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  1. #1

    Question some questions about starting up again.

    0 Not allowed!
    First i'll give you background of my experience. Over the last ~3 years or more i have had a 20 gallon high running, Along the way i have had bumps along the way like some sickness outbreaks twice an a algae problem. I had the tank half stocked at best due to budget at one time and it was going smoothly. About 2 months or less ago i lost my last fish to natural cause and i basically shut it down. Then my cousin who has recently picked up the hobby and has a 10 gallon long going down stairs with some female bettas approached me, as he has a another terribly small tank with a male betta and was curious if would be interested in setting back up and adopting him and giving him a home. So i am setting up again so far i have drained the tank out cleaned some mineral deposits off the whisper 20 gallon filter and other misc things using aquarium safe cleaning product from API. I have filled the tank again got my filter running with a carbon bag. i am actually interested in moving away from carbon bag and possibly that filter systems as well maybe ? got my air pump going checked the lines etc need to find my spare air stones i had and stick those in. I discovered after i got it up and running that my 100 w heater is broken as the light is not coming on any more if i attempt to adjust the thing on it. so i am looking for a replacement for that ideally on the cheaper end of things . Ideally one that's still adjustable that i could find at one of the few local places be it like a chain like pet smart, petco or another local place that's not a chain that has been fairly helpful in the past. i am also curious as to some suggested tank makes for the male betta. Also as far getting the cycle going goes i am open to suggestions before i introduce the male to the tank. Should i try to get a filter squeeze from either him or another female who may be able to help me out, her tank is probably more mature as my cousins is fairly new. Or should i get a hardy fish to introduce to the tank first to start the cycle that would be a compatible tank mate.

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    Please read this for the fishLESS cycle.

    it'll go quicker and be less harmful to your fish.

    Can you break down your post for me?
    You have a 20gallon high tank.

    what filtration do you have?
    what heater do you have?
    you are going to get a betta?

    other than making sure the filter is proper, you can start the cycle withOUT fish and we'll help with stocking etc down the road.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    thanks for the fast response , sorry for the long winded post.
    1. tetra whisper 20 gallon filter
    2. all glass aquarium 100w 120v adjustable it appears to be a slight older model then the one i found via google(just double checked appears to be working )
    3. Yeah my cousin has got a male betta in like 2.5 gallon or something wants to move it out figured id take it off his hand and pick tank mates to go with him. Suggestions ?

    Going to check the water conditions after its been running for about 24 hours and i'll check out that fishless method i recall reading about it in the past. First time around i went with a zebra danio to start me off :)

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    if you are going to put more than the betta in there, then your filter currently will suffice.

    if you want more fish, i would recommend another filter rated for 20gallons. (search ebay/ much cheaper than in store)

    and the water conditions will be perfect if you haven't done anything to the tank. there isn't anything to start the cycle (i.e ammonia to feed the bacteria)

    danio's should get a 3ft long tank. if you give them that, you'll really see their true behavior to zip around. they are active fish and need some length.

    i recommend the fishless cycle with pure ammonia, you'll get your tank running faster and have that betta in there happy and healthy.

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    2 questions

    1 i picked up "Clean ammonia" looks to be good no scents / dyes / detergents etc. I know you can't give me an exact amount i am putting in the 20 gallon tank but roughly what? a cap full ? a few cap fulls ? i ask because i don't want do to much :) should i use a dropper ? (i would have to find one )

    2 this is a long term question that doesn't concern me but if i am adding that male betta fish to the tank what would else would make for a good fully stocked tank with him ?

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    As for amount of ammonia, start with a cap full, with the filter running, allow at least an hour and then measure the ammonia level using the test kit. Aim for 1 ppm ammonia - if above 3 ppm, do a 50% water change; if barely reading - say 0.25 ppm, double the amount. In this manner get a level between 1 and 2 ppm. It takes three to six weeks to cycle. Do NOT have charcoal (carbon) in the filter. Use only fiber fill (this will be the sole media that the bacteria grows in.) Only when the ammonia falls to zero, add the same amount you used the first time.

    Your water test kit needs to be able to measure for: ammonia, nitrIte, nitrAte, and pH. These small kits are available on line with WalMart and many local fish stores (lfs) carry these kits. ONLY get the liquid test kit(s), not the dry test strips. Dry strips fail quickly with exposure to air and are expensive compared to liquid kits.

    A 20 gal can hold a number of fish; Betta's are good community fish but never add barbs who will attack the Betta's fins. A school of neons or cardinals (12- 15), and a smaller school of Corries (6-8) are classic and very nice fish. Bleeding hearts would be good or black widow tetras.
    Last edited by Cermet; 02-20-2013 at 09:41 AM.
    Knowledge is fun(damental)

    A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is down to just two Sterba's Corys. Filters: continuous new water flow; canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber!! Finally, junked the nitrate removal unit from hell.

    For Fishless cycling:

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    thanks for the detailed info about starting off first dose. I have been using Prime and a api master test kit (never trusted strips + what you said about them ) for the last 3 years before i let the tank go idle for 2 months. Thanks for the info about the carbon i had not even considered that, was actually thinking going a fish in route before it was suggested an had tossed a carbon bag in. so i'll just go ahead and take that out before i add first dose. Going to go stick my air stone in , remove the carbon bag an jack the heatup. Thanks a lot for the suggestions on the community setup much appreciated. Once the cycle is complete and mature an i decide on setup should i do the betta first ? Multiple fish with him ? i just ask because the male betta is already living in a tank that's to small and i'll be rescuing him from that. (it's in the same house as me)

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    just because i am anal retentive. "Supreme clean - Clear ammonia" it does not foam at all in fact it bubbles hardly at all and they go right away. Infredients "Ammonium hydroxide and surfactant" the last part made me paranoid as that's kinda a general terms for a few things >_> . I am asuming i am being paranoid and the bubble / foam free confirms it has no detergent. Anyway its nap time for me i was unable to local my airstone and still waiting for that tank to get up to the 80's . Will grab airstone from my cousin later when he wakes an may need to adjust the room temp noticed i have a slight draft coming in by my window that is fairly new might have to fix that .:) but hopefully the last adjustment on my heater gets me over 80' , it was like 79 before when i checked i think.
    Last edited by justanothertank; 02-20-2013 at 01:19 PM.

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    FYI I have read many times here that you need to be cautious about Bettas in community tanks - a lot depends upon each personality as to whether or not it will tolerate sharing a tank with other fish so you will want to consider a back up plan if it doesn't work out.

    Yes, as long as the ammonia doesn't foam up you should be ok.

    Also, once you put your initial fish in the tank, you might want to consider obtaining a small tank (like 5gal) to quarantine new fish after that.

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    yeah thats why i am being careful about what goes with it + going to watch his behavior. I am also considering some light planting i have gravel as subtrate at the moment and standard ~40 dollar hood so nothing special light wise so yeah on a budget. I have a friend + his girlfriend with multiple tanks in his house if it was a problem, also the local fish place i was getting my fish from are pretty chill pretty sure i could return if it was a real issue. i think my cousin who has the betta it's currently either in a 2.5 gallon or 5 gallon already most likely 2.5. :| I have like a 40 dollar gift card to the LFS place it's not a chain always had great success with fish from that place. was defiantly considering the corries etc like cermet suggested.

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