Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Care
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-21-2013, 02:38 PM   #1 
katmandew
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Pennsylvania
cycling question

"katmandew-why don't you start a new thread on your fishless cycle if you haven't already and add-Tank size, substrate, additives used, type of filter, live plants-if any and if you do plan on live plants-include light info and number/species of plants and finial stocking plan.
Date started, ammonia source, type of testing products and a base line water prams on your source water-with and without the normal additives you use."

Per Old Fish Lady I'm going to try to answer all the above questions. First let me give some history. Last week I set up my first 5.5 gallon tank (starter from Petsmart) and bought my first Betta. The rep from Petsmart told me to condition the water and let the Betta go, that simple...so she said. Three days later my Betta was dead and through this forum I have learned to cycle a tank first.

My tank is 5.5 gallons, gravel substrate, only additive was conditioner, filter is a Top Fin 10 (carbon), light is built in to the hood, have a 25 watt heater set on 80, 4 silk plants (not planning on doing live plants), and two caves, planning on only 1 Betta and maybe a ghost shrimp. I knew nothing about cycling or testing the water. I ordered the API Master Test Kit and Prime conditioner. Yesterday morning I cleaned the tank and decorations, refilled it with the conditioner and added a couple drops of pure ammonia. After 8 hours I did my first test. The PH was 7.6, ammonia .25, nitrate and nitrite both 0. I have no idea what the levels are in my tap water since I really didn't think I had to test it.

After more reading I saw that I should get the ammonia level up to between 3-5 so this morning I added more ammonia and tested. Again it was only .25. I added a full teaspoon and it went up to 2.0. Here is my understanding of what I should be doing. Keep testing daily and adding ammonia until all the ammonia disappears in a 24 hour period and the nitrate and nitrite levels are 0. When that happens do a 75% water change. I believe the PH level of 7.6 is ok for a Betta as long as it stays consistent. I just turned the light on the hood thinking maybe that will help grow some good bacteria. According to Petsmart the filter cartridges should be changed monthly and by the time this cycles it will be time for a change. Should I change the cartridge after cycling or do I really need to since there are no fish or food in the tank.

It's obvious I have no idea what I'm doing, but I'm trying to learn and do the right thing so I don't lose another fish. Could someone please let me know if I am doing this right and then once I add a fish how often do I check the water levels, and how to fix any problems like high ammonia after the fish is in.

Thanks :)
katmandew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 04:04 PM   #2 
shellieca
Member
 
shellieca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario, CA
You are mostly correct. Dose ammonia to 4, test water with a liquid test kit every 24 hrs, when ammonia drops to 1 dose back to 4. NitrItes should show up next no telling exactly when but takes about a 2 wks. Ammonia should start zeroring out around this time, keep dosing it up to 4 every 24 hrs if its 1 or less. NitrAtes will spike & at some point nitrItes should zero out. You want 0 ammonia & nitrItes, <20 nitrAtes. Keep a watch on your Ph during cycling because if it gets too low (low-mid 6's) it can stall your cycle.
shellieca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 04:15 PM   #3 
katmandew
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Pennsylvania
ok great! so tomorrow I will add even more ammonia to get it up to 4 and watch for ammonia to go down to 0, nitrites to hit 0 and nitrates to hit less than 20. So when all that is right then do a water change? and add fish? how often after adding the fish should I check the water and what if the ammonia spikes again? I never thought this would be so complicated, but then I really didn't know anything other than I wanted a fish lol!
katmandew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 04:47 PM   #4 
shellieca
Member
 
shellieca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario, CA
It's actually quite simple but sounds complicated. The nitrates will spike which means they could go into the 80's at which point you would need to do at least a 50% water change to bring it down otherwise the too high nitrates could hurt your cycle. I would do a 50%+ water change about 24 hrs before adding fish. Once you have your tank cycled & fish added, you may want to test the water every other day for a week or two to make sure there are no problems, then you can cut back further. If you see ammonia, nitrites >.25 do a 50% water change, if you see nitrates >20 do a 50% water change, if you see Ph <6.5 do a 50% water change BUT if you are doing weekly 50%+ water changes you shouldn't have any problems. Hope this made sense.
shellieca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 05:25 PM   #5 
katmandew
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Pennsylvania
I had to read that a couple times and yes it does make sense. Thanks so much I have a lot to learn but looking forward to the day I can watch a fish swim happily around the tank :)

Oh one other thing...the filter...do I need to replace it as directed in a month? Since I don't have a fish and I'm just cycling what should I do, replace it or wait a bit longer?
katmandew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 08:20 PM   #6 
shellieca
Member
 
shellieca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario, CA
Glad I'm able to help. Do not change out any filter media unless it is absolutely falling apart. That is where most of your BB will be. When you do a water change you can swish it around in the used tank water. I ended up replacing my filter cartridges with sponge because the filter cartridges were ridiculous & fell apart too quickly. It's gets expensive replacing them so much. If you do put in any new filter media rinse it in used tank water instead of tap water.
shellieca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 08:55 PM   #7 
AyalaCookiejar
Member
 
AyalaCookiejar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Florida
If you replace the filter cartridge you will want to run the old one and the new one in the filter at the same time so you don't lose your BB. Two cartridges did not fit in my filter so I had to cut the old cartridge open, keep the white spongy stuff on the outside and rinse out the black carbon on the inside in conditioned water. It's a good idea to just place a sponge in the filter with the cartridge to grow the BB, so if you ever do need to replace the carbon cartridge (to remove any meds in the water or toxins that accidentally got in there) you don't ruin your cycle.

The carbon removes odor, toxins, and meds from the water but it stops working after awhile (about a month or so). Carbon is not necessary though and is generally only used to remove meds or toxins.

Personally, I would rather just put a sponge in the filter and forget about the carbon, BUT I do have carbon cartridges on hand (these came in handy when I found out one of my decorations was rusting and releasing toxins into my tank!)
AyalaCookiejar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 09:22 PM   #8 
katmandew
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Pennsylvania
ah!! thanks you too I think when it's time to replace the filter I will go with the sponge, good tips!
katmandew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 09:24 PM   #9 
AyalaCookiejar
Member
 
AyalaCookiejar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Florida
Remember to run the sponge in the filter with the current cartridge for a month so that the sponge will grow your good bacteria, otherwise you will lose it all (well most of it). It's never too soon to put a sponge in there and the sponge won't need replacing.
AyalaCookiejar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 09:28 PM   #10 
katmandew
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Pennsylvania
I'm looking into how to do it now thanks!
katmandew is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cycling Question cyd Betta Fish Care 3 07-15-2012 06:49 PM
Question about cycling WDW Donna Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 3 01-06-2012 05:20 PM
Cycling question... BettaSnap456 Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 10 01-02-2012 05:53 PM
Cycling Question Laura Kennedy Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 4 08-16-2011 08:40 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.