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Old 02-06-2012, 04:18 PM   #1 
MJK87
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Help with cycled 2.5g water changes.

So I attempted to cycle my 2.5 gallon tank using a red sea nano filter filled with some biomax pellets and a cut to fit polytech pad and carbon pad. I wasent sure if it would work or not but I believe I was successful....

For the last two weeks since I set the filter up, I would have to do a 100% change every two days. My fish would stress horribly and I would test the ammonia levels. The ammonia would spike so I would change the water. My last water change was thursday of last week.

I figured that my fish would stress like normal and I would have to do a water change but to my surprise he remained completely healthy. So today decided to test the water and sure enough my ammonia and nitrite levels were 0. My nitrate levels I can estimate were somewhere between .1ppm and .3ppm since the color was darker than the 0ppm reading and lighter than the .5ppm reading.

So here is my question. If my tank did indeed cycle, what will my new water change regiment look like? 50% once a week? Has anyone else successfully cycled a 2.5 gallon and held the cycle? Im afraid that if I change the water too much I may loose the cycle. With the tank being so small it may be impossible to hold the cycle but im hoping the added biomax provided enough surface area to do so. What do you guys think?
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:54 PM   #2 
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While the smaller filtered tank will establish the nitrogen cycle-it usually will not be stable due to limited surface area for the beneficial bacteria to colonize and I recommend twice weekly water changes....1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate by vacuum or stir and dip method...

Filter media needs a swish/rinse in the bucket of old tank water a couple of times a month to maintain good water flow for the biological filtration...

Remembering that some dechlorinator can cause positive reading on ammonia due to it being changed to ammonium and the test products can't tell the difference....

The beneficial bacteria are sticky and adhere to all the surface areas, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media-very little are in the water column and so water only changes will not hurt the cycle-but over cleaning can, however, if the substrate and filter media are not maintained the BB can suffocate and why at least weekly vacuuming is needed and regular cleaning of the filter media....
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:58 PM   #3 
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I did have a cycled 3 gallon, but not for very long because I moved the fish out of the tank. I'd agree with 50% a week, or 2 25%s. I'd remove the carbon, though, since you are just going to have to change it over and over again, and with a fish as tidy as a betta you simply don't need it. Replace it with another porous media. :)
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:00 PM   #4 
Jrf456
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What about just changing the water 100% every 5-6 days? Would this be okay? Sorry to hog your post.. LOL.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:14 PM   #5 
Oldfishlady
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You don't need to make 100% when you have a filter...not needed....you can...but why add more stress and work.....
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:11 PM   #6 
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When is the best time to test your water then if the water conditioner can give false readings? I use seachem prime.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:29 PM   #7 
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Wait 24 hours after adding it before testing. The false positive should be gone by then.
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