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Old 10-02-2012, 11:27 AM   #1 
BabyBetta0108
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Ammonia won't go down?

Hi Everyone,
For a while now, my 3 gallon betta tank has been without a filter and recently had an ammonia spike (1ppm). I went to petsmart to ask on how to lower down the ammonia level and the person there told me that I was keeping my tank too clean. He said if I buy a filter and put it in, it will be fine. It's been a few days now and the ammonia level is still at 1ppm.
My question is, should I try to do a fish-in cycling? Or is he right that i'm leaving my tank too clean? Should I just leave the tank alone and have the good bacteria build up? I don't want my betta to live in an environment with high ammonia but i'm afraid to change the water in case I disturb the BB in the tank
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:41 AM   #2 
sarahspins
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How are you testing your water? Have you tested your tap water (after adding conditioner) too?
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:54 AM   #3 
BabyBetta0108
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Hi! I'm testing my water using the API master test kit. When i tested my tap water after the conditioner, it said .25ppm
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:33 PM   #4 
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Even with a fish in cycle you need to do regular water changes. The filter media will help build up beneficial bacteria, as will your substrate and decor. The water column does not hold much of the BB...it is going to develop on your sub, decor, filter media, and the sides of your tank. Just remove 50% of the water, and vac the largest pieces of waste that you see.

Here is a link to betta specific cycling..it includes a fish in cycle.
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=107771

Last edited by Bettanewbie60; 10-02-2012 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:43 PM   #5 
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Originally Posted by Bettanewbie60 View Post
Even with a fish in cycle you need to do regular water changes. The filter media will help build up beneficial bacteria, as will your substrate and decor. The water column does not hold much of the BB...it is going to develop on your sub, decor, filter media, and the sides of your tank. Just remove 50% of the water, and vac the largest pieces of waste that you see.

Here is a link to betta specific cycling..it includes a fish in cycle.
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=107771
I'm doing about 10-15% water changes everyday. Is this too much? Also, I wanted to ask, is the substrate absolutely necessary? If possible I would like to have a bare bottom tank so it would be easier for me to see any waste and remove it right away.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:49 PM   #6 
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Originally Posted by BabyBetta0108 View Post
I'm doing about 10-15% water changes everyday. Is this too much? Also, I wanted to ask, is the substrate absolutely necessary? If possible I would like to have a bare bottom tank so it would be easier for me to see any waste and remove it right away.
Yeah, I wouldn't do them every day...I would do 50% twice a week, one just water, and one with a vac to get the mulm off the bottom. Adding some river rocks to the bottom will help to hold some BB..my 2.5 I have just these stones in it. ....I just do water changes twice a week on my new smaller tanks.
I hate having gravel substrate in my regular tanks, that is why I use the rocks..easier to see the mess and clean it with the vac. Only my planted tanks have gravel in them. I get the bag of stones at Dollar Tree, they work great, and look nice.

The link I gave you is great for understanding the cycle in a smaller tank. Check it out.

Last edited by Bettanewbie60; 10-02-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:49 PM   #7 
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keep in mind that the smaller the tank, the less stable water conditions will be. Sometimes a tank that is only 3 gallons can be notoriously difficult to truly cycle. Your best bet is to keep up with the water changes until your bacteria can handle the ammonia source.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:42 PM   #8 
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Originally Posted by Bettanewbie60 View Post
Yeah, I wouldn't do them every day...I would do 50% twice a week, one just water, and one with a vac to get the mulm off the bottom. Adding some river rocks to the bottom will help to hold some BB..my 2.5 I have just these stones in it. ....I just do water changes twice a week on my new smaller tanks.
I hate having gravel substrate in my regular tanks, that is why I use the rocks..easier to see the mess and clean it with the vac. Only my planted tanks have gravel in them. I get the bag of stones at Dollar Tree, they work great, and look nice.

The link I gave you is great for understanding the cycle in a smaller tank. Check it out.
Thanks for the link! I'm ganna follow the instructions and see how it goes. How long does the cycling process take?
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:48 PM   #9 
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Thanks for the link! I'm ganna follow the instructions and see how it goes. How long does the cycling process take?
To be honest...I don't know. I've never measured all my water parameters while I have a fish in. I just make sure I do regular water changes and don't over feed (don't want a lot of leftover food on the bottom). I have never "timed" a cycle, or tested to see when my tanks are cycled. I'm pretty low tech in my fish keeping. I have always kept an eye on my ph with a liquid test kit, and made sure the temp was always stable. I just bought my first ammonia test kit, but I only test when I think there may be a reason to...my water change schedule makes me not worry so much. I know others insist on testing full water prams, and knowing exactly when their tanks are cycled, it's just not for me.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:53 AM   #10 
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First of all....it is important to keep the ammonia below 0.25ppm. Change 50% of your water every day until it is.

You can get a stable cycle on any size tank if you make sure you have lots of foam in and/or around your filter for the bacteria to colonize. A sponge filter is good for this.

I run bare-bottom tanks. Not as attractive as substrate but a lot easier to keep clean. I tie Anubias and Java fern to rocks and beads. Decorative rocks are OK but the debris piles up around the base of the rocks. You can float Anubias and Wisteria for topcover and shade. They make fine Betta hammocks and hangouts, too.

It may take a month or more for your tank to cycle. Just keep making the water changes and checking the parameters until it is. Remember, cycling is not for the convenience of the fishkeeper, but for the health and safety of the fish.

Last edited by Hallyx; 10-03-2012 at 07:55 AM.
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