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 08-09-2014, 09:02 PM   #1 
Lettuce
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
More Fish-in cycle questions

Alright so I have had my betta for a month now, and have been trying to cycle the 5 gallon tank for 3 weeks. Initially it was just him in there for a week with me changing the water whenever ammonia got high. Then I started adding Seachem Stability to the water like the instructions on the bottle suggest, and doing a 50% water change every time ammonia got to .50ppm, which usually was every two days.


After 3 weeks of doing that, i was getting no nitrite or nitrate readings at all, so clearly it wasn't cycling. I then decided to just leave the ammonia in and detoxify it so the fish wouldn't be harmed, hoping the bacteria would get started eating it. That hasn't appeared to work either, as ammonia was almost at 2ppm yesterday with no nitrites or nitrates in sight.


3 days ago I decided to buy Tetra Safestart after reading numerous reviews for it saying it can cycle small tanks in like 2-3 days. I added the recommended dose when i got home with it, and was still detoxifying the ammonia once a day using 5 drops of prime so the fish wouldn't get sick.


I then read in the Q&A section on Tetra's website that using prime can harm the bacteria in Safe Start, so I guess I should go back to just doing water changes instead of keeping the ammonia higher and detoxifying it?


I did a 30% water change to bring the ammonia under 1ppm today, and added more safestart, hoping the bacteria will start eating the ammonia. Does anyone have any tips for using safestart to start a cycle? Or any tips in general? Are 5 gallon tanks just really difficult to start a cycle in? The fish has been perfectly fine during all of this, swimming around happy as can be.


The tank has a Azoo Mignon 60 filter with fluval biomax cylinders and a sponge in the chamber. I have kept it at 81* with a heater. It is also fairly heavily planted with anacharis and wisteria. I feed the fish 2 pellets in the morning, and 3 pellets at night.

Last edited by Lettuce; 08-09-2014 at 09:08 PM.
Lettuce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2014, 05:33 AM   #2 
Lettuce
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Have now done more reading and it turns out most people use the entire 100ml bottle of safestart in one big dose. The directions do say "use whole bottle for aquariums up to 40gallons" which I misread initially as basically "use whole bottle for 40 gallons" and divided by 8 for mine.


So now I've dumped the whole rest of the bottle in, and hopefully the 5 drops of prime I added for the ammonia won't screw it up somehow.
Lettuce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2014, 01:07 PM   #3 
Hallyx
Reference Team
 
Hallyx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Fungus corners
Tetra claims ammonia-removers interfere with Safestart bacteria. Prime does not remove ammonia. Seachem says Prime only locks ammonia in a different molecule which still feeds bacteria and plants. Many pepole have successfully used them together.

Three weeks is not too long to wait fora cycle . Three days is too short to expect TSS to do it's thing, A week seems about average of the keepers I've talked to.

It's good you're using Prime to detoxify ammonia, But changing water to keep ammonia below 0.50ppm is safer. Prime @ 2-drops/gal should be plenty.

Anacharis and Wisteria are two effective ammonia-eating plants. How much do you have in there?

Last edited by Hallyx; 08-10-2014 at 01:10 PM.
Hallyx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2014, 05:20 PM   #4 
Lettuce
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Ok it's been a week since I added the TSS, and a month since I started using the Stability... and the tank still hasn't even showed a hint of cycling.

The ammonia was well over 2ppm 2 days ago and my betta was starting to sit on the bottom a lot, which he never does. 0 nitrates and 0 nitrates to be found. I did a series of 50% water changes, the last one being yesterday morning leaving the ammonia around .50ppm. I now dumped another 100ml bottle of Safestart in. This time it's just the regular Safestart. The first time it was Safestart Plus.



I hope this time it works. I want to get to where I don't have to change the water as often. As it is now I'm having to change it every other day because of the ammonia build-up from just my one fish, and i suspect that's why he's not building any bubble nests. He built one when I first got him into the tank but hasn't tried since.


As for the plants, I have like 3 stalks of wisteria under 6 inches long, and like 11 individual stalks of Anacharis. The Anacharis might not be doing so well, which is either because of the high ammonia concentration of the past few days, or my LED lights are too weak. I'm not sure. I've been adding a bit of Flourish for the plants every 3 days.

Last edited by Lettuce; 08-15-2014 at 05:24 PM.
Lettuce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2014, 05:53 AM   #5 
bluenail
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
I would stop adding the flourish until you see some signs of plant growth, as there is a risk of having too much nutrients in your tank, and if the limiting factor is light (which is likely) more nutrients won't cause the plants to grow faster.

You might consider a fishless cycle in a bucket with a sponge or box filter while trying to do your fish-in cycle in your main tank. If the bucket cycles first, move the filter to the tank as seed. This would cause an almost instant cycle of the main tank.

Do water changes as necessary to keep ammonia below 1ppm, but don't try to get it below .25ppm (if you happen to get lower sometimes though that is fine, just don't do another WC if you are already at or below .25) Keep that up and eventually you will cycle. It can take a very long time, but in the meantime your water changes are keeping your betta safe and happy.

With the ammonia levels above .25 and below 1, shake a bottle of safe start that you purchased from a different store than the first (in case the batch the first store got had gotten too hot in shipment), then add half to three quarters of the bottle to the tank. Add the rest of the safe start with your next water change.

I am the lone man out it seems, in that I prefer to use a conditioner that doesn't bind ammonia. You might give that a try instead of the prime. If you are keeping ammonia below 1ppm binding the ammonia shouldn't be needed.
bluenail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2014, 06:47 AM   #6 
Lettuce
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
I just took readings a few hours ago and I have nitrites finally. Despite being 5 months older it looks like the second bottle of safestart actually worked.
Lettuce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2014, 12:32 PM   #7 
bluenail
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
I would guess the other bottle probably got overheated or overcooled at some point before it made its way to you.
bluenail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2014, 01:16 AM   #8 
Lettuce
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Ok now I'm kind of confused.

The readings last night had Ammonia somewhere between 1 and 2 ppm, and nitrites at around 1ppm.

I got excited because it was finally happening.



Now ammonia is still at 1-2ppm, Nitrites are at 0ppm, and Nitrates are at 1-2ppm.

Will the rest of the ammonia clear out or should I do a water change to help the betta? I don't want to screw up the cycle but I haven't added any prime or anything in 3 days, so the ammonia is bound to be bad for the fish at this point.
Lettuce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2014, 01:20 AM   #9 
bluenail
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
I would do a 50% change so that you still have some ammonia for the filter to process, but it is low enough not to distress your fish.

You probably have the ammonia eating bacteria in your tank, but not enough yet to handle your population.

VERY good start, but you aren't there yet.
bluenail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2014, 12:23 PM   #10 
Johnboy33
Member
 
Johnboy33's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Are you dechlorinating your water BEFORE you add it back to your tank during water changes? If not the chlorine is killing off the Bacteria you're trying to grow...maybe something to think about?
Johnboy33 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
cycle questions..of course kaycejonesgrl Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 1 09-19-2013 06:56 AM
Sorority...Type of Filter and Pre Cycle or Fish In Cycle? shannonpwns Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 9 08-01-2013 07:11 AM
Stalled Cycle or Just Impatient? Cycle Questions! WhiskeyHands Betta Fish Care 2 01-08-2013 01:42 PM
A cycle of questions Draug Isilme Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 22 08-11-2011 07:09 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:21 PM.


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