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cycled tank/filter question


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hi all ive been on this forum for awhile now and been reading a quite alot to help me look after and breed bettas and lately ive been reading things like cycled tanks, established filters and so on but dont know what theymean by it so can some one please give me some info about them because i allways thought you could just get a filter put it in a tank and its ready for fish

i also have a few other questions that have been on my mind

1. can you double the dose of water conditioner just to be safe?

2. when you age water do you add water conditioner when you put the aged water in your tanks?

3. i do 100% water changes twice a week in my 2.7l tanks, by doing them so often does this stress my bettas?

4. i know light body females dont show vertical bars but will my blue dragon and orange female show them?


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Hey Divy, I can help you with a couple of questions....

First one about adding water ager when aging water ?

What I do is fill a couple of 10 litre bottles with hot tap water , at the same time I add my water ager as chloramines in the water can take a few days to break down I also add my IAL extract or BW extract at the same time and salt if I choose this way the water is ready for my next water change.

Second about establishing a filter?

What this means is you are establishing beneficial bacteria in your filter medium ie. sponge . The purpose of this is that good bacteria will break down any waste and toxins in your tank so that your filter will kill bad bacteria at the same time as filtering solids from the water.

Third about cycling?

This is pretty much the same concept as establishing good bacteria in your filter , a cycled tank contains the same good bacteria that is needed to break down crap and keep your water perameters more stable ie. less ammonia spikes etc.

Lastly about doubling water agers?

Ive read that when starting a new tank it is reccommended that you double up the water ager then leave the tank for a few days , I myself, only because my town water is mainly bore water always add about a half dose extra.

I hope this has been somewhat helpful , what I would do is look a few of these subjects up on the net to get a more in depth answer and a better understanding on how things work in your tank.


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juseb pretty much covered it there <_< I'll just add a little more :lol:


All fish produce waste in the form of ammonia. This ammonia is poison to fish.

By adding a filter (eg. sponge filter) we build up the good bacterias that use Ammonia as their energy source, these Bacteria then produce Nitrite as their waste product (also harmful to fish), another bacteria will then grow to consume the nitrites, leaving relatively harmless nitrate as their waste product.

Now when you 1st add your filter there is NO good bacteria and your levels of ammonia and nitrite will be high. You need to grow some bacteria!

Cycling requires ammonia to be present (you can manually add ammonia or you can use a fish or 2 to start this process)

Cycling is essentially giving the filter time to build up colonies of these GOOD bacteria, this can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month or more depending on the size of the tank and the load of ammonia.

While the tank is cycling your readings will start high and then reduce down until your readings for ammonia and nitrite reach zero. At this point the tank is Cycled as there is a good enough colony of bacteria (Biofilter) there to deal with the ammonia produced by your fish.

Then you can slowly start to add more fish (while keeping an eye out so you don't overload the biofilter)

yes you can double dose the water conditioner/ager/dechlorinator

to age water you need to store it in a container or spare tank, get some water out of the tap and fill the tank/container, add your water conditioner/ager/dechlorinator and any other things you might want to add (eg. IAL, BWE, salt) and leave it to settle down, Ideally a week, but 3 days would probably be safe....the longer you can *age* it the better and more stable your water quality and pH will be.

100% twice a week for 2.7L tanks - that seems fine to me for a tank that size, I'm sure they'd rather have clean water than have a gradual build up of ammonia from only partial water changes, tanks that size don't have much of a biofilter going.

Most light bodied females don't show bars, correct. I'd guess your orange COULD depending on how dark she is, if she's on the red side of orange there could be some faint barring but if she's more yellowy orange I'd probably say not.

The blue dragon girl? If she's got a lot of that white dragon irrid you probably wouldn't be able to see through although with the blue underneath I'd guess she would bar up. I know my blue girls always bar up but with the white irrid on the dragons it might block you from seeing any barring.

hope that helps!

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I think most of your questions have been answered but I'll just add my 2 cents.

You can speed up the cycling process by adding a product that contains filter bacteria eg. Cycle by Nutrafin. I think NOT doing the regular water changes in the 2.7 ltr tanks is going to stress your bettas even more. I aim to do 100% water changes in my beanie boxes every 2 days but I don't often get to it. By day 4 the fish are really starting to look unhappy. And they always perk up after the water change. My observation is that the water changes seem to make them much happier.

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