Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Cycling - A few questions (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/cycling-few-questions-48577/)

Twitch 08-03-2010 08:28 AM

Cycling - A few questions
 
I have two 2.5 gallon tanks. Is it necessary to cycle these tanks if I keep fish in them? I tested the water out of both tanks. One just has water from the tap and a few baby java ferns that I pulled off the mother plant which is in the other 2.5. The other 2.5 is home to my betta fish, Noah.

Size: 2.5 gallons
Filter: None
Heater: None
Light: None (natural light from windows but the tank is not near a window)
Substrate: None (I plan on using gravel)
Plants: 3-4 baby Java Ferns

ph - 7.2
Hardness - 150
Alkalinity - 80
Chlorine - 0.5 (I have not added any treatment to this water yet)
Nitrate - 0
Nitrite - 0
Ammonia - 3.0 (I believe there is ammonia in my tap water, so that is where the ammonia is coming from)

Noah's Tank:
Size: 2.5 gallons
Filter: None
Heater: None
Light: None (natural light from windows but the tank is not near a window)
Substrate: Gravel
Plants: 1 live Java Fern

ph - 6.6
Hardness - 150
Alkalinity - 0 (I'm pretty sure this is too low)
Chlorine - 0
Nitrate - 10 (he's due for a water change)
Nitrite - 0
Ammonia - 0.5

So is it worth it, or possible, to cycle these tanks? I do not plan on running filters or anything with them as they are just too small to put anything like that on them. They are the little 2.5 gallon tanks you find at walmart with the glass lid.

I plan on getting further into fish like I used to be a few years ago, but I'm starting off with these two tanks for now. I need to pull the 10 or 20g tank out of storage for the little fish I brought home from work (we are not sure what kind he is but he's about an inch long). He will be moving into the 2.5 as soon as I get the water straight. Then once I'm able to get the 10 or 20g out of storage, he'll be going into that as I have no idea how large he will get.

WH2O 08-03-2010 08:42 AM

scince these are too small for a filter, just thriow in a bunch of hornwort or elodea. These have a reputation for vacuming up ammonia and surviving in tanks with no additional light.

jeaninel 08-03-2010 05:05 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I have a couple 2.5 gallon tanks with a filter and heater. The Hagen Elite mini filter is what I used. I found them at Petco. A small sponge filter would also work. The heater is a mini heater like this http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...7&pcatid=12087

You can do it without cycling the tank but it would involve doing large (almost 100%) water changes every couple days and most likely removing the fish when you did water changes.

Here's a pic of one of my Bettas with the filter and heater. It does take up some room but it's much easier maintenance-wise to just do a partial weekly water change (once the tank is cycled) rather than every couple days and worrying about ammonia build up all the time.

Twitch 08-04-2010 08:40 AM

So it is possible and better to cycle the 2.5g tanks. That is the exact tank I have so I'm glad to see there are filters and heaters that fit inside without taking up the whole tank. :)

I tested the water after doing a partial water change on one and treating the water in the other....

Noah's Tank

ph - 6.8
Hardness - 150
Alkalinity - 20 (so going up)
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 10
Ammonia - 0.5
Chlorine - 0

So how best do I go about cycling this tank?

Gill's Tank

ph - 7.5 (is this too high?)
Hardness - 100
Alkalinity - 120
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
Ammonia - 3.0
Chlorine - 0

How best do I cycle this tank?

Byron 08-04-2010 01:13 PM

Not sure if there is some confusion, so I'll briefly explain what I think I'm reading here.

When a fish is put into a container of water, it must "cycle." There is no way around it; nature works that way. The fish produces ammonia, nitrosomonas bacteria "appear" to use the ammonia and produce nitrite, nitrospira bacteria "appear" to use the nitrite and produce (relatively harmless) nitrate. Regular water changes keep the nitrates low. That's how it works in the aquarium and in nature [evaporation, rain, snow melt, constantly flowing water are nature's "water changes"].

Now, there are some shortcuts that will be less stressful on the fish [the above process is highly stressful, and many fish die or may be severely weakened from either the ammonia or nitrite, depending]. The big one is live plants. As someone mentioned previously, stem plants in particular consume a lot of ammonia (as ammonium, another story for later), much more than the bacteria. With live plants in a 2.5g and one fish, you shouold not even detect ammonia or nitrite. The plants will use the ammonia/ammonium and that's it. Nitrate may be very low or even zero, if there are enough plants.

I personally would not bother with a filter in any tank under 10g. I have a 10g now with no filter, and the fish are fine. But it is full of live plants. And since betta need plants, esp floating, I would get some floating plants like Water Sprite if you can, or a stem plant and let it float.

Byron.

jeaninel 08-04-2010 11:00 PM

Yeah, sorry, I forgot to mention plants do help the cycling process. My Betta tanks don't have lights so I go the fake plant route.


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