Okay, so a few weeks ago my betta fish Malibu died. Upon getting a new betta (Picasso :-D) I noticed that the filter I had previously been using in the 5.5 gallon tank was just too strong for him. So, I decided to take out the filter and try an unfiltered tank with frequent water changes. But then the tank keeps getting this nasty film on top because theres no water movement :/ and its just not appealing. So, I want to go back to the filter, but now I'm not sure what that means as far as cycling... Is this tank technically considered "cycled" ? Since there would still be bacteria growth in the tank? I'm not very familiar with the nitrogen cycle, but I've been reading up on it again (I followed the steps provided the first time I cycled it and everything seemed fine).
Since the tank was previously cycled is it okay to start up the filter again with no problems? Obviously I'll be doing the fish-in cycle. My 5.5 gal tank is heated and Picasso has a tankmate, an african dwarf frog named Casper. I also have some java ferns that seem to be doing well. I plan on baffling it so hopefully the current shouldn't be awful and Picasso will be able to swim without problem.
On another note, I have a divided 10 gallon that I would also like to filter. Obviously this tank has never been cycled so I'm really not sure where to begin. I read somewhere that adding filter media or decor from a cycled tank can help start the process. Would adding live plants from my 5.5 g to the 10 be a good idea?
I haven't gotten new filter cartridges yet, but will be doing so later today. I'm a college student and go home on the weekends so I won't be back at my apartment until tomorrow, so it will be another day or so before I add the filters. Just want some advice, thank you for reading