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Hi! I've been following this tutorial for my 5g for about a week, maybe a day or two more. The tank is two months old, and currently only has two snails in it (there was a betta until just recently). I did a large water change before starting the cycling tutorial, and have done a small water change once since, and will be doing another one tomorrow or the day after. It's been a few days since the small water change, and the nitrates read under 20, nitrites read 0, and ammonia reads under 0.25. Is it cycled? or does the ammonia have to be at a perfect 0 to call it cycled? Or does it look like something went wrong, or should I just continue with the daily Prime?
 

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if it still reads 0.25 it is not cycled, continue it a bit longer with the prime, its better to keep the fish safe then be sorry.
 

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Hi there!

So I've had my betta Freddie in a 2.5g tank for about 9 months. I use Prime every day and change about 1/3 of his water every week. I have never had his ammonia reach 0ppm(usually the API test shows a slight green tinge), but his Nitrite and Nitrate are always 0ppm. He's at 78-80 degrees and I suction out the poop and uneaten food every couple of days. I have the Nat.Geo 2.5 Half-Moon Oasis tank. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong to the poor little guy. He seems very happy though.


BUT... i just bought the 5.6 Fluval Spec. I was away from home for a couple of days, so I haven't moved him yet. I have the Seachem Fluorite Black Sand substrate and a couple of plants in the new tank.


I'm planning on testing the water today and adding some new plants and finding him a decoration to hide behind

Should I move Freddie and follow the 50% daily water change when ammonia is >0.5ppm just to get him out of his small tank? I'm really afraid of cycling the tank with him in it and accidentally killing him.
 

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Hi there!

So I've had my betta Freddie in a 2.5g tank for about 9 months. I use Prime every day and change about 1/3 of his water every week. I have never had his ammonia reach 0ppm(usually the API test shows a slight green tinge), but his Nitrite and Nitrate are always 0ppm. He's at 78-80 degrees and I suction out the poop and uneaten food every couple of days. I have the Nat.Geo 2.5 Half-Moon Oasis tank. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong to the poor little guy. He seems very happy though.


BUT... i just bought the 5.6 Fluval Spec. I was away from home for a couple of days, so I haven't moved him yet. I have the Seachem Fluorite Black Sand substrate and a couple of plants in the new tank.


I'm planning on testing the water today and adding some new plants and finding him a decoration to hide behind

Should I move Freddie and follow the 50% daily water change when ammonia is >0.5ppm just to get him out of his small tank? I'm really afraid of cycling the tank with him in it and accidentally killing him.
I have both tanks. It's not your fault that your 2.5 g is not cycled. Mine got a Nitrite spike even after I thought it was cycled. It looks nice but hard to cycle IMO. Filter medias are where most benefitial bacteria live. The tank got a small cartridge that needs to be changed once in a while. I used the cartridge until it started falling apart. But it did spread lint in the surface... You are doing great job keeping the water clean and stay your boy happy :smile2:


I love my Spec V. It is stylish and got a big filter sponge. A big sponge means more room for benefitial bacteria to thrive. I replaced the activated carbon with Seachem Purigen in a bag though. I also replaced the light. It's a personal preference. I like bright lights.


Why don't you try fish-in cycle? When I got my Spec V, I did fish-in cycle and it was easy. What I did was to test water twice or three times a week, dose 11 drops of Prime everyday, and do weekly 50% water change. It never caused a problem. Currently, mine is moderately planted with Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10. You can have Nitrate up to 20 ppm, but never over 20. If it gets over 20, it's time to do some water change.
 

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Ok fresh newbie here! This post is so very helpful I thank you so much. I just have a couple questions.

I have a new tank which was set up on the 31st of March, I bought Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus which claims to neutralize chlorine, chloramines, ammonia and heavy metals. I also bought TopFin Bacteria supplement, and placed them both accordingly into my 3.5 gallon tank. I'm using the filter that came with the tank, which after placing a baffle on the outlet and filter sponge on the inlet works fine for my new Betta. Are either of these products good for cycling or should I discard them and only use this Prime stuff? I bought the bacteria supplement thinking it would help to boost this bacteria in the filter media.

And if these are good for cycling, how should I use them for my tank? They do not have instructions on them for cycling only for starting an aquarium, and the weekly water changes.
 

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With bacteria in a bottle, about 2 weeks, without it takes maybe a month to a month and a half. I used bottled bacteria when I did mine and now I just use seeded media.
 

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Aqueon Bettabowl Plus is a complete and effective water conditioner. Use it up, then replace with Prime.

Topfin bacteria is not so effective. Just follow the tutorial.

With a 10g tank and weekly 25% water changes, the tank will eventually cycle. In the mean time, there will be so little ammonia build-up that your fish will be safe with just a few daily drops of Prime.
 

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I just want to say that this guide is fantastic. Thank you so much for including it. For a new 2.5 gallon tank, I've been testing ammonia every 3 days and doing 25% changes (the reading has consistently been between .25 and .5, but will definitely be checking daily now and upping the change), have also been adding SeaChem Stability daily.

It's good to know that the Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus is okay as a water conditioner, I was concerned that it was the issue and that I should replace it with Prime immediately.

Making the following plan:
1.) Test ammonia daily
2.) 50% change if ammonia still between .25 and .5
3.) Add water conditioner
4.) Add Stability
5.) Keep adding water conditioner and Stability, even once ammonia down to 0.

Thanks again!
 

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That's right. Adding more livestock increases the bioload which then needs more bacteria to oxidize the increased ammonia. The slight ammonia spike that sometimes happens is called a "mini-cycle." Adding Prime @ 2-drops/gal daily keeps the ammonia safely locked until the bacteria colonies grow to balance the new bioload.

Alternatively, you can fishless cycle a filter in a separate container, then install it in the display tank, which would then be effectively cycled. This is called a "bucket cycle."
Is this how external cycle tanks for bettas work? I was curious if worth doing an exernal cycle to add two fish to a new divided tank. Is there a process for the external cycle or bucket method that you mention?

Also, on the prime drops, should you be adding prime daily if you are in-fish cycling and changing the watever every other day? Is it better to just add prime with the water change or does the drops of prime allow for more bacteria to grow since not changing as frequently? I have a 3.5 g tank for that question.

thanks!
 

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Hello... I'm about to cycle my 2.5 without my betta. He has been sick for a while and I currently have him quarantined in a 1 gal and its going strong!

I heard digging some fish food into the substrate can help produce bacteria necessary to cycle the tank. Can i do that instead of purchasing bacteria?

When you mention the 50% water change and then adding the prime... even though the tank already has prime in it, do I still add a NEW dose of 2 drops per gal again?

Also, does this apply to regular water changes? Ie, I do a 25% water change and add another dose of prime of 2 drops per gal? I mean, the dose resets because I'm changing water?

Would adding the dirty water from the wate change of my 1 gal mixed with regular water help cycling faster?

Lastly, everyday I do a water change and that dose of prime as said above for 10-14 days? It doesn't have to be that time frame, right? If everything is clean, I can add my betta, no?

Thanks!
 
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