Are you thinking about getting a betta?
Are you debating over whether or not to cycle your tank?
Many people will encourage you to start with a minimum of 2.5 Gallons per betta, in a cycled tank.
But why? Why, really, do you need to cycle them? In Thailand and Vietnam, bettas are raised in little liquor bottles with no ill effects, right?
Right. It's true. It's also true that the betta farms that raise them in these small bottles change their water (WC) once, sometimes more, per day.
So what does it take to change your betta's water? Well, I still have 1 fish in an individual tank, an uncycled, 1 gallon tank. I'm going to show you a video of the entire 100% WC. This does not include prep time, or clean up, just the WC after I have everything set up.
It is a pain in the petute. ASAP they will all be going into 2.5 Gallon minimum, cycled tanks. You can multiply the length of the video by however many uncycled tanks you have. I think I'm moving pretty fast here, since I've already warmed up.
Just food for thought. I'm not saying you're torturing your fish if you do not cycle. Just think about it. The main reason for us hobbyists to only use cycled tanks is because sooner or later the maintenance will overwhelm you. Bettas especially are addictive fish to keep, and probably every betta owner you know has MBS (Multible Betta Syndrome). Uncycled tanks simply require a LOT more maintenance than cycled tanks, so if raising bettas is not your full time job, I recommend cycled tanks only.
I would also like to note that decorations are nice, but experience has taught me that you're really better off NOT using any gravel in an uncycled tank. If you decide to keep an uncycled tank, the only thing you should put in it is the fish, maybe a snail, and definitely some live plants, but no other decorations. Why? Because it's just one more thing that can go wrong. Bacteria tends to grow in the stagnant places, especially in gravel and you run a lot higher risk of dropsy and other illnesses. For the record, I no longer use the setup in the video below.
Here's the video of me cleaning an uncycled 1 gallon tank: