Cycle A Big Tank For Just A Betta?

sadcanine
  • #1
Hey FishLore!

I recently acquired a 25-30 gallon tank, (I believe it’s 28 but not sure) and want to spoil a betta with all that space.

I have a couple of questions-

1- My main question is do I need to cycle the tank for such a small fish? He’s really small and I don’t believe bettas’ bioload is a lot so ammonia wouldn’t be a problem.

2- What are some good plants (beginner and low tech) that I could have with the betta? I have a sand substrate and will be using root tabs. I’m not sure how much lighting I have, I will attach a picture of it below although I doubt that’ll help.

3- If I just put the betta in with no cycling, would I ever be able to introduce other fish? Or would they be hurt by the fact that it didn’t completely cycle from the betta?

Thanks for reading this! I appreciate any help and may comment more questions down below, so keep tuned
 

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AquaticJ
  • #2
Every fish requires a cycled tank. Even in a 28 gallon it’d have a noticeable bioload.
 
BottomDweller
  • #3
You still need to cycle it for a betta but you could dose just 0.5-1ppm of ammonia rather than the usual 2-3ppm ammonia. It should be a quicker cycle since you don't need to grow as much bacteria.

If you ever add more fish you'll need to add them slowly since there won't be very much bacteria.
Or would they be hurt by the fact that it didn’t completely cycle from the betta?
It will end up cycling even if you don't cycle it before adding fish. Just it will be a fish in cycle (not recommended) rather than a fishless cycle.
 
sadcanine
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
You still need to cycle it for a betta but you could dose just 0.5-1ppm of ammonia rather than the usual 2-3ppm ammonia. It should be a quicker cycle since you don't need to grow as much bacteria.

If you ever add more fish you'll need to add them slowly since there won't be very much bacteria.

It will end up cycling even if you don't cycle it before adding fish. Just it will be a fish in cycle (not recommended) rather than a fishless cycle.
Oh, ok. I’ll probably do a fishless cycle then

Do you have any opinion on the light?
 
IHaveADogToo
  • #5
Even if you don't cycle the tank, and you put a fish in it, the tank will still cycle from having a fish in it. So the question isn't "do I need to cycle this larger tank", it's "how hard would a fish-in cycle be on a betta in this tank"
 
midna
  • #6
i'd just cycle it with the fish in there. it'll take a while because of the low bioload, but you have a ton of water for dilution, so you likely won't run into any problems. I did a fish-in cycle with my betta in a 10 gallon. lots of people do fish-in cycles with bettas. I did use an entire bottle of tetra safe start plus though.

if you want to introduce more fish later, just start off slow. don't add a ton of fish at once, y'know. you'd also want to start off with hardier fish rather than sensitive fish.
 
BottomDweller
  • #7
sadcanine
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
midna
So do you think if I used a bottle of BB and just put the betta in the tank I wouldn’t run into any problems? I do want what’s best for the fish but once I get the tank set up I would love to see a little betta in all that space.

BottomDweller
Thanks for the plant suggestions! I’ve always wanted to try duckweed but never got around to it. Do you know if a 19 watt light would support any of those plants in a 28 gallon, or would I have to get another bulb?
 
midna
  • #9
midna
So do you think if I used a bottle of BB and just put the betta in the tank I wouldn’t run into any problems? I do want what’s best for the fish but once I get the tank set up I would love to see a little betta in all that space.

BottomDweller
Thanks for the plant suggestions! I’ve always wanted to try duckweed but never got around to it. Do you know if a 19 watt light would support any of those plants in a 28 gallon, or would I have to get another bulb?

honestly, I don't think you'd run into any problems as long as you're watching your parameters for the first few weeks and pay attention to your betta's behavior. the tank will eventually cycle with an ammonia source, unless you're rinsing your filter in tap water every week or something. but, i'm no scientist, and I have no experience cycling a bigger tank, so it's ultimately up to you and what you're willing to do.

I agree with the low light plant suggestions like anubias and java ferns. I suggest trying amazon swords too. hornwort, mosses, anacharis... I personally wouldn't do duckweed because it's very small and has explosive growth. it'll eventually cover your tank and i've heard it's a pain to get rid of. I have frogbit in my tank.
 
sadcanine
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
honestly, I don't think you'd run into any problems as long as you're watching your parameters for the first few weeks and pay attention to your betta's behavior. the tank will eventually cycle with an ammonia source, unless you're rinsing your filter in tap water every week or something. but, i'm no scientist, and I have no experience cycling a bigger tank, so it's ultimately up to you and what you're willing to do.

I agree with the low light plant suggestions like anubias and java ferns. I suggest trying amazon swords too. hornwort, mosses, anacharis... I personally wouldn't do duckweed because it's very small and has explosive growth. it'll eventually cover your tank and i've heard it's a pain to get rid of. I have frogbit in my tank.
Thank you for the suggestions! Ill try a betta fish in cycle and if he was to show signs of not doing too well, I could always divide a area of my already cycled 10 gallon for him and finish the cycle with pure ammonia.

I’ll find out whether the anubias and other low light suggestions will do well with a 19 watt light. I don’t know for sure though, so I may have to buy a better source of light.
 
Nickguy5467
  • #11
I feel like a having a bunch of fish in an un-cycled tank is like a mild acid for them. so I assume its the same for one fish
 
cichlid4life
  • #12
Even if you don't cycle the tank, and you put a fish in it, the tank will still cycle from having a fish in it. So the question isn't "do I need to cycle this larger tank", it's "how hard would a fish-in cycle be on a betta in this tank"

Some good low light plants are java fern, anubias and crypts. Some bettas like to rest on anubias leaves. Bettas appreciate floating plants so salvinia, duckweed or water lettuce are also good.
As long as you add some stability in the tank before you add the fish then it should work immediately. Anubias are very easy to keep just don't bury the risomes or it will die. if you add duck weed expect a lot of it to grow and take out hand fulls of it after about a week or it will block out the light and the anubias will not do as well. The duckweed is probably also going to get into the filter, so make sure that it is out of the filter or else it will cause the filter to circulate less water. Although the betta can do with a filter full of duckweed ( with a little bit of water flowing through the filter), the filter should be unblocked if you are about to add more fish to the tank in the future .
 
sadcanine
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
As long as you add some stability in the tank before you add the fish then it should work immediately. Anubias are very easy to keep just don't bury the risomes or it will die. if you add duck weed expect a lot of it to grow and take out hand fulls of it after about a week or it will block out the light and the anubias will not do as well. The duckweed is probably also going to get into the filter, so make sure that it is out of the filter or else it will cause the filter to circulate less water. Although the betta can do with a filter full of duckweed ( with a little bit of water flowing through the filter), the filter should be unblocked if you are about to add more fish to the tank in the future .
Thanks for the information!
I know I've asked this before, but would a 19 watt tank support any of those plants, or would I have to invest in a stronger light? I may make a thread specifically on the lighting as I'm not sure I understand much about it.
 
cichlid4life
  • #14
19watt will support some algae growth and probably duckweed growth too. I don't think the anubias will though.
 
sadcanine
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
19watt will support some algae growth and probably duckweed growth too. I don't think the anubias will though.
Do you think it would support java fern or moss as well?
I attached a picture of the label on my hood to my original post. Do you mind taking a look at it and telling me whether I have to buy a completely different hood and light or just a new bulb? Thanks!
 
cichlid4life
  • #16
I know that you posted the lighting info about your lighting, but I know little about the watts needed for a plant to live.
 
sadcanine
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
I know that you posted the lighting info about your lighting, but I know little about the watts needed for a plant to live.
Sorry, just making sure.
Do you know of anyone else that is good with planted tanks that we can tag?
 
cichlid4life
  • #18
I am sort of new here, even of how to post pics, but I don't know who and how to tag.
 
sadcanine
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Gypsy13
Do you have any idea on the lighting I should use? Sorry if I'm tagging you for things you don't know, although you know a lot of things so worth a try!
 
Smalltownfishfriend
  • #20
Sorry, just making sure.
Do you know of anyone else that is good with planted tanks that we can tag?
bryangar -Mak-
 
cichlid4life
  • #21
sadcanine
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
bryangar -Mak-
Thanks!

How do you tag people? Just curious?
You put an @ symbol and then the first couple of letters/characters in the person's name you are trying to tag. This notifies them that they were tagged in a thread.
 
cichlid4life
  • #23
oh, ok, so if I do @ cichlid4life I tag my self ?(without the space between the at symbol and my user).
 
sadcanine
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
oh, ok, so if I do @ cichlid4life I tag my self ?(without the space between the at symbol and my user).
Yeah, I believe so. Although I've never tried tagging myself so I don't know for sure
 
cichlid4life
  • #25
@cichli4life
 
-Mak-
  • #26
Most green colored stem and rhizome plants are low tech friendly. Vals and crypts too. Instead of just root tabs, I would use some Nilocg Thrive as well
 
cichlid4life
  • #27
it did not work, the tag my self failed to show me I was tagged.
 
sadcanine
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
it did not work, the tag my self failed to show me I was tagged.
I think you may have missed the d in your name

Most green colored stem and rhizome plants are low tech friendly. Vals and crypts too. Instead of just root tabs, I would use some Nilocg Thrive as well
Would I have to change the light along with adding the Nilocg Thrive?
Or for now should I just stick with some duckweed and see how things go?
 
-Mak-
  • #29
Would I have to change the light along with adding the Nilocg Thrive?
Or for now should I just stick with some duckweed and see how things go?
Upgrading to a beamswork may be a good investment for the long run, they are a cheaper low light option. Duckweed is hard to get rid of, try using an amazon sword or hygrophila as a test plant. If you can grow those well, you can grow almost any low tech plant.
 
sadcanine
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
Upgrading to a beamswork may be a good investment for the long run, they are a cheaper low light option. Duckweed is hard to get rid of, try using an amazon sword or hygrophila as a test plant. If you can grow those well, you can grow almost any low tech plant.
first I’ll try and cycle the tank, then I’ll start with the plants. Thank you for the help, I’ll keep you updated on the progress of the tank!
 
Gypsy13
  • #32
Gypsy13
Do you have any idea on the lighting I should use? Sorry if I'm tagging you for things you don't know, although you know a lot of things so worth a try!

There’s so many! Unfortunately I’m not one of them.
Two goods ones are tagged. Dave125g david1978 DoubleDutch and many more. Y’all know who you are. Jump in. The water is fine!
 
AJE
  • #33
If you really want to spoil it, add some rcs and daphnia for it to chase
 
max h
  • #34
You shouldn't have issues with cycling a 28 gallon tank with one betta, if it was a large pleco or oscar yes there would be issues with ammonia build up. I cycled a 55 gallon tank with 5 Zebra Danio's without an issue or stress to the fish then added stock slowely so the filter could keep up with the load put on it. If you where working with a 5 gallon tank I could see more concern for the fish. Now with plants Anubias and Java Fern will due fine with your light. I had a big piece of Java Fern in my 55 gallon that got very little lighting for about 2 months other then ambient room light. That piece is still going strong and is the donor for my 150 gallon project i'm doing right now.
 
Dave125g
  • #35
Bettas do ok during a fish in cycle. In a larger tank it shouldn't be an issue. As far as lighting just look for a bulb that has a color temperature of 5,000k or higher. A 10,000 k bulb like the floramax is ok for the plants, but your tank will be a bluish purple. Not very good fir viewing so between 5,000 and 6,500k will do well for you.
 
Gypsy13
  • #36
Oooh! Bluish purple sounds cool!
 
Dave125g
  • #37
Oooh! Bluish purple sounds cool!
It is , but it makes it harder to see the fish.
 
Kalyke
  • #38
Cycling a tank and keeping it in cycle requires ammonia. You might look up "plant cycling."
 
sadcanine
  • Thread Starter
  • #39
Thank you guys for all your suggestions!

I’m ordering the sponge filter and heater off Amazon tonight, when I set the tank up I’ll post a pic!
 

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