01-05-2011, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by i swim
i read it and am still confused. for my betta fish (1/2 gallon. will upgrade so dont worry) i use spring water. i have never cycled his tank. i read the sticky but it was still confusing. do you do it only once or every week? im sorry but im just really confused. is it only if u use tap water?
In a sense you only do it once when you start up a new tank. "Cycling" a tank means establishing the colony of beneficial bacteria that take care of the ammonia produced by fish waste and leftover food, etc. An ammonia source is needed to start the cycle. Fish produce ammonia so once fish are added the cycle will start automatically. Your job is to monitor the water conditions while the bacteria is establishing itself and do water changes as needed to make sure ammonia and nitrite levels don't get too high as this will be fatal to fish. A good test kit (liquid type, not the dip strips) is essential in helping you know where you are in the cycle. If you are going to use fish to cycle your tank it's important to only start with a few hardy fish and not add anymore fish until the cycle is complete. A lot of people prefer to do a "fishless" cycle using pure ammonia drops and this way needless fish deaths are avoided. But it can be kind of confusing for a beginner. If you have a friend who has an established tank using some filter media from their tank will help jump start the cycle greatly. Your tank is fully cycled once ammonia and nitrite levels drop to 0 and remain there and you have some reading for nitrates.I hope this made sense. Please don't hesitate to ask more questions.