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Do I NEED a filter on my 10 gallon tank? I have one, but have not used it in almost a week. When I did use it, it never sucked my betta up or "push" my betta around, but he hated it!! He'd hide and I would think he's sick. Now that the filter is off he swims around almost all day. Do I need to use the filter? I'm also trying to cycle the tank and I've gotten pretty much everything safe point on the API tests, except the ph, which I've managed to lower to 7.5. Would the filter help that at all? Also if I put a sponge in it to slow it down what do I need to do so the filter won't dump all the dead bad bacteria in my tank? Please help! I've written a question earlier this week and cannot see where it posted and no one has helped!
 

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http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=115758 According to this, you can do a 10 gallon without cycling, just need more water changes. If the filter is off, the cycle won't really work. I don't know a safe way to mess with the PH. I do know that chemically changing it can cause a lot of fluctuations and be less safe than leaving it a little bit high or low.

I'm not really sure how to help with the filter media after having the filter off for a few days. My guess is that you'd need to swish it in old tank water or add some startzyme type of thing, but I'll let an expert chime in.

To find your old thread, click on your name on this thread, go to public profile, then statistics. There should be a thing there that lets you look at a list of every thread you've started.

Good luck with your fish!
 

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You're welcome! I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful!
 

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In any tank large enough to hold a cycle, a filter makes things much easier and lower maintenance, but as stated above, it's not necessary. I definitely recommend using one though, just because I'm lazy and don't like doing all of the water changes that come along with an uncycled tank!

What do you mean about pushing the bacteria around your tank when you add sponge? Adding sponge to your filter might be the solution to your betta's issue with the filter; even if he's not being blown around by the current, the less water movement the better for bettas.

Aside from the general changes that come with cycling, I don't think the filter would have much of an effect on pH. I definitely wouldn't mess with pH; as long as it's stable, bettas can adapt. However, adding Indian Almond Leaf to your filter or even straight into the tank can be a way to safely alter the pH, but the effect usually isn't huge (though IAL is great and highly recommended for many other reasons!).

How long ago did you turn off the filter? If your tank was cycled or close to it, it would be a shame to let all of that beneficial bacteria go to waste. ;) But if it's been a while since you turned off your filter and you do decide you want to give the filter another try you'll need to start over with a fish-in cycle.
 
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