Now I'm really confused
I have been reading about cycling a tank and now I think I understand this process even less then I did before reading. If I'm understanding this all correctly you need fish to produce waste in order for a tank to cycle, but the amonia spike will kill the fish. There are products to use to cycle a tank without fish, but some people say they are useless. I'm also reading that the bacteria developes on the filter cartridge (is that the right term?). My tank has a filter cartridge that is one piece and it recomends changing every month. Wouldn't that undo all of the bacteria growth from cycling? Some people say you can keep a Betta in a tank while it is cycling others say you shouldn't.
To further add to my confusion I have known people to just set up tanks, stock them with fish and happily proceed without problems. I have witnessed this practice with many different fresh water fish from tetras to piranha. Could these people have been doing something I didn't know about or were they just lucky?
I honestly reaserched setting up and stocking a 5 gal tank. I thought I had a clue about what I was doing before getting the fish. I even read the manual for setting up and stocking the tank. Why don't these company's tell a person what they need to know.
Since I have just now discovered that I should have cycled my 5 gal tank and I'm totaly lost on how to proceed I would appreciate suggestions. I have a 5 gal hex tank with a top-mounted filter. In the tank I have 1 female Betta and 2 red tailed sharks. I know 2 sharks was not the brightest move and I'm working on fixing that situation also. TIA for any words of wisdom.