Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Care
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-01-2012, 05:45 PM   #1 
SlabSided
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Virginia
Can you stand more questions from a Newbie?

Hi,

I'm new here and to fish in general. I had an aquarium in college eons ago (back when you could still put yourself thru 4 years of college while working at Pizza Hut and graduating with minimal debt - yeah, I'm that old). I'm pretty sure I did everything wrong back then and the fish all promptly died so I definitely want to avoid that this go round.

I don't have Mr. Fishy yet - I want to get everything ready beforehand. Here is what I am planning:

5 gallon tank - already purchased
Filter - came with tank so it's a little "meh" but I figure it will do until it doesn't. I plan to play with the flow and baffle accordingly before introducing Mr. Fishy.
Heater (of course)
Silk plants - I eventually want live plants but for now I only want to have to worry about killing one thing at a time
Have a good water test kit and have read all the stickys here and elsewhere.

Now the questions:

I was planning to do a fishless cycle but, honestly, it sounds pretty time consuming. Is there really a distinct advantage in doing one for a 5 gallon tank with only 1 fish? If I do start one and then stumble across the perfect fish 2 weeks later, can I stop the cycle, do a water change, and introduce Mr. Fishy to the tank?

If I do a "fish-in" cycle, does the water change schedule vary depending on where it is in the cycle? Meaning do I change it more often until the beneficial bacteria has accumulated?

And about those water changes.... Can anyone recommend a good siphon/gravel vacuum?

Lastly, I have well water so chlorine shouldn't be an issue. It is somewhat hard water and I do have a household water softening system (uses salt). Is there anything I should be concerned about assuming all the chemistry levels are good?


Thanks for guidance you can provide.
SlabSided is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2012, 08:14 PM   #2 
thekoimaiden
Member
 
thekoimaiden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Virginia, USA
Welcome to the forum and back to fishkeeping. It's great that you want to do it right this time.

The advantage of a fishless cycle is that you don't have to constantly worry about the water parameters and the effects of them on your fish. More than often, the fish we buy from the store have some sort of disease. Putting them through the stress of a fish-in cycle makes it harder for the fish to get over the disease and can lead to death.

The advantage of a cycle is only having to do one water change a week. All of my tanks are cycled, and I will never go back. But I have sizes ranging from a 10 gal up to a 55 gal. Without a cycle you would need to do two water changes a week. If you really hate water changes I would cycle the tank; however, if it isn't that big of a deal to you, then don't cycle.

I don't know about stopping a fishless cycle. I think it depends what you use to cycle (shrimp, pure ammonia, fish food). My gut is telling me it would be okay if you can test the parameters and make sure everything is good. But I'd wait until someone else gives some input to decide.

I think I'm reading this right: you do have to do more water changes until the cycle is established (which can be months if I remember correctly). Depending on how high the ammonia and nitrite creep up it could be daily changes. Once the good bacteria are established you can drop down to once a week, but say in the beginning you might be looking at every other day.

For a 5 gal tank I would try to find something with a small diameter siphon. I think I just have the regular Petsmart brand. The one I used on my 5 gal and 10 gal tanks has about a 2 cm diameter. Don't get the massive ones with a 20ft cord. That would suck your tank dry before the water came out the other end!

I'll let someone else address the well water question. I've been on city water my entire life.

Glad to have you here!
thekoimaiden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2012, 02:03 PM   #3 
SlabSided
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Virginia
Thanks for the welcome and very helpful info.

I'm not adverse to more frequent water changes until a cycle is established. I guess I'm just trying to figure out how often and if it disrupts the whole cycling process if you do a fish-in cycle. If I don't have a filter, wouldn't it be something like a 50% change + 100% change per week? So would it be more often with a filter that hasn't been fully cycled? I know I could just wing it and test the water every day but I don't want to do anything to stress out Mr. Fishy (BTW, that won't be his actual name )
SlabSided is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2012, 07:52 PM   #4 
thekoimaiden
Member
 
thekoimaiden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Virginia, USA
When trying to cycle I think you would be doing 3 50% water changes weekly (doing 100% changes or gravel vacs will disrupt the budding cycle). I'm honestly not sure about those exact numbers because when I cycle I just change the water as needed which I determine through daily testing (the ammonia and nitrite tests are very easy). If you do cycle the tank you'll never want to do 100% changes as that will disrupt the good bacteria. In an un-cycled 5 gal without a filter you would be looking at two water changes a week: 50% and 100%. With live plants you will be looking at less. Hope I answered everything!
thekoimaiden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2012, 12:05 AM   #5 
Rosso1011
Member
 
Rosso1011's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Virginia
Only thing I didn't see mentioned at the top was a thermometer and possibly a cave/hiding spot. Other than that, it sounds like you have most of the bases covered. Also, you might want to know that when looking for food, most bettas prefer pellets, and you should be looking for something that has fish meal or some other "meat product" as the first ingredient. Good brands to look at are Aqueon, Omega One Betta Buffet (I use it and hardly anyone refuses it), and New Life Spectrum.
Rosso1011 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2012, 06:02 PM   #6 
SlabSided
New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Virginia
Okay, so I went back and read the instructions (several different sources) for a fish-less cycle and I think I'll just go ahead and do that. I may just be over-thinking this. Now we'll see if I can locate ammonia.

He will have a thermometer (hasn't arrived yet from Amazon) and a hidey-hole. I can't find a cave I like so for now he'll just have to make do with a coffee mug. It actually looks quite nice with the gravel I chose.

This is getting fun.
SlabSided is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2012, 06:40 PM   #7 
Rosso1011
Member
 
Rosso1011's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Virginia
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlabSided View Post
He will have a thermometer (hasn't arrived yet from Amazon) and a hidey-hole. I can't find a cave I like so for now he'll just have to make do with a coffee mug. It actually looks quite nice with the gravel I chose.

This is getting fun.
Coffee mug will definitely suffice until you can find something you like. I've heard of people using small ceramic pots (terra cotta), coffee mugs, you can come up with a lot of creative decor with stuff from craft shops or just at home. I love Amazon, too. I get on there every now and again and make wish lists.
Rosso1011 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2012, 06:42 PM   #8 
styggian
Member
 
styggian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wisconsin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosso1011 View Post
Coffee mug will definitely suffice until you can find something you like. I've heard of people using small ceramic pots (terra cotta), coffee mugs, you can come up with a lot of creative decor with stuff from craft shops or just at home. I love Amazon, too. I get on there every now and again and make wish lists.
I have coffee mugs and a broken in half terracotta pot and my fish enjoy swimming in and around them. They are definitely fine to use and keep in as part of the regular decor.
styggian is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Newbie Questions walle Betta Fish Care 8 08-29-2011 05:33 PM
Some newbie questions :) Ambisense Betta Fish Care 1 08-25-2010 04:47 AM
More newbie questions :P Wondersoap Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 5 05-25-2010 08:15 PM
Newbie with Questions rejohnson53 Betta Fish Care 5 09-13-2009 09:32 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.