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Old 07-07-2012, 12:58 AM   #21 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New York City

I'm using the standard freshwater API kit for my testing. As for conditioner, I've just switched to from NutraFin Beta+ to EasyLife "Fluid Filter Medium" Ultimate Water Conditioner. The LFS highly recommended it. I'm also mixing in epsom salts to the pre-mixed water.

My source water is NYC tap.. no filters or water softeners in line at all.

The nubias look quite healthy.. nothing rotting there.

I'm scratching my head about the ammonia output.. I did a 100% change and in a day it was .5ppm for ammonia. Again, tap water has 0ppm ammonia... and post treated water still 0ppm.

@ wetBetta

thanks for confirming my thoughts on hand feeding. I really like the idea of feeding him by hand to get him used to human interaction. As for food.. I was referring to the LIVE bloodworms I had.. I will try the frozen ones tomorrow if Petland has them.. and the IAL are already ordered.

update on Buster: his fin rot is clearing up.. but still weirdly lethargic (five minutes just sitting there no movement) He has been in a bowl within a heated tank (81 degrees) for the past two days with no adverse affects..

will his full color ever come back?

thanks everyone.. have a great weekend!
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:28 PM   #22 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
I would do a test with a clean glass of water..add your dechlorinator and see if that is causing a false ammonia reading...Some dechlorinator will change the ammonia to ammonium and the test products can't tell the difference.....
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:32 PM   #23 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New York City
Hey everyone,

just wanted to give a tremendous thank you to this community for the support and guidance to get Buster over the hump. He seems to have fully recovered, and is full of energy, and is always hungry.. all good! One problem:

He is currently floating in a 1 gallon vase within the heated tank.. when he should be fully in the tank.

I'm hesitant to release him to 5 gallon tank because it doesn't seem to be processing ammonia efficiently anymore.

Here is the tank's history:

filled tank, started fishless cycle
seeded with friend's gravel

First Nitrites! .25ppm
Ammonia @ .5ppm
dosed a little more than ¼ of a tsp

nitrites at 2ppm
ammonia @ .5ppm (dosed almost ⅜ tsp)

tested for nitrites .2-5ppm
can process ammonia overnight no problem

tested for nitrites .25ppm!
nitrates 5ppm

ammonia = 0
nitrites = 0
removed bacteria seeding mtl (was in a stocking directly adjacent to the filter intake)
did large 70% water change

past few days NO nitrites (still light amounts of nitrates.. assuming residual)
ammonia reduction goes slowly
dosed with ammonia to 4ppm

ammonia is still at 1ppm
no nitrites
very little nitrates

other vars:
my 5 gal tank is planted with a small java moss and java fern and an anubia
heated to 80 degrees
using API freshwater kit to test
use stress coat for dechlorinator (as per O.F.L's suggestion I tested straight from tap vs. dechlorinated with stress coat and it comes up with an ammonia read of .25ppm

Any thoughts on what happened to the cycle? It was there on the 20th, but then I removed the starter mtl and did the 70% water change.. then gone.. can no longer process ammonia overnight with no signs of nitrite byproduct.

Should I just keep dosing to keep the ammonia @ 4ppm and just wait it out for the cycle to start over? There is a lot less pressure now that Buster is healthy..

thanks for the insight!

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Old 07-25-2012, 03:10 AM   #24 
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When you did the 70% water change did you also clean the filter? The reason I ask is because I'm wondering if it is possible that when you did the water change and all that it destroyed at least most of your beneficial bacteria.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:13 AM   #25 
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Location: New York City

Nope.. didn't touch the filter..

Is it possible that the ammonia sustained colony takes longer to process the ammonia than the nitrite sustained colony? IE, my ammonia is getting reduced albeit very slowly.. could the nitrites be getting converted to nitrates in such low doses that it doesn't even register? (I've been testing in 12 hour intervals the past few days, and all I've seen was barely a blip of nitrites)

should I just wait this whole thing out?


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Old 07-25-2012, 09:22 AM   #26 
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It is possible. There are really many variables that could be causing your readings.

I know that a lot of people here are into the extreme details and testing of the water. And that's great. I personally never test water. I've had no problems really. I just make sure to filter the water and provide fresh water upon evaporation... which is fairly regular. Only my fry do I really pay a lot of attention to water conditions and such. I'm not suggesting that anyone not test their water though by any means. I'm just saying that I don't, I've had no problems in not doing so and I keep conditions as natural as possible... thus using filtered water, apple snails and java moss.

In my opinion, if you have been cycling the water for this long and the temp is good (around 80 degrees) I would remove him from his floating container into the larger tank. But that's me. I'd keep a close eyeball on him for the first few days. Looking for any potential problems. But I think he will be just fine. This is just what I would do. Bettas don't come from clean pure water to begin with.

I do have 100+ various types and species of bettas. They all are fed, cleaned and maintained the same way. I've been doing this for years. I've never had the need to test the water. I have found that by simply doing things on a scheduled and regular basis... I have no problems.

And let me also say that I do respect the way others maintain their bettas... and everyone has there own methods that work for them. So before I get blasted out of the water for not testing water you should really know all the tanks and types of fish that I do keep, breed and raise. From Oscars and Jack D's to crayfish and bettas (and lots of in betweens). Yes, my house has fish in every room for the most part!
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:32 PM   #27 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New York City

thanks for taking the time to reply.. I can totally appreciate your "let nature establish equilibrium" approach so you don't have to be over-zealously monitoring your tanks. As a newbie.. this is something that I aspire to, but since I have one (and my first) fish.. I'm just hyper critical about doing things perfectly..

as an aside, the good news is I figured out what was causing the abnormal fluctuations in the ammonia! I only have one eye dropper that I use for both procuring water samples AS WELL AS DELIVERING PURE AMMONIA. Although its thoroughly washed after each use, it must be still holding on to some residual ammonia (the dropper isn't glass and its bulb may be slightly porous)..

I took a sample without the dropper.. 0ppm Ammonia vs. .5ppm ammonia.

anyway.. this proves that the tank is fully cycled..

dumb mistake.. but at least the tank is ready, and Buster can move into his new home..

thanks everyone!

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Old 07-29-2012, 07:40 PM   #28 
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