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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have 3 bettas that are in heated 3 gallon tanks each and I keep up with water changes and such.

for a long time I've wanted to get filters and cycle their tanks. I know since I have fish already I have to do the "fish-in" method but I really don't want to do that. I don't want to stress the fish out and since this is my first time starting a cycle I don't want to mess up and kill my babies.

I had a plan to get new tanks for each other (one at a time) and cycle them and then add the fish in them. But I had a bit of a crisis where all my tanks broke/malfunctioned (i've had them from 10 years plus) and they were acrylic. so I have to buy the new tanks and put them in them immediately.

Would it be possible for me to "cycle" in a separate container thats the same size as the tank (like a bucket or something) and then when the "tank" is cycled just add the water and filer and filter media to my existing tanks? Is this not possible?

Would it be important to have decor in these "mock tanks" because its possible for me to do that.

My tanks are not planted so the only living thing is the fish.
 

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I have only read about this: a bucket will work but you need to have let's say a sponge filter in there or something for the bacteria to attach to, best thing seems to be a sponge filter. Do you want to do fish-in-bucket or no-fish-bucket? lol. Please see my recent post as for planned cycled tank as we may be going thru similar process!! When I say sponge filter that includes air pump set up too. And then let the cycling process begin ( with all the attendant gear and chemicals and bacteria and test kits and so forth). Great stickies here to read, IMHO.

And your babies are gorgeous!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, i was planning on getting a sponge filter. I have done the same research as you it sounds like and a sponge filter seems to be the best choice (obviously an air pump set up as well).

It would be a no-fish-in-bucket sort of thing so a "fishless cycle". I already have a great liquid test kit and was planning on doing the "fishless cycle using shrimp" (one of processes described in the "a beginner's guide to freshwater aquarium cycle").

I read your post and it does sound like we may be going through a similar process!

Thank you! yours are too!
 

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Ok we can hang together on this thing!!! Many best wishes!
 

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I currently have 3 bettas that are in heated 3 gallon tanks each and I keep up with water changes and such.



for a long time I've wanted to get filters and cycle their tanks. I know since I have fish already I have to do the "fish-in" method but I really don't want to do that. I don't want to stress the fish out and since this is my first time starting a cycle I don't want to mess up and kill my babies.



I had a plan to get new tanks for each other (one at a time) and cycle them and then add the fish in them. But I had a bit of a crisis where all my tanks broke/malfunctioned (i've had them from 10 years plus) and they were acrylic. so I have to buy the new tanks and put them in them immediately.



Would it be possible for me to "cycle" in a separate container thats the same size as the tank (like a bucket or something) and then when the "tank" is cycled just add the water and filer and filter media to my existing tanks? Is this not possible?



Would it be important to have decor in these "mock tanks" because its possible for me to do that.



My tanks are not planted so the only living thing is the fish.
All you need to do is throw a filter on it (azoo palm mini HOB costs $7 at foster and smith website) and continue to do exactly what you've been doing all this time. Don't change a thing about your routine. Only difference is you aren't going to continuously clean everything, if that's something you do. It's really that easy :) Cycling the tank won't be any more stressful than it's current situation.
 

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I do sometimes wonder if the filter-less crowd knows it's literally that easy to cycle their tank. Just throw a filter on the tank and continue with your normal water change routine. It's a tremendous peace of mind to know that your fish aren't going to die if you don't change the water.

By NOT filtering the tank you are keeping the fish in a permanent fish-in cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
oh okay. well then that sounds pretty simple.
I'll still test the water a lot to make sure that the levels are good.
Thanks the info everyone!
 

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I think adding a bottle of (dated fresh) bacteria -to a fish in cycle-wouldn't hurt anything. I am sold on the one I used recently, have had PERFECT water testing now, going on week 4 of a new tank! It was worth every penny-LOL (especially since it came free with my new tank)! You will see me, telling everyone how great that was, because I was VERY NERVOUS and VERY SKEPTICAL about harming my dear little Betta Fish. Wow, was I in for a great surprise (shock, actually)! And perhaps, I just got lucky. I did the same for my daughter's 5 gal recently, handed that down to her. I go tomorrow to do water testing on how that is going on week 3 now, and hoping for good water testing results for the "Grand Betta"- HA!
 

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Yup, bacteria in a bottle has worked well for a lot of people. Some work better than others though so do your homework :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah i heard bacteria in a bottle is helpful. Can any one recommend one over the others? I've read into a few but Id rather hear from someone who has used one and had success or no success.
 

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I used Tetra Safe Start, worked very well for me, 2x-amt it said (said it treated 40 gal for whole bottle, I used it all for a 20g). This is just my first experience with cycling, deliberate water testing and cycling. I was nervous, skeptical, and amazed it was that easy!
 

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Yahoo! <what IXOYE said! check expiration dates on bacteria bottle is what I have read....check levels to make sure bacteria are operating is what I understand, after you add them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you both IXOYE and mobius981. I'll try Tetra safe start. I'll probably add the filters to 2 of my tanks this weekend since their tanks came with filters. and get a filter for the 3rd one in the coming weeks :)
I have the API master freshwater test kit so I'll be testing their water like crazy to make sure everything is okay.
 

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We are doing the same thing!! I decided on fish-in based on the great instructions.
Best of luck, I am pulling for both of us!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm officially putting a filter in one of my tanks tomorrow (testing it at least) when I do a 100% water change on my boy Ronnie's tank. very excited and very nervous.
 

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Fingers crossed, lol!!
 

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Change half the water whenever ammonia or nitrite near 0.50ppm dosing Prime @ 2-drops/gal with water changes and 1-drop/gal daily until cycled.

It's that easy.

TSS is the most commonly used live bacteria cycle starter. If it's fresh and never been frozen or overheated it works just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
sounds pretty easy. Thanks!

Just added the filter to my boy Ronnie'e tank. He seems to really like it. I'm going to have to wait a few days before I add one to my girl Stella's. I think the current will be too strong for her (she's SUPER tiny female) so I'm going to go buy stuff to buffer the filter and then add the filter during her next water change.
 

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I just cycled 3 tanks and one large drip system with bacterias in bottle. The only product that ever worked for me is Tetra Safestart.

When using Safestard you must wait 24 hours after putting a dechlorinator and not put any for 7 days after putting the bacterias. It seem that the bacterias are bind to an ammonia molecule and by adding a dechlorinator that neutralizing the ammonia this will make the bacteria starve.

So I use Prime to start the aquarium, then 24 hours later I put Tetra safe start, then I check for ammonia, but never saw any trace of ammonia with this product. It's working very well. After a week or two I check for nitrates and bingo, the cycle is done.
 

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I just cycled 3 tanks and one large drip system with bacterias in bottle. The only product that ever worked for me is Tetra Safestart.

When using Safestard you must wait 24 hours after putting a dechlorinator and not put any for 7 days after putting the bacterias. It seem that the bacterias are bind to an ammonia molecule and by adding a dechlorinator that neutralizing the ammonia this will make the bacteria starve.

So I use Prime to start the aquarium, then 24 hours later I put Tetra safe start, then I check for ammonia, but never saw any trace of ammonia with this product. It's working very well. After a week or two I check for nitrates and bingo, the cycle is done.
I've done some research in this area and I've never run across anything that said a de-chlorinator would interfere in any way with the initial growth of nitrifying bacteria. Indeed, the opposite is the case. Failure to use one will result in a non-starter as the chlorine in the water kills the BB before they have a chance to settle in someplace.

Also, of the products I am familiar with, mostly with Seachem Prime, their action is to bind with the toxic ammonia, locking it into the non-toxic ammonium for roughly 24-48 hours. The bacteria that consume the ammonia in the water do not differentiate between the toxic ammonia / non-toxic ammonium. They will consume both without any bias.

I have recently cycled a tank using both Prime to condition the water and a bacterial product that seeds Nitrosomonus and Nitrosporia (nitrifying bacteria we want). I used them at the same time and had no problems with the tank cycling.

I've read your posts in a different thread concerning use of TSS and Prime together, and I mean no offense to you with this post. I want you to know that I am certain you've done your homework and I don't doubt ypour experience, that you've found a method that works for you; however, I've been unable to confirm that Prime kills off TSS bacteria. TSS seeds the same Nitrosomonus and Nitrosporia as some other products. The Prime in the water does not act upon the bacteria, but on any ammonia (among other things) existing in the water. And whether the by product of that interaction is ammonia or ammonium, the BB will use it for their process.
 
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