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Old 03-15-2012, 10:13 PM   #1 
JBosley
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To cycle or not to cycle?

Hey!
So I've decided to keep my Fluval Chi (can't get the price I want for it haha) and just use a different filter and use natural light. I have silk plants, so natural light should work right?

Anyways, its 5 gallons. Should I cycle it or not...? I have never cycled before and can't find a decent water test kit anywhere near me. For the record I don't have a credit card or pay pal, so no ordering anything online! Nor do I want to

I've never cycled in the past, just kinda stuck the Betta in I didn't know much about Bettas until I joined this site. I've heard a lot about cycling, but have heard you need to do it and have also heard it isn't necessary....
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:25 PM   #2 
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I've come across this as well, as I'm new to cycling and bettas in general.

I think that cycling is a good thing inasmuch as it makes it easier to care for a new fish. When the biological filter is established, things run smoothly with the bacteria converting bad ammonia into safer nitrites, and then nitrates.

You can just pop the betta in there, but then the cycle would be forming while the fish is inside. The cycle naturally causes spikes in harmful ammonias and nitrites, which means you'd be doing a lot more water changes than if it had already been cycled.

So do you have to? Only if you want it to be more convenient when dealing with a new fish. Of course, I learned all this after it was too late, but it's not too late for you! :)
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:28 PM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadameDesu View Post
I've come across this as well, as I'm new to cycling and bettas in general.

I think that cycling is a good thing inasmuch as it makes it easier to care for a new fish. When the biological filter is established, things run smoothly with the bacteria converting bad ammonia into safer nitrites, and then nitrates.

You can just pop the betta in there, but then the cycle would be forming while the fish is inside. The cycle naturally causes spikes in harmful ammonias and nitrites, which means you'd be doing a lot more water changes than if it had already been cycled.

So do you have to? Only if you want it to be more convenient when dealing with a new fish. Of course, I learned all this after it was too late, but it's not too late for you! :)
Thanks! Another thing is my poor guy is in a 1 Gallon cube and isn't too happy in there, he's very active and I'm worried he might start eating his tail if kept in there too much longer. So I was hoping to get him out of that cube ASAP....

How long does a 5 gallon tank, take to cycle?
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:28 PM   #4 
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I will never have another uncycled tank in my life. But that being said, whenever I set up a new tank I can seed it and I have a great test kit. Since you can't find a test kit I wouldn't cycle your tank. Doing so would risk the health of your fish. Just stick to two water changes weekly and you'll be fine. Maybe add a tough live plant like anubias. I had one survive on natural light for years.

Tanks usually take in the area of 4-6 weeks to completely cycle. Smaller tanks don't hold a cycle as well as larger tanks so making a mistake could cause it to start all over again.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:34 PM   #5 
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Yes. It's really a preference that should depend on the maintenance you want to give to your tank.
I do not prefer cycling for bettas as I have found that they get sick easier. At the same time, because I don't want to change the water in my 14 galon sorority too often so I did cycle that one.
I worry about my fish's health a lot so I rather know their water is pristine than deal with levels of ammonia in a cycled tank.
You don't have to buy a test kit, Petco will test your water for free. Because cycling takes such a long time, you can take it weekly until your tank is cycled.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:39 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekoimaiden View Post
Smaller tanks don't hold a cycle as well as larger tanks so making a mistake could cause it to start all over again.
I was also considering getting a 5gal tank to cycle this summer.
What are some of the mistakes that could break the cycle?
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:42 PM   #7 
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Wow thanks guys! I don't mind doing water changes for a while. I'm eventually going to be upgrading to a 10-15 gallon tank and divide it for my 3 boys! So this 5 gallon is only temporary, hopefully a few months

I think I'll stick to NOT going a cycle, and just change the water more frequently for him. I really appreciate the help! The people on this site are awesome
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:56 PM   #8 
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I was also considering getting a 5gal tank to cycle this summer.
What are some of the mistakes that could break the cycle?
Going the fishless cycle I have seen users add too much ammonia and kill all the bacteria in the tank. But this can happen in any fishless cycle. This seems to be the most common. Changing too much water can break the fragile cycle, especially when it is first establishing itself (for a fish-in cycle) as drying out kills the bacteria. Not putting in enough dechlorinator has a similar effect of killing good bacteria. If you do cycle, go with either pure ammonia or dead shrimp. Fish-in cycles are stressful on both you and the fish.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:03 PM   #9 
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Oh no, I was definitely planning on doing a pure ammonia based cycling. I don't think I would ever willingly use fish for a cycling process.
Once it's established, how is it maintained? Do you simply have to not change the filter and clean the gravel at the same time?
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:13 PM   #10 
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Never changing the filter is a great way to keep a cycle, but it is just one step. Never do a 100% water change. This will kill the good bacteria. Vacuuming the gravel is something that you should do ever other week as the gravel is where a lot of the good bacteria establish themselves. And while you're cycled I wouldn't do anything but a light vacuum. I also don't like to add water to the tank that hasn't already had dechlorinator added although some will dose the tank and then add water with chlorine. I think that is gambling too much.
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