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Old 05-17-2013, 11:13 AM   #11 
slug61
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Originally Posted by tman99 View Post
Hi everyone,

Just looking for a little help here. My Wife brought home a betta over 2 months ago. I found this forum and got some great info on how to care for him.

She brought him home in a tiny 1 gallon tank, and after reading how to really care for him I knew he needed a bigger tank so I went and changed him to a 10 gallon. After having him in the 10gallon I read about the nitrogen cycle and was kind of blind sided by it, because I've never cared for fish before.

Our betta is now in a filtered and heated(78-80 degrees f) 10g tank, and ive been doing 50% water changes every 3-4 days. i use Prime water conditioner. It's been over 2 months now and I always get the same water readings. 1ppm ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate. I was thinking I would at least see some kind of signs bacteria was starting to form but this is how it's been for two months.

I've been debating wether or not to go grab from tetra safe start to throw in there to maybe get things started, but I don't want to do anything that might harm the fishy. Any advice is welcome, not sure if I am doing anything that would prevent the cycle to start or not.

Thanks for reading and any advice.
Hi,
Get the ammonia down to .25 with water changes.
Then add an entire bottle of TSS.
You do NO water changes for 14 days...voila...you're cycled.
It has worked for me.
You MUST always add the entire bottle of TSS after 24 hours of using PRIME.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:57 PM   #12 
Sena Hansler
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I never had to use that stuff for cycling.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:52 AM   #13 
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I suppose there are circumstances in which it is necessary, but I am always very cautious about putting anything into my tanks. I personally wouldn't use TSS, but everyone is different in their preferences.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:02 AM   #14 
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The hardest part of cycling is finding the patience to wait for the nitrifying bacteria, which occur naturally in the environment, to fall into your tank and grow. Hence the popularity of Safestart and other bottled bacteria.

Many experienced keepers successfully use bacteria supplements, some in preference to live bacteria from a suspect tank.

Prime does not, in any way, interfere with the cycle. It reduces ammonia to ammonium; either is converted to nitrite by the bacteria.

One Betta in a 10g doesn't create much ammonia to feed bacteria. As you change water regularly, I have to presume that you have nearly 1.0ppm ammonia in your source-water. Check it and see. Keep using Prime every couple of days to keep the ammonia reduced to ammonium.

Growing a crop of nitrifying bacteria in filter medie placed in a bucket or spare tank is the fastest, safest way to get a cycle going. TSS, Dr Tim's One-and-Only, ATM Colony or any supplement using live bacteria (check the sell-by date for freshness) can be used without worry in a fishless environment.

For fishless:
--ammonia >2.0ppm
--temp >80*
--high filter flow
--high aeration/oxygenation

For fish-in: just keep changing water. Keep the ammonia and nitrite >0.25ppm.

Live plants (fast-growing root-feeders and floaters) will help guard against ammonia spikes and rapid water-quality changes. See the plant section for details.

Read the cycling stickies in the "bowls and habitats" section.

Last edited by Hallyx; 05-18-2013 at 03:09 AM.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:59 AM   #15 
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Thanks for the advice Hallyx.

Yes my source water tests positive for 1ppm ammonia. I'm guessing there just not enough bio load in the 10g with just a single betta.

I'm going to give the bucket method a try and stop by my LFS and pick up another filter to start a fish less cycle in the bucket. I'm going to try and use some TSS in the fish less bucket as well just to seed it with some bacteria.

The only ammonia source ill have is some fish food so I will try to use that to keep ammonia levels high in the bucket.

I'm guessing once the bucket has cycled just place that filter inside the betta tank and it should jump start the cycle there?

Hopefully this will start to work, all these water changes over the last couple months are getting tiring lol..
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:35 PM   #16 
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You could also place gravel or other substrate in the bucket, along with an ornament or two. That way, along with the filter you can kick start a cycle when the bucket has finished cycling.
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:34 PM   #17 
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Good news everyone!!!!!

Instead of waiting on an entire fish less bucket to cycle I went ahead and picked up a bottle of tetra safe start.

I did a 50% water change treated with prime. Waited 24 hours and added the entire bottle of TSS to my 10 g tank with my Betta inside. He ran away from the cloudiness of the TSS at first it was funny!!!

Three days later I'm fully cycled !!!

0 ppm ammonia 0 nitrite 40 PPM Nitrate.

Whoo hoo!!! So happy now.

I know 40 ppm is kinda high, I'm nervious about doing a water change and messing things up but hopefully it stays stable
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:04 AM   #18 
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Nitrate at 40ppm is as high as you ever want to read with fish in the tank. Half that is acceptable; less is better; 0.0ppm is ideal.

By now the bacteria is out of the water column and onto your surfaces. Changing water won't effect the cycle.

I'm glad that TSS worked so well for you. Another data point. Thanks.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:43 AM   #19 
Sena Hansler
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I was always told it should read 10-20.

Last edited by Sena Hansler; 05-24-2013 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:03 AM   #20 
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In an ideal natural environment, there would be no nitrogen compounds of any kind.

I can't immediately find the reference from Byron Hosking and the experienced keepers over at TFK. If pressed, I'll look further.
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