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Discussion Starter #1
Monday I purchased a 2.5 Oval tank that will some day be home to a beta.
I set the tank up Monday night on the counter in our kitchen using r/o water and adjusted ph 7.2 set the temp to 82F let it run for 36 hours. Testing water yesterday was at 7.2, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate were at zero.
Yesterday around midday I put a pinch of food and only looked at the tank a dozen times until this morning.
Woke up opened the lid to check the water and the smell was so strong I knew cycling has begun. So I tested the water and sure enough ammonia is at 4.0ppm nitrite and nitrate levels are still at zero. The magic has started....exciting....:-D
Question is do I try to do a partial water change today or let things get dirty...
Doing some research from other people I ordered a Biologically Established Active Sponge Filters from Angels Plus which will be delivered today hopefully will speed up the cycling process. I have never tried active media before so I'm anxious to see the results... to be continued....
 

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Don't do a WC just yet. If it gets any higher, do one. Having too much ammonia can stall your cycle. 4ppm is the best amount of ammonia used for cycling a tank. Be careful how much food you put in, you can EASILY put too much and not know it. Good luck!!
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
So I received the active sponge filter today and completed another water test and the levels of ammonia are holding steady at 4.0 with 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate.
Any suggestions on when I should put in the active sponge filter? The sooner the better?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, sooner the better. That will give the Nitrates a jump start.
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The sponge is in the tank and it is almost as big as the tank. I followed the instructions on the side of the bag and am now wondering if the saying the bigger the better is a good thing in this scenario? Take a look at the picture.:|
 

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That tank is as good as cycled right now. I got one of those, along with 8 really expensive angels years ago from there. I talked to Steve about it, set up a 55 gallon after cleaning it really well (bleach, bare bottom tank) and added the angels & filter once they came in. I did a coupe 50% water changes during the week, no problem at all.

That filter will easily handle a betta in a 2.5.
 

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It looks fine to me. You could add a smaller filter if you want (alongside this one) for a few weeks a and then remove the larger one if it's hard on your eyes. But you have to give bacteria time to grow on the new filter. What are your readings now?
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Discussion Starter #8
2.5 Gallon Oval Day 3

So after the first 12 hours of the active sponge in the tank the water levels on the morning of day 3 are:
Ammonia 4.0
Nitrite 0.25
Nitrate 20
It appears as if the little guys are working...so exciting.:-D

Also noticed yesterday as the ammonia levels started to rise without any nitrites or nitrates that the aeration in the tank caused a foam on top of the water. This morning with N's in the tank the foam is gone. Interesting...
 

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Check again tomorrow. If Nitrates are any higher do a WC to bring them down and continue monitoring.
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Discussion Starter #12
2.5 Gallon Oval Day 4

Woke up this morning on day 4 and it was so awesome to check the water levels and see the following results....

ammonia - 0.25ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 20ppm

I'm going to take out the active sponge out and siphon out the little amount of food that is in the tank. The goal I set is to keep the water change to around 1/2 gallon.
Is this a good idea?
 

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If you remove the sponge you remove the bacteria. And if you vaccum the food out you are no longer feeding the Nitrates so they will dissapate. I'd leave it until your ammonia bottoms out at 0. Then you are cycled and can remove a bit of food and add the betta. :)
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If you pull the sponge keep it wet, an old margarine container is the perfect size for working with those filters. Your nitrifying bacteria, thus your cycle is contained in that filter, the tank is just a glass box that keeps everything wet.
 
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