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View Full Version : Betta and cycling?



Lolita
09-15-2009, 07:22 PM
Okay, I know I already have a thread open, but this is a very specific question that I think should be asked separately.

My friend has never had a tank of her own before, and she's starting up a 5 gallon filtered, heated tank for her betta (which is currently residing in a large fish bowl).

I've heard mixed things on putting betta in tanks.

Does she need to cycle her tank if it's just the 1 betta going in and nothing else, or will she be safe filling the tank using water conditioner, and just letting it take it's course? Obviously she'll use test strips to check on ammonia levels and do water changes as neccesary.

Will the Betta be okay if she handles it this way? I only ask because I know they can survive in an unfiltered fish bowl for quite some time. Thanks!

bluebluecow
09-15-2009, 08:09 PM
hi

Not a betta expert but they can still be a bit sensitive to uncycled tanks, do you have any filter material that you can give to your friend from your tanks. If so make sure its nice old welll cycled filter material from an established tank, then your friend puts it in her filter and it speeds up the cycle to non existance you still need to keep an eye but would be the better soloution

Liz

BirdOfPray
09-15-2009, 08:16 PM
She should be able to do a fish-in cycle, which would basically be putting the fish in the filtered tank and doing partial water changes as necessary. Eventually, the tank should cycle and the water changes won't need to be as frequent. You've said you can't get mature media to her, and I think it would be ridiculous to keep the fish in a smaller, unfiltered bowl while she cycles the tank. :)

If possible, it would be better if she got a liquid test kit since the strips are pretty unreliable. API makes a good master test kit, and I've also used one by Tetra. I think either one costs around $20. You'll get more tests for your money that way, too.

CGY_Betta_Guy
09-15-2009, 08:56 PM
... I think it would be ridiculous to keep the fish in a smaller, unfiltered bowl while she cycles the tank. :)


Besides it being an empty bigger tank why would it be ridiculous? I would think as long as she is maintaining regular water changes on the small betta bowl while she does a fishless cycle on the bigger tank would be a better option. The cycle will happen a bit quicker and the fish is not exposed to ammonia and nitrite spikes associated with a cycle. Its just my opinion but I think its safer for the betta to do it that way.

I do agree that getting the liquid test kits is a better investment than the test strips for accuracy and cost per test.

Tetris
09-16-2009, 02:39 AM
sounds like the betta's been in the bowl long enough that I'll bet some bacteria has colonized on any ornaments or substrate.

Just put the ornaments from the bowl into the aquarium, and use as much of the substrate as possible. Maybe put some of the substrate in the filter as well to help colonize the sponge.

Even with an equivalent amount of beneficial bacteria as the fish bowl, filtration in the aquarium will be improved by the water circulation produced by the filter.

BirdOfPray
09-16-2009, 02:54 AM
Besides it being an empty bigger tank why would it be ridiculous? I would think as long as she is maintaining regular water changes on the small betta bowl while she does a fishless cycle on the bigger tank would be a better option. The cycle will happen a bit quicker and the fish is not exposed to ammonia and nitrite spikes associated with a cycle. Its just my opinion but I think its safer for the betta to do it that way.

I could be wrong (thus "I think"), but it seems like toxins wouldn't reach harmful levels as quickly in a larger tank. I don't see how being in a cycling tank is any worse than being in an uncycled bowl.

Edited to add: Depending on the size of the bowl and the size of the heater, the bowl might also be harder to keep at a constant temperature.

CGY_Betta_Guy
09-16-2009, 05:07 AM
I could be wrong (thus "I think"), but it seems like toxins wouldn't reach harmful levels as quickly in a larger tank. I don't see how being in a cycling tank is any worse than being in an uncycled bowl.

Edited to add: Depending on the size of the bowl and the size of the heater, the bowl might also be harder to keep at a constant temperature.

Those are valid points. It is likely that most of the options presented are viable. I think it was the "ridiculous" that puzzled me. The word just seemed to be dismissive and not open to other alternatives. My intention was to present another way that might be a bit safer for the fishy. Sorry if I sounded critical of your option. Probably really depends on the individual fish's sensitivity to the cycle.

Arkie
09-16-2009, 06:32 AM
i think that tetris' idea of using all the old decor and such would work quite well. with putting some gravel in the new filter you would be basically adding the equilavent to "used media" wouldnt you? id imagine so. and with her keeping a close eye on the parameters i think it would be fine. one betta isnt much of a bioload to start with remember.

Tetris
09-19-2009, 05:25 AM
with putting some gravel in the new filter you would be basically adding the equilavent to "used media" wouldnt you?

Pretty much, you'd just have a smaller seeding population to work with so it might take a little longer (maybe). But it's really the waiting time for that bacteria to develop from scratch that makes cycling such a long process.

Either way, as I said, equivalent bacteria levels will be more effective with water circulation as opposed to without it. Besides that the extra water will dilute any toxins. So as long as you use EVERYTHING from the fish bowl in the aquarium, your betta will be better off in the aquarium.

rlkramer1
09-20-2009, 02:53 PM
I agree the tank is 'better' than the bowl. But I just bought a book on bettas yesterday and it cautions that bettas are somewhat sensitive to ammonia and should only go into an established system. jm2c