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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! :-D

Recently I've decided to upgrade my betta's tank from a one gallon to a ten gallon. Long story short, I have been on new medicine that has made it hard for me to keep up with weekly water changes. It hasn't been fair to him, so maybe giving him more space and more clean water will be healthier for him until I can find a new medicine that works/stop taking medicine/kill my doctor. :mrgreen:

Anyway, I have a list of the things I think are good, but want to write them down just in case I'm mistaken:

- Top Fin 10 Gallon Aquarium Kit

http://www.petsmart.com/fish/aquari...-catid-300013?var_id=36-17606&_t=pfm=category

- Top Fin 100 Watt (?) Heater

I'm not quite sure of the wattage but I know it is for tanks size 10-20 gallons and is on sale. :p

- API Quick Start Aquarium Cycling Water Conditioner

http://www.petsmart.com/fish/water-..._id=36-17677&_t=pfm=category&pfmvalue=faceted

I'm also getting gravel, various safe ornaments and plants, all that fun stuff. I already have ZooMed Betta water conditioner, Aqueon Betta pellet food, a mercury thermometer, and a moss ball.

I think my biggest question is about cycling the tank. I have read about the various methods of cycling, but was wondering if API Quick Start actually works and would take the hassle out of cycling? Of course I would wait a week or so to out my betta in the new tank, but is this an acceptable/easy process? I work at PetSmart (I should know more about fish :oops:) and always recommend Quick Start to the idiot customers that insist on getting their fish and brand new tank on the same day. But does it actually work or is it just a gimmick?

Also, my manager told me that the filter would cause too much current for the betta when I was thinking about getting a 5.5 gallon instead. Is this a problem in the 10 gallon?

Is there anything else I should know/correct? Also, I do get 15% off at PetSmart so if I need to get a different item please suggest one at PetSmart if possible. ;-)

Thank you so much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've been doing more research and the API stuff sounds like a gimmick. I guess my next question is how long does it take for a tank to fully cycle? I'll use one of the fishless methods. I know that seeding a tank helps kicks tart the process. Would "stealing" a used filter from work be okay, or is that too much/too dirty? I am going to purchase the tank and supplies tomorrow. :)
 

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I have used the API quick start and had good success with it. There's no guarantee, but a small bottle is pretty cheap if you want to try it out. Just make sure that the bottle is fresh (like just off the truck) and don't open it until you're ready to use it. Once it's been opened for about 48 hours, the bacteria are dead and won't be able to do their job of cycling.
I know the bottle says to use it for quite some time, but that's just a gimmick to get people to buy more product. It'll only work once.

So, the other things, let the ammonia in your tank get to 0.25 before you add the quick start. (You can put his water change water from his bowl into the new tank until you hit this level.) This allows the bacteria to have something to eat right away. But, any higher than 0.25 and you can stall out the cycle because it's TOO much ammonia for them to deal with.

Also, you really, really must get an API master freshwater test kit. Those strips are really, really inaccurate, and you won't get the readings that you need. The kit runs about 25$, but it's worth it, plus, it'll last you just about forever. :)

After putting in the API stuff, go on ahead and put in your fish, you'll need him in there so that the ammonia is still being produced. You'll still need to do water tests to make sure that the API is working. If it doesn't then just go ahead and do a normal fish-in cycle with Prime. If you need help, PM me and I've got a list of how the cycle works, what's going on, and very, very easy step-by-step instructions. :)

I've read good and bad reviews about the Top Fin heater. You can try it, and see if it works, or you can go on ahead and get a fluval or something similar for about the same price and higher quality. It's up to you. :) 100 watts is good, is it adjustable?

Go ahead and use the zoomed betta conditioner, but in the future go on ahead and get either Seachem Prime (if you do a fish-in cycle you'll have to get this because Prime is special, it helps decrease ammonia during the cycling process and conditions the water), or Tetra Aquasafe Plus, because you'll get a LOT more product for a lot less money than the "betta-specific" little bottles. :) Again, just advertising. Water conditioner is water conditioner. :)

The aqueon betta pellets are, unfortunately, junk. :( They're mostly filler and just really poor quality, which can cause health issues with your little guy. The two that are most rec'd are NLS (new life spectrum) or Betta Buffet flakes. My guys won't eat the flakes, but they will go nuts for NLS. :) It's a little more expensive, but your fish will be healthier, and they'll eat less, so overall the value is better. :)

As for the filter, there are three things you'll need to do with it. First, on the intake tube (the tube down in the water) will need to be wrapped in aquarium sponging (sometimes called filter floss) so protect the betta from getting sucked up into or against it. This is *really* important. :) Just take a rubberband and wrap the sponge around the tube and you're good to go. :)
Next, take out the cartridge. You don't NEED carbon. There are arguments that it's actually harmful because the carbon absorbs everything, even nutrients that your fish needs. So, ditch it. :) Take more of the aquarium sponging, cut it to size, and shove that down into the filter box. Leave it in there until it starts to fall apart. (This can take months, even a year or more.) Once it starts to really fall apart, shove some new sponging in there with it so that you don't crash your cycle. Leave them both in there together for a couple of weeks to allow the new sponging to colonize with bacteria, then just take out the old stuff. :)
NEVER ever run the sponges under tap water. If they start to look gunky, just swish them off in old tank water and stick them back into the filter box. :)
Third, you'll need to take some more of that sponging and cut it to fit into the outflow of your filter and then hang down into the water. This is cut down or eliminate the current from the filter going into the water and keep your betta happy. Aquarium sponging is going to be your new best friend, lol! ;)

Hope that helps!! :)
 

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I've been doing more research and the API stuff sounds like a gimmick. I guess my next question is how long does it take for a tank to fully cycle? I'll use one of the fishless methods. I know that seeding a tank helps kicks tart the process. Would "stealing" a used filter from work be okay, or is that too much/too dirty? I am going to purchase the tank and supplies tomorrow. :)
Sorry, posted before I saw that you'd put this up in the meantime. :)

Cycling can take a week or a month...it depends on you, your fish, your water chemistry, the temperature...the list goes on and on. A general estimate is about a month.

The best fishless method is with pure ammonia, which can be purchased through Amazon...I think?

Stealing a used cartridge from work would definitely work to speed up the cycle, BUT, you then have to be concerned about what diseases and things you may be introducing into your tank. Just make sure that whatever media you're getting is coming from clean tanks. :)

Best of luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ah thank you so much for your help!

That's good to know, I was reading that it was junk. If it helps the cycle go faster I will give it a try. ^^ Ok, I think I'm following you. So I start with dirty water to get the ammonia up to 0.25 but no more, and then once it gets there add the API Quick Start and then almost immediately after put the fish in? Hmm... I might just use the prime, would that be easier? I'm just, woah this is a lot haha, whatever is easiest but still works y'know. XD

I'll get one of the kits. :3 Yeah, true. If I don't like it I can bring it back though, PetSmart is good about that stuff. I don't think it is adjustable though. I wouldn't worry about frying him, because my house is on the colder side.

Thanks! So should I use both the Betta conditioner and the Seachem prime for now? I just asked my other manager that and he said that the Betta conditioner was even more diluted. >< Oh well it was only like two bucks heh.

That's good to know, I was wondering about that. Is that the brand name? I'll try the NLS. ^^

Ok that's super! Can I get the sponge at PetSmart? So no filter packs at all? Cool I won't buy more haha. I'm so glad I came here before I bought things.

There are so many diseases and gross things, I'd better not risk it. >< But thank you so so so much!!!!! I will definitely PM you if I need help. I probably will because I'm clueless. XD

I'll have good things to tell customers at PetSmart too. They probably won't listen but at least I won't feel as bad giving them the right information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Quick Start is a lot cheaper online, an the place I'm getting it from is an hour away, would that work? Or dead bacteria?
 

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It's hard to tell. :( I've never ordered it, but I'd assume it would be the same as having it shipped to the store. If you're ordering, the *best* rec'd stuff is Dr. Tim's One and Only. They make it up and ship it directly to you, so the highest chance of success. :)

Snails will be fine with the cycling. :)

I don't know if I got sponge at Petsmart or Petco (ours are about five minutes apart and I go to both, whichever I'm closest to), but I'd bet that Petsmart will carry it. :)

You can use the Prime on it's own, it conditions the water in addition to buffering the ammonia. Once you're cycled you won't have to worry about the ammonia anymore, but the Prime is still great as a water conditioner. :)

It's really good to have an adjustable heater because they seem to heat better (get the water warmer) and for some diseases you need a higher or lower temp during treatment. I started off with pre-set heaters, and later upgraded to adjustable and the tanks have been so much warmer since then. :)

Here's a link to the fluval heaters that I've had good success with:
http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-Marina...837082&sr=8-3&keywords=fluval+100+watt+heater
And the Dr. Tim's:
http://www.drtimsaquatics.com/

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh cool, I like this Seachem stuff. So if I am ordering, Dr. Tim's is better than Seachem? Is that an exclusive product?

If you haven't heard of it, thatpetplace.com has super good deals. I mean I've really only used them for small animal things but you can't beat the prices.

Oh thank you, I will check it out!
 

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the closest thing you can get to an "instant cycle" is taking filter contents from an already cycled tank, and putting the filter's insides in your new filter's inside to help "jumpstart" the cycle. There's no such thing as a "100% instantly cycled tank", but you can do things to help speed the process along.

I use prime to help control my water parameters (ammonia, nitrate, etc...). It's a little expensive, but SO worth the price. I use wonder shells to help keep my pH level around neutral. Remember, you need a decent amount of electrolytes within your tank before adding wonder shells. People have thrown them in there tank, only to have their fish dyed, because the shell "shocked" the fish's systems because they didn't have enough electrolytes already in the water.
 

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I've started a dozen tanks instantly by transferring media from an existing tanks filter to the new tanks filter. 100% from day one.

There is only one reason why it would not provide an immediate 100% cycle, and that is not transferring enough media for the stock.... A mistake that usually corrects itself in a few days. Any longer than that and you've really underestimated the amount of media required to do the job.
 

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It was not an instant cycle, but I've had tanks that were at 0.25 ammonia, put in the Quick Start, and had a full cycle going within three days. I had to redo all five tanks at one point, and in hopes that I wouldn't have to cycle them all individually, I put in the product figuring it was worth a shot. All but one cycled in the three days, and the fifth I waited to long after opening the product to put it in. (Which is why I caution anybody trying this that they must use the contents within 48 hours for it to work.) I purchased an additional bottle for the fifth tank and had a good, strong cycle going very quickly.

I'd read mixed reviews on the products, found one that I thought might actually work based on reviews, and never had an issue from that point onwards. All tanks are different, and each of these products have had people who didn't get results, but overall the technology is apparently there, but more often than not, when used in a certain way, these "cycle in a bottle" products (the quality ones) DO have the ability to work and work well. Not 100% of the time, and it does require some care and some continued monitoring, but there is a success rate that's not too shabby.
 

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I've absolutely 100% instant cycled all the tanks I'm currently running ( more then I care to count lol) . Also will be instant cycling my 225g very soon. Transferring media from an established tank is a fantastic tool. The term used for that is cloning . You've cloned the bb from an established tank that way . No mini cycle if enough media was transferred .

For anyone new to fishkeeping that wants to try this .. This source is a good tool.
http://www.angelsplus.com/FiltersSpongeActive.htm

Sent from Petguide.com App
 

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I'd say get the NLS Betta pellets or the Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets (pellets are almost always better than flakes). I've always used Omega One and use it for most of my fish stuff when I can. I have better results on it than I have with NLS but a lot of people like NLS better so you just have to kinda form your own opinion :)

I've always done fish-in cycles but KEEP UP WATER CHANGES. Very very important. OldFishLady water change schedule (In case it hasn't been posted yet.)

Also I recommend sand instead of gravel. Debris sits on top and you can just hover the gravel vac over it to pick it up and if you decide to get a bottom feeder (like pygmy cories) a lot prefer sand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I know it's been awhile but let me give an update... I'm really confused on everything. ><

A few days ago I fixed up Snap's new tank. I ended up with the Top Fin ten gallon "Goldfish" starter kit. I rinsed everything and put in new water along with that week's old water. I also put sponge in the filter, around the intake, and over the part that causes current. I tested the water the next day and everything was way off, and I panicked and changed the whole tank. I was probably not seeding the tank right... So now I have him in that same tank but it is divided now and there are ghost shrimp on the other side (that's another story though). The water is at 79 degrees and I conditioned it with prime and am going to test it daily. How does this all work out? Do I just put in more prime when the ammonia becomes high? I have the API master test kit. I wish I was better at this. >< He seems to really be enjoying himself, though. He swims around actively and his fins aren't clamped or anything.

I have ghost shrimp questions but I'll probably make a different thread.
 
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