Restarting our betta aquarium

rileyandkristasbetta

Hey everyone! My boyfriend and I are ready to start a new cycle of our 5gallon betta fish tank. We’ve been reading on what’s the best way to start the new cycle. It said that a fish-less cycle is the best one for the tank. Is this correct? And if so, how long does it take to set up the nitrogen cycle?
(Were using this website as a start: The Nitrogen Cycle: Simple Step by Step Guide For Beginners) —>please let us know if you have any suggestions on how to start this new cycle!
 

e_watson09

The nitrogen cycle can vary for how long it takes. Usually about a month or two. If you're adding the quick start it should be faster. Can't wait to see your set up and new fish once all is said and done!
 
Upvote 0

BigManAquatics

I would suggest some other food as well besides just the blood worms once you get a betta!
 
Upvote 0

Megaanemp

I just wanted to add that some bettas do ok in a 5 gallon, but some don’t. I have two Bettas that needed to be upgraded to 10 gallons as they where too bored in the 5 gallons and started ripping out their fins due to frustration. I hope everything works out for you
 
Upvote 0

rileyandkristasbetta

I just wanted to add that some bettas do ok in a 5 gallon, but some don’t. I have two Bettas that needed to be upgraded to 10 gallons as they where too bored in the 5 gallons and started ripping out their fins due to frustration. I hope everything works out for you
How would we make a betta less bored?
We have a plant, a cave, a top leaf and we will get a live plant as well.

I would suggest some other food as well besides just the blood worms once you get a betta!
Yes we will! We usually get the pellets, but my boyfriends dog got into them.

The nitrogen cycle can vary for how long it takes. Usually about a month or two. If you're adding the quick start it should be faster. Can't wait to see your set up and new fish once all is said and done!
Okay thank you! Will update once we set everything up.
 
Upvote 0

BigManAquatics

Yes we will! We usually get the pellets, but my boyfriends dog got into them.
Yeah, we have 4 cats. Took me awhile before i found a place they just ignore the food containers.
 
Upvote 0

Aurorafishy

Everything looks good! Except i’d Suggest on getting an API master test kit, or some other kit which tests on everything and not just ammonia, you’ll need to pay attention to the nitrites and nitrates, since those can eventually cause problems. Keep us updated on what Betta you get once the cycle is up, and some pics! I love bettas. Good luck! And have you thought about starting a planted tank?
 
Upvote 0

FishBoy101

Yes we will! We usually get the pellets, but my boyfriends dog got into them.
LOL!!!!
 
Upvote 0

rileyandkristasbetta

Everything looks good! Except i’d Suggest on getting an API master test kit, or some other kit which tests on everything and not just ammonia, you’ll need to pay attention to the nitrites and nitrates, since those can eventually cause problems. Keep us updated on what Betta you get once the cycle is up, and some pics! I love bettas. Good luck! And have you thought about starting a planted tank?
We’re planning on getting one once we head into town! I was reading that we need to keep an eye on those. And with our last tank, we had a moss ball! And that seemed the help a lot. Do you have other recommendations?

We’re planning on getting one once we head into town! I was reading that we need to keep an eye on those. And with our last tank, we had a moss ball! And that seemed the help a lot. Do you have other recommendations?
Will update when we get everything set up and when it’s time to get our betta!
 
Upvote 0

Megaanemp

How would we make a betta less bored?
We have a plant, a cave, a top leaf and we will get a live plant as well.
Hi there. Honestly the best way is to get a bigger tank, however if you can’t upgrade the tank size, you could add new decorations from time to time, and slightly rearrange things from time to time. I also find that live plants can help because they are more likley to interact with them and swim through them. Be careful with plastic ones as they can ripe the bettas tail. Hope this helps
 
Upvote 0

rileyandkristasbetta

Hi there. Honestly the best way is to get a bigger tank, however if you can’t upgrade the tank size, you could add new decorations from time to time, and slightly rearrange things from time to time. I also find that live plants can help because they are more likley to interact with them and swim through them. Be careful with plastic ones as they can ripe the bettas tail. Hope this helps
Thank you so much!! That really does help.
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

I didn't see ammonia in the photo of your supplies. An ammonia source is the most important thing to have when cycling a tank. Without it the cycle will never start. When doing a fish in cycle the fish are supplying the ammonia. When doing a fishless cycle we have to add it. Lots of folks recommend Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride. It comes in a dropper bottle so is simple to add the proper amount.

In my humble opinion a 5 gallon tank is plenty big enough for one little Betta. I will recommend live plants if at all possible. Live will be gentler on the Bettas fins. If not live, I will recommend silk plants. Some plastics are soft but some can have pretty sharp edges.

When it comes to bottled bacteria I will recommend Tetra Safe Start Plus. I've never used any of the bottled bacteria but from all the reading I do folks have had better luck with it than some of the others. You won't find any info on the bottle about adding ammonia. The only reason i can think of for the information not being on there is it is designed to add it plus fish at the same time. The fish will be supplying the ammonia so they didn't see a need to tell folks about it.

Since this is going to be a Betta tank you may want to consider running a sponge filter as your primary filter. Some other filters move too much water and can make the fish uncomfortable. Other types of filters can be baffled to slow the flow so filtration is up to you.
 
Upvote 0

Aurorafishy

We’re planning on getting one once we head into town! I was reading that we need to keep an eye on those. And with our last tank, we had a moss ball! And that seemed the help a lot. Do you have other recommendations?

You could do Java ferns, they are fairly easy and can grow in gravel or sand. Amazon swords also work.
 
Upvote 0

rileyandkristasbetta

You could do Java ferns, they are fairly easy and can grow in gravel or sand. Amazon swords also work.
Thank you!! We will definitely look into it!

I didn't see ammonia in the photo of your supplies. An ammonia source is the most important thing to have when cycling a tank. Without it the cycle will never start. When doing a fish in cycle the fish are supplying the ammonia. When doing a fishless cycle we have to add it. Lots of folks recommend Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride. It comes in a dropper bottle so is simple to add the proper amount.

In my humble opinion a 5 gallon tank is plenty big enough for one little Betta. I will recommend live plants if at all possible. Live will be gentler on the Bettas fins. If not live, I will recommend silk plants. Some plastics are soft but some can have pretty sharp edges.

When it comes to bottled bacteria I will recommend Tetra Safe Start Plus. I've never used any of the bottled bacteria but from all the reading I do folks have had better luck with it than some of the others. You won't find any info on the bottle about adding ammonia. The only reason i can think of for the information not being on there is it is designed to add it plus fish at the same time. The fish will be supplying the ammonia so they didn't see a need to tell folks about it.

Since this is going to be a Betta tank you may want to consider running a sponge filter as your primary filter. Some other filters move too much water and can make the fish uncomfortable. Other types of filters can be baffled to slow the flow so filtration is up to you.
Thank you so much!! That gave us some much needed help. When reading, it said to drop 2-3 pellets/ freeze-dried food into the tank to help get the ammonia cycle going. Should we continue to do that after we purchase the Tetra Safe Start Plus?
 
Upvote 0

Megaanemp

Thank you so much!! That gave us some much needed help. When reading, it said to drop 2-3 pellets/ freeze-dried food into the tank to help get the ammonia cycle going. Should we continue to do that after we purchase the Tetra Safe Start Plus?
Yes. You need a constant supply of ammonia when cycling or the good bacteria will die off. It’s convenient to buy pure ammonia (no added scents) because you can dose it more precisely
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

Thank you so much!! That gave us some much needed help. When reading, it said to drop 2-3 pellets/ freeze-dried food into the tank to help get the ammonia cycle going. Should we continue to do that after we purchase the Tetra Safe Start Plus?
Adding fish food will produce ammonia but it is difficult to control the amount. If you choose to provide ammonia this way be sure you have an ammonia reading before adding the TSS+ or I fear the bacteria in the bottle won't get the food it needs to grow. By using fish food you are basically ghost feeding the tank. By adding a small pinch daily just as you would if there were fish in there it should produce a constant supply of ammonia but in the end it will be pretty messy in there.
 
Upvote 0

PNWBettas

Looking at the tank itself, it looks quite small. Are you totally sure it 5 gallons? It more resembles 2-3 gallons to me.
 
Upvote 0

Megaanemp

Looking at the tank itself, it looks quite small. Are you totally sure it 5 gallons? It more resembles 2-3 gallons to me.
I was kinda wondering the same, but it’s hard to tell from photos. You can test this with a measuring cup. 16 cups per gallon.
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

Looking at the tank itself, it looks quite small. Are you totally sure it 5 gallons? It more resembles 2-3 gallons to me.
You have a much better eye than I do. I can never judge the size of a tank by a photo.
 
Upvote 0

PNWBettas

I only say that since it also looks like plastic from the photo. I don’t know any 5 gallon tanks that are plastic, there may be one but I haven’t seen one.
 
Upvote 0

rileyandkristasbetta

Yes. You need a constant supply of ammonia when cycling or the good bacteria will die off. It’s convenient to buy pure ammonia (no added scents) because you can dose it more precisely

I only say that since it also looks like plastic from the photo. I don’t know any 5 gallon tanks that are plastic, there may be one but I haven’t seen one.
Thats what it said when we bought it, but I will do the water test to see. We can always buy a new one if it isn’t

Adding fish food will produce ammonia but it is difficult to control the amount. If you choose to provide ammonia this way be sure you have an ammonia reading before adding the TSS+ or I fear the bacteria in the bottle won't get the food it needs to grow. By using fish food you are basically ghost feeding the tank. By adding a small pinch daily just as you would if there were fish in there it should produce a constant supply of ammonia but in the end it will be pretty messy in there.
Okay thank you!!! Everyone has been so helpful!!

Yes. You need a constant supply of ammonia when cycling or the good bacteria will die off. It’s convenient to buy pure ammonia (no added scents) because you can dose it more precisely
Thank you! Can you buy the pure ammonia at PetSmart/ or Petco? That’s really the only places where I live to get fish supplies. If not, I can always look online
 
Upvote 0

Megaanemp

Thank you! Can you buy the pure ammonia at PetSmart/ or Petco? That’s really the only places where I live to get fish supplies. If not, I can always look online
I don’t think PetSmart would sell any, you could order some from amazon Or maybe find it in the cleaning section of a grocery store, just make sure it’s pure ammonium chloride with no additives.
 
Upvote 0

Aurorafishy

Thats what it said when we bought it, but I will do the water test to see. We can always buy a new one if it isn’t


Okay thank you!!! Everyone has been so helpful!!


Thank you! Can you buy the pure ammonia at PetSmart/ or Petco? That’s really the only places where I live to get fish supplies. If not, I can always look online

I found a bunch on amazon. I haven’t seen any in those stores unfortunately...
 
Upvote 0

rileyandkristasbetta

I don’t think PetSmart would sell any, you could order some from amazon Or maybe find it in the cleaning section of a grocery store, just make sure it’s pure ammonium chloride with no additives.
Okay thank you so much!! How much should we be adding to the fish tank and for how long?
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

Okay thank you so much!! How much should we be adding to the fish tank and for how long?
You will have to do a bit of experimentation. Start with a gallon of water in some kind of container. Add the ammonia a drop at a time. Keep track of how many drops it takes to get to 2ppm ammonia. Once you determine how many drops it takes to raise the ammonia level in that one gallon just multiply the number of drops by 5. That should get the ammonia in the tank up to 2ppm.

Once the ammonia you started with starts going down you will need to add more. Personally I would allow it to go down to about .5 before adding more. Just remember how many drops it takes to get from 0 to 2ppm and adjust the amount needed to get from .5 back up to 2. Don't get discouraged if it take 2 or even 3 weeks for the ammonia to start going down. If you choose to add TSS+ things may move a bit faster though. Without bottled bacteria you should start seeing nitrites in 2 or 3 weeks. With bottled bacteria you may miss the nitrite spike.

2ppm is pretty high for a 5 gallon tank that will only house a betta and maybe a snail or two but having more bacteria than needed isn't a problem.

you will be adding it each time it goes back down and will continue doing so until the ammonia you add goes down to zero within 24 hours, you are no longer seeing nitrites and your nitrates are gradually going up.
 
Upvote 0

rileyandkristasbetta

You will have to do a bit of experimentation. Start with a gallon of water in some kind of container. Add the ammonia a drop at a time. Keep track of how many drops it takes to get to 2ppm ammonia. Once you determine how many drops it takes to raise the ammonia level in that one gallon just multiply the number of drops by 5. That should get the ammonia in the tank up to 2ppm.

Once the ammonia you started with starts going down you will need to add more. Personally I would allow it to go down to about .5 before adding more. Just remember how many drops it takes to get from 0 to 2ppm and adjust the amount needed to get from .5 back up to 2. Don't get discouraged if it take 2 or even 3 weeks for the ammonia to start going down. If you choose to add TSS+ things may move a bit faster though. Without bottled bacteria you should start seeing nitrites in 2 or 3 weeks. With bottled bacteria you may miss the nitrite spike.

2ppm is pretty high for a 5 gallon tank that will only house a betta and maybe a snail or two but having more bacteria than needed isn't a problem.

you will be adding it each time it goes back down and will continue doing so until the ammonia you add goes down to zero within 24 hours, you are no longer seeing nitrites and your nitrates are gradually going up.
Thank you so so much!! I just went out and bought some of the items you and others have suggested. I ordered the ammonia online and should be here in a day or so. Here’s a picture of what I got today! I also purchased the amazon swords and took out the plastic plant.

You could do Java ferns, they are fairly easy and can grow in gravel or sand. Amazon swords also work.
I bought the amazon swords you suggested!

You will have to do a bit of experimentation. Start with a gallon of water in some kind of container. Add the ammonia a drop at a time. Keep track of how many drops it takes to get to 2ppm ammonia. Once you determine how many drops it takes to raise the ammonia level in that one gallon just multiply the number of drops by 5. That should get the ammonia in the tank up to 2ppm.

Once the ammonia you started with starts going down you will need to add more. Personally I would allow it to go down to about .5 before adding more. Just remember how many drops it takes to get from 0 to 2ppm and adjust the amount needed to get from .5 back up to 2. Don't get discouraged if it take 2 or even 3 weeks for the ammonia to start going down. If you choose to add TSS+ things may move a bit faster though. Without bottled bacteria you should start seeing nitrites in 2 or 3 weeks. With bottled bacteria you may miss the nitrite spike.

2ppm is pretty high for a 5 gallon tank that will only house a betta and maybe a snail or two but having more bacteria than needed isn't a problem.

you will be adding it each time it goes back down and will continue doing so until the ammonia you add goes down to zero within 24 hours, you are no longer seeing nitrites and your nitrates are gradually going up.
Also, should we only add the TTS+ once? Or should we be adding it daily like the ammonia?
 
Upvote 0

mattgirl

Also, should we only add the TTS+ once? Or should we be adding it daily like the ammonia?
Just pour the whole bottle in your filter if it is a HOB (hang on back). If using a sponge filter just pour it in the tank. Be sure to shake it well before pouring it in there and also rinse the bottle with tank water and pour it back in the tank. You can't over dose bottled bacteria. If it is going to do its job pouring all of it in there at once will give you the best chance of success.
 
Upvote 0

rileyandkristasbetta

Just pour the whole bottle in your filter if it is a HOB (hang on back). If using a sponge filter just pour it in the tank. Be sure to shake it well before pouring it in there and also rinse the bottle with tank water and pour it back in the tank. You can't over dose bottled bacteria. If it is going to do its job pouring all of it in there at once will give you the best chance of success.
Okay thank you so much!!
 
Upvote 0

sairving

If you're going to add live plants, you need to consider how big they will get. I've had my 3 gallon planted betta tank for a month now. When I went to my local fish store and asked about some of the plants I was considering, the employee said they will get larger than the tank. That meant no Java fern, amazon swords, and anubias coffeefolia (what I originally wanted). Cryptocorynes, Staurogyne repens, and Anubias Nana petite were recommended instead. I added Red Root floaters a few days later and Moneywort this weekend.

Cycling took about 2 weeks. My substrate released ammonia and once that happened, I added tetra safe start plus.
 
Upvote 0

Aurorafishy

Thank you so so much!! I just went out and bought some of the items you and others have suggested. I ordered the ammonia online and should be here in a day or so. Here’s a picture of what I got today! I also purchased the amazon swords and took out the plastic plant.


I bought the amazon swords you suggested!


Also, should we only add the TTS+ once? Or should we be adding it daily like the ammonia?

Seems like you got a hang of fish keeping judging from the picture! Great start!
 
Upvote 0

rileyandkristasbetta

If you're going to add live plants, you need to consider how big they will get. I've had my 3 gallon planted betta tank for a month now. When I went to my local fish store and asked about some of the plants I was considering, the employee said they will get larger than the tank. That meant no Java fern, amazon swords, and anubias coffeefolia (what I originally wanted). Cryptocorynes, Staurogyne repens, and Anubias Nana petite were recommended instead. I added Red Root floaters a few days later and Moneywort this weekend.

Cycling took about 2 weeks. My substrate released ammonia and once that happened, I added tetra safe start plus.
I saw that they do grow super tall! But they also said that you can trim them down to fit?
 
Upvote 0

sairving

I saw that they do grow super tall! But they also said that you can trim them down to fit?

I'm not 100% certain how to trim them. Maybe ask over in the aquarium plants section.
 
Upvote 0

Aurorafishy

I saw that they do grow super tall! But they also said that you can trim them down to fit?

You can buy those aquascaping scissors and trim them down carefully.

I think you can probably find them on amazon, not sure.
 
Upvote 0

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Question
Replies
4
Views
179
MasterPython
Replies
15
Views
1K
GemstonePony
  • Question
5 Gallon Tank Betta & Fin Rot
Replies
4
Views
141
emmykenzie
  • Question
5 Gallon Tank Help: Accident w/betta
Replies
1
Views
184
bcsay720
Replies
4
Views
276
Pete22

Random Great Thread!

New Betta Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom