Betta Tank Cycling (seeded)

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
II thought I would write the cycling journey with my Betta here.

After setting up the 5 gallon tank, I put media from my cycled tank in the filter. The filter is from a Tetra kit, a Whisper. It has really low flow, but Bettas aren’t good swimmers so it’s okay. Since I removed the original carbon cartridge and replaced it with my seeded media though, the flow is even less so I’m thinking I might have put too much for this weak filter capacity.

I’ve seen a video from someone who used this filter for many years with the tank, also for a Betta, so I will be more patient before deciding this filter isn’t doing a good job.

On day 2 :
Ammonia : 0
Nitrites : 0
Nitrates : about 10-15 ppm
(For the first time I had filled the tank my my cycled tank’s water, which had just had a water change, thus nitrates at that level).

I did not test on day 3 (but will be testing daily for a while).

On day 4 (today) :
Ammonia : 0,25
Nitrites : 1.0
Nitrates : between 10 ppm
PH : 6,8

On day 4 after 70% water change :
Ammonia : 0
Nitrites : 0,25
Nitrates : 5 ppm
PH : 7,2

Yesterday Charlie was lying in bed more. Today he is more active. Since I don’t know his habits much, I thought he was a little lazy. But the water quality must have been the cause.

I looked at my parameters from when I was cycling my 45 gallons (also fish-in), and it appears that with this 5 gallon, on day 4, I am where the 45 gallons was on day 20 (nitrite peak). The 45 was cycled on day 26.

So, I’m hoping the 5 gallon will be fully cycled in about 6 days. If it is, it will have taken 10 days, thanks to seeding, instead of 26. And it started almost at the nitrite peak point.

Until then, I will do many water changes, as many as necessary. I will do another one tonight so Charlie has a good night. And tomorrow, and so forth.

Water changes with a 5 gallon are such a breeze, especially since the tank is close to my sink, lol !
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
13,614
Reactions
13,488
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
That is the beauty of having a cycled tank. Almost instantly cycling another tank is a breeze. I keep 2 dual sponge filters running in my main tank. Any time I need to set up another tank just move one of the seeded sponge filters to the new tank and it instantly cycles it.

How quickly it cycles depends a lot on the bio-load of the tank the media is moved from. If it comes from a well stocked tank there will be a lot of bacteria on it. If it is coming from a tank with just one or 2 fish there will be less and it won't instantly cycle a tank enough to handle the bio-load of more than one or 2 little fish but will still help.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
mattgirl said:
How quickly it cycles depends a lot on the bio-load of the tank the media is moved from. If it comes from a well stocked tank there will be a lot of bacteria on it. If it is coming from a tank with just one or 2 fish there will be less and it won't instantly cycle a tank enough to handle the bio-load of more than one or 2 little fish but will still help.
My cycled tank is still lightly stocked for a 45 gallons : 3 rosy tetras, 1 serpae, 3 platies, 1 SAE, 1 oto and 2 cories. My nitrates are a little too high for my taste so I am waiting until I get them where I like before adding more bio-load.

It’s great that you always have media ready for the next tank. I guess you must have many. This one will be my last, not enough room.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
Today around noon :
Ammonia : 0.25
Nitrites : 0.5

I did a 65% water change and increased the filter’s flow to help cycle faster. Charlie wasn’t fond of the agitation so I try to find a common ground. I can’t go any lower but he is still not sleeping in his bed (I put it on the other side so it would be farther away from the filter, but nah, he’s not happy. Not much I can do for now).

After water change :
Ammonia : 0.1
Nitrites : 0

Around 6 pm (no change) :
Ammonia : 0.1
Nitrites , 0
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
Today at 1200
Ammonia : 0.5
Nitrites : 0.25
PH : 6.8

After 65% WC
Ammonia : 0.1
Nitrites : 0

I increased water flow from the filter, as the cycle seems to need it. Charlie B will have to get used to it.

At 6 pm (unchanged)
Ammonia : 0.1
Nitrites : 0
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
Today :

Ammonia : 0.35 ppm
Nitrites : 0.15 ppm

WC : 50%

I’m glad to see the ammonia decreasing and nitrites starting.

I took some overgrown plants from my 45g and put it in with Charlie B.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
Today :

Ammonia : 0.15 ppm
Nitrites : 0.5 ppm
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
13,614
Reactions
13,488
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Dechi said:
My cycled tank is still lightly stocked for a 45 gallons : 3 rosy tetras, 1 serpae, 3 platies, 1 SAE, 1 oto and 2 cories. My nitrates are a little too high for my taste so I am waiting until I get them where I like before adding more bio-load.

It’s great that you always have media ready for the next tank. I guess you must have many. This one will be my last, not enough room.
I'm not sure how I missed this post. I truly was not ignoring you.

I don't really have that many. I have my main tank-the 55 gallon. I also have a 10 gallon, a 5.5 gallon, a 2.5 gallon bowl with plants and one nerite snail, a 2.5 gallon jar that is my snail breeding jar and then just today I set up a sterlite storage container that holds about 3 gallons that I am hoping my BN pleco eggs will hatch in.

With that many fish in your 45 gallon tank there should be lots of bacteria on the media so it should work very well to seed another tank. Actually I am surprised to see that you have gotten ammonia and nitrites in the betta tank. I would have expected it to have instantly cycled.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
mattgirl said:
With that many fish in your 45 gallon tank there should be lots of bacteria on the media so it should work very well to seed another tank. Actually I am surprised to see that you have gotten ammonia and nitrites in the betta tank. I would have expected it to have instantly cycled.
(I see I got my posts mixed from 2 different threads, lol!)

It’s the first time I’m doing this, but I am also a little surprise it’s taking so long. Today is day 10 or 11 and I still have ammonia and nitrites. I didn’t have any the first few days, maybe because I was using my other tank’s water.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
13,614
Reactions
13,488
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Dechi said:
(I see I got my posts mixed from 2 different threads, lol!)

It’s the first time I’m doing this, but I am also a little surprise it’s taking so long. Today is day 10 or 11 and I still have ammonia and nitrites. I didn’t have any the first few days, maybe because I was using my other tank’s water.
I actually wouldn't use water from another tank. In my humble opinion fresh clean water would be much better for your little guy.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
mattgirl said:
I actually wouldn't use water from another tank. In my humble opinion fresh clean water would be much better for your little guy.
I agree, I only did it for the first two days (after my other tank had a water change), to help with seeding. Since then Charlie B has been getting fresh water from at least 50% WC every day.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
Today :

Ammonia : 0.10
Nitrites : 1.5

WC : 50%
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
Today :

Ammonia : very close to 0
Nitrites : 0.8 ppm

Water change : 50%
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
Today (day 16 I think)

Ammonia : 0 (yeahhhhh !)
Nitrites : 1.0 ppm

Water change : 50%

It looks like it will take close to as many days as with my non-seeded fish-in cycle (26 days).

I suppose the flow lf this filter is sooooo low that it’s not enough to do a good job at spreading the bacteria, so it’s going very slow.

But we’ll get there, I’m sure !
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
Day 17 :

Ammonia : really 0 now ! (there must have been a tiny little bit left yesterday, as the color is even more yellow today)
Nitrites : 1.0

WC : 50%

I have seen « long » detritus worms today, they really gross me out. I’ll start feeding pellets only so there is no food falling on the bottom.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
Day 18

Ammonia : 0
Nitrites : 0.5

WC : 50%

We’re making progress, the nitrites have started going down. When they’re at 0, I’ll check the nitrates. Or maybe tomorrow, we’ll see.

Hopefully 3 days to go, maybe 4 !
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
mattgirl said:
Lots of times when the nitrites start doing down they drop to zero quickly. It looks like you are almost there.
I hope ! :)
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
Day 19

Ammonia : 0
Nitrites : 0.25

WC : 50%

Almost there !
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
Day 20 :

Ammonia : 0
Nitrites : 0.25 (they looked paler than yesterday, so maybe a little less than 0.25)

WC : 50%
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
Day 20 : annnnnnd, we’re done !

Ammonia : 0
Nitrites : 0

WC : 0

Since I won’t be changing the water everyday, I dosed fertilizer for the plants, for the first time.

Tomorrow I’ll measure nitrates.

No I’ll be doing weekly water changes. :)
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
13,614
Reactions
13,488
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
I am thrilled for you. I know what a relief it is when you finally see both true yellow for ammonia and that beautiful baby blue for nitrites. I have nothing against purple but I don't want to see it in my nitrite test tube

Your nitrates should be fairly low with all the water changes you have been doing.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
mattgirl said:
I am thrilled for you. I know what a relief it is when you finally see both true yellow for ammonia and that beautiful baby blue for nitrites. I have nothing against purple but I don't want to see it in my nitrite test tube

Your nitrates should be fairly low with all the water changes you have been doing.
Thank you ! With the fertilizer I’m using, nitrates go high on the API test kit, even though the manufacturer (NilocG) says it only adds 4 ppm per full dose. I need to buy a Nutrafin kit for better precision.

So I’m expecting nitrates in the 20-40 ppm since I dosed today.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore Legend
Member
Messages
13,614
Reactions
13,488
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Dechi said:
Thank you ! With the fertilizer I’m using, nitrates go high on the API test kit, even though the manufacturer (NilocG) says it only adds 4 ppm per full dose. I need to buy a Nutrafin kit for better precision.

So I’m expecting nitrates in the 20-40 ppm since I dosed today.
I know the first time I added Thrive to my tank it shot the nitrates up. Since I don't have a lot of plants in that tank yet I just add half the recommended amount once a week right after a water change. Once I add enough plants to warrant it I will start dosing the full amount.

I already do in my 10 gallon. I just don't run the nitrate test after adding it. I don't want to know how high they get between water changes because I know it would have me reaching for my water change equipment As long as my fish are looking good I feel ok with it.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
mattgirl said:
I just don't run the nitrate test after adding it. I don't want to know how high they get between water changes because I know it would have me reaching for my water change equipment
I might just do that. It drives me crazy when nitrates are over 10-15 ppm. :)
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
OP
Dechi

Dechi

Well Known
Member
Messages
705
Reactions
327
Experience
More than 10 years
Day 22 (cycled) :

Ammonia and nitrites = 0
Nitrates : around 12-15 ppm (with 1 dose of Thrice C the day before)
PH : 7.0
 

New Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
230
Guests online
2,884
Total visitors
3,114

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom