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Aqui290

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Hello! I recently lost my betta back in July to what I suspect was a water quality issue. I received my betta as a gift and the tank was never properly cycled and I was dealing with continuous low concentrations (0.25 ppm) levels of ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 5 ppm nitrate. I would like to get a new betta at some point, but wanted to do a fishless cycle on the old tank (10 gallons) so that it is ready for whenever I need it. What is the recommended way for disinfecting the tank after a fish dies (bleach)? I do have some low light plants and have a a smaller 5 gallon tank that I can move them to (can or should you cycle a tank with plants in there?) I found the thread on fishless cycling and am planning on doing the Add and Wait Method (Ammonia Instructions For A Fishless Cycle | 19627 | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle)

My second question is should I try to use my old filter to help cycle my new one, even though the old tank never got cycled properly? I have the aqueon quietflow 10 filter and have those filter pads. My tank never seemed to get cycled and since I'm in no rush, I figured this might be the best time to try and customize the filter with better bio media (if anyone has any ideas on this, please let me know!) For actual cycling, does anyone have a recommendation for brands of pure ammonia to use (I see Dr. Tim's mentioned alot). I also have some seachem stability that I was using to try and save the other tank. Would it be better to try and cycle the tank without this since I won't be using the tank for a while? Sorry for all the questions, but I really want things to try and go better this time. Thanks in advance!
 
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Katie993

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Some people use a bleach solution but, you'd probably be better off to just clean it really well with water and let it sit in the sun for a few days. The sun will kill anything left over in the tank. Plants are great for cycling! They help keep your parameters stable. If they're new plants, don't fertilize for a week or so. They'll need time to adjust to the tank before they start actually taking in the fertilizer and it'll cause a massive algae bloom. If you're worried that your last betta may have been sick and you're disinfecting the tank, don't use the old media. It is probably carrying whatever the last fish had and there's really no way to disinfect the filter media without starting the cycle over anyway. Stability is great but, not really needed in a fishless cycle. In my opinion, I would set the tank up with some good filter media, quite a few plants, use the stability, and go ahead and get the betta. One betta in a 10 gallon tank will not create enough of a bioload for you to have any issues cycling the tank with fish-in cycling. If you're absolutely set on fishless cycling, I've heard a lot of good things about Dr Tim's but some people also use cheap, pure ammonia for cleaning and have had good results also. Good Luck!
 
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Aqui290

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Katie993 said:
Some people use a bleach solution but, you'd probably be better off to just clean it really well with water and let it sit in the sun for a few days. The sun will kill anything left over in the tank. Plants are great for cycling! They help keep your parameters stable. If they're new plants, don't fertilize for a week or so. They'll need time to adjust to the tank before they start actually taking in the fertilizer and it'll cause a massive algae bloom. If you're worried that your last betta may have been sick and you're disinfecting the tank, don't use the old media. It is probably carrying whatever the last fish had and there's really no way to disinfect the filter media without starting the cycle over anyway. Stability is great but, not really needed in a fishless cycle. In my opinion, I would set the tank up with some good filter media, quite a few plants, use the stability, and go ahead and get the betta. One betta in a 10 gallon tank will not create enough of a bioload for you to have any issues cycling the tank with fish-in cycling. If you're absolutely set on fishless cycling, I've heard a lot of good things about Dr Tim's but some people also use cheap, pure ammonia for cleaning and have had good results also. Good Luck!
Thank you! Do you have any recommendations for filter media? I've been wanting to customize my aqueon filter for a while and since I'm starting over now is probably the best time to do it. I've looked into doing the sponge-filter floss-biomedia combo to replace the aqueon cartridge. I wanted to see if there were products others have had good success with. I noticed that the flow on my aqueon was sometimes a bit too strong for my betta too.
 

mang0

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maybe use cleaning vinegar? this is what i used to clean out my tank that was in storage, but i'm not sure about using it in a tank where a fish died
 

Katie993

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Aqui290 said:
Thank you! Do you have any recommendations for filter media? I've been wanting to customize my aqueon filter for a while and since I'm starting over now is probably the best time to do it. I've looked into doing the sponge-filter floss-biomedia combo to replace the aqueon cartridge. I wanted to see if there were products others have had good success with. I noticed that the flow on my aqueon was sometimes a bit too strong for my betta too.
Filter media is kind of complicated but, it usually just depends on the person and what they’re looking for. The basic combination is filter floss and either ceramic rings or bioballs. You can also use carbon if you want. I usually just use carbon if it comes with a new filter and, once it’s done, I don’t add more. The problem I have with carbon is you have to take it out when medicating and change it every month or something like that. That’s just too much for me to remember to do with all my tanks. It also gets expensive if you have more than a couple tanks. I do have some zeolite mixed with carbon that I add occasionally if I’m having issues with nitrates because I had some severely overstocked tanks when I had Livebearers. Is it an Aqueon Quiet 10? If so, they do slow down a bit once they’ve been running for awhile. You might try getting a sponge prefilter. That usually helps slow them down. Sponge filters are the best for bettas if you’re looking to switch and then you wouldn’t even need filter media. Just an air pump and tubing. They make sponge filters with media cups also if you want to run carbon. If you’re looking for something slower but still a hang on back, aqueon makes their internal shrimp filter but, they kind of suck. They don’t last very long. I’ve also heard good things about the Ziss moving bed filters from Aquarium Co-op. Basically a sponge filter but it holds way more beneficial bacteria and it has media in it. I don’t know how the flow is though. I haven’t had a chance to try them yet.
 

ValkyrieLips

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My go to filter media is a combination of ceramic rings, filter floss (or untreated polyester), and I top it with a porous sponge. Has been fantastic at stabilizing my water parameters once my BB set up shop. I added each slowly using parts of an old filter cartridge to seed it. If the flow is too strong you need to buffer it. You can do this with a sponge on the intake or on the output. Tons of hacks out there if you research them.
 

Katie993

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ValkyrieLips said:
My go to filter media is a combination of ceramic rings, filter floss (or untreated polyester), and I top it with a porous sponge. Has been fantastic at stabilizing my water parameters once my BB set up shop. I added each slowly using parts of an old filter cartridge to seed it. If the flow is too strong you need to buffer it. You can do this with a sponge on the intake or on the output. Tons of hacks out there if you research them.
I use plants and decorations to block the flow from my Aqueon.
 

ValkyrieLips

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Katie993 said:
I use plants and decorations to block the flow from my Aqueon.
If you don't have a betta you're golden, but I've found you really need to add something to your filter output or input to reduce current for a happy betta. Every situation is different, and my plakat could be fine without my filter mods but I want to create an ecosystem that is ideal so I reduce current as much as I can. Research is cool.
 

Katie993

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ValkyrieLips said:
If you don't have a betta you're golden, but I've found you really need to add something to your filter output or input to reduce current for a happy betta. Every situation is different, and my plakat could be fine without my filter mods but I want to create an ecosystem that is ideal so I reduce current as much as I can. Research is cool.
My crowntail female is the guinea pig usually. If she struggles with the current, I know my big finned boys can’t handle it.
 

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