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Old 06-21-2012, 05:57 PM   #1 
pettyone
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Cycling Question!

My daughter brought home a beautiful boy that her stepgrandmother purchased for her last Wednesday (without asking!). I immediately swung into action, ran to the store and purchased a 2.5 gallon tank with filter, heater, thermometer, water conditioner (Aqueon), food, test strips, an ammonia test kit & decorations. The next day, I purchased an aquarium sponge to baffle the filter...the day after that, I purchased a Master Test Kit...whew!

We acclimated our boy, Alpha, by floating him last Thursday. All the while I'm panicked because we are attempting to do a fish-in cycle, with no one to borrow cycled filter media from.

Ammonia showed up at .25 on Monday, so, it I did a 25-30% pwc then. Ammonia was .50 on Tuesday, so I did a 50% change. Yesterday, back to .25, with a 50% change after. Today, ammonia is at .50. (Tap is at 0).

I am planning on a 50% change today. Nitrites and nitrates both have been 0 all week. PH is 7.4.

Alpha has been a picky, picky eater. Sometimes he eats, sometimes he doesn't. But we have been attempting to feed him a pellet or two, three times a day (removing what he doesn't eat). We also now have flakes and freeze-dried blood worms to try.

Am I on the right track?

Thanks! I'm a nervous wreck!
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:22 PM   #2 
LebronTheBetta
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You don't have to Cycle any Tank below 5 Gallons. It would be close to Impossible to Cycle it. But it IS possible if you ask Pro Betta Owners.
For a Tank so small, the Water Perimeters would go unstable with the quick build-up of Ammonia. You also don't really need the Filter for that Tank because of the Size. Most Betta Fish prefer still Waters.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:15 PM   #3 
Canuck Fins
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A betta can go up to a week without eating so don't stress about it. Pellets are a better food than the flakes; flakes are harder to remove as well so they can foul the water more. You are on the right track with a couple of pellets twice a day; many of us fast our fish one day a week as well. If you can, try getting some frozen bloodworms and giving a couple of worms once a week after you've got him eating pellets. Bloodworms are like chocolate cake for a fish; you want to establish eating habits before giving treats. :)

In a 2.5G, make sure you are doing enough water changes. I believe it's one 50% and one 100% a week, but my tank is a 5G so I'm not positive on that. I know someone here will clarify if I have that wrong. Keeping a healthy fish is a good bit about keeping the water clean. :)
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:47 AM   #4 
Hallyx
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The 50% and 100% water change schedule is a minimum guideline recommendation. You know about water testing, so you're way ahead of the game. You bought all the right stuff, so you apparently know what you're doing. Keep the ammonia under 0.25ppm.

It's not easy to cycle a 2.5gal tank. I'd suggest removing the filter for now and going with frequent water changes to keep your ammonia down.

You might double dose your conditioner and see if that helps. Or switch to Prime. A few plants wouldn't hurt.

Canuck Fins is right about frozen bloodworms being preferred.

You are definitely on the right track. I seldom see a new keeper get the right stuff and ask the right questions as well as you have. Relax, have patience. It gets easier.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:53 PM   #5 
pettyone
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Thanks for the tips--they are greatly appreciated! There's quite a learning curve here for a person who has never had a fish...

I ordered a 5 gallon tank today and will be cycling it - WITHOUT fish, when it gets here. Alpha will then have a new, more stable home.

"...like chocolate cake for fish..."
I guess I'll have to add the frozen bloodworms to the grocery list then!
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:33 PM   #6 
Aus
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Sounds like Alpha has a great, caring home. :)

Trust me, the panic dies down after a while and you can just relax and enjoy your fish. If you've not had bettas before, wait and see how they steal your heart!

Prime is an awesome product. I won't use any other conditioner, apart from Stress Coat when needed (which is also fantastic stuff).

Other useful things to keep on hand are Aquarium salt and Epsom salt, as they tend to be front line treatments when things go wrong. Medicines I have handy are the Aussie equivalents to Maracyn I & II and Jungle Fungus Guard. That's pretty much a good first aid kit, right there - hopefully you never need it, but it's good to have these things around.

It's pretty normal for a new fish to be off its food for a few days or even a week or two, also.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:53 PM   #7 
Hallyx
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Stepgrandma didn't do you any favors. Sort of like buying your kid a drum, only this is quieter but costs more.

Anybody here who is serious has a lot of money in each fish, unless they're really frugal. The fish is the inexpensive part.

AQ salt and epsom salt are cheap, and may be all you need for a while. If you keep your water clean, it's likely you won't even need that.

Someday, you may want to consider live plants and a light for them. No rush. In the meantime, you might get some artificial silk plants to fill up the 5gal and make him feel cozy.

Last edited by Hallyx; 06-22-2012 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:46 PM   #8 
pettyone
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Thanks Aus--I am trying! I think he's going to be a bit spoiled!

I have aquarium salts...kiddo was convinced he had ich, so I ran out to get the salt AND a magnifying glass (ha--no ich seen, thanks to the magnifying glass)! I will start stocking the first aid kit, as well. My mother is now calling him her "Grandbetta" and herself "Bettanana". Cracks me up!

Hallyx--stepgrandma has quite a collection of critters at her house, as well. Cats, dogs, goldfish, fire-bellied toads, snails and probably others that I can't think of now. Yes, there was unexpected expense and stress for me...but kiddo and I had been talking about fishkeeping for a while...I wasn't quite ready, though. Hopefully Alpha will live a long, happy life in spite of my COMPLETE lack of knowledge. I do believe live plants are in my future, once I can get past being overwhelmed learning about proper fish care!
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:13 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Sort of like buying your kid a drum, only this is quieter but costs more.
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