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Possible to cycle w/ a betta fish & TSS?

This is a discussion on Possible to cycle w/ a betta fish & TSS? within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I know it's best to cycle fishless but that could potentially take 6 weeks and I'm slightly impatient. I was ...

Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate Discussions on tanks, temperature, filters, gravel, lights etc.

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Old 2nd August 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Default Possible to cycle w/ a betta fish & TSS?

I know it's best to cycle fishless but that could potentially take 6 weeks and I'm slightly impatient.

I was just wondering if this is a viable way to speed up the process.

I have a 20g aquarium set up with hides & plants (some new, some from my beta's established tank). I've been currently running a HOB filter and placing a small amount of frozen brine shrimp in the tank each night for a week.

So far, it hasn't cycled much, or at all, really.

I was wondering if I could move my betta into the 20g tank to speed the process up. I don't want to cause any harm to him though, so I was thinking of using some TSS just to make it the safest possible for him.

My question is, would the remnants of this TSS in the water cause any harm to my new axolotl in a week or 2, assuming this is an option?
If not, what are other ways to speed the process up?
(I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the method of placing drops of pure ammonia in.)



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Old 3rd August 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possible to cycle w/ a betta fish & TSS?

Cycling a tank to provide the best possible environment for your axolotl does take time, but it is worth it. Using your betta as a source of ammonia will not speed up the cycling, but if you know someone with a mature set up that is heavily stocked you could ask to have some of their filter media (up to a third of the filter media can be replaced without too much trouble). Recently I provided some mature media for a friend who was cycling a tank, and it only took them a week to complete their cycle.
I'm sure that you've seen this article, but I have also provided a link to a fish forum which I found useful.
Caudata Culture Articles - Cycling
FISHLESS CYCLING - HOW TO DO IT | Think Fish Tropical Aquarium Forum
I have used household ammonia to cycle tanks, and you can cycle the tank at a higher temperature than you would have for your axolotl, which may help to speed up the process, but make sure the tank is at the correct temperature before adding your axolotl.
Unfortunately the only real way I have found for a quick cycle is by using mature filter media.
Perhaps one of the more experienced keepers will be able to provide you with more information on speeding up your cycle.
Best of luck and please keep us posted on your progress.



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Old 3rd August 2016   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possible to cycle w/ a betta fish & TSS?

So if you already have an established tank all you need to do is take a piece of established filter media from the existing tank and bung it in the new one. You can add your axies immediately, and treat it as the end of a fish-in cycle.



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Old 13th August 2016   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possible to cycle w/ a betta fish & TSS?

Okay, so it's reaching the end of cycling using the small established filter cartridge.
Can I just do the 20% water change and add a new filter cartridge of the correct size, and it's good to go theoretically?



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Old 14th August 2016   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possible to cycle w/ a betta fish & TSS?

If you change your filter cartridge you will lose all of the beneficial bacteria that you have grown during the cycle.
Just do the water change.



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Old 14th August 2016   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possible to cycle w/ a betta fish & TSS?

So when do I change the filter media?



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Old 14th August 2016   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possible to cycle w/ a betta fish & TSS?

I will openly admit that I have never changed my filter media, just given it a quick rinse in old tank water.
The sort of internal filter I have in several of my fish and axolotl tanks is shown below. The people on the fish forum I use recommended to remove the media from the cartridge abd gently rinse the filter media in tank water rather than replace the cartridge, which I did. The oldest filter I have is on my temperate tank, which was the first 70L tank I got last October, and it's still the same filter cartridge.
If you do want to change your media only replace around a third at any time, otherwise you will have to start your tank cycle again.
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Old 15th August 2016   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Possible to cycle w/ a betta fish & TSS?

I spray out my cartridges well with the weekly water change. I usually only add new ones every few months when they get particularly messy.



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