Can I cycle tank with Betta

  1. ErinE Initiate Member

    I have a 20 gallon long tank and my plan was to do a fishless cycle and then have neon tetras in it. I have a Betta fish in a bowl (he lived at my work) and I feel really sorry for him. I've decided I want him to live out the rest of his life in the 20 gallon and then I'll have the neon tank that I want. Can I cycle the tank with him in it or should I do a fishless cycle and keep him in his bowl. His bowl is about 1.5 gallon and not heated.

    I also have a Betta in a 2.5 gallon bowl (Marina 360 with a filter and heater). I realize that this is too small for him, but I really can't upgrade him too at the moment.

    What should I do?
  2. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    A 2.5 gal is big enough for a betta.

    You could split the 20 gal and do a betta on each side?

    I'd do a fish-in cycle since he's exposed to ammonia in the bowl anyway.

  3. clk89 Fishlore VIP Member

    I prefer a fishless cycle myself, but if you want to do a fish-in cycle I would recommend using stability for a bacteria starter since you can do water changes with it. When the ammonia/nitrite spike happens you can then change the water. Using Prime as a dechoranator will also help your fish with a fish in cycle.

    I am unsure if neon tetras are compatible with betta's temp wise. I believe bettas like warmer temperatures then neon tetras do.

    edit: I should ask instead of assuming, are you putting the betta with the neon tetras?
  4. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    You're right, they're temp incompatible. I was assuming the neons would wait until the bettas weren't in the tank anymore.

  5. ErinE Initiate Member

    I won't be getting neon tetras until after my Betta dies. I'm going to let him live the left of his live alone. I have Tetra SafeStart. Could I use that instead of stability?
  6. clk89 Fishlore VIP Member

    You can use TSS, but be aware you can't do water changes for two weeks after using it, and you have to wait 24 hours after prime to use TSS.

    Yup that is exactly why I edited and asked, yeah should be fine then. ;)
  7. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Tetra Safe Start Plus is great for cycling. Add it at the same time as the betta, and follow the directions on the back of the bottle.

  8. Sarah73 Fishlore VIP Member

    If you are going to let him leave his life on his own in that big tank, I would get a divider and add another beta:). I would split it 10 and 10:). Or you can split it, so he only has 5gal and you could add a group of warmer group fish:) like black neon tetra's!:)
  9. octavio Member Member

    Although the "experts" insist neon tetras require a different temperature than Bettas, they both will get along just fine in a tank set at 78 degrees F. So, once your tank is cycled, you should be able to safely give your Betta a new spacious home (they really like lots of space) and also keep a small school of neons. Good luck.
  10. Kwig Well Known Member Member

    The better alternative is a school of cardinal tetras, since they actually like the warmer water.

  11. clk89 Fishlore VIP Member

    octavio I hope that wasn't directed at me, I am probably one of the first to say I am still a beginner. While the neons may be fine, their life stage will probably be quicker at higher temps.

    It doesn't really matter though since OP is going to simply use the tank for betta only. ErinE I wish you much luck with the tank, and please post pictures when done. We love pictures on this forum. :)
  12. Sarah73 Fishlore VIP Member

    You are right:) the warmer the temperature in the tank is, the quicker they grow. But also the warmer the tank is the less oxygen they get.
  13. ErinE Initiate Member

    So this morning I added my fish Circle and then the bottle of SafeStart. Circle seems a little overwhelmed. I don't have enough hiding spaces for him though. I have driftwood coming in the mail this week and I want to get some live plants (but have to drive out of town for them).

    [​IMG] Circle

    [​IMG] The tank. The fake plants in the front were in Circle's bowl so I threw them in hoping he would have something familiar. I have driftwood coming and I hope to plant lots of plants.
  14. clk89 Fishlore VIP Member

    He's a handsome guy, nice orange. You rarely see orange and yellow fish around me lots of reds and greens. After a few days he'll probably settle right in.
  15. ErinE Initiate Member

    He still seems unimpressed. He has spent the day swimming around and flaring at everything (the filter intake, the filter water flow, the walls, me, and everything). I'm guessing that this is normal behaviour after having lived his entire life in a bowl.
  16. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Sounds normal to me! Mine did the same thing when I got him into his 10 gal.
  17. ErinE Initiate Member

    Okay, I'm going to update and ask one more question.

    I haven't tested the water yet. Should I? I am using the Tetra Safe Start Plus and don't know if I'm supposed to be testing the water or not. Thanks.

    I also wanted to add another picture. I'm starting to like how my tank looks. Circle has also really settled in, but he spends most of his time near the top. I don't know if that is normal or not.

  18. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    I wouldn't bother testing until the full 2 weeks are up. It can only worry you, and you shouldn't do anything to the water for 2 weeks anyway!
  19. nardvark Initiate Member

    I would never cycle a tank with fish in it that's just plain ol mean..
  20. ErinE Initiate Member

    The fish had been living in a bowl for the last six months. No matter what I did it would have been cruel.