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Old 02-25-2012, 12:21 PM   #1 
whoiam
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Cycling a tank and need help!

I'm trying to cycle a 6-gallon tank as quickly as possible (my poor betta is in a 1-gallon bowl).

I started with conditioned water and added Tetra Safestart just to introduce some bacteria (I don't believe the "immediately safe" bit). I added just a little pure ammonia, and now it's at 1ppm.

Do I need to get the ammonia level higher in order to see a noticeable nitrite spike? I don't want to get it so high that this takes a really long time, but I do want to know when the nitrites spike and I'm not sure if that's enough ammonia.

I'm rushing because my betta's fins are curling and he needs to be moved ASAP. It's is not warm enough in his bowl (even with a small heater) and he can't really exercise, so the faster I can do a thorough cycle, the better.

Thanks so much for any/all advice!
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:29 PM   #2 
JKhoi
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The TetraSafe start actually does work xD. You dump the whole bottle in and in two days it will be cycled. (Did it both for my 5 gallon and 10 gallon) You can restart the cycle by adding only Safestart and no pure ammonia. The ammonia will just destroy the Safestarts effects.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:39 PM   #3 
whoiam
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Thanks--I wish I'd known--I've read such mixed reviews on the stuff.

But since I've already added the ammonia I assume I still need to wait for a nitrite spike. Anyone know if that's enough ammonia to cause that part of the cycle?

@JKhoi This is still good to know, and hopefully I can use Safestart down the road for water changes, etc.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:55 PM   #4 
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I've never cycled using full ammonia before but here's a thread to help you out on it. http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838 They say to keep the ammonia around levels of 3-5ppm. On the side note, using this method will take a couple weeks.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:08 PM   #5 
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Originally Posted by JKhoi View Post
They say to keep the ammonia around levels of 3-5ppm. On the side note, using this method will take a couple weeks.
I know, and I'm afraid my little guy can't wait that long.

Maybe the bacteria in the Safestart will eat up the ammonia I put in? Does anyone know?

Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:14 PM   #6 
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If you don't want to wait, best thing to do is just suck most of the water out and add fresh new declorinated water in with and addition of the rest of the bottle of safe start. Its a little more work to do, but it's going to save you a lot of work in the long run. xD Also, what size bottle are you using of Safestart? o.O
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:55 PM   #7 
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Sometimes it may work and often it will not. I think it's a function on how new the bottle is. Don't assume it works. Test before you put the fish in and test daily for a week after you add him. There's only one fast cycling product out there I'd use and it's not mainstream and it's expensive. It takes about 2 weeks to establish.

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838

Last edited by callistra; 02-25-2012 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:51 PM   #8 
whoiam
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There's only one fast cycling product out there I'd use and it's not mainstream and it's expensive. It takes about 2 weeks to establish.
Is that the Seachem kind?

I'm so confused about how to introduce bacteria. I don't have an established tank to "borrow" from, and I do NOT trust the local pet store (I want bacteria, not diseases).

Won't the bacteria from the Safestart (assuming it lived) eat the ammonia eventually?

--Clearly clueless
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:14 PM   #9 
styggian
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I would just acclimate the betta to the tank. It doesn't need to be fully cycled yet, you'll just have to do more water changes until it does. In my six gallons, I like having a few ghost shrimp and a snail. Both will help pick up food the betta didn't eat, and they help the biology of the tank. My girls have a small colony of shrimp and two nerites, as well as moss balls, anubias, and java fern, and when I vacuum the gravel, there's very little loose debris. It's best adding anything slowly, but there's no need for full cycle if your betta is in rough shape already.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:24 PM   #10 
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I wouldn't trust bottled stuff. Ammonia is the safest way to do it, IMHO.

HOWEVER, I would consider putting him in the 6 gallon now and doing a fish-in cycle, using TSS to give the bacteria a boost. I would also use Prime to detoxify ammonia and nitrite (makes the cycle safer for the fish).
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