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Hi all!

I'm new to proper betta care and my little guy, Steve, deserves a bigger, better, cleaner tank. So I bought the Fluval Spec V, silk plants, and three different bottles of Fluval tank conditioning stuff, alongside an API Freshwater kit. I have rinsed all items, and I cannot find ANYWHERE a step-by-step guide to doing my first cycle with Fluval tanks.

Can I include a piece of decor from my 2 gallon un-cycled Koller tank and some of Steve's "dirty" water to introduce the necessary ammonia, or should I use the aquarium grade ammonia I also purchased instead? Do I add water dechlorinator before adding ammonia? Do I add the Fluval enhancer (bacteria) when I begin my first cycle?

Please help - I know I could get another fish, but I'm rather attached to my little guy and I'd like to give him a better life as soon as I can. He's doing okay, and has done for a month, in his 2 gallon tank which was never cycled, but conditioned. I am doing 80% water changes on that for now and hoping to keep him stable there until his new 5 gal is cycled. Please advise!
 

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Welcome to the Forum!

Here is this Forum's tutorial on fish-in cycling. If you use SeaChem Prime you are set to go.

I've never fishless cycled so I cannot answer the other questions. I have, however, always fish-in cycled and never harmed any fish. So you can cycle Steve's new tank with him in residence. No need to add any of the old water.

https://www.bettafish.com/30-betta-fish-care/507585-cycling-two-sentence-tutorial.html
 

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Welcome to the forum!

We have a couple of great stickies on cycling that you should check out: https://www.bettafish.com/30-betta-fish-care/507585-cycling-two-sentence-tutorial.html & https://www.bettafish.com/101-betta-fish-bowls-habitats-accessories/107771-nitrogen-cycle-betta-specific.html & https://www.bettafish.com/101-betta-fish-bowls-habitats-accessories/111960-step-step-nitrogen-cycle-guide.html

But here's a general overview for you. Luckily, Fluval tanks cycle exactly the same way as any other!

First, you have to decide if you are doing a "fish-in" cycle or a fishless cycle. If "fish-in" then your betta is the source of ammonia, and he lives in the tank while you cycle. If fishless, your betta stays in a separate tank and you add the ammonia yourself. Neither one is any faster, and if you are careful about your water changes, neither one should be stressful to your betta.

I've never used the Fluval brand bacteria, but I use Tetra SafeStart on all my new tanks to speed up cycling, so here's my advice: Add your water, and conditioner, and turn on your filter. Add your ammonia source- "dirty" tank water isn't a great choice, either use your ammonia bottle or your fish. After 24hrs, add the BB supplement, paying special attention to getting it onto the filter's media. Waiting is important with bottled BB because some types of water conditioner will "bind" to the bacteria's protective layer (this layer is added to make the BB stable in a bottle, natural bacteria don't have it), making them less effective. If you are using your fish as the ammonia source waiting also makes sure there's some ammonia in the water when you add the bacteria, so they can start working right away.

Once the bacteria are added, wait another 24hrs before doing a water change. Again, this is in case the conditioner reacts with any leftover bacteria's protective layer before they have a chance to start colonizing your tank.

Then follow the stickied threads directions for when to do water changes/when to add ammonia- usually, if you're seeing 0.5pmm of ammonia, and any nitrite at all. OR if you have a water conditioner like Seachem Prime that "locks up" the ammonia and nitrite, you can simply add a dose of Prime daily and change the water on a regular weekly schedule. I'm lazy, so that's the route I take. ;)

The length of time needed for a cycle produced by bottled bacteria varies depending on the specific product, you might be seeing 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and 10 nitrate after a week, or not until you reach a month- or closer to two months, if the bottle was "off" and your tank ends up cycling the old-fashioned way.

Good luck, and don't forget to post pics of your fish so we can admire him! :)
 

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Hi all!

I'm new to proper betta care and my little guy, Steve, deserves a bigger, better, cleaner tank. So I bought the Fluval Spec V, silk plants, and three different bottles of Fluval tank conditioning stuff, alongside an API Freshwater kit. I have rinsed all items, and I cannot find ANYWHERE a step-by-step guide to doing my first cycle with Fluval tanks.

Can I include a piece of decor from my 2 gallon un-cycled Koller tank and some of Steve's "dirty" water to introduce the necessary ammonia, or should I use the aquarium grade ammonia I also purchased instead? Do I add water dechlorinator before adding ammonia? Do I add the Fluval enhancer (bacteria) when I begin my first cycle?

Please help - I know I could get another fish, but I'm rather attached to my little guy and I'd like to give him a better life as soon as I can. He's doing okay, and has done for a month, in his 2 gallon tank which was never cycled, but conditioned. I am doing 80% water changes on that for now and hoping to keep him stable there until his new 5 gal is cycled. Please advise!
I love Fluval tanks and filters overall. I have 1 of almost all of them now it seems (not really, but its close).

The 5 is what my Orion is in. It was supposed to be a temporary tank for another Betta but has ended up this guys long term home. The 5 has the adjustable filter flow which is awesome.

For cycling, I've found that taking the filter media from an established tank (great if its another fluval, you can just pull it up and out and over) and placing it in the 'new' tank for at least 24 hours. Your established tank can hold for 24 hours. Also use a gallon or two of the water from the established tank. I've used the fluval bio booster in addition to the above steps and had parameters spot on. Plants happy, fish happy, all numbers hold for ... months now. Of course put in Prime or some other water conditioner, I also add stress guard to all of my tanks after changes.
Just keep them clean. I do check parameters with OCD though, and water changes about 10-15% every 3 days on the new tanks. Just for a little while anyway.

I went and got a non-fluval 10g and I'm really disappointed in it, but I'm trying to make it work.

I hope you and Steve enjoy the spec!
 

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Steve is so happy, you guys! I'm over the moon in love with my little buddy and making sure he has everything he needs. I know a lot of people would say "he's just a fish..." but he's still a living thing and he's so CUUUUUTE. How could you not love the little thing?

I decided to cycle the tank with him in it because a) this way I'll know I can safely do it (I've been doing tests of the water with my API freshwater test kit) and, b) I really wanted to move him into a better living space ASAP.

And it's really paid off. 🙂

The picture quality is terrible and I'm not sure how to fix that. But I've attached photos of him in his new home.
 

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