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Old 08-16-2013, 10:12 AM   #131 
PNWBettakeeper
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Thank you so much for your help. I was really worried about Bingo. I really stumbled into this. I had seen a write up about this tank and I was really intrigued with the idea of creating a system where you could actually grow food using the nitrates provided by fish. I purchased the system as an educational tool so I could understand how a system like this could work. Having never kept fish before I am having to learn all about this on the fly. The part that I dod not expect is the connection that I have formed with Bing, the Betta. He is seriously more like a dog than a fish. I would never, ever have guessed that I could form a bond with a fish, but there you have it, it has happened. Now, rather than worrying about what kind of food I can grow in the hydroponics part, I am just obsessing about how to create the best environment for Bingo. Thanks for answering all my questions, you are really a life saver, or at lease saving me from obsessive paranoia. I am just going to keep watching the water and more importantly, watching the animal behavior as I am guessing that is the very best indicator. I will let you know how things go in a couple of weeks.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:52 AM   #132 
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Your welcome and so true with these little fish...Some can have personalities bigger than some mammals...lol....

You don't want to over think things IMO/E-often all we need to do is relax-sit back and enjoy our little wet pets. Trust your gut feelings and very true IME- that the fish itself is often the best tester/indicator regarding water quality.

When in doubt....make a 50% water only change...IME-99.9% of the time that is what you will do with abnormal test results anyway...
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:24 AM   #133 
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Well the weekend did the trick. I came in this morning and the nitrites had dropped to zero. I have a 20ppm reading on Nitrate which I think must be a good thing for the plants in the tank as they have all grown a couple of inches over the weekend. The water looks really clear and everyone in the tank seems very happy this morning. Thanks again for your help. Being a newbie I am more paranoid about this than I should be. It's comforting to have generous people on this forum willing to offer advice. Very grateful for the hand holding.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:59 PM   #134 
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WHEW...wish I had read this two weeks ago. I've got a 5 gallon filtered tank and I've been changing 40% twice a week. Betta and tank look great; guess I've been sweating the whole cycle thing for nothing.
Thanks so much for the information.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:52 AM   #135 
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Hi, thanks for all the info. It helped to clear things up. Could I ask for some specific advice? I got a betta yesterday. I'd been planning for it for a while but I hadn't heard about cycling until today.

My tank is new. It's 2.5 gallons and has two plants large enough to fill one of the corners, a bit of gravel for the plants to hold onto, and one ornament (big enough for the betta to swim into). I also have a bubble stone connected to an air pump blowing a very low stream of bubbles into the water.

The betta is about 4 months old and is active and healthy.

I had put fresh water into the tank (I use bottled water by the way, pH about 7.0-7.2 and added a bit of aquarium salt) a few hours before acclimatising the betta. But when I checked the tank today, the water was already cloudy (not terribly cloudy but it's easily visible). I googled some things and found info saying that it's related to the cycling process.

Is it indeed related? I'm wondering whether I should get into cycling with a filter and all, or just maintain the water with regular changes. But I really don't like the cloudy water!

Right now I'm planning to change 50% of the water in two days (3 days from when I got the betta), get more plants, and possibly get a small sponge filter. I'm not sure about the last, however, because from the advice I've read on this thread, changing the water regularly should maintain things, since I have a 2.5 gallon tank.

How does this sound, and is there anything else I should take into account? Thank you!
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:16 AM   #136 
Hallyx
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Bottled water may not contain all the minerals your fish needs to stay healthy. Conditioned tapwater is recommended. And Prime by Seachem is the most recommended conditioner because it detoxifies ammonia.

The cloudiness is a harmless bacteria lbloom. Unfortunately, it's not the nitrifying bacteria you want to cultivate in your tank.

Do not use salt.

A 50% change every three days is appropriate for a 2.5g tank. Use Prime at 2-drops/gal of tank size with every change.

A cycled tank is healthier, and a 2.5g can be safely cycled with a sponge filter (recommended). But a small tank is a little finicky. I'd say get used to tank maintenance and fishkeeping for a month or so. Read up on cycling---several stickies in this section. When you're comfortable caring for your fish, we'll coach you through the cycling process.

Live plants are a definite plus if you can handle them. And as many as you can maintain. Makes it a lot safer, especially in a small tank. See the "Planted tank" section of this forum.

Welcome to the forum.

Last edited by Hallyx; 10-03-2013 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:23 AM   #137 
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I believe bottled water is nothing more than RO water.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:37 PM   #138 
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Thanks for the advice! I'll get a sponge filter and keep reading up on stuff :)

I'm using bottled mineral water--is that okay? I read that it's only the pure/distilled bottled water that's dangerous.

Also just curious, how come I shouldn't use salt?
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:09 PM   #139 
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For most applications, salt is snake oil for the aquarium.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:16 PM   #140 
Hallyx
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Salt messes with their osmoregulation. (You can Google that if you're interested.) Betta are freshwater fish; they never see salt in their natural environment.

Bottled mineral water is OK. But what's wrong with your tapwater?

We'd love to continue answering your questions. But it would be better if you started a new thread. This one is drifting off-topic.
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