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A No-cycle QT

Posted 02/24/2018 at 02:41 PM by Sk8r

The advantage is, you can just empty it, clean it, tuck all its gear away in it and store it in your closet until you need it again.

What you need:
light is optional, but you should have one available so you can turn it on to see your fish clearly: a magnifying glass is not a bad idea.

A heater, definitely.

A pump, some pillow floss (hobby store or sewing notions store---but be SURE it doesn't have the words 'antimicrobial' anywhere on the package.) or some blue and white filter medium.

Also get: plastic needlepoint canvas (hobby store) cuts easily and can be used to keep your pump from sucking down stuff you don't want it to eat.

A small plastic container, big enough to hold your pump, a barrier of the canvas, and some filter medium. Adding carbon is not bad unless you are also medicating (I don't unless a fish is observed to have a problem) ---carbon absorbs meds, so it's not good for that!

pump goes on the bottom, then the screen, then the filter medium. You have now created a 'pot' filter, which is what we used to use, and I still do, now and again in my koi pond.

If you have a weak pump, you may want to add an airstone with air pump for oxygenation and fish health. Put that in the corner and screen it off with the plastic canvas. YOu don't want fish in the bubble stream.

Add some plastic lighting grid (aka eggcrate) as a jump screen, just resting on the rim of your tank. It'll keep your new fish in the tank. Small tanks spook fish and they may try to escape from a sudden bump or thump in the environment.

USE THAT LIGHT to examine that filter floss surface (white side up) for any HINT of a brown stain, and if it occurs, toss that and put new in. Your object is to keep that tank FROM trying to cycle, ie producing lethal ammonia. As long as that filter is pure white, it's a pretty good sign there is no bacterial action going on. But also have an 'ammonia badge' on that tank, and keep a bottle of Prime or Amquel handy in case you didn't change that filter out soon enough.

Feed lightly. The fish isn't that active. You sure don't want waste food decaying in the filter. Give the fish a PVC pipe elbow for hiding. But be sure to inspect the fish daily, and also inspect that filter. Changing the medium daily is not excessive.

Should you wonder, a cycled environment is not necessary for fish well-being: it just means something is taking care of any ammonia that happens, which is lethal to fish even in tiny amounts. If you make sure there is no biological action in that filter, you will have no ammonia, and, basically, YOU are doing the job the sandbed and rock do in a cycled tank: getting rid of the waste.
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