Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
-   Beginner Freshwater Aquarium (
-   -   How does one properly cycle a 3 gallon tank? (

otter 01-19-2013 06:51 PM

How does one properly cycle a 3 gallon tank?
Hello, I have a 3 gallon tank that houses one male betta.
There are also 3 moss balls in the tank.
I have a 3 gallon filter and a 10 watt heater in there too plus an LED light.
I just tested my water and it seems as though it isn't cycled.
I thought it was cycled, but I guess not. I went on a 10 day trip, and left the tank to my pet sitter, so I missed one water change, but am going to do that tomorrow.
I just tested the water, So there is no ammonia, but there is 0.25 nitrite. There is 0 nitrate.
I do 50% water changes one week, and then the next week a do a 100% water change and so on, but I leave a little bit of water at the bottom with the gravel with 100% water changes.
I also leave the filter in a bucket of old aquarium water, so the bacteria does not die.

How do I properly cycle this little tank?

Byron 01-19-2013 06:57 PM

I would just add some live plants. And with a Betta, floating plants like Water Sprite are ideal. This takes up a vast amount of ammonia/ammonium and you should never see nitrite, and perhaps not nitrate either, in a tank with fast growing plants. And floating plants are fast growing.

Click the shaded name for the profile with pictures of the Water Sprite. Another good floating plant is Brazilian Pennywort a stem plant that can be left floating.


FishyFishy89 01-19-2013 07:40 PM

I use Anacharis and Duckweed right now in my betta's 5.5 gal. I've also used Wistera with the Anacharis.

JDM 01-19-2013 09:53 PM

Ditto the plants. My daughter kept her betta in a smallish pitcher, about a gallon, and not only changed her water but scrubbed the pitcher, gravel and rocks every five days. I dont think she let any bacteria grow but she had a moss ball and a couple of very healthy green cabomba stems. Never had a problem, cycling wasn't even a consideration. Of course he now has more space in a 37 gallon tank. I moved the cobomba to the large tank and it withered and died, the only plant that did that, I think it didn't like the higher temperature.

Of course this doesn't deal with your nitrites, so just do a 100% water change and drop in the plants. One fish and 5 gallons, one decent sized floater ought to do it, maybe two for redundancy.


otter 01-19-2013 09:59 PM

Thanks all!
I have some java moss, will that be ok?
I'm terrible at growing plants, I've even killed some anubias, which is very hard to kill.
Do I need any new things besides what I have in my tank currently for the plants to grow?
my ph is about 7.0-7.5
I'm not positive on the exact number.

JDM 01-19-2013 10:07 PM

Moss can't hurt, but it's so slow a grower that I don't think it is a very good ammonia sink.


otter 01-20-2013 10:50 AM

thanks! I will look for some more plants! :)

jeaninel 01-20-2013 01:11 PM

Anacharis is cheap and is a fast grower. I swear it grows a couple inches a day in my tanks! You can float it or root it in the gravel. I do both.

beaslbob 01-20-2013 01:16 PM

agree with the above.

perhaps the moss ball will be sufficient for a 3g.

But few bunches of anacharis couldn't hurt.

my .02

JDM 01-20-2013 01:40 PM

I don't trust those moss balls, they look so damn smug.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:31 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome