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You can do fish in cycles. It's pretty simple but you need to keep up on the ammonia, nitrIte and nitrAte testing. I have .25 of ammonia in my tap, so when it went to .5 or sometimes 1.0 I would do a water change. I had 3 fish in a 10G with s mystery snail and did a WC every 3 -4 days. You do need abit of ammonia for the bacteria which is why fishless is usually recommended.

If you only have one fish in a 10G, then I would think you can get away without a filter. I had a divided 10G with 3 and no filter - just use a gravel sipon for when you need to do the 100%. I will admit, I only did the 100% every 2-3 weeks but I still did the 50-75% weekly.
 
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