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  1. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    rodm81 - I understand you concern, but daily water changes to keep the ammonia down is not cruel to a Betta. My Betta sits in a non-filtered 1 gallon jug and I change 100% of the water every 3 days. He's doing very well and there are no signs of stress at all. I wouldn't suggest to use delicate species, like a German Ram, to start a cycle...

  2. #12


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm not by any means a cycling expert however, I do think cycling a 30 gallon with a single Betta will take an extremely long time. Just my opinion.

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Sorry if I missed it, but I didnt see a ph level anywhere in the preceding posts - under about 6.2 or 3 a cycle wont happen - just a thought

  4. #14

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    0 Not allowed!
    A lot of good advice here and some that is not supported by research; that all said, a few points I will readd that others have already suggested: first - do not do water changes on a fishless cycled tank - let the ammonia fall to zero by the bacteria alone; second, boosters are worthless and they do contain the wrong bacteria (a useless type. The booster would have to be refrigerated for the correct bacteria to be alive and useful - fact. Unless that is what you bought, you are not adding the correct bacteria - period.) Third, do raise the temp (nothing wrong with 80 - 84 F) to get the bacteria to grow faster (note: refrigerators cool food for a reason and that is because bacteria growth is exponentially related to temp: that is, a few degrees significantly increases growth rate. Conversily, too high will slow the grow when it gets above the bacteria's best range. From my experience with discus filters, and that they work to 92 F just fine, I'd feel that the 80 - 84 F range should help); along that line - extra air from a wand (best) or airstone will help a little. Finally, research has shown that 1 ppm ammonia is ideal for cycling; significantly higher slows the grow of bacteria that consumes/converts nitrite - currently, that is not your problem but I think it is best to avoid 4 ppm ammonia levels or higher in the tank so that cycle does not stall. Also, as the previous poster said, filter bacteria does not grow well under pH of 6.6. At a pH of 6.1/6.0 you get zero growth.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by Cermet; 03-06-2013 at 08:48 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:

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I will give you my timeline for the fishless cycle I am currently doing.
    From the exact day I first added ammonia, it took 28 days for my tank to show nitrites and a drop in ammonia. However, mine was a bit complicated as I started doing the cycle with fish food as ammonia was unavailable here. However i naively used poor quality holiday food blocks which took my water hardness off the charts, to like 30dH/500+ppm. I think this may have interfered with the bacteria. so i got a water softening pillow which brought the hardness down to acceptable levels (5dH/~90ppm). From the time the water was softened till i saw nitrites and an ammonia drop was only 13days. I am unsure which is the more accurate timeline, the 28 days, or the 13 days, but that was how mine worked. Every tank is different though so yours could be quite different, but this is my timeline :) good luck!

  6. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Bissett View Post
    Sorry if I missed it, but I didnt see a ph level anywhere in the preceding posts - under about 6.2 or 3 a cycle wont happen - just a thought
    ph is 7.6

    ............(to get to ten characters)

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Based on all the replies, I think waiting till Sunday and hoping for some nitrite will be the best choice...after that....I don't know

    I do agree that using 1 betta to cycle 30 gallons will take a century and a half though...

    Just curious, what is the level you should keep ammonia under for a fish in cycle of cheap, hardy fish?

    Thanks for all the help so far

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by seabiscuit68 View Post
    Just curious, what is the level you should keep ammonia under for a fish in cycle of cheap, hardy fish?
    I believe you should try keep it to no more than 0.25ppm, definitely no more than 0.5ppm, but i havent done a cycle with fish so dont quote me on that

  9. #19

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by seabiscuit68 View Post

    Just curious, what is the level you should keep ammonia under for a fish in cycle of cheap, hardy fish?
    When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything Happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.
    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Rules: If you bend them long enough they turn into loopholes and you can walk right through them.

  10. #20


    0 Not allowed!
    This may be a dumb question... but what are you using for filter media?

    If you changed the water and didn't use a dechlorinator that could explain the slow/no cycle yet.... but all I can say is be patient. just sit back and wait and test. Cycling with fish is a pain (having to do the water changes as much, slowly adding a few fish, getting rid of dead fish etc etc)

    And I agree, the instant cycle bottles are a sham, they may work, but not as well as a real cycle

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