10 Gallon Betta Tank (i Am Confused)

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Kenleebit, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. KenleebitNew MemberMember

    Okay, so I've only ever had a few fish and that was waaaaayyy back. I have 10gallon tank that I just set up last week and put a male crowntail betta in this Monday. I have an old heater, air pump, and light my uncle gave me. I cleaned the tank, washed the gravel, diy-ed a filter (I did research ideas on that and found one i was capable of doing and supposedly works, although once I have enough money I plan on getting a proper one), dechlorinated the water, and left it running for about 4~6 days. I also tested the water levels with a 5-in-one test strip before adding the fish. I just recently (tonight) read that I was supposed to cycle the tank. I'd like to eventually add another few small fish or a couple of snails as well, mainly to help with waste and such. What do I do? Do I go ahead and cycle it with the betta in the tank or do I remove him and cycle it? Or for that matter, is it sort of cycling now and I need to start doing water changes and daily testing? Oh! And I do have a spare 2 gallon that has a filter (needs a cartridge but thats easy to fix) if it is needed.
    Edit: I just found out today that my 10 gallon is actually a 5.5 gallon, I have no idea how I didn't realize this before. When it was bought I remember being told it was a 10 but here recently I've noticed it wasnt much bigger than my 2, so I measured it and realized it's only a 5.5. Anywho, today I acquired a proper filter, an ammonia test kit, and a bottle of API Quickstart. Tomorrow I'll be redoing my tank and starting the cycle. Thanks for all the help, and any other tips y'all might feel like throwin' out are still greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  2. Shadow2331

    Shadow2331Valued MemberMember

    how is your betta doing in a current situation?
  3. Over ItWell Known MemberMember

    Cycle the tank with him in it. The larger volume of water will help him stay healthy through the process as the toxins won't build up as fast.
    Yep, daily or almost daily water changes and testing. I suggest you at least invest in a liquid Ammonia test kit. Until you get one do a 25-50% water change everyday using temp matched water and a good conditioner. If your Betta looks off, do a 50% water change immediately.

  4. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    Hi there. Welcome to Fishlore.

    So you can cycle the tank with the fish in the tank. Running the set up for 4-6 days without a fish in the tank didn't do anything. There wasn't any food to encourage the good bacteria to grow. So it didn't grow.

    The goal of the nitrogen cycle is to grow beneficial bacteria in your filter that combats toxins in your tank. To do that you need to encourage the bacteria to reproduce and grow. It will take a couple of weeks to get it done, but it shouldn't be too hard.

    If you have the 5 in 1 strips by Tetra those are fairly accurate. The only thing is, you need an ammonia test. The ammonia test is pretty important. If you want to invest in a liquid test kit, it is even more accurate and includes everything you need. The API Freshwater Master Test kit. Seachem also makes testing kits too, but you have to buy each set separately.

    If I was you, I would use bottled bacteria to cycle your tank. Bottled bacteria will speed up the process. Going from 6-12 weeks without it, to more like 14 days with bottled bacteria. Huge improvement.

    You have to decide how much work you want do also. If you use Tetra Safe Start plus (TSS+) you will add a bottle of the bacteria into the tank, and do nothing for 14 days. No water changes, no testing, nothing. At the end of 14 days your tank should be fully cycled.

    I personally need to be more hands on. So I used Seachem Stability as my bottled bacteria, along with Seachem Prime for my dechlorinator. They work very well together. You will be adding bacteria every day and be testing everyday. So it is more work. I needed to have that kind of control, so the TSS+ wasn't my choice.

    Totally up to you how you do your cycle.

    I encourage you to do some YouTube searches on optimizing your filter and different types of filter media. Along with adding a corner sponge filter to your tank. You will find lots of options to help keep your cycle stable.

    Good luck!
  5. shiv234

    shiv234Well Known MemberMember

    Do you have an extra tank that is stocked

  6. jl_1005

    jl_1005Valued MemberMember

    I was in the same situation as you (as were many others I'm sure). You can cycle the tank with a betta in it. Just be patient and monitor the fish and water parameters daily.
  7. OP

    KenleebitNew MemberMember

    He sleeps a lot and it's been difficult to get him to notice when I'm feeding him because of such.

    Thank you for such an informative reply. I will most likely end up doing the TSS+ simply because it seems easy and it is my first time cycling a tank. I worry a LOT when theres many steps to something, I always think I've forgotten to do something lol. In the future I will likely try different ways, once I'm more comfortable with the process and have had plenty of time to research. Thanks!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2017
  8. Over ItWell Known MemberMember

    Let us know how it goes with the TSS? Someone close to me did tests on it and it's basically a ton of Nitrate in a bottle. I'll be interested to see how your Betta does through that form of "cycling".
  9. OP

    KenleebitNew MemberMember

    Somehow I missed your earlier reply? Is that seriously how you cycle a tank? Every set of instructions I've found made it seem really complicated. If it's that simple, then I'll likely try that first. I don't mind water changes or testing it, everything just made it seem like there was somehow more to it.
  10. Over ItWell Known MemberMember

    Yep, it's just that simple. I have cycled a few tanks that way when I first started. It's not ideal to cycle with fish in the tank, but it can done safely.
    All you have to do is test your water everyday. If you see any Ammonia, Nitrites, or Nitrates over 20 do a water change. Depending on how high the numbers are depicts how big of a water change you will need to do. If it's 1ppm of Ammonia, do a 50% water change. That will bring it down to .5ppm of Ammonia. Wait an hour or so and do another 50% water change and now it should be 0ppm of Ammonia etc...

    Prime is wonderful for cycling a tank with fish in it, in fact it is the only water conditioner I have used for over 10 yrs. It will detoxify Ammonia and Nitrite up to 1pmm for 24-48 hrs. Meaning it gives you a kind of a "buffer" that will protect your fish if the Ammonia or Nitrites start to rise before your water change.

    Lastly don't listen to anyone who says if you do water changes and keep the Ammonia down that your tank won't cycle. That is not true. Your fish will always produce Ammonia so it will cycle, but letting it get to high will kill your fish.
  11. Over ItWell Known MemberMember

    One other thing. It would be good to test your tap water so you know what you are working with and don't ever change out your filter cartridge/pad or rinse it in tap water while cycling. If it gets too dirty lightly rinse it in the old tank water and put it back it back in. When it's time to change it put the new cartridge in with the old one for at least 2 weeks to seed the new one before you throw out the old one. That way you won't lose your cycle.
  12. OP

    KenleebitNew MemberMember

    Thank you! Ill get an ammonia test kit asap.
  13. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    Not sure what that means exactly. It is bacteria that is housed in Ammonia. Ammonia is the bacteria food, and then the waste is nitrates. So it will have nitrates in it also. It isn't just a bottle of nitrates. TSS has worked well for lots and lots of people. Most of the time the issues come from the fish not being hearty enough in the first place to tolerate a fish in cycle. Bettas are very hearty and usually do really well.

    Cycling can be more difficult. It depends on how you go about it. If you are doing a fish in cycle, it is less complex in my opinion. But you risk your fish health. If you do a fishless cycle, it is better for your tank in the long run, but is more complex and can take longer.

    It also depends on your water chemistries. If you have a low pH it can stall your cycle. If you have ammonia in your tap, it will need extra steps to get things together. So there are lots of variables.
  14. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    Doing a Fish in Cycle using Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability has a nice formula to use. It can be adapted for routine tank maintenance as well as using it for other bottled bacterias.

    Ammonia + Nitrites = less than 1ppm, add full tank dose Prime & Stability retest tank parameters in 24 hours
    Ammonia + Nitrites = 1ppm or greater, do 50% water change, add full tank volume Prime & Stability. Retest tank parameters in 24 hours.

    The goal with the water change is to get the ammonia & nitrites below 0.5ppm, so you may have to change more than 50% to achieve that.

    Prime dose is 0.1ml per gallon. Or 1-2 drops. 1ml per 10 gallon.

    Continue to use Stability every day until you are cycled. The directions say to use for 7 days, but it may take closer to 14 days before you are fully cycled.

    Be sure when using Tetra Safe Start to wait a full 24 hours after adding Seachem Prime. Because Prime detoxifies Ammonia. TSS bacteria is housed in Ammonia. Prime will starve the bacteria that is used with TSS, essentially killing it before it has a chance to be established. Other ammonia locking products will do the same when used with TSS. Just be aware and wait 24-48 hours after adding the dechlorinator/Ammonia lock before adding TSS.
  15. Over ItWell Known MemberMember

    I'll post the study later, don't have time right now. Got a lot of redecorating to do on my tanks.
    I've used Stability with terrible results. Maybe others have been lucky. I had to cycle my tank twice from using that.
  16. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    I've cycled my 3 tanks with Stability. No issues at all. I've had to restore my cycle twice because of external issues (pH crash and chlorine flush in tap) and Stability worked well then too. Just depends on your water as to which works for you.
  17. Over ItWell Known MemberMember



    When I used Stability about 5 yrs ago. It did "cycle" my tank, or at least it appeared to. Once I stopped using it my "cycle" crashed and I had do it "the old fashioned way". Now I just do
    instant cycles on all my tanks, but if I had to start from scratch again I'd still do it "the old fashioned way".
  18. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    I haven't used bottled bacteria in more than 3 months, and my cycles didn't crash when I stopped. My last cycle crash was due to elevated chlorine/chloramine in my tap water. It killed off my beneficial bacteria. I now double dose Prime routinely because if it. It solved the problem 100%. Anyways, once my cycle recovered, I haven't needed Stability or any other bacteria. Mine has stayed cycled. In fact all 3 tanks have stayed cycled. That happened in late April. No issues since. Like I said, it depends on your tank and tap as to what works the best. Stability worked well for me.

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