Nutrafin Cycle?

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Asinity

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Hey everyone,

I've been asking on one of the other boards about some stuff and would like some other opinions.

I'm setting up my 5.5 gallon for a betta, I've got everything ready to rip for the cycle, but I just wanted to know what people's opinion is on Nutrafin Cycle, I'd like to know before I set everything up so I can return it if it doesn't do a good job. I was also planning on using Zeo-Carb but have opted against that for straight Carbon and Bio-Max.

Anything else I should know? I've only kept betta's in bowls in previous years and they all lived rather lengthy lives, so I've got some idea on what's going on, but it has been a while. Refreshers would be good.

Thanks.
 

chickadee

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Cycle is a product that instead of helping to cycle the tank will actually help your fish store management retire early   .   You see the reason it is selling so well is that once you start you cannot stop.  If you stop using it the "cycle" you got from the stuff falls on its face.  It is fine for the people selling it but it is a real waste of money.  Return it and spend the money on  something that you want, it does not work. 

I am glad you are not going to be using Zeolite in the carbon, it would keep your tank from cycling as it is an artificial way to get rid of the ammonia in the tank.  If you had a cycled tank already and were having problems with Natural Ammonia in the tap water, I would definitely recommend it but it is a hinderance in the tank when you are trying to do the cycle and a waste of money (expensive) if you do not need it for a real problem with the water. 

I do not know Bio-Max, but if it is supposed to kick start a cycle, return it too.  There is only one product on the market that has been proven to help the cycle in any way.  That product is Bio-spira put out by the good folks at Marineland.  It is expensive due to the special handling involved (has to be refrigerated because it is LIVE BACTERIA)  Any of the products that are not refrigerated cannot be live bacteria, or if they were they are not live after sitting on the shelf for who knows how long.

I am so glad you are thinking of rescuing a betta.  You are so welcome here and we do want to welcome you to the forum as I do not believe that I have posted to you before.  Please be sure and introduce your betta when you get him/her.

Rose
 
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Asinity

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Thanks for the pronto reply.

Bio-Max is a filter media that I saw at the store (It also came recommended by goldenfish in the beginners forum) , it's the third stage for Aquaclear filters - said to increase biological filtration by 30%, I suppose it just gives those helpful bacteria another place to live.

This is from the Hagen website;

- Fits AquaClear 20 and "Mini" (I own a Mini)
- Increases biological filtration efficiency by 30%
- Enhances ammonia and nitrite reduction

I am likely going to be using fish food to push my cycle along, unless I can figure out where to get straight ammonia.

The two betta's I owned in the past were Demon (dark red, bought on Friday the 13th), and Sapphire. Both of them lived for a couple years a piece, I really enjoyed having them around, so I thought I'd get myself another one.

If I were to get a female, could I have two together? I highly doubt I would go this route, but you never know.

In the past I used Aqua+ a lot for a dechlorinator, I never had problems with it either. Is this a good product, or are there better options for reasonably the same price?
 

gammerus

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A couple years isn't bad but if you get a younger one he may last 4-5yrs (mine have) and you cannot keep males and females together unless you are breeding them; they will rip each other apart if you do not go through the proper breeding process, and even then the female will not be unscathed.
 
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Asinity

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I meant can I keep multiple females in the same tank.
 

0morrokh

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No you cannot keep 2 female Bettas together.  The ones that live together need to be kept in groups of 3.  However, we can no longer recommend keeping female Bettas together in any numbers due to several death and near death experiences.  The girls seem to be much more aggressive than we used to think.  Rose lost several girls due to an attempt to keep them together back when we thought they would get along. :'(

I second don't waste your money on Cycle.  Filter sounds good.  Ammonia can be bought in cleaning sections at places like Walmart I believe although I can never seem to find it myself...flakes are just fine although cycling with them takes a bit longer.  As far as dechlor goes, dechlor is dechlor...as long as it removes chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals it's good.  Some people like using dechlors such as Stress Coat which contain aloe which is supposed to be good for fish, but others don't like it due to a slight foam it can sometimes leave, and I don't know if there's any negative side of adding aloe to the water.  It is nice to have on hand though as a minor stress reliever/slime coat stimulator.

Welcome to the forum and I'm so glad you are switching to a nice big tank for your Betta.
 
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Asinity

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Now if only I can convince my mom to get her Betta and goldfish out of their bowls, sadly it seems a lot of people have the whole 'it's just a fish' mentality, my fiancee included - heck I asked her straight out "What if I called your dog, 'just a dog'?" She didn't like that much, but also didn't see the relation. A pet is a pet whether it's a mouse, a fish or a dog...

Thanks for the info, I always thought females could be housed together but that's good to know that they really shouldn't be.
 

chickadee

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There are some things that you need to know about the Bio-max.  I looked it up and found that this may be holding your cycle back.  You cannot cycle with anything that removes ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates and should not use this in your tank until AFTER it is cycled.  The dechlor agents are also classed into those that remove ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and just the ones that remove chlorine and chloramines and heavy metals.

You cannot use any dechlorinating agent that reduces ammonia, nitrite or nitrates during the cycle process.  StressCoat and the just plain dechlor agents are fine but Amquel+ and some of the others (including Prime) cannot be used during cycling.  

The ammonia has to be allowed to exist in the tank to give the bacteria something to feed on during the cycle and if your filter media and dechlor agent are removing it, your tank will not cycle.

When you have a fully cycled tank all these agents and filter media are okay to use if you wish.

No, we no longer recommend that the betta females be put in the same tank...We have had deaths from the attempt to house them together and near deaths and injuries during a frenzy in Phloxface's female tank until she split the 5 females up that lived in her female tank.  The following link will give you the idea of what just happened and why we no longer recommend housing them together.  I unfortunately did lose 3 of my 4 females to the dominant female in my tank because of her actions directly or indirectly.  It is hard to lose fish but to lose them because they are killing each other is very much sadder.



Rose
 
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Asinity

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The Aqua Plus I got is strictly for Chlorine, Chlorimine and Heavy Metals. It also coats the fish.

Is it okay to use Carbon during the cycle? Or should the tank be filtered with the foam media only?
 

Phloxface

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Rose, the BioMax he is talking about doesn't remove any ammonia, nitrites or nitrates from the water. It is simply a filter media for the beneficial bacteria to grow on. It works just like the Bio wheel does. It looks like a bag of white gravel but is a highly porous substance that allows lots of bacteria to grow. I have one of the AquaClear filters in Phlox's tank and really like it. You can even adjust the water flow to create less disturbance on the surface.
Asinity: just make sure you do not ever replace the BioMax or the sponge in your filter, even though the manufacturer tells you to change them both on alternate months. It is just a way for them to keep making money from you and will screw up your cycle! Both the sponge and the BioMax will have loads of good bacteria once your tank is cycled and you don't want to lose that! If they get really dirty just give them a light rinse in USED tank water. The bag of carbon can be replaced when needed but you don't even have to have carbon all the time. In fact, if you have live plants you should avoid using activated carbon too often as it removes elements that the plants use in the water. I usually put a little fresh carbon in about every 5 weeks and leave it in for 6 days. After that it's no good anymore anyways.
I like your attitude about animals! I too believe that it doesn't matter if it's a $2000 purebred dog or a 10 cent feeder goldfish. They are all deserving of the same care! All life matters and has equal value and the price is just something the stores come up with. I know that some might disagree but for me, I do not consider the life of a fish any less than that of a human. I believe that animals, especially those we keep as pets, are here for us to love, protect and to teach us compassion and to value all life. My 2 cents worth... 

Also, females can be kept together in a divided tank. They enjoy each other's company as long as they are kept separated they are safe. People have kept females together but in the process of the females working out a pecking order, it will mean certain death for at least a few of them! IMO it's not worth it to sacrifice the lives of those poor fish!
 

heatmisr

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The ironic thing is, there is a link for this product on the nitrogen cycle page under the tips on speeding up the cycle.
 

chickadee

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It is probably a sponsor paid for link, not added by the site.

Rose
 
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Asinity

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Well I just started my weekend off just peachy.

I went back to the store, took back the Zeo-Carb and Cycle, and bought myself a 3 pack of carbon, a bio-max insert, and a thermometer (funny, I forgot that the first trip... ) I just spent the last hour and a half setting the final touches for the aquarium and have everything running now. Honestly, I forgot how much I loved this when I was younger and wish I had of stayed with it. It made me forget the normal hussle & bussle of everyday life and just enjoy some time. It looks great thus far, I'm using fake plants from my old aquarium and they only go up about half way to the top of the tank, and with the betta preferring the top of the tank, he'll have plenty of room.

I'm really looking forward to it, off to the store tomorrow to get some ammonia to start things off right.

Thanks for all the advice, but anything else anyone can think of would be excellent!
 

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This seems like a small thing but wasn't for me.  I don't know what your tank is sitting on but mine sits on a piece of furniture.  Water that dripped down the outside of the glass while working in it was settling between the wood and the tank.  Not a good thing.

I went to Walmart and got myself a nice rubbery bath mat to put between the tank and the furniture.  Now the wood's protected.  Of course, since you now have water in your tank, erm, maybe I could have mentioned this sooner huh?

Well, I emptied my tank, so worth it it was to me to protect the wood. 

Also, you know the big, clear, plastic chair mat things you put on carpet so that office chairs will roll?  I got one of those and cut it in half and it's on the floor in front of the tank to protect the carpet from water damage.

Then there's the testing kit.  Do you have one?  Alot of peeps here use Aquarium Pharmaceuticals brand (liquids).

That's all I can think of right now.

I so agree with what you said about 'tanking' taking us away from the hustle and bustle of everyday busyness.  Tanking has its own busyness but it's fun work.

Oh, if you have money to throw around, a lunar light would be awesome.

And one more thing...they sell a gizmo that will keep your air running in the event of power failure.  It's battery operated.  Something good to have imo.

Have fun ((Asinity)) !!
 
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Asinity

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My tank is sitting on my dresser, it's 30 years old so water damage really doesn't matter too much... although I am thinking I will swipe some rubber matting from work which should do the trick. Lifting a 5.5 gallon isn't hard to do (for me anyway), if it's around 55 pounds... I'm used to lifting 40-80 pound gears and putting them into CNC lathes, a little tank shouldn't be too difficult

I'm still needing a test kit, are liquids better than test strips?

What is a lunar light out of curiosity?

I've also run into a bit of a concern, I remembered when I was younger the aquarium light heated up my tank like crazy, I'm trying to get a good temperature set, I checked this morning and it was at 70 degrees, is that okay for a night time temperature, so there is room to go with the light on during the day? Invest in lower wattage bulbs maybe? The one's in the tank are 15W.
 

nmwierman1977

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Yes, liquids are definitely better then the strips. The liquids give you an actual reading where the chemical levels are. The strips don't. They more or less give you an approximate reading of where they are. You want an exact reading. Natalie
 

chickadee

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Okay, first of all a Betta is going to have to have a tank at 80 degrees minimum or he will be sick. The way about having a heat problem with you light is to use a Mini-Fluorescent bulb instead of an Incandescent bulb. They are not expensive and as long as you do not get one that says 50/50 but one that is All Glass or Colormax you can keep the algae down. The long tubular bulbs that come with a lot of aquarium kits are the type that heat up a tank. The Bettas are definitely warm water fish and even if the temperature gets up to 82 they will love it. anything below 80 tends to encourage the cool water diseases like Ich, Velvet, Bacterial Finrot.

One thing I would recommend is one tall plant that goes almost to the top of the tank with soft leaves so the betta can have a sleeping perch close to the surface. It saves the effort that they would have to spend swimming to the top to breathe at night. Just a little love gift to the sleepy little buddies.

Lunar lights are blue lights that make you tank glow at night so you can watch them after "lights out" and they are not disturbed by the light. (they cannot see them)

Rose
 
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Asinity

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How long does it take for a 50W heater to get things warmed up? I have had the heater set to max for 24 hours and the temperature is sitting around 76 degrees. I have the thermometer located at the opposite end of the tank as the heater, would being on the same end as the filter/top of the tank cause a problem in reading? I'm worried my heater isn't as good as it should be, it is about 9 years old now and was in storage most of that time.

Thanks for the info about the lights and the tall plant.
 

Phloxface

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It sounds like your heater is defective. It shouldn't take a 50 watt heater any longer than a couple of hours to reach the desired temp. You should probably pick up a new one.
 
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Asinity

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Aww nuts It's so hard to get good help nowadays... :-\
 
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