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Hello all,

I have had my male crowntail in a 1G filtered and heated betta tank for the last 10 months. I have been using Topfin Betta water conditioner with him (Yes, I know Prime is supposed to be better but this is what he came with), and giving him 90% water changes every 10 days. It sounds awful but he has been VERY happy with these arrangements and constantly bubblenesting and dancing for me. No clamped fins, illness, etc. ever.

Lately, we have decided it was time for him to have an upgrade and bought him a 5G tank (with filter and heater).
The 1G tank was too small to be cycled, and I confused if I need to cycle the 5G.

We bought it yesterday and I put in enough Topfin water conditioner for the 4G and I was planning on putting him with the rest of his 1G water in the tank in the next couple days. He is still in his 1G, but he appears to be deeply unhappy as his light is broken and the motor on the 1G seems to be a little sluggish today.

I am very confused as to how and when I should introduce him into the tank. I am starting to think that adding the Topfin water conditioner straightaway was a bad idea because it neutralises ammonia.

I don't have any test strips and it will be a few days until I go out and buy some. Should I put in the filter and gravel from his 1G into the 5G and run it for a day?

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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I looked up the instructions for Topfin water conditioner, and it says that it can be used with bacteria starters if you wait 15 minutes between adding the conditioner and the bacterial supplement, so you should be ok.

If you have any beneficial bacteria at all, it will need food--i.e. ammonia from your fish. I don't see any reason to wait a day between adding the filter and gravel to the tank and adding the fish. Test strips are often inaccurate, and I would get the liquid tests if you can.

I would get tests ASAP. I would test your tap water, because it's important to know what is coming into your tank. I would test your 1g before moving anything, so that you have an idea of whether there's a cycle established--it might be difficult to establish a cycle, but it's possible. Then I would move everything--water, decorations, gravel and fish. If there's a cycle completed in the 1g, then I'd run the 1g filter alongside the 5g filter for two or three weeks OR move the filter media from the 1g into the 5g. For a low-current fish like a betta, I'd most likely just move the filter pad from the 1g into the filter for the 5g, just try to stuff it in with the filter pad for the 5g. I would test every day or every other day until I was sure that beneficial bacteria had been established.

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