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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I would have posted this on this discussion but it鈥檚 not open any more. Is it truly safe to do a fish in cycle this way? The internet is so full of LOUD opinions! 馃槄 I鈥檓 looking forward to adopting my new betta and want to do it right. If a fishless cycle is as safe as a fishless one (I鈥檓 pretty diligent), I鈥檒l likely adopt Santino this weekend!

And yes, I already have his name picked out. My last betta, may he swim in peace, was named Vito after the head of the Corleone family in The Godfather. It鈥檚 only right that Sonny should come next!
 

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Hello!

You were in the right section already when reading the sticky note about fish - in cycling via the 2 sentence tutorial.

While I like to cycle especially heavy planted tanks before putting in fish, it is safe to fish - in cycle a tank if you follow the tutorial accurately.

I have performed it many times without any issues. You鈥榣l need a testing method (like API Freshwater Master Test Kit) and Seachem Prime. Ideally also a tank dedicated kitchen thermometer to prepare water for changes and monitor tank temperature.
 

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Fishless cycle purists when they read this:

Forehead Nose Mouth Jaw Tie


Godfather references aside, they wouldn't be able to sell bettas as "starter pets" if they couldn't survive a fish-in cycle. As Feanor said above, diligent attention to water quality is important, but it can definitely be done.
 

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Sundance (Elephant Ear Betta), Johnny (Guinea pig), Kooky (Guinea pig)
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I legit knew nothing about cycling when I bought my girl. We just wanted to save her. She spent like 2 days in a crappy tank with blue gravel before I bought Fritz Turbo 700 so I cycled it with her in it and THEN I screwed up and killed off all the bacteria when I switched her to a planted tank with new substrate (and yea I changed the filter too for a bigger one. DERP) so I had a 0.25ppm ammonia spike I had to recycle with her all over again.

What I did was use fritz turbo 700 WITH Seachem stability every single day for about two weeks and every 48 hours put about 10 drops (2 drops per gallon) of Seachem prime to neutralize the ammonia until the bacteria could get all colonized. It was sloppy as hell but it all worked out and we're like...5ppm nitrates a month later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Fishless cycle purists when they read this:

View attachment 1037042

Godfather references aside, they wouldn't be able to sell bettas as "starter pets" if they couldn't survive a fish-in cycle. As Feanor said above, diligent attention to water quality is important, but it can definitely be done.
I would like you to know that Vito (SIP) loves you. 馃槀 I鈥檓 sure Sonny does too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all so much! This puts me much more at ease! Assuming the grief of losing my boy a month ago doesn鈥檛 return, I鈥檒l be adopting Santino this weekend! I鈥檒l post pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi again friends!

The cycle seems to be going swimmingly (if you鈥檒l pardon the pun!). 馃槄

Two questions:

1. Is it okay if not all the ammonia is gone after a water change? At least at first? I would think yes so that the bacteria have a good source?

2. Can a high PH (whopping 8.2 to 8.4) be from the cycle? (I tested my tap water, it鈥檚 well below 8 although above 7, I also added some PH down from API to start)

Thanks again!
 

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1. In a way - yes. But with your relatively high (alkaline) pH I鈥榙 do 25% water changes whenever Ammonium reading says 0.25. Reason is, that those 2 are related and with higher pH the harmful part (NH3) rises more compared to the "not harmful" (NH4).
Liquid tests say "Ammonium Test鈥 but actually don鈥榯 differentiate between NH3 and NH4.
Sounds complicated and I鈥榤 surely explaining it not very correctly, but that鈥榮 how I understand it馃榾.

You could also just change a bit more water each time to be on the safe side.

2. In an indirect way - yes! CO2 and pH are related. With aeration of the tank due to the filter, carbonic acid in the water is transformed to CO2, thus "leaves the tank" and this raises the pH level. It鈥榮 normal to have slight changes in pH throughout a 24 hrs period in planted tanks as plants produce CO2 during night time (like we exhale it night & day) and consume it during daylight hours.

Using regular pH down products as sold in pet shops isn鈥榯 something I would recommend. Eventually they鈥榣l produce pH swings which is not beneficial for fishes.
I鈥榙 rather recommend leaves (Indian Almond, Oak, Beech), Mopani Wood or peat - although they will only have a mini effect considering the likely hardness of your water.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
1. In a way - yes. But with your relatively high (alkaline) pH I鈥榙 do 25% water changes whenever Ammonium reading says 0.25. Reason is, that those 2 are related and with higher pH the harmful part (NH3) rises more compared to the "not harmful" (NH4).
Liquid tests say "Ammonium Test鈥 but actually don鈥榯 differentiate between NH3 and NH4.
Sounds complicated and I鈥榤 surely explaining it not very correctly, but that鈥榮 how I understand it馃榾.

You could also just change a bit more water each time to be on the safe side.

2. In an indirect way - yes! CO2 and pH are related. With aeration of the tank due to the filter, carbonic acid in the water is transformed to CO2, thus "leaves the tank" and this raises the pH level. It鈥榮 normal to have slight changes in pH throughout a 24 hrs period in planted tanks as plants produce CO2 during night time (like we exhale it night & day) and consume it during daylight hours.

Using regular pH down products as sold in pet shops isn鈥榯 something I would recommend. Eventually they鈥榣l produce pH swings which is not beneficial for fishes.
I鈥榙 rather recommend leaves (Indian Almond, Oak, Beech), Mopani Wood or peat - although they will only have a mini effect considering the likely hardness of your water.
Thank you! I鈥檒l do a larger water change tonight and put in some IAL! Just want the best for my buddy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi again all-

Quick cycling question. I have ammonia building up and going down with water changes, nitrate slowly rising, but no nitrite in between. That is the order right?

Ammonia -> Nitrite (NO2-) -> Nitrate (NO3-)

If so鈥hy no nitrite?

Thanks again!
 

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Did you test your tap water for Nitrate?
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I haven鈥檛 - I鈥檒l do that tonight. It has grown to be a darker color since I started the tank up. (Although maybe it鈥檚 my eyes and wishful thinking)
 

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I have kept Betta for 25 years and I have never pre cycled a tank.....it's really a personal preference but I don't have the patience
 
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