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I'm planning on getting a Fluval Chi for my next betta.

Last time, I didn't cycle, and it was a hassle doing the water changes. Eventually, I slacked a bit... :( poor Skittles died. :cry:

So yeah. I want to learn from my experience and do better this time. :) I doubt my parents will let me take care of a fish until the summer (too much stuff going on in school).

But I'm okay with that, because it means I have a lot of time to plan and make sure EVERYTHING is perfect. :D Also, I can spend a lot of time during the summer doing water testing, etc.

I chose the Fluval Chi because it's really pretty; my parents would love to keep it in the living room so I don't have to worry about their complaints. Also, I've heard the filter is pretty good. I'll make sure to get the separate cover so my betta won't jump out!

I'm also getting a gravel vacuum/siphon thing to help with water changes.

I'm not good with live plants....that scares me a bit. ^_^; so I think I'll stick with artificial. I know the Chi design has some centerpieces specific to it, so I'm going to check those out.

Also, just the betta. I can't handle the responsibility of other fish. >__<

Okay. Do you guys think this set-up works well?

Now, to the hard part: I have no clue how to cycle. I've read up so much about it, and yet it still seems like SUCH a daunting task. Almost like a science project or something. xD

And how do you even cycle a 5 gallon tank? All the forums I've visited, most people have larger tanks, like 10 gallons and more.

Despite this, I'm determined to cycle. I really want to do this, and I'm strangely excited too. :3

Definitely a fishless cycle as well. I am not risking my betta's life. ^_^;

What do I use as a source of ammonia? I don't really want to go with pure, as I have no clue where to find that. I'm thinking of doing fish food. If I do use fish food, what kind? I definitely don't want to use shrimp because it might stink and look disgusting....my parents would be so mad. xD

I know I have lots of questions, but I'm really just looking for an in-depth explanation of fishless cycling specific to my situation - a five-gallon Fluval Chi. So please, some help! :)
 

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Cycling is easy. People make it out to be a big deal, and it really isn't.

If you have a filter and a betta in your tank, it will cycle all by itself without you having to do anything. It's also perfectly safe for the fish. Fishless cycling is for community tanks where a huge bioload is introduced all at once.

All you need to do is monitor the water quality and carry out the appropriate changes. Whenever the ammonia hits 0.25ppm or greater, do a 50% water change.

This is what I did for my betta and it's a whole lot easier than messing around with pure ammonia or decaying fish food for weeks on end.
 
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