Two Uncycled Betta Tanks. Le Sigh.

LocoGoneCrazy

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I have my betta in a 1 gallon because I didn't know any better when I initially purchased him. Tank with fish in was set up in May.

I bought him a 5.5 gallon and it's mostly set up with water and filter and everything needed.

Here are my issues:

I believe I never let my one gallon fully cycle. Because! I kept removing the carbon filter media (the only media used in this tank) and replacing it with new cartridges. My fish is okay still. I test his water and I complete frequent water changes. But I can't say that I ever saw Nitrates. It's possible but I wasn't ever looking for that when testing cuz I'm a doof who didn't know any better.

I really want to get him moved to his new tank, but it is also... you guessed it.... uncycled.

I have moved most of his decor from one gallon to the new tank, but I still have a plant and moss ball in the one gallon.

He is in the one gallon with a mystery snail. Mystery snail has been in since Monday and the betta doesn't seem to mind until... this morning. I think he attacked the snail. I heard loud rumbling of rocks and when I came to the tank, Loco (betta) was hovering above Advil (snail) and the snail tipped over.

I'm so anxious to get him out of this tiny home. It's been suggested to me that it will be okay to cycle his new tank with him in it. But of course I am extremely nervous for that and want to know exactly what I'm getting into.

It's taken me a lot longer than it should have to get a proper grasp on the Nitrogen cycle.

Do you think I should cycle the new tank before putting him in? I understand the process of how to do it. I think best would be pure ammonia drops. About how long do you think this process will take? He has grown a lot and I think he is now more frustrated with the small space of his one gallon than ever before.

or

Do you think I should get him moved over to new tank and closely monitor and test his water over the next few weeks? For now I can keep the snail in the smaller tank if Loco wants to keep bullying Advil. I can try putting Advil into bigger tank much later.

Thank you thank you for any advice or help!
 

aoiumi

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Well I think you already know my opinion.

Whatever you go with, good luck!
 

Momgoose56

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I have my betta in a 1 gallon because I didn't know any better when I initially purchased him. Tank with fish in was set up in May.

I bought him a 5.5 gallon and it's mostly set up with water and filter and everything needed.

Here are my issues:

I believe I never let my one gallon fully cycle. Because! I kept removing the carbon filter media (the only media used in this tank) and replacing it with new cartridges. My fish is okay still. I test his water and I complete frequent water changes. But I can't say that I ever saw Nitrates. It's possible but I wasn't ever looking for that when testing cuz I'm a doof who didn't know any better.

I really want to get him moved to his new tank, but it is also... you guessed it.... uncycled.

I have moved most of his decor from one gallon to the new tank, but I still have a plant and moss ball in the one gallon.

He is in the one gallon with a mystery snail. Mystery snail has been in since Monday and the betta doesn't seem to mind until... this morning. I think he attacked the snail. I heard loud rumbling of rocks and when I came to the tank, Loco (betta) was hovering above Advil (snail) and the snail tipped over.

I'm so anxious to get him out of this tiny home. It's been suggested to me that it will be okay to cycle his new tank with him in it. But of course I am extremely nervous for that and want to know exactly what I'm getting into.

It's taken me a lot longer than it should have to get a proper grasp on the Nitrogen cycle.

Do you think I should cycle the new tank before putting him in? I understand the process of how to do it. I think best would be pure ammonia drops. About how long do you think this process will take? He has grown a lot and I think he is now more frustrated with the small space of his one gallon than ever before.

or

Do you think I should get him moved over to new tank and closely monitor and test his water over the next few weeks? For now I can keep the snail in the smaller tank if Loco wants to keep bullying Advil. I can try putting Advil into bigger tank much later.

Thank you thank you for any advice or help!
I always recommend fishless cycling. You've got to have some bacteria built up on the gravel and decorations in the 1 gallon if your betta has been in there since May. You might be able to massively jump start a cycle in the 5 gallon if you move all that stuff over to the 5. So what are your pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels in your 1 gallon? If the 1g IS cycled, just moving every thing over to the 5 wil instantly cycle it. In the mean time, move everything you just took out of the 1gallon, back into it until you decide how to proceed. You are starving any bacteria that are on that stuff by putting it in a tank devoid of an ammonia source.
 
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LocoGoneCrazy

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@aoiumi YES! Thank you so much. I'm just so nervous

As far as the starving of bacteria.... Should I put a little food into the new 5 gallon? would that help?

pH - 7.0
Ammonia in between 0.5 - 1 --> hard to tell on the dip test
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
 
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mattgirl

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You have a choice of an uncycled tiny tank and an uncycled bigger tank. Makes sense to just move everything from the tiny tank to the bigger tank and just keep doing what you are doing. I have to think you are keeping up with the water changes because your little guy is healthy after being in the tiny tank for all this time.

Personally I think folks stress themselves out too much over cycling a tank with one little fish in it. As long as we do our water changes it isn't the end of the world if the tank NEVER completes a full cycle.

Cycling a tank is more for us than it is for them. Water doesn't have to be changed as often in a fully cycled tank. Change out half or more of the water in the tank every week, don't over feed and just enjoy your little water pet. The cycle will happen as long as he is in there producing minuscule amounts of ammonia.
 

LocoGoneCrazy

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I can't thank you all enough for chiming in. Especially @aoiumi. You stopped me from having major heart attacks, lolol.

I wanted his new tank to be perfect before setting him in, so thank you for quelling my anxiety about it not being okay to cycle fish in, although maybe not incredibly ideal.

Loco is the trooper of all troopers. :smug: He has grown so much and yes a very healthy boy. I just know he hates his tiny space.

I'm lowering the temp of the big tank right now. I had it at 85 for bacteria preservation if there was any. I will get him and the rest of his stuff moved when it reaches his typical temp. Should be in a few hours.

I've never moved a fish between tanks. Can you tell me how to best acclimate him and make sure the process runs smoothly? Also, typical feeding times today or something else?
 
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mattgirl

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I can't thank you all enough for chiming in. Especially @aoiumi. You stopped me from having major heart attacks, lolol.

I wanted his new tank to be perfect before setting him in, so thank you for quelling my anxiety about it not being okay to cycle fish in, although maybe not incredibly ideal.

Loco is the trooper of all troopers. :smug: He has grown so much and yes a very healthy boy. I just know he hates his tiny space.

I'm lowering the temp of the big tank right now. I had it at 85 for bacteria preservation if there was any. I will get him and the rest of his stuff moved when it reaches his typical temp. Should be in a few hours.

I've never moved a fish between tanks. Can you tell me how to best acclimate him and make sure the process runs smoothly? Also, typical feeding times today or something else?
If the water in his tiny tank and the water in the bigger tank is the same source water it is just a matter of moving him from one tank to the other one. No acclimation is really necessary as long as the temp in both tanks are the same or very close to the same.
 

LocoGoneCrazy

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That's great. I've always used conditioned bottled spring water for his water and did so for the new tank as well.

I'll get him moved tonight. I can't tell you how excited I am to put him in the correct size tank. I've always felt tremendously awful for getting it wrong the first time. I listened to a PetSmart associate about one gallon being generous. Never again.

Thanks for all the help!
 

mattgirl

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That's great. I've always used conditioned bottled spring water for his water and did so for the new tank as well.

I'll get him moved tonight. I can't tell you how excited I am to put him in the correct size tank. I've always felt tremendously awful for getting it wrong the first time. I listened to a PetSmart associate about one gallon being generous. Never again.

Thanks for all the help!
Sadly you aren't the first and won't be the last to get bad advice from a pet store employee. The good thing is now you know better and are moving your little guy to a proper home. I know I can speak for all of us when I say "We Love Pictures" and are looking forward to seeing your little guy in his new home. :)
 
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LocoGoneCrazy

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I got Loco in last night and he seems soooo happy. He has a lot of little spots to hang out and be lazy and he's had a lot of fun checking everything out. There are a lot of tiny little bubble nests all over the tank, too.

One issue! The tank's filter is too strong for him. It's on the lowest setting. I thought it might be but certain spots really toss him around more than anticipated. There are a lot of places he can get away from this current and relax, but I really want to get this right for him.

I have a Top Fin Silentstream Power 10

I'm between baffling or getting something else entirely.

Pics below. I truly couldn't get a good pic of this fish if I paid professional to do it for me lolol. The second I have the perfect pic he turns away. Every time. o_O It's ridiculous :D
 

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mattgirl

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I am sure he is lovin' his new home. :) He is a beautiful little guy.

Some folks put a piece of foam up there where the water comes out of the filter to slow the flow down. Others cut a plastic bottle in such a way to fit there and baffles the water. You may want to play around with both ideas to see if either will work for you. Sometimes just putting a pre-filter sponge on the uptake tube will slow the water down too.
 

LocoGoneCrazy

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I cut a fluval Aquaclear foam piece and put it on the outside of the uptake anticipating these issues. I think you can see what I did in my full tank pic. I'm thinking about buying an actual prefilter sponge off Amazon (PetSmart didn't have them). Maybe the Fluval foam isn't dense enough to make a difference.

The pic below is the inside of my filter. Can you tell me where exactly I would put any foam on the inside with these types of media?
 

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Jenay

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I got Loco in last night and he seems soooo happy. He has a lot of little spots to hang out and be lazy and he's had a lot of fun checking everything out. There are a lot of tiny little bubble nests all over the tank, too.

One issue! The tank's filter is too strong for him. It's on the lowest setting. I thought it might be but certain spots really toss him around more than anticipated. There are a lot of places he can get away from this current and relax, but I really want to get this right for him.

I have a Top Fin Silentstream Power 10

I'm between baffling or getting something else entirely.

Pics below. I truly couldn't get a good pic of this fish if I paid professional to do it for me lolol. The second I have the perfect pic he turns away. Every time. o_O It's ridiculous :D
First, I love 'Advil' as a name for your snail. Seriously made me laugh out loud. Second, I was pretty ignorant for the first 30 or so years I've been keeping bettas. With reasonable water changes, and real plants, I had several over the years that lived in their gallon vases for 5-7 years. I never had a suck fish, all were brightly colored, active and interactive, and I don't feel guilty about their lives. You shouldn't either, especially since you've upgraded him so beautifully. Keep your water quality good, feed good quality foods, and make sure there's nothing in the tank that can tear up his fins.
 

mattgirl

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I cut a fluval Aquaclear foam piece and put it on the outside of the uptake anticipating these issues. I think you can see what I did in my full tank pic. I'm thinking about buying an actual prefilter sponge off Amazon (PetSmart didn't have them). Maybe the Fluval foam isn't dense enough to make a difference.

The pic below is the inside of my filter. Can you tell me where exactly I would put any foam on the inside with these types of media?
Hopefully someone else will advise you on your filter media. Your filter looks pretty full already. Normally you would just ditch the cartridge and replace it with a piece of foam cut to size.
 
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