Is my betta tank cycled?

kaleen

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I have a 5 gallon tank with one betta and one small snail that hitched a ride on some plants I bought from the store. It’s not a problem and i actually like seeing the snail lol. So to the question: is my tank cycled?

Test results show no ammonia or nitrites, but also no nitrates. There are quite a few live plants in this tank.

No obvious signs of ammonia stress in the fish. He’s eating fine and it swimming around fine. No heavy breathing or anything. He’s got a great personality and is his usual self.

Is it possible the tank is cycled, and the plants are using the nitrates?
 

PaprikaFish

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What steps did you take to cycle your aquarium? Did you ever see nitrites or nitrates at any time?

If your tank is heavily planted it might be possible that they are consuming all of the nitrates...
 

AcornTheBetta

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kaleen said:
I have a 5 gallon tank with one betta and one small snail that hitched a ride on some plants I bought from the store. It’s not a problem and i actually like seeing the snail lol. So to the question: is my tank cycled?

Test results show no ammonia or nitrites, but also no nitrates. There are quite a few live plants in this tank.

No obvious signs of ammonia stress in the fish. He’s eating fine and it swimming around fine. No heavy breathing or anything. He’s got a great personality and is his usual self.

Is it possible the tank is cycled, and the plants are using the nitrates?
Beware that that one little snail could turn into a snail arm depending on what type it is.
 
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kaleen

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PaprikaFish said:
What steps did you take to cycle your aquarium? Did you ever see nitrites or nitrates at any time?

If your tank is heavily planted it might be possible that they are consuming all of the nitrates...
I never saw them, but I’ll admit I didn’t test the water as often as I should have been. There’s a chance I also seeded the tank with bacteria, from the plants from the pet store and a few baby amazon swords from my other tank.
 
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kaleen

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AcornTheBetta said:
Beware that that one little snail could turn into a snail arm depending on what type it is.
Yeah I was worried about that. If I see more than one I’ll remove them. But for now there’s only one snail lol
 

AcornTheBetta

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kaleen said:
Yeah I was worried about that. If I see more than one I’ll remove them. But for now there’s only one snail lol
If you show us a picture we may be able to ID it and see if it will reproduce like mad.
 

mattgirl

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We really can't answer this question without knowing a bit of history about the tank. If you set it up a week ago the cycle may not have started and that is why you are seeing all zero's. If it has been set up for a month or more it is possible that it is cycled and the plants are keeping the numbers down or the plants are eating all the ammonia your little guy is producing so no bacteria has grown and that may be why there are no nitrates.
 
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kaleen

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AcornTheBetta said:
If you show us a picture we may be able to ID it and see if it will reproduce like mad.
I think it’s a bladder snail but I’m not exactly sure. Here’s a photo. Not the best picture so let me know if you need a better quality one.
 

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AcornTheBetta

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kaleen said:
I think it’s a bladder snail but I’m not exactly sure. Here’s a photo. Not the best picture so let me know if you need a better quality one.
Hmm I'm not sure.....
 
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kaleen

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mattgirl said:
We really can't answer this question without knowing a bit of history about the tank. If you set it up a week ago the cycle may not have started and that is why you are seeing all zero's. If it has been set up for a month or more it is possible that it is cycled and the plants are keeping the numbers down or the plants are eating all the ammonia your little guy is producing so no bacteria has grown and that may be why there are no nitrates.
Sorry lol my bad. I set the tank up a little over a month ago. 7 weeks and 3 days to be exact.
 
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kaleen

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AcornTheBetta said:
Hmm I'm not sure.....
What do you do with pest snails? I wouldn’t let it go outside or anything
 
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kaleen

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AcornTheBetta said:
I'm going to say it is probably cycled.
So since the tank is most likely cycled, I have another question.

If I’m looking to change the substrate, how should I go about doing it without crashing my cycle? I currently have sand but I want to change to gravel.
 

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kaleen said:
Sorry lol my bad. I set the tank up a little over a month ago. 7 weeks and 3 days to be exact.
I would have to assume it is cycled then. Even if it isn't, as long as you are seeing no ammonia or nitrites seeing no nitrates really isn't a problem. It is very possible your plants are consuming the tiny bit of nitrates produced by the ammonia your one little guy is adding to feed the bacteria or they may actually be using the ammonia so nitrites/nitrates are never produced. Still not a problem.
 

AcornTheBetta

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kaleen said:
So since the tank is most likely cycled, I have another question.

If I’m looking to change the substrate, how should I go about doing it without crashing my cycle? I currently have sand but I want to change to gravel.
You could mix a small bit of the sand into the gravel to seed it.
 

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kaleen said:
So since the tank is most likely cycled, I have another question.

If I’m looking to change the substrate, how should I go about doing it without crashing my cycle? I currently have sand but I want to change to gravel.
If it were the other way around and you were going from gravel to sand I would be concerned about the cycle. Since bacteria grows on every surface in our tank there will be quite a bit on the gravel. When it comes to sand though any bacteria will be mostly on the surface. I wouldn't be concerned about losing a lot of bacteria by removing the sand and adding gravel. Just be sure to keep all the decor in water you have pulled from the tank while removing the sand and adding the gravel. There will be bacteria on the decor so it needs to be kept wet.
 

PaprikaFish

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kaleen said:
I never saw them, but I’ll admit I didn’t test the water as often as I should have been. There’s a chance I also seeded the tank with bacteria, from the plants from the pet store and a few baby amazon swords from my other tank.
Did you add ammonia to the the tank at any time (through pure ammonia, fish food, or your betta)? If not, I don't think that your tank is cycled. Even if you had seeded bacteria by bringing in plants, they would have died without an ammonia source.

I could be wrong however; you could have a silent cycle on your hands maybe?
 

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PaprikaFish said:
Did you add ammonia to the the tank at any time (through pure ammonia, fish food, or your betta)? If not, I don't think that your tank is cycled. Even if you had seeded bacteria by bringing in plants, they would have died without an ammonia source.

I could be wrong however; you could have a silent cycle on your hands maybe?
Sorry didn't see the previous conversation lol. I agree, if it was set up that long ago the ammonia produced by one betta is probably being consumed before it has a chance to convert. :)
 
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kaleen

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mattgirl said:
If it were the other way around and you were going from gravel to sand I would be concerned about the cycle. Since bacteria grows on every surface in our tank there will be quite a bit on the gravel. When it comes to sand though any bacteria will be mostly on the surface. I wouldn't be concerned about losing a lot of bacteria by removing the sand and adding gravel. Just be sure to keep all the decor in water you have pulled from the tank while removing the sand and adding the gravel. There will be bacteria on the decor so it needs to be kept wet.
Ok, thanks!
 

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