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Old 01-31-2011, 06:29 PM   #11 
bettafish15
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Yeah, the water changes need to be picked up. On my cycled 14 gallon tank, I do 30-50% a week. You should be doing more for an uncycled 15 gallon :)
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:12 PM   #12 
wallywestisthebest333
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Ok Is your goal to cycle the tank? If so then I'd stop putting fish in there. Don't add any fish until it's cycled.

If you want to start over (which I suggest just incase it was some kind of disease) then I'd dump your tank out, clean it with REALLY hot water and vinegar (I wouldn't use bleach. It takes WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too long to rinse. I mean like over 50 rinses too long. I wouldn't try it. Vinegar is an acid and will get any residue on the glass of and do so in a gentle non-toxic way. =]), wash all the decor and gravel in hot water and vinegar, rinse everything 2-3 times then start over.

Before you start cycling this time you'll need a test kit. The API Freshwater Master Test Kit is the one you want. =] It's a liquid test kit so it should last you AT LEAST a year and it gives you the most accurate results possible if you follow the directions exactly and clean the tubes well after each test.

When you start over you'll want to add an ammonia source such as raw fish, fish food, or pure ammonia. And by pure ammonia I mean no other additives. ACE Hardware sells pure ammonia. It's their store-brand Janitorial Ammonia. Here's a link.

Pure ammonia is the most precise route but you have to be careful to feed the tank enough or else your cycle will crash. The Raw fish method works but you need to be careful to take the fish out before it molds./ after that you just let the water sit. Then with the fish food method you do the same thing as the ammonia method but there's a big chance that you'll get a major algae bloom because of the phosphates that can sometimes be found in fish food.

The cloudiness in your water that you were trying to get rid of was mostlikely the bacterial bloom that you wanted.

If you tank water get cloudy during he cycling process it's most likely the good bacteria booming. This is a good thing.

You'll want to refer to these links as well as the cycling sticky before you attempt to cycle again.

You could also fish-in cycle I guess but since you're out of fish any-way I'd just go ahead and cycle it before getting any more.

If you want to fish-in cycle though I'm pretty sure there's info in the cycling sticky about it. Basically if you're doing the fish-in method you make a lot of small water changes but never do a 100% change. eventually you'll get the ideal readings and your tank will be cycled.

Bacteria in a bottle is worthless btw. I wasted my money on it once and regret it.

Good luck with your cycling this time around. =]
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:31 PM   #13 
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The ammonia most likely killed them. With a fish in cycle you should be doing daily water changes, every 2-3 at the VERY least. 2 weeks is waaaaay to long to go in between water changes no matter what size you tank :/
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:10 PM   #14 
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I realized I did a lot of things poorly and incorrectly. I will certainly be referring back to this thread often (and likely asking more questions in the process).

I am really greatful to all the input. I wish I could get to the store tomorrow. We're supposed to have horrible weather (as I am sure some of you here are getting hit with too!). My mom might have some vinegar on hand. We can eat least get the vinegar scrub out of the way. As for the decor, I am thinking of just starting anew with it all. I may keep one of two decorations, but I want a whole new look with new gravel, plants, etc just in case.

Thank you also to the person who recommended the small heater for my 2.5 gallon.

Thanks to everyone again!
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:23 AM   #15 
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I agree with the white vinegar, it's the best to clean with. I've never used it for fish stuff, but it works wonders cleaning my bunnies' litter box with. Does a much better job than the stuff marketed for cleaning and rinses out nicely. ;)
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:20 PM   #16 
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Another quick question. If my tap water isn't the greatest, would it be wise and better to use distilled water from the store? I could go buy 15 gallons over the weekend.

I have another question. I have never heard of actually adding ammonia to a tank using raw fish, fish food, or the liquid itself. Is this a staple thing to do? Or a suggestion? The idea is a little intimidating but I'll try it if need be.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:45 PM   #17 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DazzleKitty View Post
Another quick question. If my tap water isn't the greatest, would it be wise and better to use distilled water from the store? I could go buy 15 gallons over the weekend.

I have another question. I have never heard of actually adding ammonia to a tank using raw fish, fish food, or the liquid itself. Is this a staple thing to do? Or a suggestion? The idea is a little intimidating but I'll try it if need be.
Why is your tap water bad? Conditioned tap water is better than distilled because it has minerals in it that bettas have to have.

Only add in ammonia if it is a FISH-LESS cycle, as in no fish.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:18 PM   #18 
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A big NO on the distilled water. If you don't feel comfortable with your tap and want to buy water, go with spring water. As turtle10 said distilled water has had everything removed, even the minerals that the betta needs. Your fish will not survive in distilled water.

Spring water will work but it isn't necessary. If I were you, I would bring a sample of my water to the pet store and have them test it. Just to give you peace of mind :) And either with tap or spring water use dechloriator.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:02 AM   #19 
DazzleKitty
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I'll try to get my water tested. I live at least 40 to 50 miles away from most pet stores in my area so it's hard to motivate myself to go especially since I drive that distance to work everyday. The price of gas makes me cringe. I'm going to see if I can go in after work later this week. My mom is actually really excited about starting this tank over too. She wants to go to Petsmart this weekend to pick out some new gravel and decor so perhaps I can get it tested then.

I'm really glad my mom is starting to get an interest in it. We're working on adding to our house (should be done in less than a year). She said if this tank works out, she'd be totally for getting a big 50 gallon one for the new area of our house. So, needless to say, I'm really hoping it goes better this time!

If my water isn't good, I may keep a stock of spring water. We'll see.

Thanks again, all.
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