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It's best to add a source of ammonia (other than fishes). Do a google search on "fishless cycling" and you'll find many articles explaining the process. If you want replies specifically from this forum, do a google search for "fishless cycling site:plantedtank.net" the top search results will all be from here. :)
 

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It doesn't matter if it's just bettas. If you want the tank cycled before the fish go in -- by far the best way to ensure that they don't suffer ammonia/nitrite injury -- it will take some time to prepare the tank. Adding plants, decor, etc. from a working tank helps, and so can using Seachem Stability or similar products. Different types of bacteria do different things to convert ammonia to nitrites and nitrites to nitrate, and it takes time to build all the colonies. Read up some more on fishless cycling and you'll understand why patience is a virtue. :)
 

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It's best to add a source of ammonia (other than fishes). Do a google search on "fishless cycling" and you'll find many articles explaining the process. If you want replies specifically from this forum, do a google search for "fishless cycling site:plantedtank.net" the top search results will all be from here. :)
Should never be a need to fishless cycle a tank if you already have an established tank from which you can borrow material already impregnated with the very bacteria that fishless cycling produces.(lot's of folk's do this,myself included).
Can remove up to 50% of filter material from established tank to seed new tank's and avoid altogether the week's needed to establish a bacterial colony.
Or as suggested ,,just run sponge filter in established tank for a couple week's and then move it to the tank just before introducing fish.
Adding lot's of plant's is double insurance for the plant's will quickly take up ammonia as food for growth.(much faster than bacteria can process it).
Fishless cycling or not..Is wise not to stock too heavily with fishes in newly established tank's.
 

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Pixel Prestidigitator
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I have to agree with RM. You've got an established colony of bacteria going (after 2 -3 weeks of course) why would you do a "fishless cycle"? I've got HOBs doubled up on a few tanks and if I am at the LFS and get some fish on a whim (or my avatar decides he wants something) I fill a tank add filter and gravel and it's done. Right then and there. Done.
 

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A. Stick three sponges in your existing tanks for a few weeks, and then set up your divided 5g, plant it, and start adding bettas one at a time as the bacterial colonies grown to handle the bioload. In a few weeks, have a planted, cycled tank with fish.

B. Set up your divided 5g now, plant it with whatever you like (not having to limit your choices to nitrate hogs), and do a fishless cycle with ammonia or fish flakes and a couple of water changes. In a few weeks, have a planted, cycled tank and add your bettas all at the same time.

Same end result, pretty much the same effort and time frame. Which one you choose depends on your personality, the types of plants you want, and how fast you want to add bettas to the tank.

I'll be looking forward to pics of the tank once all is in place, fishkeeper01, and we can see what lovely bettas you choose. :)
 

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A. Stick three sponges in your existing tanks for a few weeks, and then set up your divided 5g, plant it, and start adding bettas one at a time as the bacterial colonies grown to handle the bioload. In a few weeks, have a planted, cycled tank with fish.

B. Set up your divided 5g now, plant it with whatever you like (not having to limit your choices to nitrate hogs), and do a fishless cycle with ammonia or fish flakes and a couple of water changes. In a few weeks, have a planted, cycled tank and add your bettas all at the same time.

Same end result, pretty much the same effort and time frame. Which one you choose depends on your personality, the types of plants you want, and how fast you want to add bettas to the tank.

I'll be looking forward to pics of the tank once all is in place, fishkeeper01, and we can see what lovely bettas you choose. :)
All plant's are ammonia,nitrate hog's.(is food for them)
No need to wait week's for fishless cycling when you can be done in a couple week's by seeding songe filter's as described above , or plant heavily and avoid traditional cycling altogether.
Takes a fair amount of plant's from the get go to produce safe enviornment for fish in new tank without traditional cycling, and one should monitor the water for ammonia level's that may still rise to uncomfortable level's but the ammonia is more often as not caused by overfeeding.(assuming you don't grossly overstock)
It is not just the waste created by fish although stocking too heavily is also frequent cause,but the majority of folk's overfeed and ammonia produced by uneaten food is seldom considered.
Have set up many more classroom tank's for small children than I have had birthday's, and children are seldom content with staring at empty tank while waiting for bacterial colony to develop.
Can create safe enviornment for fish with a bit of patience,and knowledge.
Suggestion for plant's has more to do with their ability to take up ammonia more so than nitrAtes .
Only takes a little ammonia to harm fish.Nitrates are nearly harmless in comparison.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Collect as much mulm from your established tank and spread it out in the bottom of the new tank right before you lay down your substrate and fill the tank.

Then after you fill the tank and get your filter running, squeeze/rinse out the filter media from the established filter into the water of the new tank. Let the gunk fall wherever it wants- it's full of good N-bacteria.

This is a great way to seed the N-bacteria in the new tank. I've done this several times and managed to completely avoid ammonia spikes in the new setup. I'd still monitor the water parameters for the first week or so to be on the safe side, but you should be able to start (slowly) stocking immediately.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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That's just going to be a judgment call on your end.

If there's good water circulation through the dividers, then just one filter should provide enough bio and chemical filtration for the whole tank. You'd probably have to make up the missing mechanical filtration by siphoning up poop/dead leaves/etc on a regular basis, though.
 
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