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Cycling In Small Tanks?


Guest Zyenthillias

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Guest Zyenthillias

I was just wondering, do smaller tanks (1-10 gallons) go through the ammonia/nitrite cycle, too? Because from my experience, no small tank that I've either set up or simply observed has seemed to be affected much by it. Still, I can't seem to find any reason why smaller tanks WOULDN'T cycle...I mean, it's the concentration of the chemicals that are taken into account, right? Not the total quantity.

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Well, my 6 gal is cycling, and remarkably well as well, considering it's got two fat fantails living in it (yes, I know it's far too small for them, they get an upgrade when I get a paycheque)

What's more, it cycled fairly quick as well- I was picking up nitrites within a week of setting it up. I started from scratch, following a disaster of epic proportions in my 30 gal, with all new gravel, filters etc and two very unwell fish.

So far it's all good. Ammonia can rise very quickly, probably due to the amount of fish in there, but with regular waterchanges it seems to be working quite well. FYI it's 6 gal, with 1 HOB filter 1 air powered filter, 2 airstones, heated to 26, 7.1 pH and a rather moth eaten plant. Gets 50% change every three days, and hoovered 1nce a week

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Yes, smaller tanks definately cycle. I have a betta in a 5 gal. I haven't tried to cycle it. I just change the water every week but I'm sure it would. I have guppies and tetras in a 10 gal. and it has cycled.

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I have observed that many small tanks seem to have difficulties cycling because the small filters that are typically used on a small tank are not built to hold much beneficial bacteria. It may reside mostly in a small sponge or a cartridge. If this sponge or cartridge is not handled carefully or is changed out, the cycle is gone. Very few people have backup filters on a 10 gallon tank! :lol:

You can have a nice cycle on your small tank - just think about where the bacteria is residing and do not disturb it. :) That bacteria is everywhere in the environment, so given an undistrurbed place to grow and food (ammonia) it will grow and thrive.

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I'm glad you said that Daryl. I have in the past made the mistake of cleaning my 10 gal. too well and then of course I lose the cycle. I have learned not to clean everything in one day. If I change the filter, (ususally just rinse it in tank water but eventually have to change it) then I do not clean the glass and ornaments and gravel. I will wait a few days and then vaccuum the gravel and wipe off the glass. Then wait a couple of days and clean the ornaments. I have found that doing it this way it's easy to keep my cycle.

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very few people have backup filters on a 10 gallon tank!

*sticks hand up* I do! the filters we bought for my soon to be a betta tank are designed to be used then the contents slung and another pack slotted in, so we got two, so we can change them alternately and not wreck the cycle.

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I will admit it...... I, too, have a backup on my 10's. But then I use them as cycle starters on other tanks and other purposes as well as a backup on a 10 gallon tank.

Yeah - we are obsessive are we not? :lol::yeah:

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To answer the first question. ABSOLUTLY my 10 gallon went though a rough cycle(maybe i just didn't konw how to do it..) but a fish or two died getting it going. And as far as keeping enough benificial bio bugs or what ever, if you have a problem i suggest the bio wheel type filter. WORKS great havnt had a problem since its been established. Only now after about a year am i thinking im gonna get a back up filter just incase, better be safe then sorry. But yea i do 30% water changes(rare occasions) and there seems to be little effect on the fish, besides the nice new nitrAte free water :) ....

Cheers

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