and I have 16 healthy happy Bettas :) Stable pH is better than a certain level pH

I bought some Seachem Prime today, it was recommended in another thread. How much per gallon? All it says is one capful for 50 gallons! Or is there a better product?

That's the best stuff! I am not sure how much you should use though, we use Stress Coat. Could you get a 1ML syringe from a vet or pharmacy? That will help you measure it out :)

Any other suggestions before I bring home my new pet?

Yes, Relax :) First night in the new tank, keep the room quiet and dark. Let your Betta adjust to his new home.

Filter is baffled and heat is always at 76. Could be warmer and probably will be when the weather starts getting better. Oh and I did a "fish in" cycling since I already have a catfish.

I don't understand, your heater doesn't allow you to heat to 80F? If it's preset, it should be at 78F. I think you may need a new heater. You'll notice such a difference in your fish between 76 and 80F. Will your catfish be in the tank with the Betta?
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:44 PM   #3 
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I don't understand, your heater doesn't allow you to heat to 80F? If it's preset, it should be at 78F. I think you may need a new heater. You'll notice such a difference in your fish between 76 and 80F. Will your catfish be in the tank with the Betta?
Nope. I have a pre-set heater made for a 5 gallon but the water only got to 76 and then when I shut the light off at night it went to 74. Then I got a cheap little under gravel filter and I have them both on at night without the hood light and the temp remains at 76. If I leave both heaters and light on it will get up to 80 but I don't want to leave the light on 24/7. Going from 76 to 80 in 24 hours is probably not good either, so I am keeping it steady at 76 for now.

I should have gotten an adjustable heater from the get go but I was trying to save $$. By next winter I will have a better heater. I am sure the summer weather will help a lot.

The catfish will be the betta's tank mate. I know just one is not ideal. Would 2 cats and a betta be too much for a 5 gallon? The PetCo girl thought so.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:08 PM   #4 
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Yes, I agree with pitluv's post. Prime by Seachem Is 1ml (1/4 tsp) per 10 gallons which is the exact same at 2 drops per gallon.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:28 PM   #5 
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Mind if I jump in here with some questions myself? I heard test strips are not reliable at all? Should I use them if that's all I can get for the time being? The closest Petsmart is like two hours away. If no water testing how often should I do water changes?
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:40 PM   #6 
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Mind if I jump in here with some questions myself? I heard test strips are not reliable at all? Should I use them if that's all I can get for the time being? The closest Petsmart is like two hours away. If no water testing how often should I do water changes?
If you shop Amazon get this:

API Master test kit
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:41 PM   #7 
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Yes, I agree with pitluv's post. Prime by Seachem Is 1ml (1/4 tsp) per 10 gallons which is the exact same at 2 drops per gallon.
Thanks! and thanks PL too!
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:19 PM   #8 
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Thanks for the link.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:24 PM   #9 
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How long did it take your tank to cycle? I also have a 5-gallon, and it's been going for seventeen days. Still waiting for the nitrites!
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:39 PM   #10 
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How long did it take your tank to cycle? I also have a 5-gallon, and it's been going for seventeen days. Still waiting for the nitrites!
I got the tank the day after xmas. I did a complete cleaning including gravel just before my baby betta died on the 14th but I have never changed the filter. I did rinse it out under tap when I did the cleaning, though. I believe she died from the ammonia level. I murdered her by mistake.

THEN I did the research and now that I understand better, I am ready for another betta.
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